2022 Porsche Taycan GTS Sport Turismo Review: The Best Electric Porsche

Haters who snub EVs for not having any soul need to get behind the wheel of a Taycan GTS.

byJan 18, 2022 1:06 PM
2022 Porsche Taycan GTS Sport Turismo Review: The Best Electric Porsche
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In the world of Porsche, Gran Turismo Sport isn't a mediocre PS4 racing title but a potent label that's been slapped on some of Stuttgart's most enjoyable cars over the decades and, more recently, its best all-rounders. I promise not to use the phrase "sweet spot" more than once in this review, because frankly it's kind of gross, but still, it's an accurate placement for the GTS in any Porsche model's lineup: the Goldilocks car with just the right amount of performance and daily driver practicality. But what does that mean when you're talking about something like the 2022 Porsche Taycan GTS Sport Turismo?

On one hand, an electric uberwagon is both a fitting expansion of the Porsche form and definitionally a useful vehicle, so great, that's two for two. On the other, are we at a point with electric vehicle development where you can split a single high-end model into fine performance categories like this? Software changes can enforce tiered acceleration, of course. Suspensions can be tweaked, steering systems can be recalibrated. Never mind that EVs have their own usability challenges—if the basic Taycan 4S is a comfortable daily driver that can clip 60 mph in 3.8 seconds and hold fast through a curve, whither the GTS?

Well, it can hit 60 in 3.5 seconds for starters, but that's not the point. The Porsche Taycan GTS lives up to its name in two big ways—by nailing the balance between daily driving usefulness and savage mountain road performance, and by opening the door to a new wave of potential Porschephiles with its middle-ground approach. Go for the GTS and you get a car with satisfyingly straightforward performance upgrades (in this case, the rear motor out of the Taycan Turbo) that make a substantial difference, a subdued blackout trim look, all the comfort of the base model, and a usable amount of range.

And if you're wise enough to pick the Sport Turismo body style—only available as a GTS—you also get the best-looking electric vehicle on sale today.

2022 Porsche Taycan GTS Sport Turismo Specs

  • Base price (as tested): $134,650 ($161,800)
  • Powertrain: Two permanent-magnet AC motors | 93.4 kWh lithium-ion battery | single-speed front-axle transmission, two-speed rear | all-wheel drive 
  • Horsepower: 590 
  • Torque: 626 lb-ft
  • 0-60 mph: 3.5 seconds
  • Top speed: 155 mph
  • Curb weight: 5,152 pounds
  • Range: Not released, ballpark 210 to 230 miles based on my experience
  • Seating capacity: 5
  • Cargo volume: 15.7 cubic feet | 42.8 cubic feet with seats folded
  • Quick take: Porsche nails the GTS formula.
  • Score: 9/10

Before we get into it, I want to be clear that I'm not just saying it's the best-looking because it's a wagon. Honestly, I hate the slobbering wagon shit from people, and I own one myself. I get it, they're different and that's fun. But some of them are very ugly. The Taycan GTS Sport Turismo is not. It's phenomenally good, this low, elegant beauty that's almost like a vision from the near future. Recognizable enough to be compelling, but playing with norms in a way that stops you in your tracks. We've seen the design before obviously, on the Taycan Cross Turismo. But take off the plastic body cladding, black out some trim, bring the body over an inch closer to the ground, and the vision of a Porsche elekto-wagon is complete.

And really, the thing it has going for it is that it's not a traditional wagon shape; the steeply raked rear is flanked by enormous D-pillars, and the length of the rear passenger windows calls to mind a shooting brake more than a capital W Wagon. The "sedan" Taycan is already has a Kammback, so kudos to Porsche for figuring out how to make more space inside without it looking doofy. Another benefit to the low roofline is the mere 75-pound weight difference between the sedan and wagon GTS models. That is not normally the case. There's really no handling penalty at all as a result, thanks also to the work done on the chassis to justify the Gran Turismo Sport label.

