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Sports specialist’s Fifty Shades of Grey

Sports specialist’s Fifty Shades of Grey

by Danielle Thompson (December 2020)

PORSCHE’S Taycan is a pretty tantalising argument for all-electric performance motoring – even if I can’t help taking pity on the plight of some of its owners. 

You’ve probably seen the video clip that went viral the other week of a Taycan shooting off the wall of a steeply sloped driveway, promptly taking out two nearby parked cars in the process. Then there was the couple who set off on a 130-mile journey in their Taycan, only to discover that a series of out-of-order charging stations meant that it took nine hours to complete the voyage.

The latter prompted a series of comments asking why they hadn’t charged it up in the first place, given it’s got a 250-mile range – but having once spent 12 hours on the road with a broken Reliant Scimitar, which runs on deceased dinosaurs and takes about three minutes to top up, it’s hard to take the mick too much. 

However, no amount of Facebook mockery can get in the way of the cold, hard numbers coming out of Stuttgart – the Taycan, for the moment at least, is the best-selling car Porsche makes.

Not the 911. Not the Cayenne. An all-electric saloon for which the range kicks off at £83,000 is currently the sports car specialist’s  Fifty Shades of Grey, Pokemon Go and bumper-sized bog roll pack rolled into one. 

Short of bringing out a stripped out GT3 version that’d demolish everything in sight at a track day  and keep Greta vaguely happy – go on chaps, you know you want to – I don’t think Porsche can do much else with the Taycan.

As the couple with the nine-hour commute in particular have proven, it’s the UK charging network, not the car, that could do with a facelift.

No one, realistically, is going to do more than 250 miles in a single hit, so as long as you factor in a stop for a Boris-approved Scotch egg while you top up and the charging point actually works, you’ll be fine. 

So instead I reckon Porsche should be concentrating on their sixth-best selling model; the 718 Boxster, and its tin-top Cayman sibling.

This is the bread and butter of Porsche’s range and should be attracting track day-loving regional managers in their droves, yet it’s comprehensively outsold by the 911, which costs twice as much.

It’s also only available with a turbo-charged flat four engine, which runs on good old-fashioned unleaded – it’s quick, for sure, but it’s also a bit old hat in a Britain that’s vowed to outlaw any new cars with internal combustion from 2030 onwards. 

Happily, Porsche’s best brains are already on it. There’s nothing on the record yet, but word has it that in just over a year’s time the 718’s replacement will use the Taycan’s tech to create a mid-engined sports car that’ll outhandle just about everything BMW, Audi and Jaguar can throw at it while meeting all of the zero emissions requirements too. 

Of course I’ll be sad to see the old Boxster engine being phased out but the new Boxster promises to be everything that Taycan is right now, but for roughly half the price. 

Just make sure you remember to charge it up first… 

David Simister is the editor of Classic Car Weekly 

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