Tagged: 2020 cars


Porsche unveils the $150,900 Taycan Turbo electric sedan

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Porsche  has poured more than $1 billion into the development of its first all-electric vehicle, a sleek four-door specimen that marks the beginning of a new chapter for the German automaker and its biggest bet in more than a generation.

On Wednesday, in three simultaneous events in Canada, China and Germany, Porsche finally introduced the world to the vehicle that has been more than four years in the making. TechCrunch was on hand for the reveal in Canada, a splashy event held in a building erected just for the occasion on the edge of Niagara Falls. It was here that Porsche showed off not one, but two flavors of the Taycan.

Behold, the Porsche Taycan Turbo S and Porsche Taycan Turbo, two electric machines with the styling, power and performance one would expect from the German automaker. Oh, and range between 250 and 280 miles, depending on the variant.

Both of these Taycans fall into the more expensive, more powerful category of its upcoming portfolio, with base prices of $185,000 and $150,900, respectively.

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All three Porsche Taycan events were staged near renewable energy installments — hydropower at Niagara Falls in Canada, solar in Neuhardenberg near Berlin and a wind farm on Pingtan Island, less than a mile from the Chinese city of Fuzhou — a physical symbol of Porsche’s move to electrification. 

“The Taycan stands for the change necessary for Porsche to remain Porsche,” Detlev von Platen, Porsche AG board member of sales and marketing said during the presentation.

And it’s not stopping at the Taycan. By 2025, half of all Porsche vehicles will be electrified, according to von Platen.

Porsche Taycan reveal

Less powerful variants (and therefore less expensive) of these all-wheel drive vehicles will follow this year, and the first derivative to be added will be the Taycan Cross Turismo at the end of 2020.

The Taycan may represent a new direction for the automaker, but there’s still no mistaking this electric vehicle for a Porsche. The Taycan has a big and low stance with a body line that still looks and feels like a Porsche. Bigger than a 911 and smaller than a Panamera, the body of the Taycan is wide and flat with contoured wings and a sporty roof that slopes down to the sharply emphasized and classic Porsche rear.

Inside is the good stuff. Both the Porsche Taycan Turbo S and Porsche Taycan Turbo are outfitted with two electric motors, one on the front axle and one on the rear axle, a two-speed transmission installed on the rear axle, and an 800-volt architecture — the same technology that helped the company’s 919 Hybrid win the 24 Hours of Le Mans three times in a row.

The interior of the Taycan, which was revealed last month, includes a sleek all-digital dashboard clearly inspired by the 1963 Porsche 911.

Now to the power. The flagship Turbo S version of the Taycan can generate up to 750 horsepower (560 kW) of power in combination with “launch control” and overboost features that translate into accelerating from zero to 60 miles per hour in 2.8 seconds. The Taycan Turbo can produce up to 670 horsepower (500 kW), allowing it to go from a standstill to 60 mph in 3 seconds. Both vehicles have a top track speed of 161 mph.

The Taycan is ready for the race track,” Stefan Weckbach, vice president of the Taycan and Porsche Battery Electric Vehicle Product Line, said during the event Wednesday.

And then there’s the 800-volt system, double the more commonly used 400 volt architecture found in other electric vehicles. The 800-volt system allows the Taycan to charge from 5% to 80% in 22.5 minutes with a maximum charging power of up to 270 kw. The vehicle’s 800-volt system will allow the Taycan to add 62 miles of charge in a snappy five minutes, Weckbach said.

The overall capacity of the 800V high-voltage battery is 93.4 kWh. Porsche is throwing in three years of free charging at hundreds of Electrify America public stations that will blanket the U.S. in the coming months.

The EPA range estimate for the North American market is pending for both vehicles. Under Europe’s WLTP estimates, the Turbo S can travel 256 miles on a single charge, while the Turbo has a range of 280 miles.


Porsche Taycan vs Tesla Model S: Spec for spec, price for prie

The Porsche  Taycan is a missile aimed straight at Tesla. The German electric sedan packs everything needed to give the Model S its first real fight. The Porsche is just as fast, is sleeker thanks to a lower drag coefficient and packs several technical goodies missing from Tesla’s  sedan. However, the Tesla Model S has a longer range and is much less expensive.

