Though Route 66 is long gone, the American road trip is still relevant. First and foremost, flying sucks. A little more so now in the age of the coronavirus, but that aside, being crammed into a metal tube with a bunch of strangers and their foul odors is always second to you—and maybe a chosen passenger—and the wide-open road.
As it were, Porsche invited The Drive on one of these ye olde treks this week, driving an electric 2020 Taycan Turbo S from the brand’s North American headquarters in Atlanta to the weekend's Amelia Island Concours in Florida. It's not the kind of cross-country EV road trip that might catch Alex Roy's attention—maybe one day I’ll try that—but neither is it a Whole Foods run. The 357-mile cruise is instead a perfect chance to get well acquainted with Porsche's big bet on battery power, and I'll be bringing you daily dispatches tomorrow through Sunday as I do exactly that.
This isn't as simple as it sounds. In addition to dodging roadside hazards like gas stations with questionable pork products and even more questionable restrooms, I also have to contend with the fact that the distance between Atlanta and Amelia is just under double the Porsche’s quoted EPA range of 192 miles per charge (though other outlets have found that the real-world range likely lies somewhere between 240 and 285 miles).
What does that mean for me? Maybe nothing, since Porsche assuredly scoped out a fast charger at the halfway point. So the sad tableau of me running out of juice along some rain-darkened Georgia highway with nothing but a pecan pie to survive until the tow truck arrives isn't going to happen. Well, the pecan pie part will. But we'll still be able to crunch some interesting numbers based on the battery power used between point A and point B. And there's an important central question regardless: Is the Taycan really as good as the breathless praise being heaped upon it?
Let's recap: The Taycan, including the top-spec Turbo S, is Porsche’s first all-electric sports car. In Turbo S designation—get over the fact it doesn’t have a turbo—the EV produces 750 horsepower and 774 pound-feet of torque spread across all four of its driven wheels and derived from a 93.4 kWh battery pack underneath the floorboards. That performance is good enough for a run to 60 mph in just 2.6 seconds and a highly-illegal-in-these-United-States top speed of 161 mph.
Charging, if you're lucky enough to find an 800v ultra-fast charger, is said to take the Taycan from a nearly dead five percent to a just under full 80 percent in 22 minutes. The Taycan Turbo S also costs a lot of money. Specifically, it costs $187,610, which again, is a chest-clenching sum. Then again, its shape is practically a fine-art sculpture, like a kinetic and more beautiful Panamera—except in white.
So off I go, in the name of science. Curious about something specific with the Taycan? Want to suggest the best place for some questionable pork? Think you can make a case why white cars are actually good? Let me know.
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