A curved screen and digital everything: The Porsche Taycan’s interior is a repudiation of the analog

Our first look at the Taycan’s interior. It’s clean, with nods to Porsche heritage throughout — but packed with cutting-edge tech.

A car like the Porsche Taycan, the first pure electric vehicle from the German marque, was bound to get a futuristic interior. Our first look at the cockpit reveals exactly that; fully integrated into the the cockpit’s clean lines and horizontal dashboard is a dizzying array of cutting-edge technology.

Basically, if you like physical buttons and knobs, the Taycan’s interior is probably not for you. But if you’re a tech-forward driver who would prefer to access and adjust everything — and we mean everything, including the HVAC ventilation direction — from a touchscreen, then saddle up and smack down that deposit, because that’s how the Taycan rolls.

“Traditional, mechanically operated louvres belong to the past, as airflows are now controlled both digitally and fully automatically,” Porsche says. When we asked if the so-called Virtual Airflow Control, a somewhat limited version of which has been offered on the Panamera for a while now, was something anyone actually asked for, we were reminded that the Taycan was designed to make a bold statement about the future. And the future apparently has reduced time and patience for old-fashioned tactility. This principle seems to be applied across the entire cabin.

(Before we stop grousing about these newfangled vent controls, we’ll note that, in true Porsche style, they’re part of a broader and totally comprehensive cabin-comfort strategy that will, in theory, heat up or cool down the Taycan in such a ruthlessly efficient — yet totally draft-free, unless you opt for the “focused” direction cooling mode — way that you’ll never even feel the need to reach for the nonexistent manual vent adjustment. We’ll see. Early adopters will no doubt love ’em.)

You have to get pretty far into the weeds before you notice the fancy HVAC system, though. What really jumps out at you is all the screens, which can (depending on how you option the car) occupy nearly all of the dashboard’s horizontal real estate.

The focal point, for the driver at least, is the 16.8-inch digital instrument cluster. Though its silhouette resembles the instrument cluster of a 911, the screens’ surface is actually curved in a way that minimizes reflection (a vapor-deposited polarizing filter helps cut glare, too). This is believed to be a first for a production car.

The Taycan’s digital instrument cluster has a curved screen and multiple display modes.

In the center is a 10.9-inch screen that handles the car’s infotainment functions, including Apple Music integration. And if that’s not enough real estate, you’ll be able to option a second 10.9-inch screen that is positioned immediately in front of the passenger seat, essentially mirroring the centrally mounted unit.

There’s definitely a concept car feel to this, with screens reaching nearly all the way across the cabin. But there are at least a few pragmatic advantages to the add-on; for example, using this second screen, the passenger will be able to perform functions locked off to the driver (typing destination addresses into the nav system, for example) while the vehicle is underway.

Mounted lower, on the center console is an 8.4-inch touchpad used primarily to control HVAC functions and so on.

What’s interesting about the design of the Taycan’s interfaces, and the instrument cluster in particular, is their minimalism. Though we recognize some of the functionality (the 8.4-inch haptic feedback-enabled touch panel reminds us of the Audi Q8, for example), the interfaces are unique to Porsche — and all-new for the Taycan. 

The 8.4-inch console-mounted, haptic feedback-enabled touchpad allows control of cabin climate and other features. Two 10.9-inch infotainment screens loom above it in this photo.

Icons for various functions are reduced to their bare minimums. The instrument cluster, for example, can operate in classic mode, which features familiar round gauges. Map mode, predictably, calls up a central map, while full map mode goes even bigger, pushing all other functions to the periphery (an Audi Virtual Cockpit-like touch). Finally, there’s pure mode, which cuts it all down to one compact round gauge and displays only essential driving info.

In all cases, at least as far as we’ve seen, skeuomorphism — the tendency to make parts of a digital interface resemble real-world, physical components or materials — has been all but eliminated. Porsche isn’t trying to simulate analog dials or controls here; it’s a fully digital experience.

Moving beyond the screens and interfaces, things start to feel a little bit more familiar. The steering wheel resembles the one found on the new 911 992. A GT sport steering wheel is also offered as an option; it includes a driving mode adjustment switch. The transmission shift position selector is hard to spot; inspired by the one on the 918, it’s a small electric shaver-looking device that tucks away to the right of the steering wheel. And though you don’t need to insert a physical key to start the Taycan, the on button is where it should be on a Porsche: to the left of the steering wheel.

Also familiar is the wide range of customization options; in addition to a selection of interior accent packages, you can choose between classic leather upholstery, “sustainably tanned” leather that is treated with olive leaves or a leather-free interior made of a microfiber material called Race-Tex.

A thoroughly digital interior is one thing; what will make or break the Taycan is whether it can still provide analog thrills on the road. We’ll dig further into the Taycan’s technology in the weeks ahead and report back with the drive experience once we’ve had some time behind the wheel.

This sketch of the Taycan’s cabin gives a slightly elevated view of things. Note the curve of the instrument cluster.

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