The Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo brings practicality to ballistic performance

Back in 2018, Porsche unveiled a concept car that really made people sit up and notice. Called the Mission E Cross Turismo, it was essentially an electric car for those who liked to tackle more rugged terrain. Despite its positive reception at the Geneva Motor Show that year, it soon looked like it would become yet another concept car lost to the history books.

But not this time. No, Porsche has now put that concept into production in the form of the impressively unchanged Taycan Cross Turismo. Based on the already-exceptional Taycan EV, the Cross Turismo boasts some more go-anywhere technology for those who like to, well, go anywhere. We’ve grabbed a short test behind the wheel in a left-hand-drive version ahead of UK versions arriving this summer.

The Cross Turismo is underpinned by the same setup as you’ll find in the regular Taycan, with an electric powertrain combining with a sleek, stylish exterior to create a car which both drives and looks like little else on the road today. However, as well as an even more striking fastback-style design, the Cross Turismo also gains a variety of upgrades over the standard car which will help it when the road gets a little tougher.

Photos: PA Media

All versions boast the same three-chamber air suspension that you’ll find on the regular Taycan, but ground clearance has been increased by 30mm. In addition, a new Gravel driving mode changes the chassis, throttle and traction control systems to give the driver more assistance when travelling over loose terrain.

We tested the Cross Turismo in range-topping Turbo S specification – the most potent of the bunch. It uses an electric motor mounted to both front and rear axles, which is then combined with a 93.4kWh battery. Turbo S cars are able to access a huge 616bhp – though a headline 751bhp can be deployed when the car’s launch control system is activated, allowing the Cross Turismo to nail 0-60mph in just 2.7 seconds and carry onwards to a top speed of 155mph.

Porsche claims that, combined, you should see up to 260 miles from a single charge, while thanks to the ability to accept up to 270kW of electrical power, replenishing the batteries from five to 80 per cent could take as little as 22 minutes.

The Cross Turismo meanders along the road with all the poise and finesse that we’d expect from a Porsche product. This is a big, heavy car, of course, but Porsche has done very well to disguise the car’s bulk through the Cross Turismo’s light, agile steering. It corners so matter-of-factly, too; pitch it into a bend and whereas other EVs might push wide or start to feel ragged, the Cross Turismo merely clings on, tightening its line as it continues around.

The ride is excellent too, with the Cross Turismo’s increased ground clearance having very little notable effect on the way it corners. The performance, of course, is utterly breathtaking. Short bursts of throttle have to be kept very short indeed in order to preserve your licence, yet the way the acceleration has been managed means that you can easily drive the Taycan in a far more sedate fashion – this isn’t a car which has to be driven hard all of the time. We didn’t get a chance to test the Cross Turismo on the rugged terrain for which it has been designed – so hopefully we’ll be able to report back on this soon.

When the regular Taycan hit the scene it brought design which appeared hard to improve upon. Somehow Porsche has managed it, though, with the Cross Turismo’s squat, elongated proportions appearing both properly futuristic and thoroughly exciting at the same time. The back of the car is a particular highlight; it’s so squat that it looks like the car is practically hugging the ground.

The more rugged styling touches give the Cross Turismo even more presence, too. The roof rails, for instance, give the car that go-anywhere aesthetic while the black wheel arch surrounds and large rear diffuser enhance that appeal even further.

Up front, the cabin of the Cross Turismo is practically unchanged over the standard Taycan. It’s beautifully finished, with an excellent seating position combining with a variety of high-quality, great-to-feel materials.

But practicality is the name of the game here and in that respect the Cross Turismo does well. That elongated roofline means that rear-seat headroom has been boosted, while total luggage capacity sits at 405 litres with the seats up, or 1,171 litres with them folded down. They represent considerable gains on the standard Taycan, which does mean that the Cross Turismo will no doubt prove a hit with those who found the regular car just a touch too small. The rear hatch is also nice and wide, which makes accessing the boot and loading larger items into it a touch easier.

Our Turbo S test car sits at the very top of the range, which means that it boasts all of the bells and whistles you could possibly want. You get 20-inch aero design wheels alongside LED headlights, advanced climate control and thermally insulated glass. Electric 18-way sport seats are included too, as is a central 10.9-inch  infotainment display which incorporates all of your media and navigation functions, as well as Apple CarPlay.

For added lifestyle points, you can option a Porsche e-bike to accompany your Cross Turismo which can be fixed to a bespoke bike carrier designed exclusively for the car. It allows you to access the boot without having to remove the bicycle, too. A custom-made roofbox is also available.

The Cross Turismo represents a genuinely exciting and eye-catching new direction for Porsche. It’s great to see a striking concept car make its way onto the public road, bringing with it the kind of design which you’d expect to see on a motor show stand rather than out in the real world.

Given its increased practicality and – to our eyes at least – enhanced visual appeal, we’d expect a lot of buyers who were already looking at a Taycan to be tempted by the Cross Turismo.

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