2022 Porsche Taycan GTS Sport Turismo First Drive: The Taycan You Want
So you know you want a Porsche Taycan, but you can’t choose from the massive number of variants (11 and counting) in which this electric car is currently offered? MotorTrend is here to help. We’ve just driven the eleventh version, the Taycan GTS Sport Turismo, and we think it’s the one to have—if you can get over the Taycan’s inherent shortcomings.
Before we can tell you why, let’s talk about the two new elements in this Taycan’s name. First: GTS, three letters that should be familiar to most Porschephiles. The two-motor GTS is the new mid-level Taycan, with front and rear drive units (the latter working through a two-speed automatic transmission) delivering a total of 509 horsepower (boosted to 590 in launch mode) and 626 lb-ft to all four wheels. Power-wise, that puts the GTS right between the 482-hp Taycan 4S and the 616-hp Taycan Turbo. Also included are sportier body trimmings, blacked-out badging, an adaptive air suspension, larger front brake rotors than the 4S, and an enhanced version of the piped-in sound found in other Taycans. Rear-wheel steering is optional.
Second: Sport Turismo, which is a new body style for this EV, although it is effectively the same as the Taycan Cross Turismo pseudo SUV, just lowered to sedan height and without the fender cladding. If you want to think of the Sport Turismo as the Taycan wagon, we certainly won’t stop you.
Why Do We Love Thee? Let Us Count the Ways
What is there to recommend the Taycan GTS Cross Turismo above other Taycans? For one thing, there’s the way it goes down the road. At the risk of repeating ourselves, our favorite aspect of the Taycan’s personality is the way it translates the internal combustion Porsche driving experience to a battery-powered car. This is the first electrified Porsche GTS model, and it plays the part perfectly.For one thing, it’s ridiculously quick—Porsche claims a 0-60-mph time of 3.5 seconds, and its estimates are usually conservative. Porsche reports 2.6 seconds for the Taycan Turbo S, for example, and we clocked it in 2.4. The GTS doesn’t quite have the explosive high-speed acceleration of the Turbo S, but it does pull quickly and relentlessly well into triple-digit speeds. Yes, more of that, please.
The GTS offers prodigious grip from its staggered-width tires, and it takes some serious effort (or speed) to break the car loose. What happens then depends largely on whether you have pressed the button that puts the Taycan’s PSM (Porsche Stability Management) system into Sport mode. (This, by the way, is separate from the chassis’ Sport and Sport Plus modes; more on which in a moment.)
If you haven’t engaged Sport mode, the Taycan GTS acts much like an Audi, refusing to give up its line unless you push too hard, in which case it pushes back with a brief dose of understeer before dialing itself back into line. Any attempts at rotation are quickly and quietly quashed. If you have, then the Taycan GTS reveals its true balance, letting the rear end get nice and loose and giving you just enough time to catch it—and if you don’t, the car will handle it, though you’ll hardly feel its invisible electronic hands stepping in. Thanks to all that grip, though, you really need a track to safely explore its more tail-happy behavior. As a matter of fact, we have that set up, so look for a follow-up story soon.
Quick Steering, Hard Riding, and Magic Braking
The ride is firm, perhaps a bit too much so for a grand touring car, something we’ve noted in our reviews of other Taycan variants. It gets noticeably stiffer when the chassis is set in its Sport or Sport Plus modes, to the point that the ride gets downright uncivil on bad pavement.
The steering is pure Porsche—very quick and very responsive, though rather on the heavy side with sportier modes selected. Unlike most cars, Porsche does not decouple the suspension and steering settings, so with the air springs set to their stiffer mode, one is stuck with the heavy steering. That can make precision in the corners difficult—as mentioned, the steering ratio is quick, and when you’re fighting to hold lock against all that weight, smooth modulation can get tricky. That said, not much correction is needed; no matter how bad the pavement and how quick your speed in the corners, the Taycan GTS refuses to be thrown from its line.
The braking is also worthy of note: Porsche has gone to great lengths to reproduce the braking feel of a gasoline-powered car. You won’t feel the transition between regenerative electrical and friction braking, and that’s because Porsche uses hydraulic pressure to push back against the pedal and provide a consistent feel. It’s a cheat, perhaps, but an ingenious one.
