Electric Road Trip: The Porsche Taycan Turbo S Is More Than a ‘Something’ Killer

Four days behind the wheel show we’ve been thinking about the Taycan all wrong.

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Electric Road Trip: The Porsche Taycan Turbo S Is More Than a ‘Something’ Killer © Electric Road Trip: The Porsche Taycan Turbo S Is More Than a ‘Something’ Killer

Even though Florida’s roads aim to suck every ounce of enthusiasm out of a spirited drive, I could barely contain the giddiness I felt to get back into the Taycan Turbo S and point its nose toward the day’s destination, The Brumos Collection, a small automotive museum on the outskirts of Jacksonville and holding some of the rarest racing Porsches around. I couldn’t wait.

Deputy Editor Jonathon Klein is driving a 2020 Porsche Taycan Turbo S from Atlanta to this weekend's Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance. Read Part 1 and Part 2 of his report here.

Pangs of nostalgia will likely leave their mark for some just by reading the name Brumos. Like Salzburg and Pink Pig, the red, white, and blue scheme is an iconic Porsche racing livery. Established by Peter Gregg, friend and mentor to the great Hurley Haywood, Brumos Racing would become legendary with the team winning the 24 Hours of Daytona four times and the livery adorning countless race cars between 1971 and 2013. And now, the Taycan Turbo S I swiped the keys to. 

My short trip from Amelia Island to the newly opened Brumos Collection gently curved through the miniature isles that make up Florida’s northern coast. White sandbanks, shady oaks and firs, and tidal inlets dotted with white cranes and fishermen looking to haul in lunch painted the scenes outside the cabin during the hour-long drive—absolute serenity. And the Porsche continued to endear itself, eating up the miles and making me giggle every time I shoved my right foot to the floor. But those striking views, and the easy-rolling tarmac, delivered the striking realization that we’ve screwed up.

Since day one, when the Taycan was still the Mission E, the automotive media has called this car a “Tesla Killer.” We had no specs, no idea how it drove, or whether it was properly built or not. Yet, any new EV must be compared to Fremont’s lineup, no exceptions. Countless articles were written about how the Taycan would doom Tesla, but when the final specs were released, and the world peeped the Taycan’s range and price, we flipped the narrative and wrote about how legacy car makers still didn’t understand the EV game.

After driving the car for the past four days, feeling the torque, the power, and the build quality, then listening to the motors whir and the audio slap, I began to have this nagging sensation that we’d been comparing apples to whiskey. Maybe, and stay with me for a second, not every new EV needs to be compared to a Tesla?

If you were to hand someone the Taycan’s spec sheet sans any wordage about its batteries, what you'd have is a Porsche with 750 horsepower, 774 pound-feet of torque, handling tuned on the Nurburgring, one of the lowest centers of gravity of any car, replete with Porsche’s racing lineage and attention to detail, and a 0-60 mph time of just 2.6-seconds, a number that bests Porsche’s 911 Turbo S. That doesn’t describe a luxury car like the Model S or an economy car like the Model 3. Last I checked, that’s a four-door supercar—and no supercar review involves range or detailed exposition on its price.

Think back to the last McLaren, Lamborghini, Ferrari, Porsche, Koenigsegg, Bugatti, or fast Audi review you read, do any of them mention range? Of course not. You’d be reading how seven million horsepower immolates the tires on launch, snaps your neck, reorganizes your organs, makes you pee yourself with laughter—and then be completely brought out of the experience by a complaint that the 2042 HyperManic SV 2000 GT returns just 0.8 miles per gallon. You’d find another outlet to read.

And it’s not like auto journalists haven’t experienced range anxiety in supercars. I’ve watched the Lamborghini Aventador SVJ's 6.5-liter V12 dry out its 22.5-gallon fuel tank in minutes. I can tell you that when thrashing a new Ford GT on track, a full tank gets you 59 miles. We don’t talk about it because the people who purchase these cars, and those just reading for fun, are doing so for the excitement, the power, the speed, the dynamics, and the car’s sex appeal. Range, like the Taycan’s EPA-calculated 192 miles, isn’t sexy, nor is it something this class of buyer even thinks about. Money solves range and prospective Taycan owners have gobs of it.

The Taycan Turbo S was never designed as a car for the masses, but many of us have repeatedly fallen into the trap of comparing our own paltry bank accounts to those in the C-Suite, critiquing the car’s asking price based on our impoverished pockets. But if the Taycan Turbo S buyer has a big enough bank account to drop $185,000 to have one in their driveway, and subsequently live a comfortable life with their spouse, children, two dogs, summer home on The Cape, and a country-club membership, then they have more than enough to install an ultra-fast charger at home and their downtown Manhattan office, eliminating any ounce of range anxiety they might’ve been led to believe existed.

When it comes to understanding the Taycan, our original sin was believing that both cost and range matter to its real-life potential buyers. They don't. 

There will be those who disagree, but after four days behind the wheel, this is where I’m at. The Porsche Taycan Turbo S is an amazing car built by an extremely talented car company. I’m addicted to its acceleration, handling, and flowing, alluring design. No car on the road drives quite like it; it'll be a few weeks before its afterglow fades from my mind. I came in with many thoughts and preconceived notions, and the Taycan Turbo S blew them out of the water. 

I still want to get the car out onto a track, or some twisty mountain road, and luckily Porsche will be sending one to The Drive's west coast HQ soon with an open invitation to the Porsche Experience Center Track. So stay tuned for that—it's not goodbye, but au revoir to the future.

  • Jonathon Klein
  • Jonathon Klein
  • Jonathon Klein
  • Jonathon Klein
  • Jonathon Klein
  • Jonathon Klein
  • Jonathon Klein

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