Steffen Christian seemed rather unhappy. Not with the car whose development he directed; no, he was extremely proud of the heavily updated 2025 Porshe Taycan. Instead, the source of Christian’s irritation that day was the Southern California weather, which was decidedly un-Southern California-like.
Last week, Porsche invited a small group of international journalists to test the range and charging speeds of some Taycan prototypes. A loop between Los Angeles and San Diego, with their open highways, warm weather and ample fast charging would normally mean a slam-dunk for any automaker looking to prove a point about range, provided the car is up to the task. Instead, by the day of my turn behind the wheel, the area was facing the prelude to an almost unprecedented rainstorm.
Get Fully Charged
Range and charging are top barriers to EV adoption
Automakers like Porsche are continually working to boost EV range and charging speeds, even on high-performance models. While "official" data isn't out yet, the updated Taycan shows massive improvements over the original car.
Everyone knows that winter and extreme heat aren’t great for EVs, but thunderstorms are no picnic either. The water rushing against the tires means more resistance, not to mention uncertain traction. Cooler temperatures—in the 50s and 60s that day—still aren’t optimal for battery performance. Even the small amount of energy consumed by windshield wipers can keep you from a range record. And the highways between the two cities were so full of crashes that first responders could barely keep up.
Not great conditions for maximizing driving range—or safety. Nonetheless, the updated Taycan 4S I tested still proved to be a range king, easily surpassing the old car with about 300 miles traveled on one charge. And a day earlier in far more optimal conditions, Christian said, a driver achieved a stunning 343 miles in the same car. (Porsche later claimed 365 miles too, presumably done with a standard RWD sedan.)
That’s all before we get to charging, too, where we confirmed the Taycan is about to be one of the fastest-charging EVs for sale in America.
Even when it’s up against a huge storm, Porsche’s OG electric car is now better than ever—and not just with quick zero to 60 mph times.
(Full Disclosure: Porsche paid for my flight to Los Angeles, hotel and food for this two-day EV test.)
Why a range test for the updated Taycan, and not a track test or something? Don’t worry; one of those is coming soon too. However, “the most important thing for us today is efficiency, range, and at the end, our charging experience,” Christian told me. Existing Taycan customers told Porsche they wanted more of those things for the next go-around, he said, and engineers worked hard to deliver.
After all, as quick (and attractive) as the Taycan was, it never really wowed anyone with its range. Though it often outperformed EPA estimates, it was still rated between 200 and 242 miles, depending on the trim level.
For comparison's sake, this chart shows the prices and range of the outgoing 2023 Porsche Taycan.
Granted, many performance-focused EVs aren’t long-distance runners. But Porsche wanted to expand its definition of “performance” beyond just speed.
But I need to lay down some ground rules before we begin.
First and foremost, this was only a test of those three things: range, efficiency and charging. I can confirm the Taycan has a number of updated specs for 2025, but Porsche isn’t releasing what they are yet; that will come later. Under the terms of the agreement, I also have to hold off on giving you my impressions of how it looks and drives. (I don’t think you’ll be disappointed if you buy one, let’s just say that.)
The updated Porsche's Taycan program director, Steffen Christian.
Porsche offered us a chance to drive a standard RWD sedan, a Taycan 4 Cross Turismo, the mighty Taycan Turbo and a Taycan 4S sedan. I opted for the latter, as it seemed the most balanced choice and fairly representative of the lineup as a whole, spec-wise.
And when it comes to range, I can confirm the new Taycan 4S handily beats the old one, but I don’t know how it stacks up against official EPA estimates since those aren’t out yet.
Also, it’s key to note that this was not some controlled test where conditions were equal for every driver; it was a real-world test. My results here may be different from those of other reviews you read and videos you watch.
Finally, my goal when I set out for San Diego with Christian riding shotgun was to emulate how a real driver might approach this in the real world. I didn’t go out of my way to try and hypermile the Taycan, at least, not at first. If anything, I was aggressively focused on driving safely in a nasty, protracted downpour. Still, I learned a lot here about what Taycan buyers can expect next.
LA To San Diego
The last Taycan 4S was EPA-rated at 235 miles; my tester came with a full tank of electrons and 327 miles of estimated range on a 100% full battery. Right off the bat, I was looking at a serious improvement over the outgoing car.
Our test would take us from the Marina Del Rey Ritz Carlton hotel down to the Casa Machado Mexican Restaurant near San Diego’s airport, followed by a break for lunch (with no charging, it should be noted) and then the final destination: the Del Amo Fashion Center, a shopping mall in Torrance with some 350 kW Electrify America fast charger stations nearby. We left at 8:44 a.m. that day and headed south.
Temperatures outside averaged around 55 degrees Fahrenheit, and the cabin was set to 72 degrees on automatic climate control with no heated seats, no stereo use and no smartphone charging, wireless or otherwise. The car was also set to Range Mode, which has been revised for the 2025 model year; it cuts a bit of power, lowers the ride height and dials up efficiency significantly. “But today, the weather conditions will hurt us,” Christian warned as we set off.
As I mentioned, my goal—at first—wasn’t to eke out as much range as I could from the Taycan. I wanted to drive it like a normal person might, and that meant trying to have a little fun behind the wheel on occasion; “basically, what kind of range the average Taycan owner should expect to get on a long trip if they behaved,” as InsideEVs contributor and range test expert Tom Moloughney once put it on a test of the last car.
(By the way, trying to hypermile a car that powerful and quick is an excruciating exercise, it must be said. I had to stop myself a few times from just tearing ass and driving as fast as my budget for a good traffic court lawyer would allow.)
By 9:48 a.m., cruising generally between 60 mph and 70 mph as conditions would allow, we were still at 80% battery and 2.35 miles per kilowatt-hour in efficiency. Christian groaned when he read this; he knew the car could do better.
