Porsche’s first all-electric sports car, the Taycan, made its world premiere at three simultaneous events in Canada, China and Germany. The most important sales markets of the new electric sports car are on these three continents.
The event locations also symbolized three forms of sustainable energy: the Niagara Falls at the border between the US state of New York and the Canadian province of Ontario representing hydropower; a solar farm in Neuhardenberg near Berlin representing solar power; and a wind farm on Pingtan Island around 150 kilometers from the Chinese city of Fuzhou in the province of Fujian representing wind power.
The first models in the series of the four-door sports car are the Taycan Turbo S and Taycan Turbo. They are at the cutting edge of Porsche E-Performance and are among the most powerful production models that the sports car manufacturer currently has in its product range. Less powerful variants of these all-wheel drive vehicles will follow this year.
The first derivative to be added will be the Taycan Cross Turismo at the end of next year. By 2022, Porsche will have invested more than €6 billion in electromobility.
The flagship Turbo S version of the Taycan can generate up to 560 kW (761 PS) overboost power in combination with Launch Control, and the Taycan Turbo up to 500 kW (680 PS).
The Taycan Turbo S accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in 2.8 seconds, while the Taycan Turbo completes this sprint in 3.2 seconds. The Turbo S has a range of up to 412 kilometers (256 miles), and the Turbo a range of up to 450 kilometers (280 miles) (according to WLTP in each case). The top speed of both all-wheel-drive models is 260 km/h (162 mph).
The Taycan is the first production vehicle with a system voltage of 800 volts instead of the usual 400 volts for electric cars. This is a particular advantage for Taycan drivers on the road: in just over five minutes, the battery can be recharged using direct current (DC) from the high-power charging network for a range of up to 100 kilometers (according to WLTP).
The charging time from 5% to 80% SoC (state of charge) is 22.5 minutes for charging under ideal conditions, and the maximum charging power (peak) is 270 kW. The overall capacity of the Performance Battery Plus is 93.4 kWh. Taycan drivers can charge their cars with up to eleven kW of alternating current (AC) at home.
The Porsche Taycan Turbo S and Porsche Taycan Turbo are now available to order and cost €185,456 (US$205,000) and €152,136 (US$168,000) respectively in Germany, including country-specific equipment and VAT.
The electric motors: synchronous motors with hairpin winding. The Taycan Turbo S and Taycan Turbo have two efficient electric motors, one on the front axle and one on the rear axle, thus making the cars all-wheel drive. Both the range and the continuous power of the drive benefit from the high efficiency of the permanently excited synchronous motors.
The electric machine, transmission and pulse-controlled inverter are combined into a compact drive module. The rear axle module is installed parallel to the axle. The pulse-controlled inverter is mounted on this in a “balcony solution” to increase the luggage compartment volume. Thanks to its coaxial design, the front axle module is integrated into the front of the vehicle in a very small space.
Permanently excited synchronous motors have a rotor with high-quality permanent magnets that generate a natural magnetic field. The rotor thus moves in sync with the magnetic rotating field of the stator, which is why it is known as a permanently excited synchronous motor. A pulse-controlled inverter specifies the frequency of the rotating field in the stator, therefore determining rotor speed.
On account of their structure, functionality and their excellent thermal behaviour, the Permanently excited synchronous motors are able to deliver the high performance typical for Porsche.
Taycan Turbo S: Permanently excited synchronous motor, 2019, Porsche AG
A special feature of the Taycan’s electric motors is the hairpin winding, in which the solenoid coils of the stator consist of rectangular rather than round wires. The wires are bent and their shape—before they are inserted into the stator’s laminated core—is reminiscent of that of hairpins, hence the name “hairpin”. The open ends are welded together using a laser beam.
The manufacturing process of hairpin technology is complex, but it allows the wires to be packed more densely and thus increase the amount of copper in the stator. While conventional winding processes have a copper filling factor of around 45%, the filling factor is just under 70 percent in this case. This increases power output and torque for the same volume. Another important advantage for a high-performance car such as the Taycan is that a hairpin stator can be cooled considerably more efficiently.
