The Germany-based high performance sports car maker Porsche unveiled a more spacious version of its electric Taycan model to broaden the car’s appeal and help parent company Volkswagen (VW) catch up with US-based Tesla.
The Taycan Cross Turismo will go on sale soon in Germany with prices starting at $112,708, Porsche said in a statement. The US, UK, Norway, the Netherlands and Germany are expected to be its five largest markets.
“The future belongs to electric mobility. With the Taycan Cross Turismo, we’re taking another major step in this direction,” Porsche Chief Executive Officer Oliver Blume said.
The latest addition to Porsche’s lineup of battery-powered cars was delayed to this year after the COVID-19 outbreak disrupted manufacturing plans. VW group’s most profitable unit delivered more than 20,000 Taycan cars last year, just over 7 percent of its total sales.
The Cross Turismo, featuring a gently sloping roof with more room for backseat travelers, comes with a 10.9-inch display and optional screen for front passengers. Switching to “gravel mode” lifts the car just over an inch to navigate “light off-road terrain.”
By 2025, half of Porsche’s sales will be electrified, Mr. Blume said. Europe has become the fastest-growing region for cars with a plug for the brand, with one in three Porsches sold there partly or fully electric last year. In Norway, the Taycan currently accounts for about 70 percent of all deliveries.
The Taycan “was the first model from a traditional automaker to raise the tech bar versus Tesla for power and charge time and is uniquely profitable due to its luxury pricing,” experts note. “Its key drawback is a lack of range, with a base Taycan 4 achieving only 244 miles.”
Porsche has argued the Taycan wasn’t designed for maximum range but for driving performance that allows repeated acceleration without instantly draining the battery. The Taycan’s success has been a key point in giving credibility to VW’s push to unseat Tesla as the global electric car leader.
Porsche deliveries dipped just 3 percent in 2020, thanks to robust demand in China, its largest market. The demand helped the manufacturer maintain a double-digit profit margin even as many mass-market automakers suffered a dramatic downturn.