In Finland, local Napue gin has long been the go-to for a proper gin and tonic. With some cranberries for color and a sprig of rosemary, it’s kind of like Christmas in a glass.
But then Finnish berry grower and winemaker Arctic Blue expanded into distilling, giving Napue new competition in a fledgling local industry that’s been taking off.
Porsche is a storied brand, but when it comes to electric sports cars, the Taycan is the new entry—like Arctic Blue gin—that wants to change the minds of those who previously would have ordered Napue or bought a Tesla Model S.
So it’s fitting that we head to Levi, Finland, 110 miles north of the arctic circle, to see how the new Taycan luxury electric sports car performs in the cold, ice, and snow. After all, this is the 2020 Taycan 4S with two synchronous electric motors, one on each axle, for all-wheel-drive capability.
The Taycan Turbo and Turbo S first arrived at dealerships in December. These higher-end models will be followed by the Taycan 4S in late April. The base 4S starts at $106,410, but the initial stock of 4S models will be Performance Battery Plus, which starts at $114,430 and has the bigger 93.4-kW-hr battery, a $6,580 option. The base model will follow in June with the 79.2-kW-hr Performance Battery. The early builds also have a standard panoramic roof.
Range was expected to be about 270 miles with the Performance Battery Plus, and Porsche was expecting the actual EPA ratings to be much smaller than what the car gets in real life. Although EPA ratings are still not in for the 4S, the Taycan Turbo’s were even lower than expected, at 201 miles. In short, the Taycan’s range is substantially less than that of the aging but still dominant Model S.
The Model S dates back to 2012, about the same time five Finnish men were sitting in a sauna, drinking American rye whiskey, and ruminating on why no one had made rye whiskey in Finland—where rye bread is the national food and rye is the No. 1 crop. With zero experience, they founded the Kyrö distillery and tried to figure out how to make whiskey.
To make money during the years whiskey needs to age, another sauna summit yielded the idea of making Finland’s first gin in the interim. Napue gin is made of rye, cranberries, and other botanicals that make it smell and taste like a spruce grove or birch-lined forest. It hit the market in 2014, as the Model S was becoming the top-selling electric car in many countries. Both were on upward trajectories with no real competition.
But no one goes unopposed for long. Arctic Blue is a Finnish winery established in 1989 by a trio of Finns who were skilled berry growers and expanded into wine and then sparkling wine. They introduced their first gin 2017. It incorporates the bilberry, a wild arctic blueberry. Suddenly, Napue had a viable competitor.
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THREE - PEAT
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