While the fastest versions certainly aren’t cheap, the Porsche 911 deserves its reputation for sports car excellence. And even as Porsche’s lineup has expanded to include SUVs and crossovers, the 911 remains its halo car. But if 2021’s sales figures are anything to go by, it may have to share that halo with another model: the Porsche Taycan EV.
The Porsche 911 set a sales record in 2021 but the Taycan still outsold it
Porsche, like many other luxury car brands, saw a serious sales spike in 2021. And not just in the US, though it was the site of the company’s biggest sales growth. Although China remains Porsche’s largest market, sales were up worldwide in 2021. They rose 11% worldwide, with Chinese sales up 8% and US sales up 22%.
Besides benefitting the company’s bottom line, the sales boom also broke a 911 record. 2021 was a new single-year sales record for the Porsche 911, with 38,464 cars finding new owners. 10,042 of those 2021 Porsche 911 sales came from the US, marking a 14% increase over 2020.
However, the Porsche 911 wasn’t the company’s best-selling model in 2021, nor was it the only record-setting one. Porsche more than doubled its Taycan deliveries in 2021 over 2020, selling 41,296 examples worldwide. That made it Porsche’s most popular passenger car in 2021, beaten in total sales only by the Cayenne and Macan SUVs.
Admittedly, US Porsche dealers only sold 9419 Taycans in 2021. So, at least here, the 911 still out-sells the EV. In addition, Porsche sold more Taycans here in 2021 than it did 718 Boxsters and Caymans combined. And it sold over twice as many Taycans as it did Panameras.
Why did Porsche sell more Taycans than 911s in 2021?
Admittedly, the 2021 Porsche Taycan and 911 sales figure news isn’t that shocking (pun not intended). Even halfway through 2021, the EV was outselling the 911, though not by much. So, the final result doesn’t come completely out of nowhere.
All the same, considering the hurdles EVs still face, why did more Taycans fly out of dealers than 911s? There’s no simple answer, but there are a few potential reasons.
Firstly, Porsche introduced a new Taycan variant in 2021, the Cross Turismo wagon. Thus, buyers had more EV options besides a sedan, which, according to Roadshow, boosted sales more than even Porsche expected. And as good as the current 911 is, a four-door sedan/wagon is more practical than a two-door coupe.
Secondly, EVs are still novelty items for many drivers, especially luxury car owners used to poor mileage. With the Porsche Taycan, though, they don’t just get something new. They get something that feels appropriately futuristic and premium without the environmental guilt. And it’s freaking fast to boot.
Going further on that point, the 2021 Porsche Taycan isn’t just an electric car: it’s an electric Porsche. In other words, it’s a high-end, luxurious car that lives up to Porsche fans’ handling and performance expectations. No, it’s not a 911, but a Cayenne isn’t, either; but they’re clearly made with the same values in mind. It’s the same case with the Taycan.
With all this in mind, the fact that the 2021 Porsche Taycan outsold the 911 isn’t actually that surprising.
Will this trend continue in 2022?
So, will the Porsche Taycan continue outselling the 911 in 2022? That’s difficult to tell.
On the one hand, Porsche’s launching two new Taycan models in 2022: the GTS and the GTS Sport Turismo. But the 911 also gets a GTS variant—or rather several variants—in 2022. So, trim levels alone won’t necessarily be the deciding factor. What will likely shape the Taycan’s future success is widespread EV acceptance, whether due to lower costs, more chargers, or a combination of the two.
But even if it does outsell the 911 again, the sports car isn’t going anywhere. So, no need to moan about electric cars killing off beloved performance icons. They can clearly coexist just fine.
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