There has been a storm of outrage from Porschephiles about the 201 mile range rating for the Porsche Taycan by the EPA. Most automotive journalists who have tested the car in real-world driving have found that number is way short of the actual number of miles a driver can expect on a full battery charge.
The Taycan comes in three flavors — 4S, Turbo, and Turbo S. Why Porsche would apply the word “turbo” to an electric car with no turbocharger is anyone’s guess, but it probably has a lot to do with marketing. The Turbo and Turbo S monikers have been used by the company for years to designate high performance — and more expensive — variants of standard models for years. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
The 4S is the least expensive Taycan and it is now available in the US. According to the EPA, it can travel 203 miles on a single battery charge — 2 more than the Turbo S. Back in February, we told you about Autoblog contributor Dan Edmunds, who drove a Taycan Turbo S around a test loop of his own design near his home in Orange County, California.
He discovered, much to his delight, his test car could actually travel 277 miles on a single battery charge. Now he is back with a review of the Taycan 4S and found it can go over 300 miles before needing to be charged. Same battery, same car, same route. The difference? A less powerful rear motor and tires that are smaller in diameter and width than the high performance rubber on the Turbo S.
When we did that story back in February, we got plenty of comments that the Edmunds testing procedure is far less rigorous than the one used by the EPA, and that is true. One aspect of his testing protocol that is open to question is using each car’s onboard range gauge to determine how much further the car can go when he is done. EV owners know there’s a reason why such gauges are called “guess-o-meters.”
The point, gentle reader, is that Edmunds has done the same testing with a variety of electric cars and found the variation between EPA rating and his real-world driving experience is usually quite small. A 20% difference is unusual, in his experience. But the difference with his two Taycan tests has been way more than 40%. The thing to bear in mind is that the Taycan does much better out on real roads than the EPA numbers would suggest.
Taycan 4S Is The One To Get
Overall, Edmunds says the Taycan 4S is the right choice for drivers who don’t expect to be pounding down the Autobahn on a regular basis. For a limited time, it comes with the same 93.4 kWh battery as the Turbo and Turbo S models. At $114,340, it also include a glass roof. At some future point, Porsche will slip a 79.4 kWh battery into the 4S and a metal roof will be standard. When that happens, the list price will drop to $105,150.
Edmunds summarizes his time with the 4S this way: “As much as I’ve enjoyed the time I’ve spent driving the Taycan Turbo, the Taycan 4S is the one to get. It costs tens of thousands less, and it gives away little more than bragging rights because losing the comical 10-piston brakes and a reduction of rear motor power don’t add up to anything you’ll miss this far from the autobahn. Steering and handling are pretty much identical, and the interior doesn’t give away anything important. Everything that made me fall in love with the Taycan is still here.”
In other words, if the Porsche Taycan is within your price range and you want to drive an electric car, the 4S will meet 98.72% of your needs 100% of the time. Buy it. Drive it. Be happy. And forget about those silly EPA numbers.