Still, by the time we arrived at the restaurant at 11:15 a.m., we had traveled 130.5 miles, but the Taycan was still at a 52% state of charge—the car read 145 miles to go. Not bad, but clearly, my driving style and the bad weather cut into what we could’ve done.
When we set out for LA again at 1:01 p.m., we had a bigger problem: the estimated range at our Electrify America station destination was just 5%. In other words, we could make it, but with little room for error, and the car had better hold up its end of the bargain.
It was time to get serious.
San Diego to LA
Remember, my goal was to drive the Taycan as a “normal” person would. In that situation, if their goal was to make it to their destination on one charge, a normal person would probably deploy some countermeasures to maximize range and efficiency as much as possible.
Christian didn’t suggest it, but I took the initiative and put on the automatic cruise control. By then it was still rainy out, but conditions improved enough that I felt comfortable using it on the highway. (No fancy automated driving assistance systems here, folks; a Porsche is a driver’s car.)
Smooth driving is absolutely key to efficiency. The same is true in a gas-powered car. By dropping my average speed to no more than 65 mph (unless I was really holding up traffic, which happened a few times) I was able to get my efficiency rating up to 2.8 miles per kWh in Encinitas—a figure that, much to Christian’s delight, climbed from there.
Furthermore, my estimated range at my destination kept climbing as well. First, it was 6%, then 8%, and then 11%—a number I felt extremely confident about. So much so that when we got near Torrance, at Christian’s behest, we made several loops around the area to burn more range and try to get the efficiency rating up even higher. (At one point, we did start following what appeared to be a police chase, which no trip to LA is complete without.)
Eventually, Christian had to get to that EA station to catch a flight back to Germany, and honestly, I was rather tired of driving. We ended our drive having covered 274.2 miles in five hours and 27 minutes, with 22 miles of estimated range left to go and an efficiency rating of 2.9 miles per kWh.
If you do the math, it’s why I feel very confident saying the 2025 Porsche Taycan 4S is now a 300-mile car; I’m especially sure of that considering the staggering 343-mile result another driver got in far better weather a day earlier, or how yet another driver did it in 332 miles.
|Taycan 4 Cross Turismo
|Internal test I
|Internal test II
|Taycan Range Media Drive
Chart: Range data provided by Porsche. The * represents InsideEVs' estimated range testing the Taycan 4S in much poorer weather than previous days, and an estimate upon stopping with 9% SOC remaining.
But the party wasn’t over. We still had to charge the Taycan at the 350 kW EA station, and that’s where the fun really began.
The Charging Test
Here’s where I should note the Taycan’s real secret sauce: the route-planning feature that also preconditions the battery along the way. As we saw with this year’s weather-related disaster in Chicago, battery preconditioning—the process where a battery is warmed up to optimal temperatures to endure fast charging most efficiently—is key to EV ownership. But many owners still don’t know why this is important, or even how to use it.
The Porsche Taycan takes matters into its own hands. It preconditions the battery whenever the navigation destination is set to a fast-charging station, so Christian recommends drivers use it as much as possible.
“The most important thing is to use the charging planner,” he said. “It will give you automatically the best situation, the best charging station. If it's necessary, the battery will be heated up or cooled down and you will reach the best result for high-power charging.”
As I drove along, a little temperature icon inside the battery kept rising, as did a gauge showing how many kilowatts of charging the battery could handle. We started the day at 0 kW, had it at 120 kW when we went to lunch and were at 270 kW when we arrived at the EA station.
But the Taycan is capable of even more than that; Porsche now says it’s rated at up to 320 kW for charging. That makes it among the fastest-charging EVs available on the market right now, up there with the Lucid Air and Hyundai and Kia’s electric cars. That, of course, is provided you can find a fast-charging station capable of delivering such power; also, other Porsches blocked stalls at the EA station so the entire electricity load could go to one car at a time. (This did not make us popular with the other EV drivers there, but c’est la cars, I guess.)
Upon plugging in the Taycan 4S, the EA station delivered 295 kW right out of the gate, going from 8% to 30% in just four minutes. By 40% the car was steadily charging at 320 kW, dropping off to 250 kW after reaching about 65%. In the end, we went from 8% to 80% in a mere 16 minutes.
Though the cars look similar on the surface, that’s a serious upgrade from the last Taycan. That car was rated at a maximum of 270 kW for fast charging, and one InsideEVs test in 2021 yielded about 250 kW at most. At the time, we said that the Taycan charges like a champ; it looks like the old one just lost its title belt. Christian said that was exactly the goal at Porsche this time. “Many customers told us 270 kilowatts is a great amount. But for us, it was important to improve it,” he said.
It sure looks like they pulled it off.
What We Learned
In the end, it’s now safe to say that the 2025 Porsche Taycan—in any configuration—should be at least a 300-mile EV, and most results will probably be better than that. For the level of performance these cars offer, that’s truly remarkable; it’s considerably quicker than many of the sedans in that realm, like the Tesla Model 3 Long Range and the Hyundai Ioniq 6. Not to mention, more high-tech and better handling, too. (By the way, friend of the site Kyle Conner managed 450 miles the following day, in much better weather and with aggressive hypermiling.)
But the real story may be its charging speed. Consider the Taycan to be among the quickest-charging cars you can buy, provided you find a working 350 kW station (and there aren’t many of those around) and you have a stall with as much of that juice to yourself as you can muster.
By the end of the day, Christian had a bigger smile on his face than when we set off. And while the updated Taycan is likely to make waves for its improved efficiency, charging and range, he said Porsche is far from done yet. “The revolution was the first generation, and we made huge steps [with] the second generation,” he said. I can’t wait to see what’s next.
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