Three years ago, Porsche’s supervisory board gave the green light to proceed with the development of the brand’s first 100% electrically-powered model with the aim of launching it into the market at the end of this decade. It was called the Mission E project and it is now in the final stages of testing with production set to being next year.

The future model’s name has now been revealed as ‘Taycan’ (pronounced as ‘tie-con’) which we are told is roughly translated from a Turkish word which means ‘lively young horse’, a reference the imagery at the heart of the Porsche crest which has featured a leaping horse since 1952.

The choice of the name follows Porsche’s practice of choosing names for its models which generally have a concrete connection with the corresponding model and its characteristics. The Boxster name, for instance, describes the combination of the boxer engine and roadster design; Cayenne denotes a fiery character while the Cayman is incisive and agile. The Panamera offers more than a standard Gran Turismo which is what allowed it to win the Carrera Panamericana long-distance race. The Macan’s name is derived from the Indonesian word for tiger, with connotations of suppleness, power, fascination and dynamics.

“Our new electric sportscar is strong and dependable; it’s a vehicle that can consistently cover long distances and that epitomises freedom,” explained Oliver Blume, Chairman of the Executive Board of Porsche AG.

Preliminary information about the Taycan show that it will have two synchronous motors with a system output equivalent to over 600 hp, giving an acceleration capability well under 3.5 seconds from 0 to 100 km/h, and on to 200 km/h in under 12 seconds. This performance is in addition to a continuous power level that is claimed to be unprecedented among electric vehicles. Multiple jump starts are possible in succession without loss of performance and the vehicle’s maximum range is to be over 500 kms on a fully charged battery pack.

Charged via an 800V charger unit specially developed for the car, which is twice as powerful as today’s quick-charge systems, the lithium-ion batteries integrated within the vehicle floor have enough power again for 80% of the range after just 15 minutes. It will also be possible to ‘refuel’ wirelessly by induction via a coil set into the garage floor.

Some 500 million euros will be used for the development of Taycan variants and derivatives, around one billion euros for electrification and hybridisation of the existing product range, several hundred million euros for the expansion of production sites, plus around 700 million euros for new technologies, charging infrastructure and smart mobility.

At the Porsche factory, there will be a new paint shop and a dedicated assembly area for the Taycan. The existing engine plant is being expanded to manufacture electric drives and the bodyshop will also be developed.

Former F1 driver Mark Webber has driven the electric sportscar and says it’s a game-changer. “Quite literally, it is stealth in motion. Still clearly a Porsche, it actually kept reminding me of the 919, as there were times where we could drive our Le Mans racer on E-Motor alone,” he said.

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[Chips Yap]

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