2025 Porsche Taycan First Drive Review: What Does 938 HP Sound Like?

By | April 3, 2024

SEVILLE, Spain – When the Porsche Taycan debuted in 2020, it was a revelation. At the time, its closest all-electric rival was the Tesla Model S. The Taycan was also ridiculously fast, but represented a more complete package with sharp handling, reliable brakes and more repeatable performance. In the time since, the related Audi E-Tron GT and more luxurious alternatives such as the Mercedes EQS, EQE and Lucid Air have presented challenges, but none have touched the Taycan in terms of holistic performance. This would likely mean adding an extra figure to the price tag by opting for niche EVs from Rimac or Pininfarina.

However, that certainly doesn’t mean Porsche can rest on its laurels, and for 2025 the Taycan will get a significant refresh, and we’re not talking just a minor styling update. No, the new Taycans are more powerful, have a longer range and are faster both in a straight line and when charging, meaning current and future rivals will struggle to keep up.

From the outside, the 2025 Porsche Taycan retains its sleek and curvaceous body. The changes are subtle, with the most noticeable difference being revised air intakes at the front of most models. The new scoops are more conventional than the previous vertical slash that ran down from the edge of the headlights. Turbo models continue with the vertical intake, but with a new angular insert panel that sharpens the face. This change, along with many more invisible changes, isn’t just for aesthetics. They offer small aerodynamic improvements that contribute to greater increases in efficiency and range.

Original front-end design of a GTS and the revised design for 2025

As before, the rear-wheel drive Taycan and all-wheel drive Taycan 4S are available with two battery options, both of which have been upgraded for 2025. The standard Performance goes up to 89 kilowatt hours (previously 70), while the optional Performance Plus now exceeds the three-digit threshold of 105 kWh (previously 93). No range estimates were available for the standard battery, but Porsche claims the rear-wheel drive/Performance Plus combination now travels 35% further, for a total of 420 miles using the optimistic European WLTP testing standard. The final EPA estimates should be much lower, but still north of 300 miles. Having more battery cells certainly makes a big contribution, but there were many other adjustments as well.

Improved thermal management, more efficient engines, improved wheel aerodynamics and tires with lower rolling resistance also provide valuable range. According to Porsche, high-speed brake regeneration has also increased by as much as 30%. All in all, this means that you will have a lot less distance anxiety.

If you do need to top up the battery, you will spend less time on a DC fast charger, because the power has increased from 270 kilowatts to 320 kW. Practically speaking, under ideal conditions you can go from 10% capacity to 80% in just 18 minutes, as opposed to the 5-80% in 23 minutes required by its predecessor. The Taycan achieves this thanks to its ability to maintain its peak charging speed for longer and over a wider range of operating temperatures, despite having a greater capacity than before. Of course, that assumes you can find an operational and unoccupied charger that can handle such loads, but hey, progress is progress, right?

All these improvements contribute to usability, but for Porsche drivers it’s all about performance. And they’ll definitely get that for 2025. Every Taycan’s powertrain and battery combination has been improved, but there are a lot of combos, plus the “Overboost Power with Launch Control” feature needed for maximum acceleration – it can get confusing. To keep things as simple as possible, we’ll just go with the Launch Control numbers. The Performance Battery increases the base Taycan with rear-wheel drive from 321 hp to a maximum of 402 hp. The Performance Battery Plus increases that from 375 hp to 429 hp. The all-wheel drive 4S now produces 536 PS/590 PS (Performance/Performance Plus), up from 429 PS/482 PS.

Then there are the Turbo models, all of which get the larger battery. The Taycan Turbo now produces 871 hp with Launch Control, compared to 616. That’s much more than the old Turbo S, which now has 938 hp compared to 750. Woof. Porsche says the Turbo S will now reach 60 mph in 2.4 seconds, an improvement of 0.4 seconds.

I managed to get my hands on a Turbo sedan for the drive between Seville and the Circuito Monteblanco circuit on a challenging scenic route and can say unequivocally that I didn’t want more power. Launch Control still manages to create a guttural roar as your organs churn around in your ribcage, providing the kind of confidence when passing slower traffic on narrow roads that few other cars can provide. When the artificial ‘Electric Sports Sounds’ are turned on, you get better feedback on how fast you’re going, and there’s even a subtle indication of the rear engine’s two-speed transmission shifting.