Specs alone cannot properly illustrate a vehicle’s worth, but they’re a good starting point. What follows are several key areas comparing the two trim levels of the Porsche Taycan against the two versions of the Model S currently available.

The chart here does not list self-driving features or capabilities, a key feature to the Tesla Model S. As of writing, Porsche has yet to revel any self-driving capabilities of the Taycan besides the standard driver assistance features found on all Porsche vehicles.

Please note, the EPA has yet to release official range numbers for the Porsche Taycan. Currently, Porsche is only noting that the new European rating system, (WLTP), rates the sedan with the max range of 279 miles. The EPA says the Model S Long Range has a range of 370 miles.


2020 Mercedes-Benz GLB-Class Debuts As Compact Seven-Seat SUV

The GLB 250 turns either the front wheels or all four with a 221-hp turbo-four.

In the world of automotive journalism, often automakers talk about an “all-new” vehicle. But most of the time, it’s either a facelift or perhaps a significant reworking of an already existing model. The new Mercedes-Benz GLB-Class, however, really is an all-new machine, though it does borrow heavily from the compact A-Class. Whereas that’s a small, entry-level hatchback or sedan, the GLB-Class offers buyers a classic SUVshape on a compact platform with something not often found at this level – the option for three-row, seven-passenger seating.

That’s a good starting point to discuss the new GLB-Class, as it’s the first compact offering from Mercedes to offer such seating. The optional third row offers accommodations for two, with cup holders between the seats and USB power ports for phones or other devices. The GLB’s side airbags are designed to protect third-row passengers, and Mercedes points out the availability of anchor points for child seats. Two things not mentioned at the rear are headroom and legroom, and though we’ll reserve final judgment for our GLB-Class first drive, we have the distinct impression Mercedes is aiming the seven-seat capacity of this compact SUV towards small children at the back.

Mercedes-Benz GLB
Mercedes-Benz GLB

As a five-seater, the new GLB sounds a bit more adult friendly. With the rearmost seats folded, the people mover offers up to 62 cubic feet of cargo capacity. Second-row passengers also have the ability to move the seats fore and aft to better accommodate people or things, with 38 inches of legroom available with the seats pushed back. Up front, driver and passenger are greeted with an interior quite similar to the A-Class, albeit with a bit more headroom.

A digital cockpit with a 7.0-inch instrument screen and a 7.0-inch center touchscreen display dominate the dash, the latter allowing access to a multitude of standard-issue tech including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The automaker’s MBUX system with voice control is also standard, as are a suite of driver assist systems including active braking, crosswind assist, and a rearview camera. Optional packages include blind spot assist, navigation, parking assist, larger 10.25-inch displays, an upgraded Burmester surround system, heads-up display

Though the GLB-Class adopts a more traditional SUV exterior look, it’s not quite as boxy as the early camouflaged prototypes suggested. Yes, there are A-Class bones underneath it all, but the wheelbase is over 5 inches longer than the GLA-Class and just 1.7 inches behind the GLC-Class. In its base form, the GLB will turn just the front wheels though we suspect most buyers will choose the optional 4MATIC all-wheel-drive system, which comes standard with an Off-Road Engineering Package that adds an additional drive program to the GLB’s selectable modes, conquering the roads less traveled with a 50/50 power distribution. Otherwise, 80 percent of the power goes up front in eco mode, with a 70/30 split for sport mode.

Speaking of power, you won’t be surprised to find Merc’s M 260 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder on active duty under the bonnet. In the GLB-Class is makes a modest 221 horsepower (164 kilowatts) and 258 pound-feet (350 Newton-meters) of torque, which Mercedes says is enough to send the small SUV to 60 mph in 6.9 seconds in all-wheel-drive trim. Shifting is handled by an eight-speed DCT.

At launch, Mercedes-Benz will offer two models – the GLB 250 and GLB 250 4MATIC. Pricing will be revealed closer to the GLB’s on-sale date, which in the U.S. will come by the end of 2019.

Source: Mercedes-Benz