(The Car Connection) — Is it heresy that there’s no 911, Corvette, or Mustang in this slot? The Car Connection’s Best Performance Car To Buy 2023 wears an appropriate brand—but there’s almost no heritage behind its model name.
We’re good with that, because the Porsche Taycan electric sedan cracks off near-impossible feats of grip that have left grins on our faces two years after we drove it for the first time. It brims with personality, from its 2.6-second peak acceleration from 0-60 mph to its sleek, fanged look.
Whether it’s a GTS sedan or a Cross Turismo hatchback, the Porsche Taycan bristles with Porsche identity. Those prominent LED headlights cut through differently than the ones on a Panamera or 911, but the sleek sideview’s completely compatible with those class benchmarks. The interior lays everything where it should be without the artificial drama of a yoke steering wheel or a full-width screen; it just works, and it works even better when it’s wrapped in the showiest shades from the Porsche leather and trim palette.
Fresher than a Tesla Model S but not quite as quick, and slightly off the Lucid Air’s pace, the Taycan nails what neither of them can claim to have conquered: handling. The Taycan steers and rides with the fluid grace of a 911 and with most of its nerve-ending responses, too. It’s nearly the perfect drift car, stable and utterly predictable as it scorches its path across asphalt or ice. Base cars sport a 79.2-kwh battery pack and a single rear motor with a 2-speed transmission for a 0-60 mph time of 5.1 seconds; with the larger 93.4-kwh battery and a second motor in the front, the 750-hp Taycan Turbo S can launch to 60 mph in 2.6 seconds.
The compromises to make with the Taycan are typically Porsche. The rear seat’s barely adequate for two adults, and the base price of $88,150 really ends up at more than $100,000 by the time you add the $1,680 19.2-kw onboard charger, the $460 150-kw DC charger, and the perfect upholstery and trim. Even then you can rightfully claim it’s a bargain–at least compared to the $200,000 or more Taycan Turbo S.
With no limits on price or performance, we were very much shaken by the Lucid Air and the promise of its upcoming Sapphire edition, by the Honda Civic Type R, and even by a nutso off-roader, the Ford Bronco Raptor. In the end, the Taycan’s vivid mission statement—the best of all worlds, efficiency included—rang the most true.