NEUHARDENBERG, Germany -- Porsche hopes the vanguard of its new electrification strategy, the battery-powered Taycan sedan, will help the storied automaker supplant Tesla at the top of the luxury EV market.
The Taycan is the first in a product offensive fueled with over 6 billion euros of investment in electric mobility through 2022 that should result in every second Porsche delivered to customers sold with an electrified drivetrain by the middle of the next decade.
Porsche CEO Oliver Blume did not mention Tesla by name during a Taycan media presentation outside of Berlin, but emphasized he wants Porsche to always offer the sportiest, most innovative and desirable car in each segment.
"The time is right for the first fully electric Porsche," he told reporters. "The Taycan permanently repositions Porsche anew."
At the top of its development catalog was the goal of achieving a lap time of less than 8 minutes on the Nuerburgring Nordschleife, considered the world's most grueling race track. Chassis development boss Manfred Harrer said his team succeeded with a new record for four-door electric cars with 7:42 minutes.
Harrer said the Taycan can accelerate from 0 to 100 kph (62 mph) in just 2.8 seconds and reach 200 kph (124 mph) in 9.8 seconds. Drivers can also reach a top speed of 260 kph (162 mph) consistently without the battery cutting power to prevent overheating.
Thanks to its 800-volt system borrowed from the Le Mans-winning 919 Hybrid, the car can also recharge as fast as it drives. Recharging at a power output of up to 270 kilowatts, it can drive another 100 kilometers after just five minutes hooked up to the grid.
Combined with a WLTP test cycle range of up to 450 km (280 miles), Harrer said his team was able to drive 3,425 km on Porsche's Nardo test track over a period of 24 hours including recharge times.
Porsche has given the Taycan a minimalist modern interior, which includes the brand's fully digital cockpit.
Attracted by its performance, about 30,000 customers have voiced a strong interest in purchasing the Taycan -- a challenge with an installed two-shift capacity of 20,000 a year.
The Taycan Turbo S and Taycan Turbo are now available to order and cost 185,456 euros and 152,136 euros respectively in Germany, including country-specific equipment and VAT. In the U.S, the Turbo will start at $152,250 and the Turbo S will start at $186,350. Prices include shipping.
Previously called the Mission E, the concept version was first shown four years ago at the Frankfurt auto just show days before the U.S. government revealed parent Volkswagen Group's diesel-emissions fraud.
Since then, pushed in part by Tesla's success, Porsche has charted a new course with a focus on sustainability.
Executives have already decided that the next Macan midsize SUV would be fully electric and have indicated that the bulk of the model portfolio could make a similar switch over the next decade. This could potentially leave the 911 as the only Porsche left still powered by a gasoline engine.