2023 Porsche Taycan GTS Sport Turismo
We get behind the wheel of the new Taycan GTS Super Turismo… Words James Fossdyke. Photography Porsche.
ESTATE OF PLAY
Testing the new Taycan GTS Sport Turismo.
The arrival of the Taycan GTS had an air of inevitability about it. Of course, Porsche needed to fill the gap between the Taycan Turbo and the Taycan 4S, and the perfect peg for that particular hole was a driver orientated GTS model. Only slightly less predictable was the launch of the new Taycan Sport Turismo, the car designed to bridge the gap between the conventional Taycan saloon and the less conventional Taycan Cross Turismo estate. This is the car built to blend the Cross Turismo’s luggage capacity and passenger space with the saloon’s lower, sportier stance and superior agility. Given the saloon’s limited rear headroom, it feels like the ideal car for plenty of Taycan buyers and a natural fit in Porsche’s electric car range.
While we may have expected the GTS and the Sport Turismo to be revealed at some point around now, we didn’t really expect them to arrive like this. Not only were the two models launched side by side, but also hand in hand, because while the GTS slots into the middle of a sizeable Taycan saloon range, it’s the only model in the all-new Sport Turismo line-up. At least for now. Porsche has assured us more models will arrive shortly, but those who want a sporty Taycan estate are ‘stuck’ with GTS trim for the time being.
And there will be plenty of customers who want one. Just look at it! In essence, the Sport Turismo has much the same bodywork as the Taycan Cross Turismo (apart from those rugged-looking bits of cladding around the arches and sills), but it looks even better.
The front end is much the same as any other Taycan, but the back is more beguiling than anything else Porsche makes. It’s rare to find an estate car which looks better than the saloon or hatchback on which it’s based, but the Taycan Sport Turismo manages it. The way it curves and flows, the way the rear pillars blend into the haunches. It’s fabulous.
BACK TO BLACK
Of course, it’s all set off by GTS trim additions. Like the saloon, the GTS Sport Turismo comes with all the usual features we’ve come to expect from Porsches wearing that three-letter badge: as standard, there’s black trim around the base of the bumpers and the side skirts, as well as black alloy wheels, black trim around the door mirrors and black lettering on the boot. The brake calipers, which are painted red, provide a welcome splash of colour.
Inside, there’s plenty of Porsche’s Race-Tex microfibre fabric, which is found on the dashboard, seats and steering wheel. There’s also brushed aluminium dashboard trim with a black anodised finish. Our test car also came with a few choice options, including matte-carbon interior trim, twenty-one-inch RS Spyder Design alloys and the Carbon SportDesign package, which includes carbon-fibre trim on the front apron, side skirts and rear diffuser. Like the GTS Sports Saloon, the GTS Sport Turismo comes with the Sport Chrono Pack as standard, which means there’s a rotary dial on the steering wheel allowing you to pick one of five different driving modes. It also provides you with overboost functionality, which unlocks the full potential of the Taycan’s electric motors, but more on this later.
Apart from the GTS accoutrements, the Sport Turismo’s most important feature is its additional space when compared with the saloon. Thanks to that beautiful rear end, the roofline is slightly higher, meaning there’s more room for rear seat passengers. The standard Taycan already offered plenty of legroom, but the Sport Turismo adds an extra 45mm of headroom to the mix, which allows four six-footers to enjoy the Taycan cabin in comfort. Cross Turismo-mimicking boot space is also included in the package, with a 446-litre luggage bay behind the back seats. On paper, this is a minor improvement on the saloon’s 407-litre boot, but it’s a more practical shape and can grow to 1,212 litres with the rear seats folded down. And it comes alongside the 84-litre ‘frunk’ found under the bonnet of all Taycan models.
The Sport Turismo also adds some clever options you won’t find elsewhere in the range. Roof rails are an optional extra adding welcome practicality, but the highlight is the oddly named Sunshine Control feature for the panoramic glass roof. Using polymer-dispersed liquid crystal technology, the roof has nine ‘panels’ which can be switched between clear and matte settings using controls on one of the Taycan’s three touchscreens. This allows the roof to be completely clear, completely frosted or partly frosted.
