2021 Porsche Taycan: Entry-level RWD variant unveiled for Europe, Australian launch expected

Rear-drive Taycan reaches Europe and the US with 350kW of power and 484km range, though Australian plans remain unconfirmed.

An entry-level, rear-wheel-drive variant of the 2021 Porsche Taycan has been unveiled for Europe.

Following its debut for the Chinese market in June 2020, and the release of a teaser image earlier this week, Porsche has officially confirmed its first all-electric vehicle will gain an entry-level variant in the US and Europe in 2021.

While Porsche Cars Australia has yet to officially confirm the model for our market, CarAdvice understands the rear-drive Taycan could make its way Down Under in around 12 months’ time, with the brand’s local arm understood to be focusing on the launch of the all-wheel-drive 4S, Turbo and Turbo S variants in February 2021.

Those familiar with the Chinese-market model will find few surprises in the specifications of its European equivalent, with both markets’ models featuring a single electric motor on the rear axle, and offering a choice of two lithium-ion batteries: the 79.2kWh ‘base’ Performance Battery, and the 93.4kWh Performance Battery Plus.

Power is rated at 240kW with the smaller battery, with an onboard overboost mode activated through Launch Control upping the output to 300kW – on par with the Chinese figure quoted in 2020.

Opt for the larger 93.4kWh pack and outputs increase to 280kW and 350kW without and with overboost respectively.

Despite the not-insignificant differences in power between the models, both cars can cover the 0-100km/h sprint in 5.4 seconds, towards a top speed of 230km/h. The two-speed rear-axle transmission fitted to pricier, all-paw Taycans is standard on the new model.

It’s worth noting the rear-wheel-drive variant, in pre-production guise, was the Taycan model selected to break the record for the world’s longest continuous electric vehicle drift, with 210 laps around a 200-metre skidpad recorded in late November 2020.

Porsche claims range figures on Europe’s WLTP test cycle of 431km and 484km for the 79.2kWh and 93.4kWh packs respectively – the latter figure the highest range offered by any Taycan model to date, and tipping it over the 300-mile marker.

The 800-volt electrical architecture offered by higher grade models carries over to the new entry model, with maximum DC fast-charging rates pegged at 225kW and 270kW for the small and large batteries respectively.

Both models, however, can recharged from five to 80 per cent capacity in just 22.5 minutes, with 100km of range able to be added in five minutes. Regenerative braking is standard, with the German brand claiming up to 265kW of recuperation.

Standard equipment includes LED headlights, 19-inch ‘Taycan Aero’ alloy wheels (enabling a 0.22Cd drag coefficient), steel coil suspension and aluminium brakes measuring 360mm up front with six-piston calipers, and 358mm at the rear with four-piston calipers.

‘Surface-coated’ performance discs can be had as an option – measuring 410mm up front and 365mm at the rear – as can three-chamber adaptive air suspension, a head-up display, a 22kW AC onboard charger and active lane-keep assist.

Inside, much of higher-spec Taycans’ cabins carry over to the new ‘base’ model, including a large curved digital instrument cluster and a central 10.9-inch infotainment touchscreen. Eight-way power-adjustable front ‘comfort’ seats trimmed in part-leather are standard-fit.

While the rear-wheel-drive Porsche Taycan loses all-wheel-drive, power and equipment over its higher-spec 4S, Turbo and Turbo S siblings, it offers a notably more appealing price: US$79,900 (AU$104,000).

In the US, that marks a circa-AU$30,000 saving over the second-from-base 4S, which is priced from US$103,800 (AU$135,000).

While Australian pricing has yet to be confirmed, given the 4S is priced from $190,400 before on-road costs in Australia, we’d wager the rear-drive model – following its confirmation and arrival in Australia – could dip close to the $150,000 mark Down Under.

The rear-wheel-drive 2021 Porsche Taycan will go on sale in Europe in March 2021.

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