My Car Quest

September 25, 2021

Design Review: Porsche Taycan

Almost all the right deign cues to make sure you know it’s a Porsche…

by Wallace Wyss –

The Porsche Taycan design follows classic Porsche design language with a major detail switch to rectangular headlamps. With a Taycan, you will turn heads because people expect a high performance looking car to be making RHUMPARHUMPA sounds. But it is not.

Porsche Taycan

The brand images of Porsche and Tesla are very different. Teslas are good looking cars but the company had no heritage (other than a sports car designed by Lotus) they had to develop a style for their sedans and come across as techy, and nerdy, like we don’t need a grille because we’re electric. On the other hand, Porsche had a double challenge, to first build a car that can compete with Tesla mechanically but also radiate what people buy Porsches for: luxury, iconic design, class, and an enviable heritage of car racing victories.

Porsche Taycan

Both brands have positive associations with modernism, and high technology and but a key divergence is when Porsche’s history is mostly on racing cars where Tesla shorter history is about the world moving ASAP into The Electric Age.

Here’s my take on the Taycan design:

FRONT Too plain. Especially for a car that starts at over $100,000. The headlights have (to me) an unfortunate look that looks like black adhesive tape is used to divide it into four sections. The vertical slots at the front of the body no doubt have a use but are distracting. And you wonder if they are air intakes, but why when there is no internal combustion engine to cool? Like adding propellers from old technology to a jet plane.

Porsche Taycan

SIDE Very sexy for a four door four seater. A lot of 911 heritage in that. Good idea blacking out the B-pillar, makes a four door sedan look more like a coupe especially if, in your state you can heavily tint both front and rear side windows.

Porsche Taycan

REAR Even though full width taillights go back back (1966 Dodge Charger? These still look modern. I like the way the boot lid curls up around the racer backlight. The horizontal ribs on the lower half seem cheap looking, not as expensive as the rest of the car and seem to have no reason for being (unless covering the batteries?). There’s no trunk handle.

Porsche Taycan

IN SUM The car has considerable “stance,” a way of standing on its four wheels like a thoroughbred horse that’s saying: “What are we waiting for–let’s go.” It is about 20% more adventurous than the Tesla Model S but let’s be fair–Musk started out with the Model S selling it as a family sedan not a sport sedan (sporty car that be be driven like a sport car) He had no heritage to harken back to (not counting the Lotus design for that first sports car…)

It surprised me that the Taycan is less than the Model S but that’s the “base” Taycan. The Tesla Model S is $139,000 but if you get the Plaid model it’s $141,190. The Porsche Taycan starts out cheaper at $104,000 but keep adding options and you can end up paying more than $230,000.

Porsche Taycan

I congratulate Porsche for making its first translation into the world of pure electrics and still managing to keep the Porsche “look,” but on the details I mentioned, those could be more integrated and/or dropped if you can’t make a strong case for functionality.

Let us know what you think in the Comments.

Wallace Wyss

THE AUTHOR: Wallace Wyss, who has been a guest lecturer at the Art Center College of Design, is authoring a book of 30 fantasy stories about cars. Some will, of course, be Porsches.

 
 

Porsche logo

Photos of the Porsche Taycan compliments of Porsche.
Summary
Design Review: Porsche Taycan
Article Name
Design Review: Porsche Taycan
Description
The Porsche Taycan has considerable "stance," a way of standing on its four wheels like a thoroughbred horse that's saying: "What are we waiting for--let's go."
Author

Comments

  1. Wallace,
    I usually agree with you totally but I’m not on the same page on this one. I wouldn’t call the Taycan “sexy” , well maybe for a tour seater. Other reviews I’ve read, claim they are very inefficient compared to others and little room inside relative to it’s size. $200,000 is stupid $$ for an EV. I’ve always been a Porsche fan especially the 911 but I’d never consider a Taycon. And what a stupid name! Full disclosure I didn’t care for the Porsche SUVs either but I was totally wrong as they may have saved Porsche.
    I’ve never owned an EV but I guess someday we’ll all be driving an EV (sadly). But i do think the Tesla has stood the test of time and after 12 years the S model is still good looking and does everything well. The model 3 is totally boring to the eye but It is a different price point. Over the next few years we’ll have many new choices with better pricing and range and you will suffer massive depreciation on that Taycan. FYI, it should cost less to build an EV?

  2. Wes Stewart says

    It looks like they couldn’t decide what color to make the wheels. The spokes sort of look like straps holding them on a tow truck hauling it to the nearest charging station.

  3. Wallace Wyss says

    Yes, Byron, glad you brought that up. I forgot to mention the name.In American English there’s a phrase for throwing things away that starts with “S” and ends with “can” as in ” ash can.” You would think the high paid marketing men in Deutschland would have heard this phrase and not chosen “Taycan.” The best car name I ever heard is ” azure” for some Bentley as that is the type of car you’d want to drive in the Cote d’Azur.

  4. Wallace Wyss says

    Now today I read of what I would call a station wagon version being readied , all wheel drive adjustable ride height, I welcome this sleek entry into the off road world, They gave already driven the equivalent of 25 laps of planet Earth in testing it.

  5. A Bentley Azure convertible on the Cote d’Azure would be lovely!

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