Hagerty Video: The EV That Drives Like a Porsche 911? | Henry Catchpole Reviews the Porsche Taycan GTS

Reading Time: 8 minutes
Posted: 2023-02-15 16:00:03
Author: Hagerty
Can this EV’s driving dynamics match those of the revered Porsche 911? In this episode of The Driver’s Seat, Henry Catchpole drives not one but two Porsches with a GTS badge on the back… and one will surprise you. Everybody knows that Porsche’s GTS models are the sweet spots in their respective ranges. Short of full-blown GT cars, they are the most driver-focused versions. But one GTS model seems to be overlooked as a proper driver’s car. Yet the brilliant Taycan GTS should be celebrated.

Most performance EVs like those from Tesla and Lucid and even Porsche’s own Taycan Turbo S are generally only seen as really entertaining in straight line drag races. But while the Taycan GTS is still astonishingly rapid in a 0-60mph dash, that’s not why it’s fun to drive. This Taycan is fun because it has fabulous steering, a great chassis balance and a brilliantly calibrated throttle pedal. It is genuinely engaging.

But to test whether the Taycan GTS is just good ‘for an electric car’ or good period, we decided to pitch it against the quintessential Porsche – a 911. A current 911 in fact, a 992 GTS in matching Carmine Red. And, after investigating the various attributes already mentioned, we even indulged in a bit of an experiment. By the power of video editing (and thanks to Glenn Winhall’s skills) we gave the Taycan a soundtrack to be proud of. Does it work? Should it be left alone? Let us know in the comments down below, because we’re genuinely interested to hear what you think.

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Hagerty Video Transcript

– [Henry Catchpole] This is the film that the internet probably doesn’t want me to make because although it’s a little bit about this Carmine Red GTS, it’s rather more about that one. The Porsche Taycan GTS seems to have fallen between the cracks in terms of internet interest and video views and I think it’s because it’s touted as that most unusual of things, a driver’s EV. Not just a rocket sled with a wham bam of a sub three naught to 60

But something with nuance and engagement. And that doesn’t seem to have much an audience. This is though if you love Cobras and Corvette’s then you can’t also like an EV. If you like steak then you can’t also enjoy something vegetarian like a margarita pizza. But the two are not mutually exclusive

And I think where praise is due it should be given this Taycan GTS is really good to drive. Not just good to drive for an EV, it’s just really good to drive. And they got me thinking, why don’t we benchmark it against a non EV, which is where this comes in

The 992 GTS, perhaps pound for pound the best 911 on sale today. And fortunately not just the same color as the Taycan but also a fairly similar price at around 110,000 pounds. I know that in isolation the Taycan is brilliant but by benchmarking it against the quintessential Porsche,

Well, we should get the full picture. Now before we go any further I want to level the playing field a bit because there are undeniably areas where we know the 992 has the upper hand. So here are three things that I want to acknowledge

But not really get into a discussion about, not today. The first thing is sound because well this obviously just sounds better through into flat six versus well, a silent Taycan effectively. Except, well we’ll come back to that because I want to do a little bit of an experiment.

How do you feel about cognitive dissonance? Then there’s the fact that filling a tank with fuel is quicker than charging a battery. No arguments there, Rachel said quicker. Not necessarily more convenient cause you might charge overnight at home, I know that, but quicker we can agree on that.

And then there’s the manual gear box. Ugh, it is lovely having an H pattern manual and three pedals but that’s not a conversation for today either. Right, let’s get into it. And I want to investigate the areas that have really impressed me about the Taycan GTS.

I wanna start with the steering because this 992 has, well, some of the best steering in the business, especially for an epass system, electrically power assisted system. It’s well weighted. It does have feel from those front tires. So can the Taycan hold a candle to the 992? Do you know what?

I think it pretty much can. It’s so good. The weighting is just fantastic and I think the biggest compliment I can pay it is that it makes a big car feel small. To that extent, it is like the M5 CS another car that previously sometimes felt really pretty bulky and wide

But give it some good steering and suddenly threading it down a road that’s pretty narrow and bumpy feels easy. This probably turns in more sharply than the 911 actually but then there’s that sort of mid corner phase where you just wait but you have the throttle there

That you can pick it up seemingly shorten the wheel base and really, well, make it feel agile. This is a car that you can hustle. Of course good steering is only part of the story. There is three chamber air suspension re-tuned specifically for the GTS along with 20% stiffer anti-roll bars

And it just makes the whole car feel more planted, connected, and disguises the weight ridiculously well. In normal mode this is incredible comfort but even ramp it up to sport or sport plus and it just deals with these broken surfaces. This car also has the optional rear axle steering.

