Words and photos by Manny N. de los Reyes
SINGAPORE — The Force is strong in this collaboration. Two legendary icons, Porsche and Star Wars, joined forces (pardon the pun) at the Porsche Asia Pacific debut of the spectacular new all-electric Taycan in Singapore last Thursday, ahead of its regional (and Philippine) launch in 2020.
“The Taycan links our heritage to the future. It is a fascinating sports car with exciting driving dynamics, performance and technology — and like every Porsche ever built, it comes with a soul. Something you will feel immediately, once you get behind the steering wheel,” said Arthur Willmann, managing director of Porsche Asia Pacific.
“Asia Pacific is an important sales region for Porsche — with a continuously growing customer and fan base. With the Taycan, we are entering a new era and this spirit fits perfectly with the iconic Star Wars brand and the joint event here in Singapore,” said Matthias Becker, vice-president Region Overseas and Emerging Markets of Porsche AG.
Michael Mauer, vice-president Style Porsche at Porsche AG, who was present at the event, shared the design philosophy behind the vehicle. “Designing the Taycan was one of the most exciting tasks because the only certainty was that it had to be recognizable as a Porsche at first glance. And by pursuing the strategy of making it the sportiest in the segment, we have defined a new architecture for purely electric vehicles. Just like what the 911 has achieved, my vision is that the Taycan will become an icon of this new era, a synonym for a purely electric sports car,” he said.
As part of the unprecedented collaboration, the design teams at Porsche and Lucasfilm collaborated to design a fantasy starship in support of the upcoming Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, the final chapter of the Skywalker saga. Mr. Mauer, together with Doug Chiang, VP executive creative director, Lucasfilm, explained the design process and presented design sketches of the spacecraft highlighting the combined Porsche and Star Wars design DNA.
Mr. Chiang said, “Although one brand is placed in a fantasy universe and one in the real world, it’s interesting that both are defined very much by their iconic design principle. The basic challenge of the design brief was to design a starship that would both be true to the Star Wars universe and Porsche design DNA.”
The first all-electric sports car, the Taycan, marks the beginning of a new chapter for Porsche as the company expands its product range in the field of electromobility.
The flagship Turbo S version of the Taycan can generate up to 761hp overboost power in combination with Launch Control, and the Taycan Turbo up to 680hp. The Taycan Turbo S accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in 2.8 seconds, while the Taycan Turbo completes this sprint in 3.2 seconds. The Turbo S has a range of up to 412 kilometers, and the Turbo a range of up to 450 kilometers. The top speed of both all-wheel drive models is 260 km/h.
The Taycan is the first production vehicle with a system voltage of 800 volts instead of the usual 400 volts for electric cars. This is a particular advantage for Taycan drivers on the road: in just over five minutes, the battery can be recharged using direct current (DC) from the high-power charging network for a range of up to 100 kilometers.
The charging time for 5% to 80% SoC (state of charge) is 22.5 minutes for charging under ideal conditions, and the maximum charging power (peak) is 270 kW. The overall capacity of the Performance Battery Plus is 93.4 kWh. Taycan drivers can comfortably charge their cars with up to 11 kW of alternating current (AC) at home.
The Taycan Turbo has two exceptionally efficient electric machines, one on each axle, making the car all-wheel drive. The two-speed transmission installed on the rear axle is an innovation developed by Porsche. First gear gives the Taycan even more acceleration from a standing start, while second gear with a long gear ratio ensures high efficiency and equally high power reserves. This also applies at very high speeds.