Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo 4S Review: Going off-road in a Taycan

Words by Joel Foo; Photos by Horizon Drivers' Club
21 Mar 2022
 

The Taycan Cross Turismo is like a Swiss Army Knife then – a potent handler, decent off-roader and a practical family estate all rolled into one.

I’m not sure if the majority would agree with me, but the Taycan Cross Turismo (CT) is definitely the variant of the Taycan range that I have been most looking forward to. As sloping as the rear roofline of the standard Taycan might have been, its short rear overhang somehow hinted at its potential as a shooting brake/ estate. Whilst a similar body style may (already) be offered in the form of the ‘Sport Turismo’ versions of the Panamera and Taycan, the CT’s proposition as a Taycan that could put its power down on rough surfaces as well as it did on tarmac was most enthralling. Instead of leaving it to the renderings of amateur designers – analogous to how tech geeks would try to predict the design of successive iPhone models before launch – we were extremely pleased to hear news of the launch of the crossover version of the revolutionary Taycan. 

If you think about it, the Cross Turismo occupies quite a unique spot amongst the available EVs in the market. It takes Porsche’s ground-up EV and introduces both estate and SUV elements for added ruggedness and practicality. With gravel guards adorning the base of each wheel arch and a mix of matte and gloss-finished side claddings, it is hard to imagine anyone in Singapore that could fully utilise the protection that the Offroad Design Package affords, and more so the additional 3cm of ride height that it offers over the standard Taycan. 

In the urban jungle that is our country, the Cross Turismo (CT) somehow manages to blend ubiquitously amongst the other crossovers and SUVs in traffic (if you discount the Neptune Blue paintwork of course). The blacked-out 21’ Cross Turismo Design wheels though large and specially designed for the range, contribute to its overall subtlety as its uniqueness is best appreciated up close. 

Externally, there is no escaping the fact that the CT has a rather large footprint compared to other cars on the road. Coupled with the added “body armour”, the CT commands greater road presence over the standard variant. Surprisingly, as daunting the prospect of piloting a car as wide as the CT up the narrow carpark ramps in our CBD might have been, most of these concerns were assuaged by the excellent 3D surround view cameras that were seamlessly available for deployment as we made our way to the top floor for our shoot. 

On the inside, the CT possesses the same, and excellently designed cabin that the standard Taycan has, less for the addition of a Gravel Mode button (which we will get to later) and a Smart Lift function for raising its air suspension – both of which come as standard. Except for the possibility of certain gauges on its curved instrument cluster (depending on one’s configuration) being blocked from the driver’s view by the steering wheel from certain angles, ergonomics and fit and finish is top notch, all typical Porsche flair. What sets the CT apart from its standard cousin though, is its raised roofline – though the differences might not seem too drastic from the outside, from a rear passenger’s point of view, the added headroom is a welcome and noticeable change, especially for anyone towering over 1.8m. Of course, not forgetting the passenger in the middle, who is now able to sit up straight comfortably. Despite its rear opening having a high lip, its hatch, together with its raised roof enables the CT to fulfill family-ferrying and load lugging duties with ease. 

Now that the family is well seated, they too get to (comfortably) join in the ride – twisting the Drive Mode knob on the steering wheel to activate Sport Plus mode and launch control, it would be an understatement to say that our passengers found its 650 Nm of instantaneous torque exhilarating. Although 483 bhp (562 bhp on overboost) might not seem significant for a car that weighs over 2 tonnes, especially in the physics-defying world of EVs, the Taycan CT manages to make itself feel more brisk and athletic than its size and weight suggest. Yes, although the CT has noticeably more body roll through the bends than the standard Taycan (owing to its increased ride height), handling remains as taut as any sports car. Intangibly put, it still feels very much like a Porsche. 

What, however, is quite unlike Porsche, is the little button on the corner of the screen on the centre console that activates Gravel Mode. A standard for all CT models, Gravel mode raises the car by 20 mm (30 mm if the optional Offroad Design Packaged is specified) and adjusts its throttle response to suit light off-terrain surfaces. Priming the car for a short section of gravel road on our test route, we could definitely feel the air suspension doing its job to ensure maximum ground clearance. Once over the (psychological) hump of navigating an EV that is as sporty as any Porsche over the terrain, it felt as if the CT was a natural at handling light off-roading. It is a slight pity that our island does not naturally possess a wide selection of gravel tracks or off-road courses – otherwise, one would naturally find the Taycan CT home to trails like these. Afterall, it is still an all-wheel drive vehicle, and will serve as a perfect complement to any active lifestyle.

All being said and done, once settled into the rhythm of daily life where common-sense trumps all, the characteristics that set the Taycan CT apart from the regular model come to the fore. It easily settles into a highway cruise – its added ride height offers greater pliancy and slightly better comfort over uneven surfaces. Its estate-like silhouette and hatch complete the picture, enabling it to perform well on the school run. The Taycan CT is like a Swiss Army Knife then – potent handler, decent off-roader and a practical family estate. And most importantly, it is a Porsche.

In Summary

We Like

Raised roof line, hatchback, sheer pace and handling

We Don't

Can feel a bit large in traffic, but modern driving aids help

Verdict

All the fun you can have in an EV on road, off road, together with the family

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