Refreshed Porsche Taycan gains new features and over-the-air update options

Porsche's electric super saloon is getting a range of updates for 2021 with new options being made available using over-the-air connectivity. As well as some new features, the updates give the Taycan Turbo S a slight performance boost – as if the car needed to get any faster...

While the Taycan has only been on sale for a few months, it hasn’t stopped Porsche from making a series of updates. These will include new colours and trim, software improvements to charging and performance, and driver aids.

Charging, battery and performance

Bit-by-bit manufacturers and charging companies are getting rid of the multiple subscription models in favour of single sign-on covering a multitude of charging suppliers. Porsche is introducing a new Plug & Charge function to this end, which does away with cards and apps altogether.

Instead, the car is the key to gaining access to electricity, storing subscription information and automatically verifying once plugged in via an encrypted communication with compatible charging station, and processing payment once complete. Plug & Charge compatibility is being rolled out across the UK next year, so owners here won't be far behind the rest of Europe.

A battery preservation system is being introduced where drivers will be able to dial down the input power at ultra-fast chargers – such as those from IONITY – to around 200kW rather than the maximum 270kW. This helps protect the battery and elongate its life. Further intelligent charging functions are available for home charging including a power guard function which prevents overloading a domestic connection. It can also be configured to only charge using green home energy (e.g. solar) in totality, or after reaching a certain state of charge.

Speaking of AC domestic charging, the standard 11kW on-board charger will be joined by an optional 22kW charger. Whilst this will come at a price, it can potentially halve the time it takes to charge on AC.

Dynamics and driver aids

A by-product of battery optimisation on the Turbo S model of the Taycan is a slight improvement in performance. With launch control, it will now do the 0-124mph sprint in a blistering 9.6 seconds and cover a quarter of a mile in 10.7 seconds – 0.2 and 0.1 seconds faster respectively. The Taycan's notable ability to do full-bore launches over and over is retained.

Whilst the Taycan has a head-up display as standard, a new colour version is optionally available for the 2021 car. It is divided into three main sections, with the main driving info display, car status section, and a section to display temporary content such as calls or voice control commands. For those who have equipped their Taycan with air suspension a new Smartlift function can be programmed to raise and lower at specific points on a recurring journey. This could be speed bumps or a steep access on your regular commute to and from home, for example.

Porsche is taking over-the-air updates to a new place with the 2021 Taycan, remodelling them into 'Functions on Demand' (FoD) which can be installed almost immediately and are charged on an outright, or monthly basis. It's essentially the same kind of charging model as you'd get with software as a service (SaaS) subscriptions, such as using certain functions of the Adobe suite. Subscribers will get three free months and once signed up, Porsche Communication Manager deal with receiving and installing the software – a process which takes minutes.

Owners can now purchase outright or subscribe to Active Lane Keep Assist, which has continuous steering intervention and works in congestion. It includes InnoDrive which adapts speed to the conditions ahead such as speed limits, bends, roundabouts or junctions. Provisionally, this costs 808.10 euros (£725.61) outright or 19.50 euros (£17.51) per month.

Porsche Intelligent Range Manager works in the background to optimise navigation and the car's range. This has a provisional outright cost of 398.69 euros (£357.99) or 10.72 euros (£9.63) per month. Finally, Power Steering Plus can be added via an over-the-air update. It enhances steering feel depending on vehicle speed, though we considered the Taycan's steering perfectly weighted as-is. There's no monthly option for Power Steering Plus, but it can be added for 320.71 euros (£287.97).

Finally, a host of new colours and trim packages are available on the 2021 car. As if the Taycan needed to be any more compelling than it already is, come October these functionality and convenience upgrades will add to the Porsche EV's numerous plus points.

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