The brake-by-wire system slows the 5,000-plus pound sedan quickly, and it’s also easy to modulate if you feel like running the pads all the way to an apex. There’s no noticeable transition between the brakes regenerating and the physical binders doing their work, but the pedal itself feels slightly spongy for a performance car. Tapping the new push-to-pass button on the steering wheel gives you a momentary boost, but if you’re expecting a “go-baby-go” nitrous button, this isn’t it.

The steering is wonderfully precise, but there is little to no feedback for the driver to determine how much grip the front tire has exhausted – a common refrain heard by older drivers like me. The steering effort is also a bit too light for my taste, but my arms were not worn out after the long ride.

The real star of the show is the Taycan’s handling, which rightly earns it the Porsche badge. The fact that the battery weight is low in the floor certainly makes the hefty Taycan feel lighter than it is, but Porsche’s new Active Ride suspension adds a new dimension. For the most part, you won’t know it’s there as you cut through curves and switchbacks. Only when you see that the dashboard remains impressively level with the horizon do you realize its value. Body roll is virtually unnoticeable, yet the ride remains smooth enough not to feel nervous or harsh.

The body movements are well-tuned to not feel as strange as Mercedes’ Active Curve system, which leans the car forward like a motorcyclist. However, there is some strangeness in making minute steering corrections in the middle of a turn. At first my driving partner and I put it down to the all-wheel steering or perhaps the lane-keeping assist, but after a quick consultation with a Porsche handler it seems more likely that it was the active suspension. The feeling is so small that you don’t even notice it unless you are actively looking for it. If it’s bothersome, you can turn it off. We kept it on and focused more on keeping our steering precise.

Just as remarkable as the Taycan’s cornering behavior is its driving comfort. In smaller vehicles you’d be forced to endure a punishing ride, but the Active Ride system deftly smooths out the rough spots. It’s not as smooth as the EQS, but it’s nowhere as stiff as other vehicles that can negotiate these types of corners, electric or otherwise. As an added bonus, the suspension lifts the body quickly when you stop and park the car. The few centimeters of extra seat height ensure more graceful entry and exit.

While there’s a lot new about the 2025 Taycan, the interior follows a familiar refrain. The technical interface has been slightly revised to offer more options and provide more information. A particularly useful meter displays charging speed and temperature for those interested or bored enough. Returning is an optional touchscreen for the front passenger, allowing them to play DJ, assist with navigation or enjoy streaming video. A privacy filter keeps the driver from being distracted, and it works well enough that from an angle it looks just like a piano-black trim panel.

The lack of significant changes to the interior is generally a good thing, as the Taycan was already solidly built and bathed in premium leather and spicy suede materials (although how premium and how spicy that is depends on the option boxes). The rear seat still accommodates my 6-foot frame comfortably, with just a little headroom to spare. Unfortunately, the vents still require diving into the central touchscreen to aim them. It’s incredibly distracting when you’re driving, a solution to a non-existent problem and something Porsche has already walked away from in recent redesigns like the Cayenne, Panamera and Macan Electric.

But as far as annoyances go, this is about as minor as it gets and doesn’t detract from the Taycan’s overall excellence.

Of course, this kind of excellence doesn’t come cheap. The base Taycan with rear-wheel drive starts at $101,395 (including $1,995 destination charge). That’s an increase of $8,500 over the 2024 model, but it does include a wealth of new standard features, including adaptive air suspension, blind spot warning, additional charging ports, wireless phone charging, a heated steering wheel with drive mode switch, and charging ports on both sides of the car. The Turbo I drove starts at $175,595 and had an as-tested price of $203,395. The Turbo S tops even that with an entry price of $210,995. As previous sales have indicated, the Taycan is Porsche’s best-selling model that isn’t an SUV, so the price increase is unlikely to deter wealthy customers when it hits dealerships this summer. The sleek, wagon-like Cross Turismos will appear later in the fall.

With all these improvements, the Porsche Taycan remains the best choice for all-electric performance in a very limited area. In fact, there’s room to grow in the form of the Taycan Turbo GT, which I’ve affectionately dubbed Taycanasaurus Rex. Check here in a week for my story about that model.

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