Porsche Taycan Performance Kit unleashes EV’s track potential

1 year, 6 months ago - 15 November 2022, autocar
Porsche Taycan Performance Kit unleashes EV’s track potential
Chassis package used by car that broke the Nürburgring lap record could eventually be offered outside Germany

The Porsche Taycan Performance Kit, as fitted to the car that recently broke the production EV record at the Nürburgring, could evenutally be offered in markets outside Germany.

A company spokesperson responsible for the Taycan line told Autocar that it is an issue of attaining type approval for each market – implying that there would have to be enough customer demand for the €13,377 (£11,684) option to justify the cost of the approval process in the UK and elsewhere.

But there are currently no plans to offer this in the UK – and it is instead intended to demonstrate the potential of the Taycan platform.

The package, offered through the brand’s German Tequipment store, brings two handling upgrades focused on track use.

The first is a set of 21in RS Spyder-design alloy wheels – the lightest set offered on the model, according to a spokesperson – wrapped in sticky Pirelli P Zero Corsa tyres. These measure 275mm wide at the front and 325mm wide at the rear so are wider than those typically offered on even the range-topping Porsche Taycan Turbo S, which gets 265mm-wide rubber up front and 305mm at the rear. 

Meanwhile, the suspension receives bespoke software tuned around the grippier tyres.

Autocar sampled the upgrades from the passenger seat with accomplished sports car driver Marc Lieb – whose CV includes four wins at the Nürburgring 24 Hours and overall victory at the 2016 Le Mans 24 Hours – behind the wheel.

Launching out of the pits of Porsche's circuit in Franciacorta, Italy, served as a reminder of the brutal acceleration on offer in the Porsche Taycan Turbo S, but it was not until we approached a fast right-left chicane that the changes became apparent.

The upgraded Taycan exhibited little body lean at corner entry and just a hint of understeer. As Lieb poured the car into the left-hander, it remained composed, cornering flatly, yet maintaining a compliant ride over the rumble strips.

What followed was a long straight and a deep braking zone, into a rapid-fire left-right-left chicane and sweeping turn. Braking – something many EVs struggle with due to their regen set-ups – was surprisingly consistent through this zone, although this is no doubt in part credit to Lieb’s immense talent.

He reported that the car felt more agile through these transitional zones, mirroring what test driver Lars Kern said of the Taycan’s record-setting performance around the Nürburgring Nordschleife.

A cambered, downhill left-hander before the main straight did induce a slight squeal from the front tyres, yet Lieb did not back off the throttle, instead trusting the car to track itself to his line.

The lasting impression from the passenger seat is that the Performance Kit makes the Taycan a thoroughly consistent, undramatic car around a short circuit such as Franciacorta.

Whether that would be the most enjoyable experience from behind the wheel, and what impact the changes have on the Taycan’s character on public roads, has yet to be seen.

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