Porsche has officially announced the 2021 version of the Taycan electric electric vehicle with some nice features that will be welcome by many prospective buyers. Is it a complete overhaul?
Porsche announced a slight update to the powertrain of the flagship Taycan Turbo S. With Launch Control, it now sprints from zero to 200 km/h in 9.6 seconds, thus undercutting the previous time by 0.2 seconds. That speed improvement also translates to the quarter-mile in 10.7 seconds (previously 10.8 seconds).
Porsche also updated the heads-up display:
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Intuitive heads-up display and intelligent Smartlift chassis function
A color head-up display is now available. This projects relevant information directly into the driver’s field of vision. The display has been divided into the main display section, status section and a section to show temporary content, such as calls or voice control commands. A navigation display, power meter and a user-defined view can also be selected as pre-sets.
Thanks to the new Smartlift function, included on models with adaptive air suspension, the Taycan can be programmed so that it is automatically raises in certain, recurring locations, for instance at speed bumps or driveways. The Smartlift function can also actively influence the vehicle’s ride height on the highway by adjusting the level to the best possible compromise between efficiency and ride comfort.
Porsche is also fleshing out its plans for over-the-air software update and features that can be purchased through software updates which may turn out to be controversial as it has with BMW.
The automaker is calling the model ‘Function on Demand’ (FoD):
Flexible upgrades after vehicle purchase with Function on Demand (FoD)
Thanks to Function on Demand, Taycan drivers can purchase various convenience and assist functions as they wish, even after having taken delivery of their new car. Thanks to over-the-air updates, it is not necessary to visit a dealership to install the software package. The Porsche Intelligent Range Manager (PIRM) is already available as a Function on Demand. Active Lane Keep Assist and Porsche InnoDrive (available for cars equipped with Adaptive Cruise Control) will now be added as further Function on Demand options.
Customers can choose whether they want to purchase the respective function for their Taycan permanently or subscribe on a monthly basis. Customers will be offered a three-month trial period if they opt for a monthly subscription. After registering for an account, they can select the desired function(s) in the Porsche Connect Store. Once confirmed, Porsche sends a data package to the Taycan via the mobile phone network. Drivers are notified of the availability of the data package through the Porsche Communication Management (PCM). Activation takes just a few minutes. A notification appears on the central display once the function has been activated successfully. With the 2021 model year, four functions will be available for purchase and three will be available as monthly subscriptions. Pricing will be available shortly before market launch. The optional functions are as follows:
Active Lane Keep Assist helps the driver to keep the vehicle in the center of the lane using necessary steering intervention – even in dense traffic. InnoDrive individually adapts the speed of the vehicle to the conditions ahead, with specific consideration for speed limits, turns, traffic circles, and situations where you have to yield or stop.
When navigation-based route guidance is active, Porsche Intelligent Range Manager (PIRM) operates in the background, optimizing all system parameters to achieve the highest levels of comfort and shortest travelling time.
The 2021 Porsche Taycan is also introducing some new charging features, including ‘Battery preservation’
Porsche wrote in a press release:
Even more convenient charging
Separate to the new Function on Demand services, Plug & Charge simplifies charging: Taycan drivers merely have to plug in the charging cable and authentication is handled automatically via the ISO 15118 standard. As a result, the charging station identifies the connected vehicle and can process payments securely and automatically. Plug & Charge will be available at many Electrify America charging points at the start of 2021.
Battery preservation while charging is another function that is new for the 2021 model year. It can regulate the charging capacity at suitable charging points (e.g. DC fast charging stations) to around 200 kW, when customers are planning to make a longer stop. This extends the battery’s service life and reduces the overall power loss while charging. Drivers can select this function using the central display. Of course, if customers choose not to use this option, a charging capacity of up to 270 kW remains available at 800-volt high-power charging stations.
The new Taycan is also getting plenty of new color options in 2021:
Greater choice of colors
The 2021 Taycan model year offers a selection of seven new exterior colors: Mahogany Metallic, Frozenberry Metallic, Cherry Metallic, Coffee Beige Metallic, Chalk, Neptune Blue and Ice Grey Metallic. On the inside, five new interior options are available. A Black/Limestone Beige standard interior, Blackberry and Blackberry/Slate Grey leather interior, Graphite Blue/Slate Grey Race-Tex interior, and a Basalt Black/Meranti Brown OLEA Club Leather interior.
Currently standard on the Taycan Turbo S, the Carbon Sport Design package will be available for all model year 2021 Taycan versions. It includes elements such as carbon-fiber inserts in the bottom of the front section and in the side sill trims, as well as carbon-fiber fins on the rear diffuser.
We shared a quick look at all those different color options back in June.
The new Porsche Taycan 2021 is going to be available to order in Q4 2020 and it will arrive at US dealerships in Q1 2021.
The speed improvement is likely through optimizations and frankly Porsche has left some leeway in its 2020 Taycan numbers that might just be the same exact acceleration. As for charging, the big news is that Plug & Charge will allow owners to just plug into compatible DC fast chargers like Tesla owners currently do. 22kW home charging is something that Tesla has offered but found that the huge power draw was something homeowners didn’t opt for which is effectively overnight charging. 22kW should fill the Taycan battery in just over 4 hours.
As for subscription features like Lane assist, I think these are better as one time fees, although Porsche could offer a trial period to test if an owner wants this or not.
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