The liquid-cooled synchronous motor on the front axle has an active length of 160 millimeters and an active diameter of 190 millimeters. Its counterpart on the rear axle is 210 millimeters long and has a diameter of 245 millimeters. All in all, the modules have the highest power density (kW per liter of package space) of all the electric powertrains on the market today, Porsche says.
Pulse-controlled inverters control the motors. The pulse‑controlled inverter is the most important component for controlling the electric motors. In the Taycan Turbo and Turbo S, a pulse-controlled inverter is mounted on each drive module on the front and rear axles.
The pulse-controlled inverters convert the direct current supplied by the Performance Battery Plus into the alternating current required to drive the electric motors. The reverse happens during braking: Here they convert the alternating current obtained during recuperation into direct current for charging the battery.
In the Taycan Turbo S, a pulse-controlled inverter with a maximum current of 600 amps is used on the front axle, which can generate even more power and torque than the 300-amp, pulse-controlled inverter of the Taycan Turbo. Both pulse-controlled inverters operate with a high efficiency of almost 98%.
Two-speed transmission unique to Porsche. On the front axle, the power of the electric motor is transmitted to the front wheels via a coaxial, compact one-speed planetary gear with an overall ratio of approx. 8:1 to an integrated spur-gear lightweight differential.
The two-speed transmission installed on the rear axle in the Taycan is an innovation developed by Porsche. First gear gives the Taycan even more acceleration from a standing start, while the long second gear ensures high efficiency and power reserves even at very high speeds.
The two-speed transmission is based on three shafts. In addition to the two spur gear stages, which technically represent the ratio of the second gear, a shiftable planetary gear set is also used, which enables a corresponding reduction for the very short first gear. Roughly 15 revolutions of the motor represent one revolution of the wheel. This results in a very high wheel torque of almost 12,000 N·m, which allows breathtaking acceleration from a standing start.
First gear is mainly used in Sport or Sport Plus driving modes. Launch Control is also available in these modes. The transmission remains in first gear for a relatively long time, then shifts into second gear with a shift overboost.
Second gear has a ratio of around 8:1 like the transmission on the front axle. Eight revolutions of the electric motor thus represent one revolution of the wheel. This enables a top speed of 260 km/h typical of a sports car and acceleration reserves at high speeds. The rear axle has a controllable differential lock.
Recuperation. In internal combustion engine vehicles, the kinetic energy present at the brakes is converted into heat during deceleration. With electric vehicles, it is possible to recover a large portion of this kinetic energy, use the electric motors as generators during deceleration, and feed the battery with the power generated.
In the Taycan, Porsche takes its own approach in a number of ways within these parameters:
The maximum potential recuperation capacity of up to 265 kW is significantly greater than that of most competitors, decelerations of up to 3.8 m/s2 are recuperated.
When the accelerator pedal is released, the Taycan is designed to always roll or coast as far as possible; the available kinetic energy is reserved for dealing with the driving route.
Recuperation takes place only when the brake pedal is pressed, but then, as mentioned above, with a very high level of energy recovery.
With the strategy of controlling recuperation mainly via the brake pedal, the customer experiences reproducible and predictable deceleration behaviour which is independent of battery charge and temperature. Testing has shown that, Thanks to the Taycan’s high recuperation output of up to 265 kW, approximately 90% of braking operations in everyday use are performed by the electric motors alone, without activating the wheel brakes. For this reason and for the first time ever, Porsche is prescribing a time-dependent replacement interval for the brake pads: they must be replaced every six years.
Driving modes. The profile of the driving modes in the new Taycan essentially follows the same philosophy as in the other Porsche model series. This is supplemented by special settings to make optimum use of the possibilities offered by the purely electric drive.
Four driving modes are available: Range, Normal, Sport and Sport Plus. In addition, individual systems can be configured as required in the Individual mode. A prerequisite for the Sport Plus and Individual modes is the Sport Chrono package (standard in the Turbo S), and which features the mode switch integrated in the steering wheel.
