Ice drifting in Porsche's all-electric Taycan
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Ice drifting in Porsche's all-electric Taycan

Roadshow
Welcome to an undisclosed location somewhere in the north of Sweden. A frozen like whose name I probably wouldn't be able to pronounce right even if I were allowed to try. It's a place so windy on this day at least that we had to go with the dramatic slow motion and voice over treatment for the intro because otherwise you wouldn't be able to hear a word I was saying. Why all the secrecy? Because you and I are about to get up close and personal with a car that hasn't even been shown to the public yet. It's the Porsche Taican, which won't be unveiled for months and won't hit dealerships until the end of the year. But today we're taking it for a ride through this blustery winter wonderland. [MUSIC] [MUSIC] But first a little bit of history. The Ticon is the production version of the Mission E concept which debuted way back in 2015. We've seen that car multiple times since then. And last year I even spent some time behind the wheel of it's first derivative, the Mission E Cross Turismo. But those were all concepts and prototypes. Here and now, lurking beneath that black plastic wrap, is the production version of the car which will soon enter manufacturing in Stuttgart. Don't be fooled by the fake tail pipes on the back, they're just part of that camouflage package designed to let this thing hide out in the open. This is Porsche's first mass production electric car The battery pack is situated in the floor, keeping the center of gravity. All wheel drive is provided by separate motors for the front and the rear. While it bears more than a passing resemblance to the Panamera, even in the camouflage I can tell this is smaller and it has more of a sedan shape. In fact, while I can't see any details That shape looks to be pretty close to the initial Mission E concept car. The biggest change, no suicide doors at the back, but then, I never really expected those to see production anyway. [MUSIC] Why here, why Sweden? This is actually one of Porsche's many international testing facilities, where the company's engineers can validate everything from climate control efficiency To low-grip handling conditions. With an EV, cold-weather testing is doubly important because extreme temperatures, either hot or cold, can increase a car's range by upwards of 30%. Porsche's engineers still aren't talking about exactly how much [UNKNOWN] will offer, except that it'll be greater than 500 kilometers on the European NEDC test cycle. That's about 300 miles but don't expect it to rate that well on the American EPA cycle. To help maintain that range in these conditions, the car offers active thermal management. That is to say it can apply heating or cooling to the battery pack to keep it in its ideal temperature range. Porsche engineers confirm the car can also precondition the battery. Getting it up to temperature on a cold day before you get going. And yes, it will precondition the cabin too, and when you do plug it in, you can get 60 miles of range in just four minutes. [MUSIC] So enough about all that, what's it like to actually ride in the thing? Well, I'll be the first to say that you can't learn as much from the passenger's seat as you can from behind the wheel. But you can learn a lot more than you might think, especially when it comes to car behavior in the various driving modes. Like other Porches, the Tycon will allow you to cycle through multiple driving modes including Sports and Sport+, its most aggressive. In Sport Plus and with the stability control dialed back to PSM Sport, the Taycan was incredibly playful out on the ice, happy to get properly sideways, but still able to help out should you get too far out of control. The real fun started when the traction control system was turned all the way off, something that takes just the press of a button. In this way, the car completely let loose, letting Porsche's test engineers get as far sideways as they wanted. The all-wheel drive system was quick to put power where it was needed, creating one hell of a ride. I rode exclusively what was called the top-notch trim, the Taycan, with something more than 600 horsepower and all-wheel drive. The drive train engineer confirmed that the rear, more powerful electric motor is connnected to a limited-slip differential, helping it keep power moving equally through both of the rear wheels. Out on the streets we kept things a little less manic. Here I was more impressed by the composure of the cars, which were quiet and refined despite most missing major portions of their interior. That said, Porsche's working on developing an artificial engine noise, but exactly what that will sound like is still being refined. And when we found a rare stretch of dry asphalt for a quick acceleration test, well, let's just say that my neck still hurts from the launch. [MUSIC] [BLANK_AUDIO] There's still a lot left to learn about the Taycon. Not the least of which being, just exactly what the thing looks like. We'll have to wait a little while for that and sadly before I get a chance to get behind the wheel myself. But suffice to say, I'm impressed by what I learned today. It's difficult to over state the importance of this car the Porsche. The company has invested billions for the manufacturing and development of this thing. They're clearly taking this very seriously and from what I can tell, the competition should be too. [MUSIC]

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