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New Porsche Taycan facelift 2024 review: a benchmark for performance EV saloons

The Porsche Taycan has been facelifted for 2024, but the updates make it almost feel like an all-new model

Overall Auto Express Rating

5.0 out of 5

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Verdict

In some ways, the facelifted Porsche Taycan feels more like a new-generation EV rather than an updated model. It can go faster and further than before, while being more rewarding to drive, yet also more comfortable. These attributes are underpinned by the feel, quality and sense of occasion you’d expect from a Porsche. This is the top pick of premium electric saloons right now; the Stuttgart marque really has moved the game on again.

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Walk up to the updated Porsche Taycan and you might wonder whether the German manufacturer has really changed its flagship electric car that much. With the exception of a subtly redesigned front bumper, new headlights and an (optional) illuminated Porsche script at the rear end, the design of the swoopy saloon is very much business as usual.

Don’t be fooled, though, because this is a seriously comprehensive facelift, and one that is designed to keep the Taycan competitive in a fast-developing market. The Porsche has been upgraded in every metric, in fact – from charging speed to performance, range and handling ability – and the end result is one of the most complete, desirable EVs you can buy today.

The first hint that you’re dealing with something new comes when you go to open the car’s door. When equipped with Porsche’s new Active Ride system (more on that later), the Taycan shoots up by 55mm on its air springs to make accessing the cabin easier. If you’ve ever half-collapsed into the driving seat of the existing model, you’ll welcome this new feature.

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Climb inside the EV and the driving environment is familiar; build quality is exceptional, the driving position is low- slung and highly adjustable, and most of the control surfaces are digital. That’s not as irritating as you might imagine though, because the central climate-control display is a pressure-based haptic screen, and Porsche’s latest PCM infotainment system is clear and responsive to use.

If there is a criticism we’d level at the cabin, it’s that the rear seats aren’t as capacious as you’d expect in a five-metre saloon, and neither is the boot. At 407 litres, the Taycan saloon holds 63 litres less than a BMW i4 from the class below – although in truth, this is still a reasonable capacity for a couple of suitcases.

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In any event, you tend to forget about these concerns from behind the wheel, because the Taycan is now better than
ever to drive. Revised damper tuning and steering calibration give the car a well oiled, precise feel from the first turn of the wheel, and the controls feel beautifully measured and distinctly Porsche-like.

The steering is a particular highlight; when equipped with rear-axle steering, the Taycan can be placed with stunning accuracy. This allows you to thread the car between the white lines and take corners in one clean sweep.

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Up the pace and the Taycan’s optional Active Ride suspension comes to the fore. With precise, independent control of suspension forces at each corner, the system does away with anti-roll bars altogether and endows the Taycan with enormous breadth and control. Where you’d normally require a delicate touch to manage a big, heavy saloon car (the base Taycan weighs 2,170kg), the Active Ride system reduces pitch and roll to an absolute minimum, and you quickly find a natural rhythm with it.

The benefits of Active Ride don’t end there, though. Not only does it minimise body movements to reduce the sense of mass, it also gives the Taycan an uncanny ability to swallow large bumps and lean into its role as an electric GT car.

But what it doesn’t do is dial out high-frequency imperfections quite as well as you’d expect; in this regard it feels similar to the standard set-up, and it’s a little frustrating that surface harshness can still filter through to the cabin.

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Such is the Porsche’s dynamic ability that its performance almost seems secondary. But every Taycan gets boosted outputs as part of the facelift, and with 590bhp and a 3.7-second 0-62mph time, the dual-motor 4S version is as fast as a full-blown sports car. That said, the power is manageable and it’s easy to get into a flow with the 4S, because the acceleration melds into the driving experience rather than completely dominating it. Traction is excellent and the 4S deploys its potential with ruthless efficiency.

Speaking of efficiency, the single-motor Taycan now achieves 421 miles of range when equipped with the 97kWh (usable) Performance Battery Plus; that’s 35 per cent more than before, and 65 miles more than the less powerful BMW i5 eDrive40.

Even the 4S can cover up to 399 miles, putting the Taycan right at the sharp end of the sector. The same goes for charging, with a peak rate of 320kW (50kW more than before) enabling a 10-to-80 per cent top-up in just 18 minutes.

Granted, the Taycan is more expensive across the board (the 4S we tested costs £95,900), but few – if any – electric vehicles have such a complete skill set.

Model:Porsche Taycan 4S Performance Battery Plus
Price:£95,900
Powertrain:97kWh battery, 2x e-motors
Power/torque:590bhp/710Nm
Transmission:Two-speed automatic, four-wheel drive
0-62mph:3.7 seconds
Top speed:155mph
Range/charge:399 miles/320kW
Size (L/W/H):4,963/2,144/1,379mm
On sale:Now
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