When Porsche released the Taycan back in September it decided to go straight in with the fastest, most expensive and highest spec versions – the Turbo and Turbo S. We were well aware back then that pretty soon Porsche would follow up with a model to bring the car in at a lower price point, however.
This is where the Porsche Taycan 4S comes in. It shares, or can be specified with most of the technology, features and gadgets of the Turbo and Turbo S, but it is down on power and comes with a smaller battery pack as standard. That’s not to say that the Taycan 4S is somehow a poor relation; far from it in fact, as the car’s price actually makes it a really compelling package. But we’ll get round to that – let’s take a look at the main differences first of all.
Much ado has been made of the Turbo and Turbo S nomenclature, but happily – not least for harmonious social media discourse – the entry-level Taycan 4S shouldn’t really ruffle anybody’s feathers. Though the ultra-pedantic might take umbrage at the inclusion of ‘S’ on a base-spec car.
Regardless, in line with the rest of Porsche’s range, the Taycan 4S is down on power in comparison to the Turbo and Turbo S. It has to make do with baseline continuous power of 429bhp compared to 616bhp for the more powerful cars. Thankfully 429bhp is still a lot, and there is an overboost function which serves up 523bhp in cars with the standard single-deck 79.2kWh Performance battery, and 563bhp with the optional two-deck, 93.4kWh Performance battery Plus.
Regardless of overboost power, both cars will hit 62mph in four seconds dead, and go on to a top speed of 155mph – seven mph slower than the turbo variants.
One of the easiest ways car makers can slash the price of EVs is to reduce the battery size, and this is exactly what Porsche has done. As standard, the Taycan 4S comes with a single-deck Performance battery rated at 79.2kWh. In this guise, the car is good for around 253 miles of range on the official test – three miles less than the Turbo.
The Performance battery Plus is the same unit fitted to the Turbo and Turbo S cars and is rated at 93.4kWh. This, combined with the lower power output, makes the 4S the star performer when it comes to maximum range, with a potential 288 miles on offer between charges.
Along with a lower overall capacity, the smaller battery handles a slightly lower peak DC rapid charging input, although 225kW is hardly a small figure. As per the Turbo cars, the Performance battery Plus option charges at up to 270kW.
For the most part in terms of the drivetrain, the Taycan 4S shares the same components as its more powerful stablemates. This means two motors – one on the front axle and one on the rear which is coupled to a two-speed gearbox, albeit that rear motor is 80mm shorter than the Turbo version.
The cars share the same slithery 0.22 drag coefficient and the exterior styling is broadly the same, with only the rear diffuser, sills and front apron differing. Smaller 19 inch wheels as standard hide downsized brake rotors (360mm front, 358mm rear) and red painted calipers (six-pot front, four-pot rear). Centralised chassis management with active air suspension and PASM is retained on the 4S.
Inside, part-leather interior trim comes as standard with the vegan-friendly, 'no cows were harmed in the making of these seats', option available. Next-gen infotainment and that distinctive wrap-around dashboard are retained, too.
For a bog-standard Porsche Taycan 4S you'll need to cough up £83,367 after the plug-in car grant is applied. This is a significant saving when compared to the near £139,000 you'd be paying for the Turbo S – before options.
The fact is that you're not getting much less of a car for the money, though. Yes, a few of the nice standard touches aren't included, it's a little bit down on power and with the smaller battery you won't go as far, but all of the fundamentals are there. Plus it's a Porsche, so you'll be getting one of the best resolved performance EV packages that money can buy. And it's still pretty quick when all is said and done.
So is the Taycan 4S where the smart money goes? Well it's certainly easy to make that argument.