Not everybody who wants a Porsche Taycan—the company's first mass-produced electric model—can afford the $185,000 Turbo S, or even the $150,900 Turbo. Most of us mere mortals need the price to come way down before we can cross-shop Taycans with the rest of the electric vehicle (EV) market, and Porsche has taken a step in that direction with the introduction of a new entry-level model, the 2020 Taycan 4S, which starts at $103,800.
Buying base doesn't have to shortchange customers of style or performance, and the Taycan 4S doesn't. Its altered front end, side sills, and black rear diffuser differentiate the 4S from greater Taycans, but maintain a similarly low drag coefficient of 0.22, maximizing efficiency. Inside is the same lush, partially leather interior, though vegan drivers among us can spec up to a leather-free interior, a first for Porsche.
Of course, the Taycan's primary allure isn't its interior, but its electric Porsche driving experience, which goes undiluted in the 4S. As its name implies, it retains all-wheel drive despite its reduced price point, with a fixed-ratio motor on the front axle and a two-speed unit on the rear. Normal output totals 429 horsepower and 477 pound-feet of torque, but launch overboost reaches 523 horsepower, which can catapult the Taycan 4S from zip to 60 in as little as 3.8 seconds, and do so repeatedly.
That's all on the 4S's starting battery, a 79.2-kilowatt-hour pack mounted in the floor to optimize handling. It can accept a 225-kilowatt DC charge feed and offer up to 253 miles range, but that's on Euro-spec WLTP testing, so expect a lesser range estimate when the Taycan 4S makes it stateside.
Taycanists can get longer legs in the form of a 93.4-kWh Performance Plus battery yanked from the Taycan Turbo, which drags the price up to $110,380, and estimated WLTP range to 288 miles. It also brings peak power input up to 270 kW, and output to 563 horse, though this extra grunt neither reduces the 4S's zero-to-60 time nor increases its top speed, which is limited to 155 miles per hour. Likewise, having the Turbo's battery doesn't mean some wizard can turn your big-battery 4S Performance Plus into a Turbo S with a laptop, as the 4S has a lighter, less-potent electric motor on its rear axle.
Porsche says the Taycan 4S will reach U.S. dealers in the spring of 2020. Listed prices do not include $1,350 destination charges, but they do include three years of free charges at the ever-expanding Electrify America charging network, at which Taycans will be able to recharge 75 percent of their battery capacities in as little as 22.5 minutes.