The car we’ve known as Mission-E has a proper name – and is coming to New Zealand in 2020.
DISCUSS intensely now, doubtless debate all over again when the car comes to us in around 18 months – that’s the likely scenario about Porsche's first full-electric sports car now it has a street-legal name.
The official name of the battery electric vehicle that will take on Tesla's Model S and has been known by its developmental name, Mission E, until now has been revealed as part a ceremony in Europe marking 70 years of Porsche sports cars.
Taycan, a Eurasian word roughly translated as ‘lively young horse’, references the imagery at the heart of the Porsche crest, which features a leaping horse.
"Our new electric sports car is strong and dependable; it's a vehicle that can consistently cover long distances and that epitomises freedom," Porsche chief Oliver Blume says.
Powered by two synchronous motors generating more than 447kW, the Taycan can achieve 0-100kmh in less than 3.5 seconds and reach 200kmh in under 12 seconds. The vehicle has a driving range of more than 500 km on a single charge under NEDC testing; a schedule that is now superseded by the more ‘real world’ WLTP schedule.
The Taycan has been dubbed the "Tesla-slayer" by some motoring journalists. Porsche, understandably, prefers to steer away from such an analogy.
The Taycan "must be a Porsche first," cites Stefan Weckbach, vice president of Porsche's battery electric vehicle programme. "It must have repeatable and sustained performance. It cannot sacrifice performance."
The Taycan is the start of a broader electrification strategy at Porsche. Full-electric and hybrid-electric cars will account for 25 percent of sales by 2025, the brand said.
Porsche will double spending on electrification of vehicles to more than 6 billion euros ($7.4 billion) by 2022 from $3.7 billion. About $612 million of the investment will be used to develop Taycan-associated variants.
The first Mission E was unveiled at the 2015 Frankfurt motor show and subsequently approved for production later that year. An elevated wagon version, the Mission E Cross Turismo concept, was revealed at the 2018 Geneva show.
Porsche New Zealand, part of the European Motor Distributor group, says it currently expects to start receiving first deliveries of Taycan in 2020, about a year after production begins.