2020 Porsche Taycan 4S: Lower-priced version might offer longest range

Porsche’s Turbo models have always been among the more exclusive, expensive models from the German sports-car maker, and now this ring true for its Taycan electric car, too: Not all Taycans will be Turbos.

Porsche Monday announced that soon after the introduction of the 2020 Porsche Taycan, a Taycan 4S model will slot below the Taycan Turbo S and Taycan Turbo. 

With it, Porsche helps interpret what the Turbo badge signals for Porsche in the electric-car realm: Higher performance and longer range. While the Taycan Turbo and Turbo S offer 616 horsepower in normal driving and either 670 hp (Turbo) or 750 hp (Turbo S) in a 2.5-second boost mode, the Taycan 4S offers 522 hp if you go with the standard 79.2-kwh Performance Battery and 563 hp if you opt for the 93.4-kwh Performance Battery Plus.

2020 Porsche Taycan Turbo first drive

2020 Porsche Taycan Turbo first drive

Porsche says that the Taycan 4S can accelerate to 60 mph in just 3.8 seconds—versus just 2.6 seconds to 60 mph for the Turbo S. In initial ride-along and first-drive opportunities with the Taycan we found its all-out acceleration to be brutally quick.

That brings the total number of power outputs for the Taycan to four, with two battery capacities—with the base battery only corresponding to the lowest output. 

One key difference between the two battery packs is that the smaller 79.2-kwh pack can only charge (on 800-volt-capable DC fast-charging hardware) at a peak 225 kw, while the larger one can charge at 270 kw. Just as with the Turbo and Turbo S, DC fast charging at 400 volts only works up to 50 kw and you’ll need to check an option box to boost it to 150 kw.

The 4S has a different motor in back than the Turbo or Turbo S; although it’s also a permanent-magnet unit, its rotor is 3.1 inches shorter—saving weight, Porsche says—one of several hints that the Taycan’s not-yet-released range might be a bit longer for this model than for the higher-performance models. Just as in the Taycan Turbo its inverters are 600-amp in back and 300-amp in front, respectively (the Turbo S gets 600-amp inverters at both axles).

2020 Porsche Taycan 4S

2020 Porsche Taycan 4S

Other than that, the 4S carries over some of the same components, including the front motor, the two-speed transmission on the rear axle, and the standard electronic damper control and adaptive air suspension systems. The 4S rides on 19-inch wheels, which may bring some ride-and-handling differences over the other models’ 20- and 21-inch ones. Brakes are six-piston calipers in front (red) and four-piston (red) at the rear wheels, all with vented cast-iron rotors. 

Just as with the other models, Porsche says that the Taycan 4S can pull up to 265 kw (0.39g) in regenerative braking—or recuperation, as Porsche and others call it. 

Appearance-wise, the front fascia has a different geometry, with black side skirts and rear diffuser. The 4S comes with ambient interior lighting, partial-leather interior, and eight-way power-adjustable front comfort seats with driver memory. LED headlamps and dynamic lamps are included. 

The Taycan 4S starts at $105,150 with the Performance Battery or $111,730 with the Performance Battery Plus option.

2020 Porsche Taycan 4S

2020 Porsche Taycan 4S

The range of Taycan prices is likely to be downright shocking to those who aren’t accustomed to Porsche pricing (though not surprising otherwise). That’s a whopping $47,100 and $40,520 less than the Taycan Turbo, and it leaves a span from the 4S to the Turbo S of $81,200—before the potential to load tens of thousands of dollars of options. 

Porsche is offering free 30-minute charging sessions at Electrify America sites in the U.S., as well as at Porsche dealerships, and, much like its VW Group cousin Audi it’s partnering with Amazon for 240-volt home charge-point installation. 

The Taycan 4S is due to U.S. dealerships next spring, as a 2020 model.

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