Range.The Taycan performs particularly efficiently in Range mode. The top speed is limited to between 90 km/h (56 mph) and 140 km/h (87 miles) (adjustable) but can always be overridden by depressing the accelerator pedal. Driving in this mode means driving with the most efficient all-wheel distribution possible. In extreme cases, the Taycan will even drive exclusively on the front axle. Cooling air flaps, chassis height (-20 millimeters) and rear spoiler are set to the minimum drag. Air conditioning, hydraulic pumps, air suspension and headlights also operate in their most efficient configurations.
Normal. In the basic setting, the Taycan delivers its power output on a linear basis. All four wheels are driven in efficiency mode. The cooling air flaps are only opened when necessary, the rear spoiler is adjusted depending on the speed and the chassis is lowered as required. Climate control and adaptive cruise control operate without restriction, the air suspension offers full comfort.
Sport. The highest performance of the powertrain is available in the Sport and Sport Plus modes. Driver requests are implemented dynamically. The all-wheel drive changes to rear-biased distribution and is dynamically controlled. The battery's cooling and heating strategy is designed for performance. The cooling air flaps are thermally controlled depending on the required cooling capacity, while the rear spoiler control is speed-dependent. The climate control regulates without restriction, the adaptive cruise control is more dynamic (including more powerful acceleration). And the cornering lights’ functionality is also more dynamic. The air suspension lowers the Taycan by up to 22 millimeters depending on speed, while the suspension, including rear axle steering, is adjusted to a sporty setup.
Sport Plus. “Sport Plus” puts an even more dynamic spin on the driver’s style. As a result, the battery’s cooling and heating strategy has been designed for maximum performance. At the same time, the cooling air flaps are opened, the rear spoiler is extended for minimal lift early on, The chassis setup, including rear axle steering and PDCC, is optimized for maximum race track performance, and the chassis permanently remains in the lowest position (-22 millimeters).
All the systems available on the powertrain are controlled by the Porsche powertrain controller. This is where all the information is collected and the high-speed actuators are controlled. The all-wheel drive and traction control systems operate five times faster than conventional systems. If one wheel has more slip, for example, the electric motors regulate it at lightning speed—a particularly impressive experience on snow and ice.
Porsche uses a centrally networked control system for the Taycan chassis. The integrated Porsche 4D Chassis Control analyses and synchronises all chassis systems in real time.
The innovative chassis systems include adaptive air suspension with three-chamber technology including PASM (Porsche Active Suspension Management) electronic damper control, as well as the Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control Sport (PDCC Sport) electromechanical roll stabilisation system including Porsche Torque Vectoring Plus (PTV Plus).
The body: intelligent mix of materials for maximum strength. The fully galvanized body of the Taycan is a mix of aluminum and steel as the main materials.
The strut mounts, axle mounts and the rear side members are made of die-cast aluminum. The shock absorber mounts are forged aluminum. The front side members combine an aluminum shell construction with extruded sections.
The 1,941-millimeter sills are designed as seven-chamber extruded sections. Compared to steel sills, this reduces the number of components per side from 15 to three and the weight by around 3.4 kilograms.
Hot-formed steels protect the passenger compartment (A-pillar structure, B-pillar inside/outside, side roof frame, seat cross member). A special highlight is the bulkhead cross member, which is manganese-boron steel.
Special manufacturing processes are used to produce various cross-sections within the tubular component. This results in maximum strength with optimized weight. Apart from the front and rear end components, the complete outer skin is made from aluminum.
With a draw depth of 325 millimeters, the one-piece aluminum side panel posed a particular challenge for development and production. The total aluminum content for the Taycan is around 37%.
The low central installation position of the Performance Battery Plus ensures a very low center of gravity. Its integration was an essential cornerstone in the design of the body. The aluminum housing of the underfloor battery was designed as a load-carrying component and forms part of the Taycan’s safety structure. A total of 28 bolts are used to attach the housing to the body.
“Foot garages”—recesses in the battery in the rear footwell—provide improved rear seating comfort, while at the same time allowing for the low car height and flyline that are so distinctive in sports cars. The result is a low seating position and sufficient head clearance at the rear, despite the underfloor battery.
Two luggage compartments are available: The front compartment has a capacity of 81 liters, and the rear 366 liters.