ELECTRIC JUGGERNAUT
CAR|December 2021
As we found on an epic getaway up the West Coast, the Taycan Cross Turismo is best appreciated if you try not to pigeonhole it
Ray Leathern

We've all had that meeting with the school guidance counsellor. Being of misguided youth, you might have confessed your wildest dreams about being a racecar driver, fighter pilot or samurai swordsman. Then came the aptitude test, and, voila, the counsellor's decree: You can do anything you put your mind to. Wow, thanks for that, Sigmund Freud ... now I've got it all mapped out.

Except, in Stuttgart, Porsche engineers who had the same experience must've taken that pep talk to heart. How else do you explain the existence of the Taycan Cross Turismo? A zeroemissions, electric scud missile that lays waste to the open road as if it exists in a world with no physical limitations. A practical off-road family wagon that's as luxurious, nuanced and techladen as its title is dy. We've blatted the Taycan Turbo S from zero to 100 km/h (November 2020 issue) till its battery ran dry and can vouch its quickness is in the 911 Turbo S bracket. We've hypermiled a base Taycan (October 2021 issue) and found it can best even its claimed energy consumption, so what to do with the mid-grade 4S Cross Turismo? Simple really. We'll pack a surfboard, book some overnight accommodation and take it on a typical getaway up the West Coast to corroborate its leisure-lifestyle credentials ... electric range anxiety and all.

First things first, we collected the test unit from the Porsche dealership with its 93,4 kWh Performance Plus battery fully charged, claiming a maximum range of 452 km. According to the WLTP cycle, the Taycan 4S has a claimed energy consumption of 25,6 kWh/100 km. That's slightly more than the 21,5 kWh/100 km of the Taycan we tested and bested). Our route to Paternoster for a slice of sun, sea and surf would take us up the N7 via Malmesbury, before turning off towards the coast past Hopefield. It is 350 km there and back, which should be a doddle according to the claimed range, even with some spirited driving on the way.

As we've seen with the 918 Spyder, Panamera/Cayenne e-hybrid and Taycan, Porsche has embraced electrification as a performance tool and now employed in the Cross Turismo as the next lighthouse project we'll see how successfully it broadens the adventure appeal and practicality of the battery electric vehicle. In many ways, the Taycan is still comparable with something like the Panamera 4S e-hybrid, which boasts 412 kW and 750 N.m, and consumes a claimed 2,60 L/100 km of fuel.

It has a turbopetrol V6 - which means it's exempt from range anxiety - hustles to 100 km from standstill in less than 4,0 seconds and is R100 000 cheaper. Certainly a pragmatic example of having your cake and eating it.

These are the quiet contemplations the near-silent Taycan affords its occupants out on the open road. We say near silent because it's not the sort of silence that's so total you can hear it. Like a space-age Buddhist monk, it hovers and coasts down the road with a subdued monotone hum that fuses with a polyphonic whirr as you brake and accelerate and the motors spiral through various speed ranges. Regenerative and hydraulic braking buzz, wind noise and tyre resonance from the wide 20-inch wheels soon intones at speed, too. You have the option of activating Electric Sport Sound but after initial amusement, it becomes little more than a constant murmur and we preferred to switch it off.

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