Hybrids & Electrics

The 2020 Porsche Taycan 4S Is 1 EV That Doesn’t Lie to You

One of the biggest perks drivers enjoy about electric vehicles is range. A longer all-electric range means less time wasted charging the battery and more money saved from avoiding gasoline. However, EV ranges assigned by the EPA are sometimes wildly inaccurate due to the electric motor’s single reduction ratio. Unlike gas-powered engine transmissions, a single-speed transmission has to spin faster to match the driver’s speed, resulting in lost efficiency. Interestingly, the Porsche Taycan is the only EV on the market that relies on a two-speed transmission.

Perhaps that’s why it was able to live up to its EPA-estimated range when tested by Car and Driver.

Testing the Porsche Taycan 4S

The Porsche Taycan 4S, one trim higher than the standard model, comes with a choice between two battery packs. The 79.2-kWh battery makes 522 hp, while the optional 83.7-kWh battery produces 562 hp. The larger battery also has the most range: on the 2020 model, it’s rated for 203 miles.

Car and Driver editors were able to drive their test Taycan 4S for over 180 miles on a single charge. It should also be noted that the temperature dropped significantly during the test, which might have affected the Taycan’s performance. This is because the battery needs to use more energy to keep itself heated rather than to accelerate the vehicle.

For the 2021 model, the Taycan 4S has a higher EPA-estimated range of 227 miles. According to Car and Driver, this change was made to reflect the purchasing habits of Porsche’s customers.

How its rivals compare

In C/D’s testing, the only EV that got closer to its EPA-estimated range than the Porsche Taycan 4S was the 2019 Audi e-tron. It’s rated for 204 miles of all-electric range but only achieved 190 miles when tested. However, this was still better than the Jaguar I-Pace, which can only drive 190 miles of its estimated 234.

The class-leading Tesla models also seem to have some discrepancies with electric range. According to InsideEvs, the Model X gets 250 miles of range while driving at speeds of 75 mph, a far cry from its estimated range of 371 miles. However, during a mix of highway and city driving, the tester found that it could potentially get 350 miles.

Range isn’t the Porsche Taycan’s only selling point

RELATED: This Porsche Taycan Carbon Fiber Kit Costs a Cool $15K

The Porsche Taycan 4S used to be the cheapest Taycan in the States until 2021. For this model year, a cheaper RWD model is available also with both battery pack options. However, the battery makes slightly less horsepower at 402 hp or 469 hp with the larger battery pack.

Despite this, a base Porsche Taycan is still very quick, rocketing from 0-60 mph in five seconds. The Porsche Taycan 4S can hit that speed in just under four seconds. The Taycan Turbo S leads the pack with a 2.6-second time, but then you’re looking at a $186,000+ price tag.

Fortunately, you don’t have to upgrade to the highest trim to appreciate a drive in the Porsche Taycan. Car and Driver says that the Taycan 4S handles turns and stops just as neatly as a 718 Spyder. That’s particularly impressive considering the 4S has the extra weight of a heavy battery pack. Editors also reported that the drive stayed smooth throughout the trip.

Even the base Porsche Taycan comes outfitted with some nice technology. It has wireless smartphone integration, voice recognition, and a charging management system that helps you locate charging stations.

It also comes with a center dual-touchscreen adding up to nearly 20 inches of display. Higher trims feature massaging front seats and four-zone climate control. If it’s in your price range, the Porsche Taycan is definitely worth the look, especially if you want an accurate range.