Each panel can be switched, allowing occupants to control the amount of light entering the cabin. The technology might sound like a gimmick, and it definitely has that feel, but the glass roof is helpful in a car otherwise a little dark, what with its dark roof lining and black leather upholstery. And even though the frosted matte setting cuts any glare and offers protection from harsh sunshine, it still allows light to penetrate the cabin and brighten proceedings.
Gimmicks aside, the major draw of any Taycan – and a GTS in particular – is its electric powertrain. As standard, it gets the 93.4kWh Performance Battery Plus, which feeds two electric motors (one at the front and one at the back). It’s all familiar stuff from the Taycan 4S, but the GTS comes with quite a bit more power. Normally, the two motors combine to produce 510bhp, but the overboost and launch control functions allow for a much more significant 590bhp. Predictably, this puts the GTS slap-bang in the middle of the 523bhp 4S and the 671bhp Turbo models.
The way in which this electrical power and performance is delivered depends on which driving mode is selected. In Range and Normal modes, the front motor is effectively disconnected, turning the Taycan into a rear-drive model with plenty of range on a single charge. In fact, the GTS models are some of the most efficient in the Taycan range on paper, although the reality isn’t quite as clear cut.
Officially, the Taycan GTS Sport Turismo will manage up to 304 miles on a single charge, while the GTS saloon ups distance to 313 miles. In contrast, a Taycan 4S saloon will cover up to 288 miles on a charge. There’s bureaucracy muddying the waters here, though. Porsche says the GTS has been homologated with a battery update slightly improving range. Other models in the Taycan stable have the update applied, but official figures don’t take it into account, meaning the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP, a laboratory test used to measure fuel consumption and pollutant emissions from passenger cars) data is as inaccurate as ever. On our test drive, the real-world range worked out at something around two-hundred miles or so on a mix of roads, albeit with very few motorway miles. Given a slightly more circumspect approach to throttle inputs and more judicious use of Range mode, we’d expect that range to rise, hitting close to 250 miles without too much difficulty. Problem is, the Taycan GTS simply begs you to drive faster. Porsche has aimed this model at driving enthusiasts, and it shows in the minutest of details, as well as the overall driving experience. Mooching around in Normal mode doesn’t really betray any of the GTS-specific traits — even the suspension feels as supple as that of a rear-drive Taycan — but turning the steering wheel-mounted dial up a notch changes the game completely.
In the GTS, Sport mode is more aggressive than in any other form of the Taycan, including the Turbo, meaning you get sharper throttle response and stiffer suspension. You also get a GTS-specific noise piped in through the speakers in an attempt to give the car more soul. In truth, the sound is a bit odd and doesn’t add much to the experience, but it is clever. It even makes a gear shift noise when the two-speed transmission on the rear axle swaps cogs.
Then there’s Sport Plus mode, which is really for track driving, giving you the most savage throttle response going, as well as the richer sound and firmer suspension for maximum body control. And if you’re wondering what happened to the fifth driving mode, it’s an Individual option, allowing you to tailor the car’s characteristics to suit your needs and desires. We spent most of our time in Normal mode in a bid to mimic the conditions most drivers will favour, but forays into Sport and Sport Plus modes were simply too tempting to resist. That said, the GTS Sport Turismo is plenty fast enough without the top-end driving settings.
As with other Taycans, the steering still feels slightly detached when compared with that of the 911, and it feels unnaturally heavy in the sportier driving modes, too. Even so, it’s still as smooth and precise as you expect from a Porsche, and elicits an instant response from the front wheels. Body control is exceptionally good, and there’s truly little sense of the weight shifting between the four corners of the car unless you’re really exploring the limits. Body roll is also minimal, thanks in part to the weight of the battery under the floor, and the difference between saloon and Sport Turismo is barely discernible. What’s surprising about the Sport Turismo, as well as most other Taycans, is the way in which this Porsche rides.
