We only have about three months to go before the Porsche Taycan makes its official debut as a production model. In anticipation, the automaker has released three sketches previewing the all-electric sedan, and we’re liking what we see. The design hasn’t changed much from the Mission E concept, and cues like the quad-beam lights remain intact. Out back, the rear looks instantly recognizable as a Porsche, from its full-width taillights to the Porsche lettering, which sports a slightly revised font.
Michael Mauer, head of styling at Porsche, said that the Taycan needs to remain recognizable. “We didn’t start from scratch because we knew that this new model had to be recognizable as a Porsche at first glance—in other words it had to embody what I call brand identity,” Mauer said in a release. Its proportions are unique, and it has its own specific design cues such as so-called “foot garages” to allow for a low seating position than your average EV. Mauer also noted that the team did consider making the first Porsche EV an SUV, but it ultimately decided to go with a sporty sedan to make a statement that Porsche is a sports car company.
Although its relationship to the rest of the Porsche lineup must be apparent, Mauer also said that the Taycan needs its own look so it doesn’t appear like a shrunken Panamera. The team had more freedom in designing the car because it doesn’t have an internal combustion engine up front, so they were able to style it more after the 911. In an effort to improve air flow and aerodynamics, the headlight housings were reworked and the light sources are now inside the air intake. It receives the same four-bulb LED daytime running light accents as current models, but reshaped to keep it from looking derivative.
During the design process, the team used both digital and clay work to create the Taycan. “I remain a firm believer that [a digital model] is no substitute for crafting a physical model,” Mauer said. “There are things you just can’t see on a computer that will only stand out in reality.” The reasoning? There are times when you have to design a surface using what Mauer referred to as “mathematically incorrect parameters” to create the desired effect later. “In some instances you will even be unable to state a reason why—you just have a feeling,” he said. “For this reason, we still rely on tried and tested clay models up to a scale of 1:1 where each surface and each line is created by hand.”
Mauer wants the Porsche Taycan to be like the 911 of EVs. “My vision is that the Taycan will become an icon of this new era, almost like a synonym for a purely electric sports car,” he said, “just like what the 911 achieved in its segment over the past decades.” Porsche will unveil the production Taycan in September.
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