The Porsche Taycan has been around long enough at this point that the basics are well-established: the J1 platform shared with the Audi E-Tron GT, the 93.4 kWh battery pack with its little "foot garages," the 800-volt architecture, the two (or one) synchronous motors, the two-speed transmission. While every Taycan uses the same 190mm front-axle drive unit, the GTS play is to borrow the upgraded 240mm rear-axle motor from the top-of-the-line Turbo and Turbo S models, resulting in 590 hp and 626 lb-ft of torque (also the same as the Turbo). Bespoke tunes on the steering (front and rear), adaptive air suspension and active anti-roll bars, along with slightly larger front brakes, comprise the GTS-specific tweaks to the standard formula.

There may be no better gauntlet through which to shove a self-proclaimed do-it-all performance EV than the route I traced in a German-spec Carmine Red 2022 Taycan GTS Sport Turismo on a recent Friday in Los Angeles—rush hour freeways, soaring mountain passes, and everything in between. The Taycan and I gained nearly 8,000 feet of elevation in just a couple hours, and while the way I drove it did a number on its range, it's absolutely capable of making that 200+ mile trip on one charge. 

As you might expect for a car that needs to stand up on the Autobahn, the Sport Turismo is a stellar highway cruiser: calm, quiet, almost serene. I record voice notes when I'm reviewing a car, and playing them back, it's impossible to tell I'm doing 80 mph on a crowded LA freeway except when I'm swearing at other drivers. Even wind noise is absent thanks to the emphasis on aerodynamics (it has a 0.26 drag coefficient). Those concerns about an EV's quiet powertrain bringing other squeaks and rattles to the fore just aren't a thing in Porsche's world. And with 626 lb-ft on tap and Porsche's two-speed gearbox at play, passing power at higher speeds is immediate and plentiful. Put your foot down above 85 mph and you will still jet forward with no hesitation or drama. 

Porsche offers full-speed radar cruise control and a stronger lane-centering system as a combined $3,610 option under the InnoDrive moniker; it's not a hands-free system, but it did take an enormous amount of strain out of the 70-mile return leg of my trip that sent me straight through the middle of Los Angeles during Friday rush hour. The lane centering function did take to doing these long parabolic arcs within the lane—not quick enough to be considered pinballing, but definitely perceptible. Still, it was a smooth–and without the stress that driving a high-strung ICE car through heavy traffic can bring, dare I say enjoyable?—way to get through a typically hellish time. Though on the comfort side, the Sport seats felt a little too thin and lacked enough lumbar support for my screwed-up lower back. Of course, seat comfort is highly subjective. What's not subjective is that Porsche's options strategy is in full swing here, and my $161,000 test car didn't come with ventilated thrones. 

It's up on Angeles Crest Highway where the Sport Turismo's incredible breadth of performance comes into full view. Here is this 5,100-pound AWD wagon that can tuck into a high-speed turn and pivot just enough around the midpoint like a sports car weighing half as much, thanks to on-point rear-steer programming. Even when you feel like you're carrying too much inertia, like there's no way the car will be able to sort itself out and carry on without plowing wide, it just somehow holds the line, over smooth pavement and busted tarmac and pea gravel alike. And there was something slightly... beguiling about the way it rotated in a corner. The action itself is controllable and predictable, but you can't reliably reproduce that perfect sensation of getting yanked through the corner with the tail kicking out and everything coming together like that. It's a feeling worth chasing, and Porsche's overall excellent electronic power steering setup makes it well worth the effort.

Acceleration is unreal, a colossal wave washing over you and crashing onto the shores of 120+ mph. There's no stopping it. Well, there is, but not until a limited 155 mph. But every EV has that party trick down. What's important here, and where I think the Taycan stands alone in delivering a soulful driving experience, is the two-speed transmission. It's a revelation, plain and simple. It might sound like a silly differentiator, and obviously, multiple gears aren't necessary in a basic sense. It's a choice Porsche made in the name of acceleration. But as a result, the first time you throw it into a corner and accelerate out and feel it shift—and you do feel it, you feel and hear this small but distinct thump the same way you do in an ICE car—I dare you to tell me EVs don't have souls. There's a primal switch that the shift hits. Your ICE brain is expecting it, craving it. The uninterrupted acceleration of an electric car is a novel and enjoyable feeling. But it's not banging through the gears, or squeezing a pair of magnesium paddles, or hurtling along atop a dual-clutch rocket with a mind of its own. And when it comes through in this car, it's like my God, I see how electric cars can be as passion-inducing as a gas car. It's one to one. You're not exploding refined dino juice under the hood, but you are meshing with a machine and feeling the feedback in a way that matches the experience you're used to. My only complaint is that I want even more. More gears in my EVs! (Yes, I know it doesn't make sense.)