Admittedly, our test drive took place on smooth asphalt, but back-to-back drives of GTS and rear-drive Taycan saloon models with the same suspension revealed almost identical ride quality, suggesting the car will feel supple on the UK’s poorly maintained roads as it does when carving through Californian canyons, the inner city streets of Georgia or the smooth stretches of open road along sun-drenched stretches of Mallorca’s rich coastline (the latter being the Porsche press launch location we attended). Yes, the inherent stiffness of the Taycan architecture is always evident, but the car manages to smooth off most of the bumps in Normal mode. Only the Sport and Sport Plus modes added an unwelcome stiffness to the suspension, but they’re intended for focused road driving and track use, so that’s forgiveable.
Opting for Sport or Sport Plus also increases the power output, allowing the Taycan to stretch its legs and access its full potential. With launch control and overboost, the 590bhp output is enough to get from a standing start to 62mph in 3.7 seconds and on to 155mph. It’s the same whether you’re in a saloon or a Sport Turismo. Figures on a page mean little, of course, but from the driver’s seat, that sort of acceleration feels like a punch in the guts. It isn’t quite as fast as the Turbo, but it feels just as rapid. Overtaking is laughably simple and there’s always that childish temptation to poke the bear and access the instant torque. All 626lb-ft of it. Yep, you’ll need those red-painted brakes. As standard, the Taycan GTS gets conventional cast-iron brake discs gripped by aluminium callipers. At the rear, they’re much the same as the 4S, with four-piston callipers and 358mm discs, but the front brake discs measure 390mm (30mm larger than those in the 4S) and are held by six-piston calipers. The stopping power is impressive, but the car still weighs 2.3 tonnes and feel is limited. They aren’t quite as brilliant as we were hoping.
Nevertheless, the GTS Sport Turismo is unquestionably a great car to drive and, we suspect, to own. More practical than the saloon but delivering an equally good experience from behind the wheel, it’s the perfect electric vehicle for daily use. And even though the range takes a slight hit compared with the ‘normal’ Taycan fastback, it’s a small price to pay. Full marks, then, for the Sport Turismo bodywork, though GTS trim is less convincing for those who want the Sport Turismo body. When the 4S is cheaper and just as good ninety-nine percent of the time, the GTS only really makes sense for track day enthusiasts.
In which case the saloon is the Taycan to choose. So for most drivers, it’ll make more sense to hold on and wait for the 4S Sport Turismo, then add a handful of choice options with the change they would have spent on a GTS.
Above The latest in a long line of Porsches offering performance and practicality in equal measure.
OVERTAKING IS LAUGHABLY SIMPLE AND THERE’S ALWAYS THAT CHILDISH TEMPTATION TO POKE THE BEAR AND ACCESS THE INSTANT TORQUE
Above Different driving modes give the new electric Porsche something of a Jekyll and Hyde personality
SPORT PLUS MODE, WHICH IS REALLY FOR TRACK DRIVING, GIVING YOU THE MOST SAVAGE THROTTLE RESPONSE GOING
Above A totally rewarding drive, whether in the city or heading out onto rural country roads. Above Porsche’s styling department did a brilliant job of separating the similar Taycan and Panamera body styles. Below Typically GTS, the interior is awash with a landscape of Alcantara and colourcoded stitching
IN RANGE AND NORMAL MODES, THE FRONT MOTOR IS EFFECTIVELY DISCONNECTED, TURNING THE TAYCAN INTO A REAR-DRIVE MODEL
- Model 2023 Porsche Taycan GTS Sport Turismo
- Price From £104,990
- Drivetrain Permanent magnet Synchronous Motors (PSM) on the front and rear axle
- Transmission Two-speed automatic
- Electrical consumption low (model range) 19.6-16.8 kWh/100km
- CO2 emissions 0g/km
- Top speed 155mph
- 0-60mph 3.7 seconds
- Max Power 590bhp
- Max Torque 626Ib-ft
- Weight 2,310kg (DIN)