Porsche’s iconic 911 sports car, which shaped the German brand’s luxurious appeal for decades, may soon be eclipsed by the battery-powered Taycan in terms of deliveries.
Just over a month before its official unveiling in September, Porsche has already amassed deposits for nearly 30,000 Taycans, and the early haul supports plans to lift annual production of the brand’s first all-electric model to 40,000 vehicles, Evercore ISI analyst Arndt Ellinghorst said.
With Porsche delivering 35,600 911s last year, the Taycan could zoom past the combustion-era hero to define the brand for the next generation.
Success of the Taycan is critical for parent company Volkswagen to boost the appeal of electric cars as it prepares for a rollout of battery-powered vehicles across all price ranges.
The Taycan’s arrival could also pose a fresh challenge to Tesla’s Model S, a key vehicle for Elon Musk’s effort to make the electric-car leader profitable.
Taycan vs Tesla
Porsche has already taken a page from Tesla’s playbook. Customers can register as a prospective Taycan buyer by placing a €2500 (A$4040) deposit, which gets deducted from the final purchase price.
To help drive uptake, Porsche is installing fast chargers at dealerships in the US and Europe that will load the Taycan’s battery with enough power to drive as far as 100 kilometres, in four minutes. The car’s total range on a single charge stands at 500 kilometres.
Tesla hasn’t detailed plans to overhaul its successful Model S luxury sedan that’s been on sale since 2012, betting on the Model 3 to target mass-market buyers instead.
While sales have risen, the car’s lower returns have seen Tesla’s losses accelerate to cast fresh doubt on whether building and selling electric cars can be a sustainably profitable business.