Who would have guessed that it would start snowing on the day we set out clock to “summer time” aka day light saving? Well, that in combination with the phase of #Stayathome self-quarantine it just seems like the perfect time to reminisce over an unforgettable trip to Finland.
Let’s go sideways with the Porsche Taycan 4S on ice and snow!
On the throttle the Taycan is anything but familiar to what you have ever experienced. Depending on the situation, it can switch from rear-wheel drive to all-wheel drive or front-wheel drive, practically instantaneously. The effect is that you can get it way, way sideways, seemingly to the point of no return, and still save it. The tail comes around so far that you think you can see its taillights in your peripheral vision, but if you stay with it (and have room to slide), the Taycan can haul itself back around without spinning
Did you know that the “Electric Sport Sound” was developed in Finland? Drifting without according sounds from the car is utterly confusing.
Hence a specific sound was developed to give guidance to the driver, some sense of the engines “whereabouts” and therefore an idea where and what the car is about to do. After having had a go around with the sound on the first question which came to my mind was “how will it be with no sound, just no reference what so ever”. A few minutes later I found myself behind the steering wheel of the same exact model, at the start of the same track and with a grinning co-passenger. I started off and once we hit higher speeds I somewhat had not much of an idea where the rev-counter was, what best to do next, when to brake, when to accelerate… it’s strange how extremely used we are to the noises of a combustion engine in situations where time doesn’t allow you to check the rev-counter or speedometer, at times where you simply have to drive. Once the sport sound was turned back on, everything seemed just perfect and the car drifted, perfectly as before, along and I was in a much lesser stress period thoroughly enjoying the ride.
The experts from Porsche confirmed my experience: “The completely different vehicle acoustics is certainly one of the most striking differences,” says Christian Wolfsried, Development Engineer Chassis Driving Dynamics, “which is why the idea for the Porsche Electric Sport Sound also arose out of the m-low tests. For the driver, intuition is closely linked to acoustic sensor technology. This is because we have always been accustomed to it in conventional vehicles. So the PESS is more than just an emotional gimmick: it offers a real benefit in demanding driving situations.”
It ain’t getting cold with this warming buffer technology
The lower performance of electric battery systems at low temperatures is due to the higher viscosity of the electrolyte. The resulting increased internal resistance of the battery results in a loss of performance. Porsche therefore not only preconditions the high-voltage battery when it comes into contact with the mains, it also overheats the cells to up to 28 degrees Celsius, depending on the outside temperature. In this case, the thermal energy of the 650 kg battery is used intelligently as a warming buffer storage tank. The clever design of the battery box also ensures that as little heat as possible is dissipated from the battery to the environment.
Skidpad, drifting and all the fun
On a skidpad streaked with both grippy snow and bare ice, the 4S found so much grip that the challenge wasn’t spinning out but adding enough throttle to keep it tail out in a drift. At one point during a sideways circumnavigation of the pad, that meant adding power until we saw 120 mph of wheel speed versus maybe 15 mph of progress around the chosen radius. The 4S’s bag of drift tricks also includes a limited-slip rear differential, brake-based torque vectoring, and four-wheel steering.