Eco-Friendly, Adrenaline-Packed - we take the Porsche Taycan GTS Turismo paragliding
The Porsche Taycan GTS Turismo is a four-door, four to five-seat electric estate that combines the best of both worlds, top-tier handling and space. A GTS label means it's going to be just a little bit special and sporty, but how good is the electric GTS really?
We took it up to Bath, then along the Sussex coast for a little paragliding session. All to see how it fared on long journeys, and whether we could learn to stop worrying about range and love an electric Porsche, to paraphrase Dr Strangelove.
The GTS Turismo has 590 bhp or 440 kW with launch control and will shoot you from 0-62 mph in 3.7 secs, with a top speed of 155 mph. Battery capacity is 93.4 kWh with a usable 83.7 kWh. Maximum charge speed from 5-80% is 22.5 minutes, and the maximum charging power is 270 kW. And if the 0-62 mph is not impressive enough it will hit 124 mph in just 12 seconds. Ouch.
Combined consumption is 2.72 m/kWh though we found it to be more like 2.5 miles per kWh. Still, it was freezing with temperatures around 0-2 °C during our tour. Porsche put the combined range at 280 miles, in the cold you can expect a useable 220 miles, and the GTS has the longest range of the Taycans. The batteries come with an eight-year warranty or 100,000 km, which is pretty reassuring.
The Taycan is stunning for an estate, with eye-catching rear lights and that Porsche DNA front bonnet. Porsche also differentiates the GTS with a lot of black trim and 21-inch satin black alloys unique to this model. These contrast beautifully with the dark Carmine Red colour (£1,851). Overall the exterior is sleek, seductive and sporty, though it attracts little attention considering its exceptional performance—a discreet passe-partout powerhouse.
At almost 5 metres long and just over 2 metres wide, it does not feel large on the road, quite the opposite. Sitting at the front it’s more akin to a nimble two-seater sports car. An impressive sleight of hand engineering-wise.
84 litres in the frunk and 446 litres of boot space make this a flawless tourer for two, even for a family of four if they pack light. That's 40 litres more than the Taycan saloon. The rear seats also fold down so you can move furniture, this is a seriously practical supercar.
The first thing you notice as you get in is how solid everything is. It’s like climbing into a slab of granite. Everything is hard to the touch, there is Race-tex upholstery (their version of Alcantara) over everything but no padding underneath. The centre console radiates brutal strength and testosterone. The doors, dash, pillars and steering wheel are all tough as forged steel and aluminium.
Bose’s optional sound system is ear-poundingly good, perfect for "Get Lucky" by Daft Punk with the bass turned up. I’d stay up all night for this Porsche.
Say goodbye to knobs, it’s all on-screen controls now, but the icons are large, easy to find and use. The driver’s 16.8-inch console is curved to match your eyes and the infotainment has CarPlay and Auto Android with haptic feedback so it vibrates when you touch it—all nicely high res, clear and crisp. The ambience and seat controls reside in the centre column screen. Sorry, but some buttons would be useful. Hopefully, once we've done the whole tech trend thing, car companies will revert to what works best. However, it is luxurious and gorgeously designed.
The gear switch is a cool manette reminiscent of a fighter jet weapons system. Though good luck finding it the first time as it’s hidden behind the steering wheel on the left dash.
The seats are comfortable as hell and adjustable in all directions, 18 ways to be precise. Heated front seats and steering are a mixed boon; annoying in summer when friends insist on turning your seat up full for a laugh and a lifesaver when it's freezing outside.
There is proper room in the back with fair legroom, though the two/three seats are too upright and don't recline. All rear seats should recline, even in a sports car. If it can’t be done, leave them out. The centre armrest drops and offers two cupholders and also folds further to put your skis through the boot. On that note, the Porsche Taycan GTS is probably the ultimate car for skiing trips.
No heads-up on my model, which is necessary when you have no engine sound to tell you your speed. Do notice the roof glass which transforms from clear to an opaque white at the touch of a button in the roof. I played with it for days, a lovely bit of technology, no more easily tearable, ugly, rumpled cloth cover.
Another lovely design touch - the charging panel slides up and down into the body of the car, so no more driving off with the charge port open. Simply glide your finger along the protruding top wing and it slides open. Magic.
So what about the performance? That is where the Taycan GTS shines.
Suspension is 20% stiffer than the Taycan 4S, just below in the range, though the Turbo and Turbo S are a step up in sheer horsepower, but not necessarily cornering ability. We'll get back to you when we review the Turbo S. As the word Turbo becomes synonymous with speed, you will have to explain to young electric car drivers it has a precise meaning when applied to combustion engines.
