2021 Porsche Taycan Turbo Cross Turismo | Review

The Taycan is already mightily impressive as standard, so how about as an off-road wagon?

By Sam Sheehan / Tuesday, April 27, 2021 / Loading comments

Before the close of 2021, it’s possible that the Taycan will have overtaken the 911 in Porsche’s global sales ranks. Porsche delivered 9,072 Taycans in the first quarter of this year, leaving the EV just 61 cars short of the 911’s total, so it’s not hard to imagine the Taycan streaking ahead once models like this Cross Turismo are in dealerships. The buying public’s appetite for the car shows no signs of slowing, which should be no surprise given its vast array of talents. And now it looks set to become more desirable still. Doesn’t this Taycan Cross Turismo look absolutely fantastic?

Using the 93.4kWh battery and dual axle electric motor power, this Cross Turismo mixes 625hp and 627lb ft of torque with an air suspension chassis that raises the body 20mm higher than the normal car. The alteration is emphasised by the Audi Allroad-aping wheel arch extensions and skirts that add a butchness to the front and rear profiles, as well as the side. It works well.

If you’re expecting hose-down interior floor mats to go with that rugged exterior, though, you’ll be disappointed. But for everyone else, the cabin will be as satisfying as ever, because it feels appropriately high tech in what remains a futuristic-feeling vehicle. You’ll likely be familiar with the layout now; sharp graphics, rapid digital reactions and haptic buttons are as satisfying to use as they are to behold. Even if they won’t take particularly well to a cabin steam clean or dog paw-shaped mud stains.

Clearly, the Cross Turismo base is designed to offer city slickers and country motorists alike a slightly more practical offering that can deal with potholes, stone-clad gravel paths and other obstacles that otherwise might threaten the splitter of a shiny new Taycan. All while retaining the warp speed performance and usability of the regular car. The numbers look to deliver on that, with a 0-62mph time of 3.3 seconds, 50-75mph time of 1.9 seconds and, if you’re gentler with the right pedal, up to 281 miles of range.

As for charging, the Taycan’s 800-volt system is in place as before here, with a maximum of 270kw of DC input to, in theory, enable a 5-80 per cent battery top up in 22.5 mins. The same top up on a 50kW charger takes 1.5 hours, while a 22kW home charger will get you from empty to 100 per cent in five hours. If those numbers sound familiar, it’s because they’re the same across all of Porsche’s 93.4kWh battery Taycans. This is a variant of the car rather than a new model, after all, although relatively minor alterations have wrought a significant change…

We already know the standard range of Taycans to be excellent electric cars, so it might have been handy to put this slightly tougher one to the test in a snowstorm or on the gravel paths of the North York Moors. But a warm springtime morning at Goodwood was still enough to reveal some immediate advantages. Namely, the Cross Turismo’s brilliant ride and added on-road comfort. It’s lovely.

West Sussex’s B-roads have their fair share of potholes and drain covers, something this Taycan could largely iron out in normal mode, and still do a very effective job of smoothing in sport. In fact, over small lumps and bumps, the two modes were basically indistinguishable as far as ride went, with the difference in PASM only clear over speed humps or when the body was subjected to load. Otherwise, the Taycan’s inherent structural rigidity enables the air springs’ workload to be isolated effectively. Despite the Cross Turismo modifications – which adds 47mm to rear headroom and enables 1,200 litres of luggage space – the car is only 25kg heavier than the standard Taycan. Nothing, really, and certainly not in something that weighs an enormous 2,320kg.

In the Turbo variant, that mass is defied by electric acceleration that feels no less capable of dislodging your organs than it ever as. The Taycan has never been the quickest accelerating car out there (Tesla has made sure of that), but even in this heavier, second-rank version, you’re never wanting for more performance. After more than three or four consecutive applications of full power, you’re impressed, but also left with a mild headache thanks to the unbroken supply of torque. There is a small, just about noticeable drop off in thrust when the back axle engages its second gear, but by this point you’re already travelling very fast indeed. It’s rapid from any starting point.

Given the thrust on offer, you might expect the CT’s raised ride height to provide a real challenge, but body control remains superb. There’s very little squat or pitch under power and on the brakes, and lateral stability is ultra-tight. The Taycan’s air setup somehow manages to retain decent absorption to deal with B-road imperfections, even under load, while ensuring body lean is restricted to a couple of degrees, even if you’re really committed. It helps that the car’s balance is so neutral and the centre of gravity so low (even with the higher ride) because the mass is never thrown one way or another. Grip levels are extremely high, although pleasingly, you are aware of the work done up front through a steering rack carrying plenty of feel.

The drop off in performance compared to the lower-height, standard car feels immeasurably small, subjectively speaking, yet with the added pliancy of the Cross Turismo platform, the inconsistencies of a British road surface are of even less a concern. Additionally, the electronic synthesised sounds of the powertrain in Sport+ feel no less at home in the Cross Turismo. Plus, the brakes are enormously powerful, with a firm pedal that’s very easy to modulate, and best of all – given the CT’s changes – the car charges along a gravel route and deals with random small rocks and bumps without issue.

Whether buyers of a £116,950 Turbo are likely to be regularly frolicking off-road is another question, but it’s certainly nice to know the Cross Turismo feels like an authentic package for all terrains. You can, of course, spend far less – £38,000 less, to be exact – and get the Taycan 4 version of the same car, downgrading power and kudos, but probably not usability or desirability. Given that the Cross Turismo appears to offer the rugged look for seemingly no dynamic penalty, it’s easy to see how buyers would be tempted. Should you want it, Porsche allows you to go even further with the off-road ability, providing an extra 10mm lift with a higher optional specification. But if our drive is anything to go by, the CT’s standard setup can do all you could ask of it and more. Assuming potential customers even get that far, as many may be sold as soon as they see it – and you wouldn’t blame them one bit.


SPECIFICATION | PORSCHE TAYCAN TURBO CROSS TURISMO

Engine: Permanently excited electric motor, one per axle
Transmission: Single-speed (front) twin-speed (rear), all-wheel drive
Power (hp): 625
Torque (lb ft): 627
0-62mph: 3.3sec
Top speed: 155mph
Weight: 2,320kg (DIN)
MPG: N/A (281-mile range)
CO2: 0g/km
Price: £116,950

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