The future of Porsche Taycan: Here’s what’s coming next

Some educated guesswork about future Taycan models

Photography: Christoph BauerPostproduction: Wagnerchic ?
Photography: Christoph BauerPostproduction: Wagnerchic ?
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The 2020 Porsche Taycan Turbo and Turbo S were just revealed, and while they look damn impressive on paper – all-wheel drive, twin motors, and the Turbo S can send up to 750 horsepower to the wheels in “overboost” mode  – but we’re already thinking about what’s on the horizon. That’s because Porsche has provided us with strong hints that there are other Taycan variants coming. This is no surprise, because look at the gradients in other Porsche models like the 911 – from the base Carrera to the wild GT2, there are many flavors of speed.

The best analogue for the Taycan’s future is the Panamera, and that comes straight from the mouth of a Porsche representative to our man attending the reveal event. There won’t be a 1:1 relationship between variants – after all, a “Turbo” EV is already incoherent nomenclature, and a Taycan E-Hybrid would be a bridge too far even for Porsche. But we can expect a loose relationship. As a reminder, the Panamera model walk is as follows:

  • Panamera
  • Panamera 4
  • Panamera 4 Sport Turismo
  • Panamera 4 Executive (long-wheelbase)
  • Panamera 4S
  • Panamera 4S Sport Turismo
  • Panamera 4S Executive
  • Panamera GTS
  • Panamera GTS Sport Turismo
  • Panamera Turbo
  • Panamera Turbo Sport Turismo
  • Panamera Turbo Executive
  • Panamera 4 E-Hybrid
  • Panamera 4 E-Hybrid Sport Turismo
  • Panamera 4 E-Hybrid Executive
  • Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid
  • Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Executive
  • Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo

Did you remember offhand that there were so many Panamera variants? There are a lot. And you get the gist of the progression, and the different body styles.

One thing we know for sure is that there will be a Taycan Cross Turismo – that’s a variation on Sport Turismo, Porschesprechen for wagon – variant. It’s confirmed for production, and also for the U.S., Porsche reps tell us. And we also know that Porsche is already concerned it won’t be very successful in North America. Porsche’s North American CEO, Klaus Zellmer, told our West Coast Editor James Riswick that in the U.S., the Sport Turismo makes up about 10% of Panamera sales. American buyers view it as sitting below the regular Panamera sedans, in stark contrast to Europe where the Sport Turismo represents half of sales. We think a Taycan Cross Turismo will be a niche model, and perhaps not offered in every powertrain variant.

Which variants below the Turbo and Turbo S will be sold? A GTS seems likely as a special model with a performance orientation, offering desirable extra equipment as standard but with lower output than the Turbo. It’s a standard across all Porsche model lines historically, although the Macan and Cayenne aren’t currently offered as such but have been in the past and may again be in the future. An offering below GTS would make sense, too. We’re hearing the possibility of a rear-drive, single-motor base model, although we haven’t been able to pin Porsche down on this beyond the general relationship between Panamera and Taycan offerings.

But others have heard hints that this will be the case. Alex Roy heard late last year from a Porsche Global Brand Ambassador that a base Taycan, a 4S and Turbo will be sold, although this didn’t predict the Turbo S. And way back in late 2017, Georg Kacher at Automobile, who is generally well-sourced, heard that there will be three powertrain variants at roughly 400, 536 and 670 horsepower, and a rear-drive model might be considered after launch. Again, this didn’t predict the Turbo S, which may not have been finalized when these conversations were happening. But they both point to Porsche considering a lower-powered model. The base Panamera makes 330 horsepower, and so 400 sounds about right for the base Taycan.

What we can say is this: There’s a $65,800 spread between a base Panamera ($87,200) and a Panamera Turbo ($153,000 non-hybrid). If we apply that rough math to the Taycan Turbo, which closely matches the Panamera Turbo’s price at $153,510, we are hoping that a base rear-drive Taycan could hit the market at around $90,000.

The caveat being that there’s no guarantee that Porsche will offer a Taycan at such a low spec. Zellmer told Riswick that the Taycan rides on a “very expensive platform” – essentially “spaceship technology,” to use his hyperbolic wording – and it’ll be exclusive to high-end Taycan and Audi E-Tron models. Whether you read that as Zellmer saying that there won’t be a model below the Taycan using this platform, or that they won’t offer base trims, is open to interpretation.

At a minimum, we’re excited to see how the Taycan’s sleek styling works in production wagon guise. The spy shots look exceptionally promising. Until then, the Taycan configurator is live on Porsche’s site, if you want to spec your own Turbo or Turbo S out.  

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