PORSCHE has just raised the bar in the electric sports car sector with its seriously fast new Taycan model that powers its way from 0-62mph in a blisteringly quick 4.0 seconds.
There are three trim levels to choose from called the Taycan 4S, Taycan Turbo and Taycan Turbo S with prices ranging from £83,580 to £138,830 and, of course, customers can add a wealth of options to their vehicle.
It's a car that seriously challenges the Tesla Model S and it is packed with quality fixtures and fittings as well as all the latest techno treats.
Porsche believes the entry level Taycan 4S will be the biggest seller so that's the model we took for a spin around the fast country lanes and motorways in West Buckinghamshire - and it didn't disappoint.
The Taycan 4Scomes with a 79.2kWh battery as standard, but this can be upgraded to a 93.4kWh battery with the Performance Battery Plus option (£4,613). This battery, which is standard on the Taycan Turbo and Turbo S, increases the power output from 530hp to 571hp. The upgrade also improves range, performance and speed of re-charging.
As well as the nerve-shattering instant acceleration off the mark, the Taycan 4S can power its way to a top speed limited to 155mph. It has a driving range on average of 257 miles, but this is obviously subject to the type of driving and the terrain. Spend all day firing through the B roads and more regular charging will be called for. Cruise more sedately through the busier urban streets and expect to see just under 300 miles.
One thing that needs to be made clear from the start here is that the Taycan 4S is a Porsche through and through. It may be electric with motors on the front and rear axles resulting in four-wheel drive, but it boasts a really low centre of gravity which isvital for handling, cornering and agility. And it drives like a high performance sports car - just eerily quiet at times.
Our test car started life costing £83,367 but a comprehensive list of optional extras saw the final cost rise to £119,082, but clearly Porsche wanted to kit this car out with all the bells and whistles imaginable.
It's a looker too with its beautifully curvaceous streamlining and stand-out features that include four-point LED headlights, door handles that are flush to the body, a panoramic fixed glass roof, air intakes to improve the aerodynamics, a three-stage rear spoiler system, privacy glass and 21-inch Taycan exclusive alloy wheels with black high-gloss brake calipers.
Move inside and the sporting prowess of the car is apparent at every turn with a seating position that is derived from the 911. These seats are power adjustable, as is the steering wheel, with memory settings to store your favourite driving position. There is a new innovative digital cockpit that almost rids the car of physical switches and gives the cabin a cleaner, clutter-free appearance.
It's a car that oozes quality with a 16-inch curved digital display behind the sports steering wheel that can be adjusted to show all manner of data. There is also a 10.9-inch infotainment screen where the audio, navigation and communication features are located. And finally, an 8.4-inch screen to access the car's many systems.
On-board kit includes a BOSE surround sound system (£956 extra), ambient lighting (£299), four-zone climate control (£581), navigation and Apple CarPlay as standard - there is no Android Auto facility. Obviously, the sound and air con systems would be just fine without the need to upgrade, but as I said, our car was the fully specced version.
Buttons and switches are few and far between, but there is a dial on the steering wheel to quickly move through the drive mode options which are called Range, which is best for eking out the most miles between charges, Normal, Sport, Sport Plus and Individual.
One of the major problems faced by designers and engineers when developing an EV is the weight issue. Batteries capable of delivering a decent range are not light and as a result, the electric models tend to weigh several hundred kilos more.
However, by ensuring the bulk of that additional load is positioned low down in the car, you end up with a model with an incredibly low centre of gravity. And that is where this Taycan 4S excels. The handling and agility easily match that of the competition and then some.
The acceleration through the two-speed automatic gearbox is blisteringly quick and the power at your disposal seems endless as the car soars to national speed limits in the blink of an eye.
The road holding is sublime meaning corners can be attacked with confidence and the grip and balance make this vehicle feel invincible as it fires through the twisting lanes with perfectly weighted steering. It's composed on the motorways and even happy to weave through busy town centres turning heads wherever it passes.
There is the optional Porsche Electric Sport Sound (£354 extra) that gives the car a suitable vocal accompaniment that can be heard both inside and outside the vehicle. The noise levels change according to drive mode with Sport Plus sounding like feeding time at the Serengeti.
Of course, Porsche has made it possible to adapt the likes of the air suspension, dampers and torque vectoring control to suit driving requirements and the car is packed with safety kit and driver assist aids such as lane keeping assist, cruise control with adaptive speed limiter, collision and brake assist, plus plenty more besides.
There is space inside the Taycan 4S for five occupants to sit really comfortably and there is a small storage compartment beneath the bonnet that can accommodate 81 litres of kit, along with a boot capable of holding up to 407 litres. In addition, there is a lockable glovebox, door pockets and cup holders.
Charging via a 7.4kW home wallbox takes about 11 hours from empty to full, or 20 minutes from 20 to 80 per cent on a 150kW fast charger.
All in all, the Taycan 4S is the ultimate proof that electrically-powered sports cars can deliver all the comfort, practicality and exhilarating driving dynamics you could ever wish for. But this model has just thrown down the gauntlet in this sector so watch this space.