Porsche took a long run up to the official unveiling of the Taycan. It had shown off its Mission E prototype, it had revealed the Taycan name and it had shouted about bagging a record for the Nürburgring, so when the final production model was unveiled, there weren't too many surprises.

This is a Porsche, after all, and Porsche perhaps more than any other motoring company has been pretty good at producing cars that sort of look the same.

Ruffled feathers

What was more interesting, perhaps, was the reaction from elsewhere. Elon Musk, founder of Tesla, raised a very valid question: why are these cars called the Turbo and Turbo S? Of course, the Taycan is pure electric, there is no turbo. What that label does is tell Porsche drivers what position the different models sit in.

Those names hang on to the combustion engine heritage that the Taycan is trying to escape.

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But the sparring with Tesla seems to have gone further. Porsche makes statements about the repeat performances that Taycan will put in and taking the Nürburgring record for the fastest electric four door sports car, narrows the target competition to about one - the Tesla Model S. The next step of this friendly sparring is a newer version of the Tesla looking to steal that record back.

But it's still great looking car

That's the backdrop to the launch of the Taycan, which adds a frisson of excitement as performance EVs gear up to prove they're top dog. But back to the Taycan and you can't help but like the design. Much of it pulls on the 911, from window lines to the swollen haunches, but it has managed to squeeze in the rear doors without the bulk of the Panamera.

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One of the key points that Porsche made in unveiling the new model was that the arrangement of battery cells means there's actually plenty of space for the rear passengers. That's true. Slip into the rear seat and it's perfectly comfortable, with more space than you might at first expect. 

The front seat sticks to a fairly traditional sports car feel and sitting in the driving seat there is that cosseted feeling. That's sort of what you expect, but it's also Porsche sticking to the sort of driving position and experience that Porsche drivers will be familiar with.

A world of interior tech 

At the same time there are some hefty tech elements on the interior. It's familiar as a Porsche interior, but with enough changes to project you into the future vision this car brings with it. There's a reduction in switches and controls, with a major move to digital displays. 

The 10.9-inch driver's display is nicely curved and having the top exposed rather than embedded in a cowl brings a fresh look to things, although it will be interesting to see whether low sun will cause any glare on it. It certainly looks nice and that's a good starting point.

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While the central display is fairly conventional, Porsche is also making the move to a second touch display for controls. That cleans out a lot of buttons and switches that might have been there previously, and it very much follows the line that Audi have taken on recent models. 

Perhaps more interesting is that the Taycan will have an optional passenger display too, While much of the interior feels like it's there for the driver, giving the passenger a display means they can access things like media controls while on the road. The actual cars on the Porsche stand at the Frankfurt motor show weren't powered, so some of these images are from a separate cockpit demo unit.

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There was only a limited amount we could experience from it, so we'd have to get behind the wheel to see how all this tech really works out.

The important performance figures

Of course being a Porsche means a lot of what this car is about is performance. Firstly Porsche is using an 800 volt system for the car rather than 400 volts and one of the changes this brings is faster charging. The Taycan will charge at 270kW, meaning you'll really be able to boost the range in minimal time - as long as you can find a charger that will match those peak charging rates.

Porsche says you'll get 100km from 5 minutes of charging - being able to boost the battery to 80 per cent in under 23 minutes. There's a 93.4kWh battery at the heart of this car and it is all-wheel drive. 

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As we mentioned there are two versions of the Taycan. The Turbo offers 680PS, 0-62 in 3.2 seconds with a range of 279 miles; the Turbo S comes in at 761PS, 0-62 in 2.8 seconds and a range of 256 miles. Both top out at 160mph.

One of the key points that Porsche makes is that it can repeatedly perform those accelerations: it's a system that's been designed to perform over and over as you would drive it on a track. The other side of this car is a two-speed transmission, with a lower gear for acceleration and a higher gear for high speed driving. 

There are four driving modes - range, normal, sport and sport plus - along with the ability to customise. Of course, until we get behind the wheel, it's hard to know exactly how this car drives.

First Impressions

The Porsche Taycan delivers the quality and performance that you expect from Porsche, while keeping the practicality of offering rear seats you can actually get into. There's appeal in that, especially for those who want a performance car that's not impractical to live with.

The costs are pretty high, however, starting at £115,858 for the Turbo and creeping up to £138,826 for the Turbo S. While the Taycan doesn't bring too many surprises in terms of looks, there's a healthy tech upgrade and some performance figures worth paying attention to.