It’s about 1600 pounds and not a huge amount in the overall scheme of things with this GTS. And it would definitely seem to be worth it because again it just, it helps disguise the mass, gives this big car an agility which it has no right to you think. It’s fascinating to compare it

With the 800 kilo lighter 911, which remains more fun and interactive but doesn’t have the composure of the bigger car on these sometimes wild roads. Next, I want to talk about the pedals and you might think this is an easy one. In some ways it is. Brake feel. Good though the Taycan is,

There’s no getting over the fact that it has a lot of weight to stop and it has to deal with re-gen. This, well, as I’ve said before, rather it’s with the steering. Porsche just does some of the best brakes in the business certainly in terms of feel,

There’s none of that sort of over servo feeling right at the top. Just lovely progression. And in this we’ve got the standard steels, they’re great. The accelerator pedal, however, and I think we have to call it the accelerator, not the throttle. Cause otherwise you’d end up calling it in an EV

Something like a turbo or something. That would just be ridiculous. So the accelerator pedal, that’s a win for the Taycan, but perhaps not for the reasons that you might first think. You’ll note we haven’t dragged raced these cars. Another internet fail. I know I’m terribly sorry, but this is more about field

Than just a pure straight line thing that to be honest doesn’t really make any difference. They’re both below four seconds. This, yeah, it is neck snappingly quick at times, more so than the 911, but that’s not the reason that this is so good. The reason is that they’ve actually dialed

Back some of that instant torque. They’ve given progression to the pedal. What that means is just that much easier to manage the car to really use that lovely instant torque. Well TVRs used to famously have long throttle travels as a form of traction control. This is a bit like that really,

You have to use all of that throttle travel and that’s really nice. I think a brief interlude is called for at this point just to sing the praises of the Taycan’s looks and sport charisma guise. It’s just so cool. When lots of EVs seem to be intent on appearing as amorphous and innocuous as possible. This is stunning. Look at those rear arches.

Almost indecent and certainly a rival for the 911’s voluptuous hips. And then we come back to sound because well with the power of video magic we can give the Taycan a bit of a helping hand. How does that make you feel? Does it work? Should we just accept that EVs shouldn’t really make any sound? Should it be something more synthetic? Should it be designed by Hans Zimmer as BMW would have you believe? In some ways I don’t like the idea of so-called fake noise because

Well we’ve been railing against it for ages, haven’t we? Noise pumped through speakers to overcome the more muted sounds of turbocharged engines. But then again, you think about keyboards pianos that are electric, they work on the basis of obviously taking the soundscape from a normal grand piano and synthesizing it.

We don’t seem to have much of a problem with that, so why shouldn’t we be able to do it with an EV? I genuinely don’t know the answer and I’d love to know what you think. Should we give it up as a bad lot and just accept that EVs should be silent

Or should manufacturers be trying harder? I find it fascinating. Just to confuse things further Porsche has actually upped the ante on the artificial sound generator in this GTS. Pop it into sport plus and you get much more interesting noise, particularly when the gearbox shifts down. It’s still a little bit, sort of,

Like a milk float on steroids combined with sort of almost like the the sound of wind whistling through a haunted house in an old black and white film. You know what I mean? But what to conclude about the Taycan’s dynamics? That steering, ride and throttle control. You put it all together

And you have a car that really is good to drive. I love the way that when you get into a corner, yes, you feel weight a little bit, it’s just straight there. You have this sense that the rear axle is absolutely on your side. So, you’ve got the response

From the throttle and the electric motors and it feels shorter of wheel base and more nimble and just responsive and really, really engaging. Just there, really drivable through the corner. Not just big and lumbering far from it, quite the opposite. It really wasn’t shown up by the iconic sports car,

Which while yes, remains more fun, didn’t make the Taycan feel boring. It is the weight I think that really sets these two cars apart. There is 800 kilos between them in favor obviously of the 911. There’s also that weight distribution with the Taycan.

Obviously all the weight is down low, which has to some of that sense of being really planted, and that amazing sort of lack of roll. And this? Well, it’s a 911. So weight distribution has always been a thing. The biggest compliment I can give is

That in our days of filming on these great roads I never resented getting back into the Taycan after the 911. And that’s remarkable. I don’t suddenly relish a future without V12s and manual boxes. Oh no. But if you like driving, this car should give us all hope.

And what’s more, the things it’s good at aren’t necessarily merely the preserve of expensive cars. We should celebrate this car. It’s good news. Makes me happy. I just hope enough people have watched this long enough to spread the word.