For many pure petrol-heads, Porsche is the pinnacle of performance and a brand which has dominated endurance racing for decades.
So the challenge of defending that reputation while moving into the new era of electrification means they have to come up with something special and they have.
The Porsche Taycan 4S all-electric 4-door sports saloon is a thoroughly modern and environmental expression of the company’s awesome mechanical engineering abilities.
It has been out for a couple of years yet the range is compact, beginning with the Taycan 4S but then stretching minds and money to slightly more powerful and expensive derivatives, but the standard 4S makes a lot of sense if not noise. Prices start from £86,500.
That upstart Tesla really focused minds on what could be achieved with a decent battery pack and Porsche took that as a starting point and has delivered their interpretation of what a modern sports car should be like.
The result is a very Porsche pleasure-pack for performance lovers.
Looking like a low-slung sleek coupe, it has four doors and a big boot with a front boot as well, and the passenger doors open wide to ease entry to a very roomy cabin with plenty of room to stretch out.
Modern electric packaging is compact and the designers can easily fit a platform shape around the powertrain, keeping it close to the ground as well for an added bonus to biting into the tarmac. Front and rear electric motors provide the 4-wheel drive traction.
Porsche’s system packs a huge punch anytime but when you need a bit more boost it is there as well. Your first experience of opening the throttle of the Taycan 4S can be numbing and impressive at the same time.
With a time of 4secs to 60mph it’s quick and an 8.5sec time to 100mph would be impressive for a sports car in the exciting era of pure petrol performers. It’s really a touch and go supercar for the new century.
The power comes instantly, near silently and without any gearchanges to content with it’s silky as well as swift.
Full marks to Porsche for keeping a lot of feel in the steering though and not opting for the easier effortless feedback so beloved of most premium car makers today.
This actually feels like a Porsche of old with a fine balance to the action, just the right amount of pressure to turn the wheel and let the tyres bite. Grip is very good on any surface and at anything up to legal speed.
Roadholding is very good thanks to the low centre of gravity and aligned with the sharp handling, the Taycan 4S really is a great sporting experience. It does not tend to plough around bends or slide wide but just stays planted and pointed towards where a driver wants it to go.
Slowing and stopping is an equally effortless experience, with rapid reduction possible from only light pedal pressure and you have to get use to this feedback to prevent a jerky stop with the car standing on its nose.
Secondary controls are simple, very simple and stalks and buttons all operated with a quality feeling often devoid in lesser cars.
I appreciated the very clean lines to the fascia but it is also un-Porsche like with its minimalism but that is the modern way. However there was no denying the look, fit and feel of everything inside was exemplary.
I would struggle a bit to fit many items into the oddments’ compartments in this slimmed down cabin but it was a very comfortable experience.
That was a surprise because the seats looked on the thin side and despite this they proved very comfortable and supportive.
Vision was excellent all round with low waistline, slim pillars and deep windows, bright lights and excellent wash wipe arrangement.
Noises were really confined to the road rumbles and some suspension movements with a whine from the motor when extended but driven gently it was muted.
The room inside would be excellent for four six-footers with plenty of headroom and legroom and the rear boot and front compartment would swallow a few cases and bags for a long weekend.
The charging system is comprehensive and ensures minimal downtime if you can find the boost you need. Our run in the Taycan 4S suggested a range of a little over 260 miles and Porsche say it’s just over 280 miles so I tend to believe the official claim, which is good for a high performance sports ev.
Porsche models never have been cheap but full of character and the Taycan 4S follows its ancestors and delivers performance with minimum pollution. It really is a sports car for the modern age of the automobile.
Porsche Taycan 4S all-electric 4-door sports saloon
Price as tested £100.977 (inc £17,000 options)
Mechanical: 420kW (571hp) front/rear motors with two-speed transmission, 650 Nm torque, 83.7kWh battery, 4WD.
Max Speed: 155mph
0-62mph: 4.0 sec
Range: 264 – 283 miles
Insurance Group: 48-50
C02 emissions: Zero
Current tax costs: Bik rating 2%, VED £ zero First Year rate, £ zero standard rate
Warranty: 3yrs & 8yrs battery
Size: L4.97m, W2.15m, H1.38m
Bootspace: 491 litres
For: Remarkable performance and long range, excellent handling and ride, roomy, fast charging, exquisite fit and finish, very quiet
Against: Expensive to buy and insure, heavy, modest oddments’ room. By Robin Roberts Miles Better News Agency