Saturday, June 22, 2024

2025 Porsche Taycan GT First Drive Review: ‘Holy hell!’

SEVILLE, Spain – Left foot firmly on the brake, right foot stomped on the accelerator to the floor. Launch control confirmed in the gauges and I slip my left foot off the brake pedal. I’m pinned to the seat like my young nephew the first time I took him on the Disneyland tea cup centrifuge. The outside world turns into a blurred impressionist landscape as I let out a guttural chuckle and a few choice expletives just as I reach the end of the straightaway at Circuito Monteblanco outside of Seville.

Okay, that’s pretty great, but I’ve felt the same gut punch in other ridiculous electric vehicles. What else can this range-topping Porsche Taycan Turbo GT do? A whole lot, it turns out.

Trying my best to stay tucked behind the lead pro driver on track, I nudge the steering wheel into the next curve and this nearly 5,000-pound sedan complies without any protest or drama. In the next bend, I push just a bit harder and it feels as though my gut is struggling more than the Taycan’s chassis. The lead driver pulls away by a few car lengths, so I tap the steering wheel button to engage Attack Mode and slowly reduce the gap. It’s not as though I lit a JATO rocket in the trunk, rather, it gives you just a wee bit more power for 10 seconds. It’s more like how you get to the L-M-N-O-P section when singing the alphabet.

Hard on the ceramic composite brakes, and I hear the fat tires chirping on the pavement. Trailing off the pedal, I coax the front tires toward the next apex and feel only the slightest of shimmies before I lay back into the skinny pedal. The synthetic sounds pouring from the speakers add to the theater as I rinse and repeat for the rest of my allotted laps.

“Holy hell,” I murmur to myself as I clumsily extract myself from the driver’s seat. I’m sweating like a 1980s standup comedian even though it’s heavy-jacket weather in Southern Spain. But it’s not over.

I stumble over to the upgrade: the Taycan Turbo GT with the Weissach Package. This purple cherry on top ditches the rear seats – leaving a storage compartment in its place – and bolts a fixed carbon fiber wing to the trunk lid, among other tweaks and feature deletes. The kicker is the shoes it’s wearing on the 21-inch forged wheels: a set of bespoke Pirelli P Zero Trofeo RS tires that are essentially street-legal slicks with a hint of tread pattern.

Unlike the Pirelli P Zero Rs on the “regular” Turbo GT, these Trofeo RS tires never uttered a single peep when cornering. They just stick. No squirm, no shimmy, and I’m having a much easier time keeping up with the pro driver in his non-Weissach Taycan Turbo GT. Even with this new-found confidence, I’m cautiously trying to rail through a moderate right curve that leads over a blind crest without chickening out by brushing the brakes.

Nope. No way. I chose discretion over valor and had a bitter taste of self-disappointment as I began to unwind the wheel and realized I still had half a car width between the outside wheels and the rumble strips. Too late, sadly, as the radio crackles to tell me it’s time for a cool-down lap on the way back to the pits and reality.

Now my struggle turns to what I’ll say about the 2025 Porsche Taycan Turbo GT. I’ve never given a review that was 100% glowing praise, but this one is a challenge. Besides the fussy air vents found in all Taycans, all I’ve got to say in contrast is the steering effort is a bit too light; there’s not enough feedback through the wheel, and the brake pedal could also be firmer. That’s it.

The Turbo GT is a triumphant push into excess, proven by its record-breaking lap times at the Nordschleife and Laguna Seca. With up to 1,092 horsepower and 988 lb-ft of torque, it’s the most powerful production Porsche. Ever.

As a Porsche, these thrills naturally don’t come cheap. The Taycan Turbo GT starts at $231,995 (including $1,995 in destination fees but not what I expect will be outrageous markups). That’s 21-grand more than the 2025 Taycan Turbo S and well worth it if you ask me. Somewhat surprisingly, there’s no extra cost for the Weissach Package like you’d find in other Porsches offering it. Well, besides losing the rear seats to a carbon fiber structure that helps shave off 157 pounds compared to the Turbo S.

Porsche claims the Turbo GT will reach 60 mph in 2.2 seconds and cross the quarter-mile in 9.5 seconds on its way to a 180-mph top speed. The Weissach is a tenth quicker and tops out at 190 mph. Launch control calls up 1,019 horsepower and at its peak with the Attack Mode, you can sample that 1,092-hp figure.

Weissach package left, standard Taycan GT right

So how did Porsche manage this feat? A new rear motor features a silicon carbide pulse inverter (I hope you read that as Star Trek‘s Scotty) that not only churns out more power, but can do so for longer durations. The two-speed gearbox is stronger and also gets more favorable ratios for track use. Of course, there are numerous aerodynamic revisions. The Turbo GT’s front spoiler pushes the front contact patches down with 175 pounds of force at speed, while the Gurney flap-equipped adaptive rear spoiler provides 310 pounds of downforce. If you want more, the fixed rear wing in the Weissach package gets you all the way up to 485 pounds of downforce, and it’s aided by additional underbody air deflector elements and a unique front diffuser. The standard Porsche Active Ride suspension has GT-specific tuning, too.

By contrast, the very capable Lucid Sapphire doesn’t feel nearly as reactive or engaging because of its reliance on torque vectoring to keep you from doing something stupid. The exponentially more expensive Pininfarina Battista, on the other hand, is a rougher experience with its unyielding and unforgiving behavior near the limit.

As with the other models in the 2025 Taycan lineup, the Turbo GT benefits from a long list of improvements and upgrades. Range is estimated at 334 to 344 miles using the Euro WLTP protocol, so we should expect about 290 miles stateside, but that’s if you’re shamefully driving conservatively.

The Taycan Turbo GT is, by every one of my metrics, a true Porsche with deftly tuned dynamics that won’t beat you up. It’s the definitive answer for those who think EVs are soulless or boring.

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