A less-expensive, rear-wheel drive Porsche Taycan variant is on the way, slotting below the current all-wheel drive 4S, Turbo, and Turbo S models, according to a new report.
The entry-level model will have a smaller battery pack, and will be "more accessible price-wise," Porsche R&D boss said in a phone interview with Car magazine.
This puts more of a commitment to what Porsche originally hinted to Green Car Reports and other media outlets during the Taycan's technical preview last summer—to expect a normal cadence of variants, echoing its gasoline model lines, and not expecting the model to be limited to dual-motor forms.
The automaker previously said it would launch a 79-kilowatt-hour Performance Battery option for the all-wheel drive 4S, with lower performance numbers, but also a lower price. That version was due to arrive later this year, but Porsche hasn't provided update timing due to coronavirus shutdowns. All Taycan variants currently on sale use the larger 93.4-kwh Performance Battery Plus.
Porsche appears to be going in the opposite direction Tesla did with its Model S. The Silicon Valley automaker previously offered entry-level, rear-wheel drive variants, but has pared the lineup down to two versions, both with all-wheel drive and the same 100-kwh battery pack.
Yet Porsche insists that it doesn't consider Tesla a rival. In another recent interview, Steiner said the two automakers have different goals, noting that Tesla is targeting higher sales volumes with its Model 3. He also said Porsche will focus on quicker charing, as well as reducing battery size and weight, rather than outright range.
Speaking of range, the longest-range Taycan variant is currently the 4S, which is EPA-rated at 203 miles. That's up from 201 miles for the Turbo and 192 miles for the Turbo S.
Could a rear-wheel drive model surpass those figures, even with a smaller battery pack? It's possible, given the weight savings from ditching all-wheel drive.