When Car interviewed Dr. Michael Steiner, the Porsche board member in charge of research and development, the exec told the magazine there's a two-wheel-drive Taycan on the way. "There will be a rear-wheel-drive model with a smaller battery to make it more accessible price-wise," he said, "especially for markets that don’t need 4WD — places like China, where weather conditions mean you don’t need it." Steiner wouldn't be drawn on a date nor a price, but Car expects China to be the new sedan's first market, with a UK arrival sometime in 2021. We'd expect the U.S. to slot between those two markets; so any time in the next 15 months sounds reasonable, the issue being what other Taycan variants the Stuttgart manufacturer is preparing in the meantime.
We asked the question about an ultimate Taycan lineup last September, after being told by a Porsche executive during the Taycan media drive that the Panamera range makes the best comparison to the Taycan. It's easy to forget the Panamera numbers 21 different trims at the moment, from the 330-horsepower, $87,200, rear-wheel drive Panamera to the 677-hp, $198,100, all-wheel drive Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Executive. Trying to make an educated guess about how far downmarket Porsche would go from the Taycan 4S, we wrote, "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." Of note, there are three Panamera trims between the 2WD base and the 4S, one being the Panamera 4 Sport Turismo, a model we already know has an imminent analogue in the Taycan Cross Turismo.
That "smaller battery" Steiner mentions we take to mean shrinkage of the 79.2-kWh battery in the entry-level Taycan 4S. A single motor will also lop a chunk off the 523 hp produced by the dual motors in the base 4S, but we wouldn't expect a frightening drop from the 252 miles of range this 4S trim returns on the WLTP cycle.
The Panamera 4S costs $18,000 more than the base sedan. Applying the same math to the Taycan, a single-motor Taycan would cost around $85,000 before destination.