The Porsche Taycan has yet to be revealed to the public, but that hasn’t stopped Porsche confirming that the sleek full-electric saloon will be joined by a more practical estate variant when it is launched next year.
The estate derivative was previewed by the Mission E Cross Turismo concept car that was shown at this year’s Geneva motor show but Porsche has not confirmed whether it will also pick up the concept’s pseudo SUV elements such as the wheel arch extensions or added ride height. We do now at least know that an estate-like model will be reaching production after Porsche’s received a positive response from potential customers.
As for the name, we suspect that if it loses those SUV vibes, it could instead inherit the Sport Turismo moniker from the Panamera, but it it wouldn’t surprise us if Porsche decided to bring both SUV and estate versions to market at some point after the Taycan saloon’s release.
From what we know so far, the Taycan saloon will be released next year with a total system output of around 600bhp and an electric range of somewhere around 499 kilometres. Although Porsche insist that the Cross Turismo was a concept, productionised elements such as the headlights and door handles, did point towards it being an early look at what to expect when the Taycan does finally hit the road in 2019.
In keeping with its environmentally-friendly ethos, Porsche has also updated its Zuffenhausen production facility to accommodate the new model, in the process upgrading the factory’s status to carbon neutral.
Further clues to the Taycan’s underpinnings can also be taken from the Cross Turismo concept itself which is powered by a pair of permanent magnet synchronous motors that between them develop more than 600bhp. Driving and axle each, they allow the four-wheel drive Porsche to sprint from 0-100kph in 3.5 seconds and onto 199kph in 12 seconds dead. Crucially, Porsche claims that this performance can be accessed time and again without out any drop-off in performance or need for lengthy battery preparation.
Underpinning this electric drivetrain is a lithium ion battery that forms part of a powerful 800-volt electrical system. Porsche claims the car can go 499 kilometres between charges, but crucially, the cells can be replenished in just 15 minutes using a fast charger. The E Cross Turismo has also been developed to take advantage of proposed induction charging methods, where cables buried in the road surface allow the battery to be topped up on the move.
Given its ‘lifestyle’ brief, it’s no surprise to find the suspension has been tuned to deliver a dash of off-road ability, with the standard air suspension able to be jacked up by 50mm for extra ground clearance. On the road, the E Cross benefits from Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control (PDCC), which aims to eliminate body roll for more secure handling. The concept features 20-inch wheels with relatively modest 275 section tyres, again pointing towards its production ready status.
As you’d expect, the E Cross’s cabin is packed with technology. The most interesting addition is the TFT instrument display that’s linked to an eye-tracking camera. This set-up can detect which dial the driver is looking at and bring it to the foreground while minimizing the other instruments. There are also touch sensitive controls on the centre console and steering wheel. The passenger isn’t left out either, as the screens stretch the full width of dashboard and give access to the car’s telephone, climate control and navigation functions. These components might all sound like the usual concept car paraphernalia, but we have reason to believe the interior as a whole will be very close to the forthcoming production Taycan.
Despite being a strict four-seater, the E Cross has been configured to be remarkably practical. Each of the rear seats features a load through function, plus they can be folded completely flat. The boot floor also features a system of sliding rails and straps for securing loads, such as push bikes or surfboards.
The rugged approach continues on the outside, where a heavily Panamera-inspired body is augmented with tough-looking plastic extensions for sills and wheelarches, while the blue-finished 20-inch alloys are covered in surprisingly chunky looking tyres. Elsewhere, the E Cross features the same matrix LED headlamps that features the firm’s X-Sight enhanced main beam function.
2019 is shaping up as a big year for the German manufacturer, as not only will its electrified future begin to be rolled out, but the all-new 911 will also be revealed, alongside plenty of new Porsche Motorsport product too.