You could be forgiven for thinking the latest member of the battery-powered Taycan family looks more than a little familiar. Porsche model S-GO 431E bears a remarkable resemblance to its sibling Cross Turismo launched early last year (2021).
The Cross is an estate version of the sleek Taycan saloon – with added ground clearance and bulked up body trim to create a go-anywhere, all-wheel-drive family car with comfort and space to the fore.
Parked side-by-side with the Sport Turismo there’s very little to tell the pair apart. Yet underneath, the 590bhp GTS Sport has a lower, firmer ride and, with the crazy Launch Control engaged, it will rocket to 62mph in a suitably eye-watering 3.7 seconds.
It is the first high-performance, electric estate car on the market and, as such, a niche Porsche is keen to exploit to the max. While other manufacturers rush to build battery-powered SUVs, the Turismo currently has no close rivals whatsoever.
Think of it as a battery-powered alternative to the Mercedes-AMG E63 and Audi RS6 and you won’t go far wrong. The Sport Turismo will also tempt buyers of Porsche’s own Panamera hybrid, drivers looking to make the jump to an all-electric car for the first time.
In January (2021), Porsche announced that the low-slung Sport Turismo will be soon available with the same powertrains as the saloon. However, expect a mammoth waiting list for the 741bhp Turbo S – which means the current GTS is probably your best chance to get inside a sporty Taycan estate without having to wait until 2023.
This is an even more desirable porsche – perhaps even more so than the legendary 911
Even so, the GTS is itself still hard to come by. Porsche UK’s press office only has a single left-hand drive car on German number plates. Luckily, I’ve managed to prise it out of them for a few days’ drive for Square Mile.
The Sport Turismo looks magnificent in Carmine Red. Without the beefed-up wheel arches and chunky bumpers of the Cross model, this is an even more desirable car – perhaps even more so than the legendary 911. It sits squat on the road and has an air of sublime menace. You wonder how Porsche has managed to fit a 1,200-litre boot and more than enough leg room for four adults in such a compact design. There’s also an extra 45mm of headroom over the saloon Taycan too.
With four doors, enough room for a load of luggage – or even the family dog – the hatchback-shaped Turismo is highly practical. From the driver’s seat, rear visibility is hugely improved over the Taycan saloon, thanks to a larger back window, with a rash of noisy parking sensors for tight spaces if required.
The interior is beautifully put together, with the stamp of Porsche quality on every button and dial. Not that there are many to play with – drive is selected via a tiny dashboard-mounted lever and a curved, 10.9-inch screen takes care of most of the rest.
GTS models benefit from a suede-like material called Race-Tex, which covers the seats and steering wheel. Like Alcantara, it keeps everybody in place if you decide to exploit the car’s two-speed gearbox to the full – a system that shifts up at faster speeds to maintain acceleration.
Perhaps my favourite option would be the £1,000 panoramic sunroof, brightening up an otherwise moody cabin space. Sunshine Control – great name – adjusts the amount of light using an electronically controlled film that changes from matte to clear.
It dispenses with the need for a roller blind system completely. Not only that, the roof is divided into nine segments, so backseat passengers can enjoy the light while the driver can choose a more shady corner.
The battery sends power to the road via all four wheels and gives the GT Sport superb grip
Hurtling across Gloucestershire, the most memorable feature of the Sport Turismo isn’t the relentless straight-line speed – even though it’s silly quick. The 93.4 kWh battery sends power to the road via all four wheels and gives the Porsche superb grip around the corners.
Depending on terrain, choose from four drive modes, Normal, Sport, Sport Plus and Individual. Each one will adjust the car’s handling characteristics, from the weight of the steering to accelerator response, or the firmness of the adaptive air suspension. For extra sharpness, Porsche offers rear-wheel steering as an option.
Sounds tempting but what about the lack of a sporty exhaust note? Porsche has thought of that too. Some of the drive modes feature Porsche Electric Sport Sound, which pumps an electric motor noise into the cabin. It’s actually better than it sounds on paper but no substitute for a straight-six burble.
Other key features of the GTS include tinted LED headlights, 20-inch alloy wheels and some added black inserts around the bodywork to distinguish it from the lower-spec 4S model. A powered tailgate and a fast-acting heat pump to warm the cabin fast are also part of the package.
I’m not an EV naysayer, but I do have to question the official range figures. The GTS has a software update that boosts efficiency and offers the longest range of any Taycan model – an alleged 313 miles. However, my test car was delivered fully charged and had barely 220 miles on tap. A Tesla Model S saloon travels considerably further.
Still, it’s difficult not to like this stylish, coupé-styled estate that represents a superb all-round package. The GTS will tempt people looking for a roomy and practical family car that also happens to be tremendous fun. Combine that with the quality of the interior, plus the right badge on the bonnet and the Sport Turismo looks a very alluring package.
The only downside might be the price. The Sport Turismo range kicks off at £73,000 for the rear-wheel drive mode, climbing to £84,000 for the 4S and £105,000 for the GTS I drove. Happy to wait for the Turbo S? That’s a whopping £140,000 without even dipping into Porsche’s extensive personalisation programme.
As Porsche spokesman, Kevin Giek, explained: “The all-electric Taycan range is growing fast and thriving. The arrival of the legendary GTS moniker represents the sweet spot in the Sport Turismo range.”
For more information, see porsche.com