(Editor’s note: We’re working on a reviews format for new Porsches that we drive. These reviews will be based tests on our home turf, and not part of a first drive or launch program. Product launches are important content, but it’s not typically enough time to provide a fully-scored review. Reviews will consist of vehicles and products that we’ve tested on our own, following our own review criteria. Since this is a work in progress, the first few of these might be different. We appreciate any feedback you might have.)
Finding a car that does nearly everything well is tough. Many compromise one thing or another but the one that nails that perfect balance becomes the most memorable vehicle you’ve ever driven. The Porsche Taycan 4S is one of those near-perfect cars. A true Porsche in every sense, only electric and it’s here to show you that compromise isn’t in its vocabulary.
Porsche Taycan 4S Exterior
You won’t mistake the Taycan for anything else other than a Porsche. It has the family look, showing it’s related to the 911, 718, Cayenne, Macan, and Panamera while remaining distinct. You find the same rounded greenhouse, only this time it’s been adopted to maximize aerodynamics. Most of the design cues from the Mission-E Concept carried over unchanged, giving the Taycan a cool futuristic look, especially with its thin LED headlights and full-width LED taillight strip.
Porsche Taycan 4S Driving Impressions
Driving the Porsche Taycan 4S proves soulful driving dynamics can coexist with cutting-edge technology harmoniously. The car becomes one with the driver, allowing it to come alive in your hands. Everything you ask the Taycan does with staggering willingness and accuracy. Further adding to the sensation is the quick, telepathic steering and immediate turn-ins that enable the Taycan to gleefully dive into corners.
Regardless of what mode the adaptive air suspension is in, the Taycan possesses impressive composure. There’s zero body roll, and the tires stick to the road like they’re glued. The car shrinks around you so much that it drives smaller than its 4,770-pound curb weight might suggest. Blending World-class handling and connection turns the Taycan into a precision instrument that will put a huge smile on your face. You feel like a superhero every time you go for a spirited run on your favorite road.
As heroic as the Taycan 4S is on a winding road, it’s equally chill casually cruising. Even with the 20-inch alloy wheels shod in Michelin Pilot Sport 4 summer tires and the performance-focused chassis tuning, it doesn’t sacrifice daily usability. Heck, the Taycan is so compliant that you can commute in it with the air suspension in Sport Plus mode because it’s so masterfully balanced. Road imperfections disappear underneath the Taycan. Literally. Potholes? No problem. Big bumps? There’s an automatic front lift for that. Successive ruts and other nasty bits? Bye-bye. Even mid-corner bumps won’t faze the Taycan. You still feel the road but none of the harshness because of just how well the suspension absorbs while keeping you connected.
Unlike most battery-electric vehicles, letting off the accelerator doesn’t give you much regenerative braking. You need to step on the brake pedal if you want more even with the enhanced recuperation active. This isn’t a bad thing, though, because it adds to the Taycan’s natural feel, making it easier to drive. You can use regenerative braking to go faster, too. Got some corners ahead? Simply ease off the brake pedal to reduce your speed slightly and maintain it through them before rocketing out on the other side.
Staggering straight-line performance complements the Taycan’s exceptional ride and handling balance. Even the middle child sprints with authority. Between its two electric motors, the Taycan 4S makes 482 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque when equipped with the optional 93.4-kWh lithium-ion battery. In overboost, the output increases momentarily to 562 hp. The result is incredible acceleration delivered instantly, pushing you back into your seat. Hard. That’s already when you’re on the move. Use launch control and you’ll hit 60 mph before you know it while getting pinned down into those comfortable yet supportive thrones.
Porsche Taycan 4S Interior And Tech Features
Porsche’s penchant for uncompromising vehicles is in full showing when you get inside the Taycan. Everything you touch feels exceptionally well-built and operates with a satisfying level of tactility. The seats hold you in place well while providing plenty of comfort and adjustability for daily use. There’s barely any noise entering the cabin too, even on the highway, giving the Taycan a sense of serenity when cruising or commuting.
The only real downside is the touchscreen-based user interface. While the controls are simple and things aren’t buried under multiple submenus, the lack of physical knobs and buttons makes it distracting to use, requiring you to look to ensure you’ve hit the right icon.
Further hinting at the Taycan’s driver-centric nature is its driver assists, they work well but not in a way that makes it seem like the car drives itself. The driver is still in control because the systems’ interventions are imperceptible and never get overly intrusive. Adaptive cruise control, for example, brakes and accelerates as if it copied your inputs, preserving the car’s natural feel.
Porsche Taycan 4S Pricing
Our 2020 Porsche Taycan 4S test car starts at $105,150. With its long list of options, including the Performance and Premium packages, the final sticker price totaled $142,560. The Taycan is eligible for a federal tax credit plus state incentives and rebates.
In every sense, the Taycan 4S is a Porsche. From the uncompromising performance, surprising comfort levels, and extraordinary handling to the attention to detail and build quality, this electric sports sedan brims with identity and heritage. The fact that you can daily drive one on weekdays and tear up your favorite roads on weekends places the Taycan 4S in the shortlist of vehicles bordering perfection. Price is the biggest hurdle to that but what else do you expect from a vehicle wearing the Porsche badge? For those who can afford the Taycan 4S, you’re getting yourself into one of the most exceptional EVs on the market. A car that comfortably seats four and drives like a proper Porsche. Only this time it has an electrified soul that’ll thrill you on every drive.
At a Glance
- Year: 2021
- Model: Taycan 4S
- Type: 4-door midsize luxury sedan
- Horsepower: 482 (562 with overboost)
- Torque: 479 lb/ft
- Total Range: 227 miles
- Combined MPGe: 69
- Pros: Impeccable ride and handling, mind-blowing acceleration
- Cons: Finicky user interface, big battery isn’t standard
- Base: $105,150
- Price as tested: $142,560