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Truly electrifying

Split 2nd

On the road aboard the Porsche Taycan Turbo S

MORE THAN top speed, the zero-to-100kph benchmark is something most car owners can relate to. It is also a performance measurement that Porsche has dominated since 1975, when the seminal Porsche 911 Turbo set a then-record five-second run.

Today, many high-performance cars — even sedans and SUVs — can accelerate from standstill to 100kph in five ticks. Several models can do it in four seconds; a few can do it in three.

But only a select handful can break the 100kph barrier in less than three seconds.

And the crown still belongs to Stuttgart.

I have driven the all-electric Porsche Taycan and it absolutely rules the zero-to-100 contest with its 2.8-second official clocking. But you know what? From behind the wheel and with unofficial timing from a smartphone, it registered a 2.3-second time (Porsche is traditionally conservative with its performance claims and usually allows the global media to repeatedly better its claims).

Bursting with an awe-inspiring 1,050Nm of torque and equipped with Porsche’s superbly effective Launch Control (plus all-wheel drive), there is no engine roar, no tire squeal, and no letup on the massive forward thrust — just sheer, furious, unrelenting acceleration that makes you feel lightheaded.

And all I had to do was step on the brake with my left foot, flick the tiny dash-mounted gear lever to Drive, floor the accelerator pedal with my right foot, wait for the Launch Control light to illuminate on the instrument panel (which turns on in an instant), then release the brake pedal while keeping my right foot floored.

If your head is not resting on the headrest, it will slam backwards from the incredible g-force as the car rockets forward almost like it was catapulted from a sling shot. The sensation you feel in your stomach is akin to a roller-coaster ride that suddenly drops down a steep vertical slope. Literally breathtaking.

The Taycan is Porsche’s first full-electric model and is now available locally — no less than the flagship version, the AWD Taycan Turbo S. (The “entry-level” rear-wheel drive Taycan, which is anticipated to be priced almost half of the Taycan Turbo S, is expected to arrive in March.)

The Taycan Turbo S generates 761ps to match its 1,050Nm of torque. This four-door sports car brings supercar performance and matches it with a driving range of up to 412 kilometers (the distance from Manila to Vigan). It’s the first production electric vehicle with a system voltage of 800 volts instead of the usual 400 volts common among electric cars, allowing for quick battery-charging times.

The Taycan Turbo S uses a high-powered DC Charger that can deliver up to 175kW of power—the first of such type in the Philippines. Fitted with a 15-inch touchscreen display interface and a Combined Charging System Type 2 plug, this unit can charge the Taycan Turbo S from 10% to 80% capacity in about 30 minutes, which is good for a range of nearly 300 kilometers. The 175-kW charger can yield up to 65 kilometers of driving range from a single five-minute charge. Yet another neat feature is the Taycan’s navigation system that shows a map outlining the driving radius of the car given its current state of battery charge.

Each Taycan from Porsche Philippines comes with a Porsche Mobile Charger Connect, an AC charger with a five-inch touchscreen display including smart features such as adjustable current rating, charging history and PIN lock. The charger can be plugged into any household socket, or into an industrial socket for faster overnight (nine hours) charging.

Despite its four-door body style, the Taycan is a genuine sports car more closely related to the iconic 911 than the similar four-door (but substantially longer) Panamera. Your body sits just as close to the ground in the Taycan as in the 911, yet despite the numerous humps we encountered around Greenhills and Green Meadows, the car never scraped its belly (the air suspension is height-adjustable). True to the brand, the Taycan pairs typical Porsche performance with Porsche’s vaunted everyday usability. It’s no surprise that the Taycan quickly became the best-selling Porsche car in many markets.

The level of craftsmanship and the use of the most luxurious materials in the cabin is pure Porsche. Space in the back is best described as adequate — certainly not confining or claustrophobic but falling short of “legs crossed” space. If you want to be chauffeur-driven in a four-door Porsche, the Panamera is still the car for you. The Taycan is for those who want the driving dynamics of a 911 but need real-world space for backseat passengers.

And in that respect, the Porsche Taycan absolutely shines. It brings with it more than a half-century of Porsche motorsports heritage and takes it to the next level in terms of performance and technology. That it helps by helping eliminate exhaust emissions in our pollution-choked world and being a wonderfully performing automobile is much more than just the icing on this delectable cake.