Porsche Taycan Turbo GT first drive review: Ludicrously potent - and not just power-wise

Porsche Taycan Turbo GT first drive review: Ludicrously potent - and not just power-wise
PHOTO: sgCarMart

Heart pounding, and veins coursing with an equal mix of nervousness and excitement, I've made my first rookie mistake before even setting off - by reaching out to the left base of my seat to adjust its position. 

No electronic adjustment; the lever is up front and beneath, I am gently reminded by my instructor, as I sheepishly nod my head and slide myself forwards. Right — these are weight-saving carbon-fibre bucket seats.

New performance flagship

Power ceilings for the brand have been broken, and records have fallen in the wake of what is possibly Porsche's most lethal road-legal car in recent memory.

Named the Taycan Turbo GT, the new performance flagship of the Taycan lineup — far eclipsing the already-bonkers Turbo S — is the answer to the growing crew of four-figure horsepower electric cars out in the world.

On first glance, this is already no sleeper-flagship — low-slung in a supercar-like manner, while wearing an evil grin only a double record-holder would. In Purple Sky Metallic, the car is an absolute stunner, too — whether it's a flurry of colour suddenly disappearing and then re-emerging around the track, or parked obediently off to the side after a few runs. 

The standard Turbo GT already rides on massive 21-inchers in staggered profiles, and gets a tasty dollop of aero-work — most significantly, a new front spoiler with aeroblades — but you'll notice that this particular car in the photos looks more frenzied still. 

Fitted with the Weissach package, the car trades out the standard Gurney flap adaptive spoiler, and gets a permanently affixed rear wing (as mentioned above) onto its rear. Package specific elements also include a new front diffuser — although you won't see the air deflector elements on the underbody.

The TL;DR formula, of course, isn't entirely revolutionary: Add power, reduce weight (we'll come to the first portion in a bit). Still, it's hard not to marvel at the meticulousness with which everything is executed. 

As with its styling, the interior of the Turbo GT with the Weissach Package remains fascinatingly faithful to its track-oriented remit too.

The standard Turbo GT already weighs up to 75 kilos less than the Turbo S, but the Weissach package puts the car on an additional 70kg diet still. Among the cuts made, less insulation material, and a special type of glass for the windows are used.

The Sport Chrono package's analogue clock, sadly, is given the chop too, but the most glaring difference arrives in sight as you swing the rear doors open to find a lightweight storage compartment.

One additional rear passenger is one too many for track day, after all, and the omission of a rear bench should come as no surprise in Porsche's ruthless pursuit of the car's weight loss regime.

There is a weird, inexplicable allure to a four-door car that can only seat two — but then again, if you desire a 1,000bhp super-sedan while still valuing practicality, there's always the standard Turbo GT to defer to, already a looker in its own right. 

Ludicrously potent 

1,000bhp isn't the exact figure, by the way.

Rather, the Turbo GT can muster a total of 1,093bhp (for the full entirety of a two-second burst, when using Launch Control) — numbers that are sufficient enough to send the sedan from zero to 100km/h in just 2.3s.

Again, the Weissach package cuts things down further to a mere 2.2s, thanks to the reduced weight and extra aerowork. (That also makes it the fastest accelerating series production Porsche to date.)

On the latter, 0 to 200km/h is also dispensed in 6.4s (a full 1.3s quicker than the Turbo S) before the car hits a top speed of 305km/h — but if we're being very frank, these are all hard-to-tangibly-digest digits, in an already-rarefied realm of performance. 

What might be the big kicker here, however, is that the Turbo GT hasn't gotten a third motor to help it achieve these numbers.

Instead, Porsche has tasked the rear motor with the heavy-lifting, fitting a more powerful pulse inverter — compared to the one on the Turbo S — for that large leap in power. To handle the wall of extra torque, the car's two-speed gearbox has been modified as well.

Nothing can quite prepare you for the moment when the floodgates open, and you are pounded by the full 1,240Nm blast of instant torque.

Body pressed into the seat, and mind barely comprehending the reality of what has happened, the lightning-quick slice through the air as your left foot leaps off the brake pedal is perhaps best described as the closest tangible parallel to a Hyperspace-jump.

Everything in your peripheral vision blurs as the numbers on the digital speedo dance upward, the circular display around glowing hot in blue. Concurrently, the Turbo GT's electric whir — tantamount to a digital growl — is hilarious in its own right too: Angry, aggressive, and otherworldly as it raises its pitch and volume.

Then, all of a sudden, the image of Turn One is growing larger with alarmingly pace, and as your right foot this time instinctively stomps down on the pedal, the car's carbon ceramic brakes are clearly doing their work perfectly — powerful, yet linear in their feel.

The car also gets a specific Attack Mode — effectively the Push-to-Pass (introduced on the new Taycan) on steroids — that unlocks up to 120kW. You get a sense of how all-out Porsche's engineers wanted to go, considering that without it activated, the car will easily hit speeds in the mid-200s (km/h, to be clear) already given a sufficiently long stretch.

As per what's been widely publicised with its twin records, however, the magic is far from confined to straight-line performance.

Unsurprisingly, the car has great balance, with its specially-tuned active chassis fighting excellently to keep it flat through corners. It's unlikely we were driving anywhere near its limit that day, but with the Weissach Package, the Turbo GT also gets a maximum, incredible total of 220kg at full tilt. Midway to that boiling point, there are already flashes of this sticky brilliance in the way it urgently weaves its way around the circuit.

Ostensibly disinterested in confusing the driver, the car is also predictable and fluid in a way that makes you forget its actual four-door sedan identity: Eager to snap obediently back into line, after — on a very damp track that day — dancing slightly off the limits of grip; and then up to blistering pace again in a finger's snap, as it ravenously hunts down the next bend to swing itself around.

Although synthetic, the electronically concocted aural experience adds a surprising element of drama too. Any sensation of speed, after all, requires its own soundtrack, and while the Turbo GT may not be an ICE supercar, what Porsche has done still feels tastefully thrilling, if not superlatively visceral. 

Different stratosphere 

Even in my amateurish hands, a few laps in a 1,093bhp car conclude quicker than the mind can muster to register.

The involuntary instinct, however, is not to return to the lounge — but to request for a taxi ride with one of the instructors, just to have another go, now with someone far more familiar with the machine at the helm.

It doesn't take a full lap for the initial conjecture to be made concrete: This is a car that can willingly deign to lesser drivers (such as yours truly)  yet remains committed to keeping a smile plastered across the faces of those capable of (and bent on) pushing its limits. 

The Taycan Turbo GT is not an exercise of mere, record-shattering vanity. Every extra insight gleaned into its engineering and setup makes it clearer that no stone was left unturned in examining what can be done to take performance a notch higher in the realm of electrification — and again, by the brand's own highly distinguishable and calculated terms. While certainly unlike any Porsche before it, it also retains — in many ways — the unmistakable hallmarks of one.

But then again, isn't this what we expected from Porsche? After all, the Taycan has brought the company into the electric age by forging a path that feels singular to the firm. Even as it has made its intent with the Turbo GT clear — of reminding everyone else that it has its eyes on the top of the performance game — that same focus hasn't changed. 

What we like

  • Mind-boggling performance — both in a straight line and around bends
  • Aero bits add tasty visual aggression to the car
  • Driver-focused cabin
  • Weissach package on a four-door Porsche!
  • Tastefully executed electric driving experience

What We Dislike

  • Full potential will rarely be tapped in day-to-day scenarios — especially in Singapore

ALSO READ: BMW 520i Launch Edition review: Is new always better?

This article was first published in sgCarMart.

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