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The Taycan Turbo GT

12 March 2024

Available as a two-seater and featuring a wide-reaching overhaul of the chassis and powertrain, it is the first electric car from Porsche’s storied GT division and one of the fastest four-door cars on the market.

It swaps the recently facelifted Taycan’s rear motor for one with a silicon-carbide inverter, which reduces energy losses as the transistors switch from the on to off state. This allows for a greater maximum current of 900A, significantly boosting maximum power.

As such, the Turbo GT is capable of putting out up to 1093bhp and 988lb ft – 73bhp more than the tri-motor Tesla Model S Plaid.

It can, according to official tests, sustain maximum power for two seconds at a time using Launch Control and kicks out 778bhp in normal operation.

The Taycan’s push-to-pass function has also evolved to take advantage of the new motor. It has been recalibrated – and renamed Attack mode – with inspiration from the Porsche 99X Formula E car, providing 939bhp for 10 seconds at a time.

That’s 67bhp more than is offered by push-to-pass in other Taycans. Performance is also bolstered by a 75kg reduction in mass compared with the Taycan Turbo S.

This has been achieved through liberal use of carbonfibre – on the B-pillars, door mirror caps and bucket seats, among other areas – as well as the fitment of lightweight 21in forged wheels and the removal of the soft-closing boot mechanism.

Even the ceramic brakes’ disc chambers and caliper housings have been reworked to remove another 2kg. The optional Weissach package takes the diet a step further, “eliminating all equipment not required for track driving”.

Among the changes are the removal of the rear seats, rear speakers and one of the two charge ports. Also gone are the floor and boot mats, as well as some of the interior sound insulation material.

The active rear spoiler is replaced by a fixed carbonfibre wing and the windows are swapped out for lightweight glass.

These efforts net an extra 70kg reduction compared with the regular Turbo GT. All of this makes the Turbo GT the fastest-accelerating Porsche to have hit public roads. It dispatches 0-62mph in just 2.2sec with the Weissach package and 2.3sec without it.

For reference, the Model S Plaid has a claimed 0-60mph time of 1.99sec but Tesla subtracts a one-foot rollout from the timing, meaning the car is already moving before timing begins. Autocar testing showed that, without the rollout, it took 2.4sec to hit 60mph.

The Turbo GT goes on to a top speed of 180mph with the Weissach package, or 190mph without. To further improve track performance, the Turbo GT receives specially calibrated Porsche Active Ride suspension, which is claimed by the marque to offer “an almost perfect connection to the road”.

With all of these modifications in place, the Turbo GT has decimated the lap record for road-legal electric cars at the fearsome Nürburgring Nordschleife, rounding the 14.1-mile track in 7min 7.55sec.

That is more than 25sec quicker than the old Turbo S and nearly 18sec quicker than the previous record holder, the Model S Plaid Track Pack.

At California’s Laguna Seca raceway, the Turbo GT managed a lap time of 1min 27.87sec, only just trailing the 1min 26.75sec set by Tesla tuner Unplugged Performance’s radically overhauled Model S Plaid, which ran on non-road-legal Yokohama tyres.

Kevin Giek, who heads development of all Taycan models, told Autocar that the Turbo GT was something of a personal passion project, carried out separately from the actual GT division, run by Andreas Preuninger.

“It was me and my team. I have a Preuninger for myself,” he said, referring to the hundreds of engineers involved in the new Taycan’s creation. “We managed this together. It was my idea to have GT for electric, but it’s our baby.”

This is as extreme as the Taycan can feasibly get, he added: “You could go a bit further if you used race tyres and throw out more weight, but then it’s not street-legal any more.”

While the Turbo GT’s acceleration figures and lap times shade nearly every other car that wears a numberplate, Giek is adamant that it remains a true dual-purpose proposition: “You can drive it anywhere you want, but you can also take it on the track.”

Work began in April 2021, only around 18 months after the Taycan was launched and well before the arrival of the facelifted 2024 car, but Giek explained that the Turbo GT could not have been developed using the original Taycan as the basis because its huge power reserves are contingent on the very latest technology.

“It didn’t make sense” to launch it before now, he said: “We introduced loads of new stuff like the silicon carbide converter with 900 amps, so for that it just made sense with the facelift because that’s where we introduced the technology.”

Notably, the GT uses the same 105kWh lithium ion battery as the standard Taycan, because using a smaller unit in the name of shaving crucial kilograms would have dented its performance potential.

“You need the big battery because you need the power. We couldn’t realise 1100PS” with a smaller battery, explained Giek.

Asked if the reduced weight means the Turbo GT could, in theory, beat the standard car’s 422-mile maximum range, he would only go so far as to say: “Yes, for sure.”

Giek said Porsche has not put this theory to the test, but naturally any boost in range would require the removal of the front motor and a significant downtuning of the rear.

Prices for the Taycan Turbo GT start at £186,300, almost as much as the 911 GT3 RS, and the Weissach package is a no-cost option. The Turbo GT is available to order now, ahead of deliveries starting in the coming months.

To discover more, visit: https://www.autocar.co.uk/car-news/new-cars/wild-porsche-taycan-turbo-gt-boosted-1093bhp

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