Porsche Taycan Sport Turismo: Baby Got Back
With all that said, we’re nearly as excited about the Sport Turismo part of the equation. Yeah, sure, it’s way more practical than the Taycan sedan, with a bigger trunk and more rear headroom. (Back-seat legroom remains tight, largely because there’s little toe space under the front seats.) But it’s the look we love—this is one of those exotic European muscle-wagons that so infrequently come to the US. We hate to use clichés, but it’s hard to describe the Taycan Sport Turismo as anything but hard-ass. Besides, the alternative is a Taycan sedan. Which is arguably one of the sexiest sedans on the market today, but … a Porsche sedan? And there are two of those?
The Taycan GTS Sport Turismo also boasts a not-crazy price point: $134,650, which can be further reduced by tax incentives. As with all Porsches, options are your budget’s nemesis: Our test vehicle, equipped with extravagances like bright red paint ($3,150, and $5,330 more for a GTS interior with matching trim—who would want a GTS without the GTS interior?), rear-axle steering ($1,620), carbon-ceramic brakes ($9,080), and numerous other pricey add-ons, had an out-the-door price of $178,340. And that’s hardly as high as a Taycan GTS Sport Turismo can go.
No Relief From the Taycan’s Core Issues
As much as we enjoyed the Taycan GTS Sport Turismo, we didn’t come away without complaints, which are for the most part the same ones we’ve had about the Taycan in general and are not specific to this lovely variant.
First, of course, are its range ratings. Porsche has made some improvements to the machinery for all ’22 Taycans, including electrical isolation of the front motor in certain driving modes to reduce drag, but the battery remains the same 93.4-kWh unit. There is no official EPA range number yet for the 2022 GTS, but the European WLTP figure of 504 kilometers represents roughly a 4 percent increase, which could translate to an EPA range somewhere in the neighborhood of 212 miles. Even though you can probably exceed that figure a bit in real-world driving, it’s still not enough to make the Taycan a serious electric player. What the Taycan needs, more than yet another body style or chassis/powertrain variant, is an EPA range estimate that starts with a three.
Incidentally, Porsche has made improvements to the rapid-charging system, loosening the parameters necessary to get a best possible 5 to 80 percent DC charge in a mere 22.5 minutes. Impressive, but less so when you consider that 80 percent charge likely translates to about 160 total miles of range, only a little more than the 40.0-kWh battery pack in a base Nissan Leaf.
Porsche, What’s Your Problem With One-Pedal Driving?
Second is Porsche’s seeming antagonism toward regenerative braking. Oh, the Taycan has it—but it largely requires application of the brake pedal. But the accelerator-pedal regen mode—which has a nasty habit of switching itself off when you change driving modes—only provides minimal lift-off braking and nothing approximating true one-pedal driving.
Porsche says this is because the Taycan is designed to mimic the driving experience of an internal combustion car. We call baloney on that, because traditional powertrains can be downshifted to provide engine braking. With the Taycan, there is little to no such braking, and that means one must ride the pedal on long downhill grades—a bad habit in a car that encourages good driving habits.
Besides, imagine what one-pedal driving could do for the performance-driving experience, giving the driver the ability to finely regulate front-to-rear weight transfer without taking their foot from the accelerator. Actually, we don’t have to imagine, because Porsche basically gave every driver of every skill level this ability by adopting the PDK dual-clutch automatic transmission in its internal combustion cars. It’s sad that the company has avoided taking advantage of this in its electric cars, especially when performance-oriented vehicles like the Tesla Model S Plaid, Lucid’s new Air, and even the remarkable Rivian R1T showcase the joys of single-pedal driving.
Porsche Taycan GTS Sport Turismo Verdict
We expect even more Taycan variants to come, and it wouldn’t surprise us if the GTS, as it is in so many other Porsche cars, remains the sweet spot—at least among other Taycans. But Porsche needs to address the Taycan’s short range and get over its aversion to one-pedal driving before we can call the otherwise sweet-driving GTS Sport Turismo a sweet spot among all electric performance cars.
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