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Whirring along on the 101, I pass the Porsche 911 in the fast lane next to me. Looking down at the navigation unit, the same one I can get in a Panamera, it hits me: The Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo EV — a station wagon, of all things — is the most important car Porsche has launched since the 911 in 1964. It stays true to the Porsche ethos while also dialing back anything superfluous — first and foremost, the tech isn’t overbearing — that distracts from the drive.
“The Taycan Cross Turismo is the best EV you can buy at any price,” says Matt Farah, host of The Smoking Tire podcast. “You can get a stupid-fast one — the Turbo S for $200K — or a base model that’s very fast and would be a great commuter for under $100K. The Cross Turismo doesn’t drive like a small Panamera; it drives like a heavy Cayman. It’s such an L.A. car.”
While Porsche aficionados scoffed in 2003 at the launch of a Porsche SUV, today the brand’s SUVs, the Cayenne and Macan, make up a whopping 64 percent of sales. And its EV sedan, the Taycan, rang up nearly 8 percent of sales in 2020. The Taycan Cross Turismo is the wagon version, meaning you get the utility of an SUV and the agility of a sports car all wrapped in a package that doesn’t look as though it’s a futuristic widget, à la Tesla.
“With the station wagon, it’s more of an active lifestyle buyer, someone that needs more space in an efficient package,” says Mike DePetro, Porsche’s Taycan product manager. “That station wagon buyer is different than an SUV buyer. We decided with the Cross Turismo, to go with an off-road-looking setup on the car, and we fought hard to get that package where it is.”
My heart is in the base model, the Taycan 4 Cross Turismo with the optional Off Road Design Package because as Farah says, “Porsche knows as well as anybody that if you want to sell a wagon in America, you’ve got to raise in an inch and a half and put body cladding on it. Americans all want the Subaru Outback or whatever version that the car company wants to make.” The wagon also includes the Porsche Electric Sport Sound, an “engine noise” enhancement which DePetro says took Porsche engineers over three years to develop. Farah calls the effect “the angry Jetsons electric car sound.”
Due for delivery this summer, the car — which feels like a Porsche that just happens to have an electric motor — is expected to come in with a range of more than 220 miles on a charge (comparable Tesla models get upward of 300 miles on a charge). On sale now, the price starts at $90,900.
A version of this story first appeared in the May 19 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.
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