Back to the GTS: the handling is generally neutral with a rear bias thanks to that Turbo-sourced rear-motor. You do get some throttle steer as a result, but it's also a lot more forgiving towards mid-corner miscues than you might expect. You can lift like an idiot, or brake too hard, or saw at the wheel in a dynamic situation, and it won't punish you. The sheer balance in everything the Taycan Sport Turismo does cannot be overstated; it danced through corner after corner, devoured straight after straight, and even managed an impromptu trip up a snowy side road (again, on summer tires!) for a photo op. The brakes also deserve a call-out, since Porsche is going its own way here too. A common misconception (much to Porsche's chagrin) is that the Taycan doesn't have regen brakes. It does—they're just fully integrated with the friction brakes. What it doesn't have is a one-pedal driving mode where they kick in full force as soon as you let off the accelerator. That complex setup could spell disaster for pedal feel, and while they do feel a hair slow to let go when you take your foot off after stomping on it, a tiny bit longer than you would expect if it was just a physical caliper gripping and releasing a rotor, pedal feel overall is just fine, with nicely linear action. 

Really, what I like about this is what it represents: Porsche doing things its own way because it believes fully in what it's doing. In conversation, a spokesperson said that the reason Porsche doesn't have a one-pedal mode is because it believes in the sacrosanctity of inputs—steering wheel, accelerator, brake. That's Porsche's holy trinity, and one-pedal driving messes that up in a way that doesn't matches with its values. In some ways it's a self-imposed limitation, but even one-pedal driving fans have to appreciate that willfulness to say you know what, that's not who we are—and the smarts to then engineer a regen braking solution that merges with the friction brakes to still deliver a significant boost to the range. And it certainly helped during my test. I started at the base of Angeles Crest Highway with 70 percent charge and 151 miles of range indicated. After covering over 90 miles of extreme elevation changes, full-attack corners and more than one acceleration test, I rolled into the charger on the other side of the mountains with around 40 miles left on 18 percent charge. 

The one place where the Porsche Taycan GTS Sport Turismo doesn't blow you away is the interior, which is merely fine and leans heavily on the impression that faux suede is for fancy cars. Still, it's an attractive space, full of straight lines, screens, Wireless Apple CarPlay, and a few ergonomic oddities like rear-seat USB ports located underneath the middle passenger's knees. The GTS interior has some blacked-out trim bits to match the exterior and "GTS" woven into the headrests, but its real pièce de résistance is the panoramic electrochromic glass roof that's been sectioned off to dim individually, so you can roll back or slide forward the opaque sections like a physical sunshade, or set them to alternate. This kind of stuff always makes me wonder if it's going to work in 15 years, but it's an incredibly cool trick that feels worth the six-figure price.

When Porsche first launched the Taycan in 2019 with the top-shelf, $150,000+ Turbo and Turbo S models, those were mainly snapped up by longtime Porsche owners—you know, with a 911 GT2 RS and a daily 911 and a couple of classics in their garage. People who wanted to park it next to their 911 Turbo. People who knew the brand and knew the importance of the moment and wanted to be a part of it. People who were willing to spend $200K on a completely unproven car. Then Porsche put out the Taycan 4S and base models, and those have lured in a whole new group of buyers—so new, in fact, that Porsche claims Taycan base and Taycan 4S buyers alone have brought the entire brand's average buyer age down by three years. Younger people are buying the cheaper Taycans in a way they're not buying other Porsches, and many have never even considered a Porsche before. A lot of them may or may not be former Tesla owners. Who can say?

Regardless, you've got two different sets of buyers for two distinct products—the icon for the loyalists, and the conquest car for the converts. What the Taycan GTS promises is to draw in people who might actually want a 911, or a really crazy Cayenne, or a Mercedes E63 AMG wagon, or a BMW M8, or something else obscenely fast and luxurious, but—and this is key—they think they should really be going with an EV this time. Thing is, there are more people than ever looking for $150,000 all-rounders, electric or not. And there are even more reasons why the Taycan GTS Sport Turismo should be high on their lists.

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