[TEST DRIVE] Taycan GTS carries on the smooth riding Porsche tradition
Actually, it was a number of Porsches, some of which are not yet even available in the Korean market.
The German carmaker brought its 25 vehicles to Korea for a one-day test-drive session for the press at the Porsche World Roadshow 2022 held on May 18 at the AMG Speedway in Yongin.
Porsche unveiled the latest Taycan GTS, its pure electric sports car, for the first time in Korea that day, along with other popular lineups including 718 Boxster, Cayman, Panamera, Cayenne, Macan and Porsche 911.
The test drive was held as three different sessions — slalom, brake test and handling — allowing this reporter to get behind the wheel of various Porsche models and see if they really live up to the hype.
The most enlightening experience during the five-hour test drive was a session that let reporters experience the Launch Control system with Taycan GTS, which essentially tests how long the sports car takes to reach 100 kilometers per hour (62 miles per hour) from zero.
Really pushing the pedal to the metal, an amateur can rapidly get the vehicle running up to 150 kilometers an hour. When vehicles suddenly accelerate, drivers usually feel that the cars rock back a little at the start, but this sports car was smooth and stable from the get-go.
Taycan GTS only takes 3.7 seconds to reach 100 kilometers per hour and can reach a maximum speed of 250 kilometers.
No wonder the instructor, who sat next to me during the test, warned me not to close my eyes and asked if I had blood pressure issues. At the time I thought it was a rather odd set of preparatory measures.
Even on a narrow road, the vehicle was also able to navigate a smooth U-turn.
It boasts a maximum of 598 horsepower.
Even with the jaw-dropping features, it's not all just looks: The EV can travel 504 kilometers on a single charge on the European Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) standards.
Porsche Korea is scheduled to launch the model in Korea within the year. Its sticker price starts from 131,834 euros ($141,600) in Germany.
However, as orders are already piled up from other countries, any Korean customers who wish to buy the Taycan GTS will have to wait a year to get their car, a Porsche Korea spokesperson said.
Taycan has been selling very well in the Korean market since its first introduction in 2020. During the first four months of this year, a total of 1,113 EVs that cost more than 100 million won ($78,000) were sold, and of them, 46 percent were Porsche Taycans, according to data from the Korea Automobile Importers & Distributors Association (Kaida).
Porsche sold a total of 520 Taycans in Korea during the same period, about 15 percent of its total sales.
A test drive of the Taycan Turbo and 4S followed, which allowed this reporter one lap of the circuit with each car. The speed was amazing while still being extremely smooth. While enjoying the speed, the reporter checked the dashboard and was surprised to see that what felt like 80 kilometers per hour in general cars was actually 140 kilometers per hour in this car, according to the speedometer.
To cater to those who admire Porsche for its sports car heritage, the brand added an artificial engine sound. When turned on, the car emits a growl that’s been engineered in. It seems a bit off though, like something from a spaceship in a sci-fi movie.
The test drives on nearly 20 Porsche cars were neither tiring nor disappointing. Each car had its own charms with all having that special sports car DNA.
A Porsche instructor asked the reporters which car they liked the most at the end of the day, and the answers were all different.
The Porsche World Roadshow 2022, managed by Porsche’s headquarters in Germany, is a driving-experience program that has attracted 47,000 people from 55 countries so far.
BY SARAH CHEA [email@example.com]