One of the main ambitions of Porsche with its Taycan is to prove it's faster than Tesla products (sustained high speed runs), but one thing is for sure: we have the fastest readers on the market. Such as Zhoushan Guo, who took pictures of the future EV in front of the Peninsula Hotel, in Shanghai, and sent them to us right away.
Porsche did the same, many hours later, but did not seize the opportunity to use the beautiful walls of the Peninsula Hotel as a background for its photo shoot. This proves our readers also have a great aesthetic sense, by the way.
As our pictures show, the car had a factory test driver at the wheel, but it has also been driven by Li Chao, a Porsche Carrera Cup Asia driver and probably one of Porsche’s best clients in the biggest car market of the world. Chao must have driven the prototype only at the Porsche Experience Center (PEC) Shanghai. The company does not state if he has a good reputation as a driver at home and mentions only a second and a third place as his best racing results. Something that says more about China’s tradition at motorsports than about Chao himself.
Porsche’s photos are the first part of an effort to promote the new EV. It is called Porsche Triple Demo Run and the German carmaker has already revealed where the other legs will take place. The next one will be in the UK, at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, beginning on the 4th of July.
With Mark Webber in charge of the run, one week later, Porsche will have a prototype of the Taycan in the US, more specifically at the last race of the 2019 Formula E Championship. The driver will be Neel Jani, a WEC World Champion and one of the 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans overall winners. We suspect we will receive many more pictures from our readers in the coming days...
With its official unveiling set for the Frankfurt Motor Show, the Taycan promises loads of things, but the most important is its 800V electric system. It will allow the new EV to charge much faster than its competitors, as well as reducing its weight, due to thinner cables necessary to deal with a higher voltage, but lower current. With a top speed of 250 km/h and a 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) in around 3.5 seconds, the future Porsche has some other aces in the hole.
The cars will have different images on their roofs to celebrate each of the visited places. The Taycan for Shanghai presents a dragon there. The images to be used in the UK and the US have not been revealed. We're placing our bets on a lion and an eagle facing the sky at the prototype's roof.
On the exact day Tesla celebrates its 16th birthday, this may sound like a hell of a threat, but, at the very beginning, Elon Musk said his main goal was to make EVs popular and desirable. And, to have other automakers following Tesla's steps. Mission accomplished, Mr. Musk. If that is not a birthday gift, we may not have a proper definition for it.
Gallery: Porsche Taycan shows up in Shanghai at the Triple Demo Run
Kicking off in China: the Porsche Taycan visits Shanghai
Public premiere for Porsche Taycan prototype: the Porsche Triple Demo Run kicks off with the first official demo laps on the handling track at the Porsche Experience Centre (PEC) in Shanghai.
A still camouflaged Taycan prototype is making three appearances on three continents in the period of three weeks, visiting China, the UK and the US – each important sales markets for the first all-electric sports car from Porsche. The livery on the roof is a tribute to each of the guest countries: in Shanghai the prototype featured a dragon graphic. Behind the wheel: Li Chao, a driver from the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia.
“The exceptional performance typical for Porsche was a clear development objective for the Taycan. You can sense that right from the start,” says Li Chao. He is particularly impressed with the handling: “From uncompromisingly sporty to surprisingly comfortable, the chassis of the new Taycan covers a wide range and successfully combines the precise handling of a sports car and the long-distance comfort of a saloon. In addition to its low centre of gravity, the rear-axle steering also plays a crucial role,” explains Li Chao. “The Taycan steers into corners very directly and has plenty of grip.”
The Taycan has a top speed of over 250 km/h. It can accelerate from 0-100 km/h in less than 3.5 seconds, and it reaches 200 km/h in less than 12 seconds. The Taycan will also demonstrate its potential at the other stops on the Porsche Triple Demo Run: in the Hill Run as part of the Festival of Speed at Goodwood (4 to 7 July 2019) and at the season finale of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship in New York from 13 to 14 July 2019. Again, there will be famous drivers behind the wheel – this time Mark Webber and Neel Jani.
Before the Taycan celebrates its world premiere in September, it will have covered around six million test kilometres. At Porsche, electric cars have to undergo the same rigorous testing programme as combustion-engined sports cars. In addition to displaying superior performance, this always includes proving unrestricted everyday usability in all climatic conditions. Particularly demanding tasks such as charging the battery, or controlling the temperatures for the drivetrain and interior under extreme conditions, are additional aspects that are tested for the battery electric models.
The driver: Li Chao
Li Chao (38) is a Chinese businessman and racing driver. Since 2012 he has been racing in the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia. In 2018, he finished third in the Pro-Am standings and was ranked 12th overall. In the same year, he finished fifth in the FIA GT Nations Cup alongside Ye Hongli. In March 2019, Chao was second along with Chris van der Drift in a Porsche 911 GT3 R at its China GT debut in Sepang.
The location: Porsche Experience Centre (PEC) Shanghai
Opened on 26 April 2018, this PEC is the first in Asia and the sixth Porsche Experience Centre globally. The Experience Centre also has direct access to the 5.5-kilometre Shanghai International Circuit. A 1.4-kilometre handling track with skid pan, hydraulic kick plate and dynamic area gives drivers the chance to get to grips with vehicle dynamics. There is also an off-road track. The convenient location of the PEC Shanghai is another bonus as approximately 300 million people live within a three-hour drive.
The Porsche Triple Demo Run kicks off with the first official demo laps on the handling track at the Porsche Experience Centre in Shanghai