porsche taycan 4s 2021 review

© Provided by Motoring Research Porsche Taycan 4S

When Porsche set out to build a bold, high-end electric performance car, the Taycan was the result. Here was a fast, highly charismatic Porsche for a new age. The Taycan has been a sensation.

So where does the Taycan 4S, the model you see here, fit in? Start with the range-topping Turbo S and Turbo, then work downwards. Alternatively, begin with the entry-level rear-driven Taycan and head up. There you will find the 4S.

You will like this car. Put simply, in the growing world of EVs, the Taycan 4S looks and feels like a wonderfully premium thing. It has road presence in spades, plus one of the most sought-after badges in the business. 

Four to the floor

porsche taycan 4s 2021 review

© Provided by Motoring Research Porsche Taycan 4S

The 4S gives you four-wheel drive (with electric motors on both front and rear axles), huge depths of EV performance and a 283-mile quoted range.

True, you’re not getting the full top-end goodness that the Taycan Turbo or Turbo S can serve up. But with prices starting at £83,580, the Taycan 4S is a whole lot easier on the wallet. A 0-62mph time of 4.0 seconds is hardly slow, either.

Your next choice is whether to go with the standard body or pumped-up Cross Turismo estate. Whatever, Porsche has it all covered. Decisions, decisions. 

911 from the future

porsche taycan 4s 2021 review

© Provided by Motoring Research Porsche Taycan 4S

To Porsche GB in Reading, then, for a catch up with the latest spec Taycan 4S. Let’s start with the visuals. This car has been out a couple of years now, yet its swoopy four-door coupe styling still looks classy. 

This is a wide, low-set four-seater with definite 911 design overtones in its roofline, bonnet shape, rear wheelarches and window graphics. Inside, the centre console arrangement reminds me of the 928. Again, no bad thing. 

Porsche tradition continues with the five-dial instrument pack (although these are, of course, digital now). The driving position with high-backed front seats is superb, although those same seats do make life a touch claustrophobic for those in the back.

More power on overboost

porsche taycan 4s 2021 review

© Provided by Motoring Research Porsche Taycan 4S

Your Taycan 4S experience depends on which version you sign up for. Things start with the 79.2kWh Performance Battery. This generates up to 435hp, or 530hp in pedal-to-the-metal overboost mode with launch control engaged. 

Not enough? Go for the Performance Battery Plus, with 93.4kWh (familiar from the Turbo and Turbo S). Now we’re up to 490hp and 571hp on overboost, while both versions offer 0-62mph in a decidedly brisk 4.0 seconds.

My Taycan 4S test car had the £3,906 Performance Battery Plus on board, which also notably boosts the driving range. Porsche quotes 283 miles combined, or 317 miles on the city. With the Performance Battery, it’s 208-254 miles.

Maximum charging power? With the Performance Battery, it’s 225kW, versus 270kW for the Plus. 

Defying physics

porsche taycan 4s 2021 review

© Provided by Motoring Research Porsche Taycan 4S

Enough with the numbers, let’s hit the road. Actually, it takes just a few miles and a couple of good corners to ascertain the Taycan 4S is extraordinarily and impressively high grade and all of a piece. Just as you would hope. 

Exceptional refinement combines with a level of agility that’s uncanny for such a heavy car (2,220kg). If this is your first time, you will be scratching your eyes in disbelief. 

Porsche traditionalists who yearn for the wail of a classic flat-six or V8 will have to learn something new, for the Taycan is eerily quiet, even at 70mph on the motorway. Adjust the settings and you can drum up some level of synthesised sound. It also feels super-stable at speed. 

Traction in action

porsche taycan 4s 2021 review

© Provided by Motoring Research Porsche Taycan 4S

As with all EVs, maximum torque – a daunting 479lb ft in this case – is just an ankle-flex away. This makes the 4S seriously rapid, and the thrust keeps on coming. In proper Porsche tradition, top-end speed is really strong. Quick, which way to that unlimited autobahn? 

Conversely, driving normally, in town or on typical A-roads, the Taycan is impressively controlled, easy to manoeuvre and refined. Remarkable, really. 

With four driven wheels, traction is also immense, although there is a 90kg weight penalty versus the visually identical Taycan RWD – which also costs some £11,000 less. Extra traction and 4WD, versus a lighter nose and more handling adjustability?  Plus or minus, you decide. 

Power and control

porsche taycan 4s 2021 review

© Provided by Motoring Research Porsche Taycan 4S

You have a choice of drive modes: Normal, Sport, Sport Plus, Range and Individual. On the open road, you can feel the Taycan S stiffen and, ahem, get louder as you dial from Normal to Sport and Sport Plus. Range is for conserving battery power and Individual, well, you get the idea. 

No less impressive is the Taycan’s chassis, with adaptive air suspension plus PASM (Porsche Active Suspension Management) electronic damping as standard. 

My test car rolled on stylish 20-inch Sport Aero wheels and its superb, compliant ride quality was another highlight. Over a particularly tight and twisty B-road, the Taycan’s deft body control, steering finesse and precision in and out of bends were just exceptional. 

Pick of the range

porsche taycan 4s 2021 review

© Provided by Motoring Research Porsche Taycan 4S

Drawbacks? Well, you’re not getting the sound, drama and feedback of a traditional Porsche and, at times, the Taycan, so clever and composed, lacks emotion. Inevitable with an EV? Perhaps.

Watch out for the options list, too. My test 4S, with some desirable extras such as a sunroof and black, leather-free interior, would retail at a steep £104,941. 

But here’s the reality. Unless money is no object, in the world of electric Porsches, the stylish, super sophisticated, state-of-the-art 4S may be all the Taycan you really need. 

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