The first trick is to convince you that it’s more powerful than it is. The headline says 563bhp, but in fact that’s only briefly available during a launch control start and then only if you’ve spent the extra on the big battery. In normal use, a standard Taycan 4S has 429bhp, less even than the 911. The second trick is it still doesn’t feel that way. Naturally, all performance figures are recorded using launch control – so with 88bhp more than is usually available even with the big battery – yet that 4.0sec 0-62mph dash feels entirely plausible. And remember this is the slowest of the three Taycans on sale.
The reason why actually has less to do with power and more to do with torque or, more specifically, torque delivery, which is instantaneous. So while its real-world power-to-weight ratio isn’t in the same street as that of the 911 (218bhp per tonne versus fully 300bhp per tonne), up to speeds that don’t directly threaten your licence or liberty, you would swear the Taycan were as fast.
But it’s cleverer than that. Way more clever, in fact. It doesn’t just seem faster than it is but smaller and lighter, too, and that’s a far harder trick to pull off. Now, this Taycan did have £1650 worth of rear-wheel steering to ameliorate the worst aspects of its vast, near-three-metre wheelbase, but that alone can’t explain how it feels so agile and accurate, so keen to change direction, so responsive in your hands. At times, it doesn’t even feel like magic but something closer to witchcraft. It will sit on the 911’s tail quietly and happily and require a fraction of the effort from the driver to do it. You imagine the 911 driver managing the revs, endlessly stirring that stick, toiling away while you sit there relaxing in the silence, allowing a thin smile to spread across your face at the thought.
And the only problem with that is the ear-to-ear grin on the face of the person driving the 911. The Taycan may be as quick, it may be able to pull the same amount of g-force in a corner while, remember, accommodating four average-sized adults in adequate comfort, even if the boot is too small for their luggage. What it can’t do to remotely the same extent is that small but crucial thing we talked about earlier: involve the driver. And the magic works only up to a point. I’ve noted that the 992’s singular skill is to involve from the outset, but it just keeps on getting better all the way to the limit. By contrast, the Taycan is never as involving as the 911 at any stage, and once you really start to boss it along, it starts to show its size and weight just a bit.