It's a heavy vehicle, but some impressive tech contributes to a good lap time.
Germany's Sport Auto is a venerable name in performance vehicle testing and regularly evaluates vehicles around the Nürburgring Nordschleife and Hockenheim. In its most recent video, the driver gets behind the wheel of a Porsche Taycan Turbo to see how the EV performs around the track.
As an EV, there's obviously none of the dramatic sounds that a combustion engine makes. Instead, the high-pitched sound from the electric motors dominates the noise. The squealing tyres and roar of air moving over the body are also audible.
Gallery: 2020 Porsche Taycan Turbo
The Taycan is generally composed but can be a handful when the driver pushes so far. There are plenty of times when the rear gets lights, and the pilot has to apply some counter-steering to remain on the track.
Hockenheim is a course that offers a mix of high-speed straights and tight corners. On one section, the Taycan manages to hit 160.9 miles per hour (259 kilometres per hour), which is just a hair away from Porsche's claimed top track speed of 161 mph.
The Taycan completes the lap in 1 minute and 54.1 seconds. To compare against other Sport Auto tests at Hockenheim, a Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 gets around the circuit in 1:53.9 – a mere two tenths quicker. A BMW M5 Competition is just a bit slower than the electric Porsche with a time of 1:54.2. Behind all three of them, there's the Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 that completes a lap in 1:54.6.
The Taycan being quicker than the GT500 seems especially impressive to us, even if judging vehicles by their specs on paper doesn't necessarily translate to real-world lap times. The Porsche has 616 bhp (670 bhp when using launch control) and 626 pound-feet, while weighing 2,328 kilograms ( 5,132 pounds). Meanwhile, the hot Mustang has 760 bhp and 625 lb-ft and tips the scales at 1,892 kg (4,171 lbs).
Generally, more power and less weight is a recipe for success, but the Taycan packs tech like all-wheel drive and four-wheel steering for an edge. Plus, Ford positions the GT500 as more of a drag racer than a corner-carving track machine.