Electric cars – the thing everyone is talking about nowadays. Just a decade ago they were nothing more than laughing stock. People made fun of Prius’s fans, for example. But now? It seems like if you have an electric, you are the cool kid on the block.
Unsurprisingly, many companies are trying to bite off a piece of the lucrative EV market. Tesla has started the trend, yet now everyone tries to dethrone them. Toyota has been rivaling Tesla for years, while Hyundai and Nissan also chase their fair share. However, when it comes to the high-end market, only Tesla seems to deliver. Not for long though!
Even if EVs have largely been marketed as the “every person’s car”, people think differently. Tesla Model S and Model X have proven that there is interest in luxury electrics too. So who better to enter that competition than Porsche? The German sports car manufacturer has staked its claim with its upcoming Taycan model. Let’s see what that is all about!
What is Porsche Taycan?
When Tesla Model S came to the market in 2012 the EV hype became very apparent. This was not a trend that would simply die out, so many companies pricked up their ears. However, very few actually took serious steps. Interestingly enough, one of the first to unveil their plans was Porsche in 2015. They showed us a concept car and began the project that we have since known as Porsche Mission E.
In June of 2018, the real name of the model got revealed – Taycan. That is right in line with the company’s branding, as it translates to “lively young horse” (from Turkish). How lively is it though?
According to Porsche, they have managed to create quite an outstanding engine. It can supposedly accelerate from 0 to 62 mph in just 3.5s. Maybe these numbers do not mean much to you. Well, you should just know that such times are really close to the fastest supercars on the market.
But what about the most crucial part of every EV – its battery range? Thankfully, Porsche knows how important that is and it has put in a substantial battery. It can last you 311 miles, which is on par with Tesla’s achievements. Plus with fast charging, you can have an 80% charge in 15 minutes. Awesome!
You can see what makes Porsche Taycan an interesting car to keep on the radar. However, you still have no reason to take Porsche seriously. After all, no one has yet succeeded in taking the mantle from Tesla. Jaguar is trying to rival Model X with its I-Pace SUV, but the sales figures do not even compare. So why do I believe the case to be any different with Porsche? I have some very convincing reasons!
A bit of Porsche history and why it matters
As a company Porsche has a rather interesting history. Sadly, most people only know it as a sports car manufacturer. Yet Porsche had designed tanks during World War II, as well as aircraft engines. Their expertise goes far outside the realm of sports cars. Even the Volkswagen brand started off as a Porsche off-shoot.
Why am I sharing all that? Because it is crucial to understanding why Porsche should be taken seriously. When they came up with their Cayenne, SUV fans of the brand looked down upon the decision. Something about “brand identity” they said. Others made fun of the fact that a luxury sports car manufacturer would venture into the SUV territory. Yet what do we see now? Plenty of others following in their footsteps (case in point – Lamborghini).
In fact, Porsche Cayenne proved to be so successful that they had to come up with a smaller crossover in the face of the Macan. It has also enjoyed a great reception. Why? Because the professionals at Porsche know what they are doing. This also explains why I have included the Cayenne among the Porsche models we all love. When it comes to doing a great job Porsche does not let down.
Do you know what makes me even more hopeful though? The fact that Porsche Taycan is a sports car. That is right up Porsche’s alley. Even the haters cannot deny that. Sure, I know nothing can guarantee that the company can truly challenge Tesla. But do they have everything necessary to do it? You bet! And they also have another trick up their sleeve…
Tesla’s hype vs Porsche’s loyal fan base
Many people have attributed Tesla’s success to the absolutely amazing marketing skills of Elon Musk. That guy knows how to build up the hype, which rarely turns out negatively. Even with Tesla’s recent problems, the company does not seem to run out of steam.
Because of all this, it is easy to assume that other companies cannot get such traction for their electric vehicles. However, Porsche is not just any other company. They have excellent marketing strategy along with a really loyal fan base. Put great branding on top of that, and you have a recipe for success.
To be honest, I still do not know what makes Porsche’s vehicles so iconic. Maybe the distinctly unique aesthetics have something to do with it. Or all the marketing events they hosts. Perhaps it is the celebrities that keep endorsing the company. Or just the attention to detail in every aspect of their vehicles. Well, no matter the reasons, whatever they are doing is clearly working!
You can go online and see how many people praise cars. Even if they are not the fastest, the cheapest or the prettiest, Porsche just seems to win fans on a daily basis. So I think they are truly capable of tackling the giant hype machine of Tesla. But I have some concerns as well. Let’s see!
Where Porsche Taycan may fall short
Okay, I am guilty – I just like Porsche cars. That is why I find it hard to restrain my compliments and praise. That being said, I am well aware that they have their flaws. Sadly, the Taycan may have quite a lot of them.
I would not be honest if I say that I really like the look of the model. Many other people have also voiced their dislike of its aesthetics. It carries the Porsche logo, but I think it lacks its spirit to a huge degree. I am not saying this because it looks too futuristic – I say it because it does not look “Porsche” enough.
The lack of a clear identity is also made evident by the fact that no one really knows what the model should be. The Mission E platform has already been used to design a semi-crossover that looks like a taller Taycan. On top of that, if Porsche does not surprise us with even more performance, Tesla is going to blow them away with their upcoming Roadster (1.9s for acceleration from 0 to 62mph). Heck, even the current Model S (with its Ludicrous trim) has set a record with 2.5s acceleration.
All that is not to say that I am not hopeful. I believe Porsche is a capable company that can definitely give Tesla a run for its money. I just want designers to stop trying to make spaceships. We want cars, not shuttles. Thankfully, there is some upcoming competition that may incentivize both Tesla and Porsche to step up their game. Let me tell you what I have in mind!
Tesla’s multiple rivals
You may be a brand loyalist or you may just enjoy every good vehicle on the market. In any case, all of us should want some fair competition. It is what drives progress on the market. So I was quite pleased to learn that plenty of luxury car manufacturers have decided to challenge Tesla (and consequently – Porsche).
In the near future, we will be seeing quite a lot of interesting EVs popping up. I have already mentioned Jaguar I-Pace, for example. Even if it cannot beat Tesla Model X sales-wise, it is still an impressive vehicle. What I am looking forward to though is Audi E-tron SUV.
Firstly, this Audi SUV looks like an actual car. No futurism, no gimmicks. Secondly, it is Audi – a cousin of Porsche and a quite reputable manufacturer. They also understand that both the Model X and the I-Pace are their direct competitors. Hence they are trying to beat them at every level. We will see how that will turn out.
Mercedes also want to join the fray with their own all-electric SUV – the Mercedes-Benz EQC. I will outright say that it fails to impress me. Nevertheless, I believe it has the potential to be a staple in Europe. Which brings me to my final point…
Tesla should worry, but we should not