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Porsche has launched a long-range RWD-only Taycan in China, but will it come to the UK?

Porsche has launched what it is calling “a perfect entry point into the fully electrified Porsche world” in China. Available in rear-wheel drive only and with up to 304 miles of range, it is the cheapest version of Porsche's inaugural EV available globally – and it could make its way to the UK in due course.

Unveiled in China, and with Porsche being very cautious to keep everything around the event very China-specific, the new Taycan is the lowest spec car currently available in the global line-up. Until now, the 'entry-level' car has been the Taycan 4S which is available in both Europe and the USA, sharing much with its more powerful Turbo-badged counterparts including standard four-wheel drive.

The new Taycan for the Chinese market comes as RWD only, doing away with the two-motor setup and making do with a single permanent synchronous motor sending its power to the rear. Whilst not badged as such, to our minds this version of the car would sit perfectly as an 'S' model, given Porsche's historic nomenclature.

This new Taycan still gets 402bhp continuous power as standard. Combined with the 79.2kWh battery (standard on the 4S car in Europe), it enables the bottom-of-the-rung car to travel 257 miles on a charge.

If buyers plump for the Performance Battery Plus package, power is elevated to 469bhp and range shoots up to the most of any Taycan, at 304 miles in the (rather generous) Chinese NEDC test. If, or when the car comes to Europe, expect the range to drop by up to 10 per cent in the WLTP test.

Despite the power hike with the Performance Battery Plus package, both versions of the car will do 0-62mph in 5.4 seconds and reach a top speed of 143mph. These figures do lag behind the 4S, though not by much (1.4 seconds slower to 62 and 12mph slower flat-out), and are certainly enough to satisfy most people's requirements of an EV supercar.

Both the standard and long-range versions of the car benefit from the same regenerative braking force as the 4S, which can harvest up to 265kW and produce almost 0.4G of resistance. According to Porsche, “the majority of braking operations in everyday use are performed by the electric motor alone, without the brakes needing to do anything”. So at least discs and pads should last...

In other areas, too, the Taycan for China still stacks up very well indeed against its four-wheel drive European cousins. Wheels are 19 inch aero units as standard, with the black brake calipers - one of the few give-aways to the car's spec. Signature LED headlights are standard as is steel-spring suspension, with adaptive air suspension and Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) an option.

An 11kW on-board charger deals with taking on AC electricity, whilst a 22kW AC unit will be available to enable faster AC charging speeds. Maximum DC charging, we would assume, is the same 225kW as the 4S models. As for price, the new car costs around 20 per cent less than the 4S in China, so we'd be looking at around £70,000+ over here. And that's a really compelling price.

So, onto the burning question: Will the entry-level Taycan come to the UK?

Well, Porsche has previously stated that it was planning on producing 'market-specific' versions of its electric models depending on legislation and demand. Battery configurations will also vary, in time, depending on what Porsche reckons will sell. The brand has been very careful about its messaging with the entry-level Taycan being for China, and even in Germany the car hasn't been seen.

That said, Porsche North America hasn't ruled out a rear-drive variant, and that most definitely increases the chances of it coming to Europe. We think there's a significant market for a circa £70k Taycan here, so sticking out necks out, our prediction is that within a year a rear-drive variant will be available on our shores.

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