More affordable rear-wheel-drive Porsche Taycan lands in China

Marco Green
June 30, 2020

Porsche has taken a rather unusual approach with the Taycan, launching the top-spec models first and leaving the base variant for later. The current Taycan lineup is rated up to a 287-mile range in China, so the rear-drive model might deliver a longer range than the 4S, though there's no direct conversion to either the U.S. EPA cycle or the WLTP standard now used by Europe and the rest of the world.

All-wheel-drive isn't as important in China as it is in the USA and Europe, as most of the heavily-populated urban regions don't see very much snowfall.

In China on Monday, Porsche revealed the first details for a version of the Taycan electric vehicle it hasn't officially shown anywhere else in the world: a rear-wheel-drive, single-motor version.

Although the rear-wheel-drive version that's been shown in China will likely be offered in some other markets, it hasn't been shown or detailed in Porsche's home market of Germany. In the United States, the Taycan 4S has a base MSRP of $103,800 (excluding destination charge).

The base Taycan comes with 19-inch aero wheels and black anodized brake calipers. Customers who want more range can opt for the RWD Taycan powered by the double-deck 93.4 kWh Performance Battery Plus, sourced from the Turbo and Turbo S models. The 4S has a dual-motor powertrain which puts out 523 hp and 472 lb-ft of torque.

Kicking off the range is a single-deck Performance Battery with a gross capacity of 79.2 kWh (the same as the Taycan 4S), connected to a rear axle-mounted Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motor (PSM) producing up to 300 kW (408 PS / 402 HP) in overboost mode with Launch Control. We suspect those figures would be discounted by as much as 25% if and when the new base Taycan gets an EPA range rating. We could potentially be looking at a price tag below $100,000.

The rear-wheel-drive Taycan does the 0-100km/h sprint in 5.4 seconds, or 1.4 seconds slower than the all-wheel-drive Taycan 4S with the same battery pack.

There's also been no mention of pricing, but if the base Taycan ends up in local showrooms we'd expect it to undercut the current entry-level model here, the Taycan 4S with the 79.2-kwh battery, which starts from $105,150. Unlike the Model S, the Taycan still qualifies for the federal tax credit, which lowers the cost by another $7,500.

Would a US -spec Taycan that slots in below the $100k mark make you more likely to consider one over the Tesla Model S or Lucid Air? Should Porsche expand the Taycan line in the U.S. and Europe to include the base model, or would the lack of all-wheel drive and lower performance render it undesirable in those markets?

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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