The performance is stupidly good, unbelievably good. Apply a little acceleration and start grinning with awe, I never got tired of that roller coaster feeling. The steering is Formula one precise, and sharp as a paper cut. And that 0-124 mph in 12 secs is close to Formula One cars.
No wonder engineers love Porsches, this is exquisitely engineered for performance first. Perhaps the most truly engaging electric car, along with the Audi e-tron GT Quattro, which is built on the same platform. Electric does not have to mean boring. As the software and engineering improve, pulling high g’s in corners may well become commonplace.
One weird minus is the brakes - slightly too soft with lots of travel. Tuned for comfort I imagine, though the stopping power is faultless. To be fair, you get used to them quickly and no longer notice, but the bite at low speeds could be better.
Airbags are positioned at the front, knee, and side to cushion any impact and at the A and C-pillar that trigger if you roll, so they have not skimped on safety.
Cornering in the GTS is ludicrously sure-footed, it handles all that weight and power with extraordinary mastery. This is due to the rear wheel steering, active roll stabilisation, and PTV Plus, Porsche's electronically controlled rear differential. Combined, these are the magic ingredients that make the Taycan invincible. At low speeds, under 50 kmh, the rear wheels turn in opposite directions to the front and over that speed, with them. Additional yaw is also added to the inner wheel on a bend by braking, yup, software is taking over. These should not be regarded as optional if you want the full insane handling.
Never have I felt so confident that however much I accelerated, it would stay on the road, braking far less than I should have into the corners, and accelerating far more than was wise, coming out. The GTS also delivers more power to the rear motor, offering hints of rear-wheel drive sensation, without losing any of its road glue magnificence. The power management is superb, absolutely the best I have experienced.
In normal mode it is enthralling, bump it up to Sport and the car lowers a little, the suspension and steering stiffen up, adding more precision to your ride. In Sports Plus, it lowers again, the pedal response is more immediate and everything gets race sharp. Honestly, it is a treat in normal mode, everything after that is just extra chocolate topping on an already perfect dessert.
More than any other car the Taycan made me forget it was electric. I even imagined a phantom gearstick by my side while driving. It’s not just the induced engine sound emanating in Sports Plus mode but the extraordinary road composure. And that engine sound is to be lauded, a mix of jet turbine and Sci-Fi movie spaceship. I presume and hope they amplify the sound of the electric motors themselves, which would add a little authenticity to the aural accompaniment.
The Taycan is heavy, yet whilst many manufacturers are producing heavy cars that are super light to drive, the weight ramps up the ability in the corners. I kept trying to push the car further in more extreme conditions. It held every time.
The flow of power and control is marvellous, put your foot down without a care in the world. And being so linear you get the same immense torque at any speed, 0 to 30 or 50 to 70 mph. No matter what you do with the power of the car, it will stay on the road. Taut like it’s on rails, the signature ethos of the Taycan.
Even at the absolute limit, the control is spot on, at no point in our tour did I manage to slide or slip the wheels. The power management in the Taycan GTS is off-the-charts exceptional, so it’s incredibly fun and ideal for everyday use. It works as a family car, is amazing for touring (as long as you stick to Tesla chargers) and brilliant as a sports car in its own right. This is more entertaining than any estate has a right to be.
All this got me thinking as to why Porsche drivers seem to drive selfishly or at least have a bad reputation. Driving the Taycan GTS answered that question for me. Imagine being an athletic and nimble 20-year-old walking through an old people's geriatric home, you simply want everyone else to get out of the way. You’re not mean, selfish or even in a hurry, everybody is just infuriatingly slow.
We reckon the GTS 0-62 mph is faster than Porsche claim, not sure why they would underrate it. The practical range though, is somewhat under 280 miles, unless you hypermile it like a demon. To be fair it was freezing during our tour and car batteries perform best between 20-40 °C.
The Porsche Taycan GTS Turismo is a captivating ride, the driver’s electric car. Porsche has knocked it out of the park. There’s no getting around it, the Taycan GTS is a triumph, a magnificently engineered, luxury, sports estate. The future looks good for electric cars in general and for Porsche in particular. They are showing off what can be done. Letting new tech upstarts know that Porsche may have been late to the party but generations of experience and superior engineering count for something.
Porsche Taycan GTS Turismo Price OTR: £111,200
With extras: £126,601