2021 Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo - electric off-road performance

  • Jacked-up Taycan with a more practical bodystyle as well
  • Taycan Cross Turismo has standard 4x4 and larger battery
  • Price jacked up too - but you get more for your money

Porsche has only just released a lower-cost Taycan, bringing the long-range, 800V electric four-door coupe within reach of Tesla, I-Pace and e-Tron buyers. Now the Taycan Cross Turismo adds a more practical, sporty estate version - trading the racetrack for dirt tracks

The Taycan is an unusually competitive model for Porsche, showcasing the firm's 800V electric car technology in a luxurious, and expensive four-door coupe that is capable of giving the EV establishment such as Tesla a bit of a scare.

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2021 Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo front and rear

Porsche aren't known for 'value', yet the Taycan is quite competitively priced against rivals. True to form though, if you want the best a base-model Taycan can offer you need to spend about £8,000 on upgrades to the battery and suspension; even then, you still have a relatively small boot and two-wheel drive.

Taycan 4 Cross Turismo - bigger battery included

Which is why the Porsche Taycan 4 Cross Turismo, starting at £79,000, may have your attention. It's a five-door sports estate and crucially, it comes with the Performance Battery Plus, air suspension and all-wheel drive at that price.

2021 Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo, whire

It's a handsome cross-country tourer - taking lessons from the visually-similar Panamera Sport Turismo, it's more successful at blending Porsche lines and practical space than the original Panamera, and particularly attractive around the front three-quarter, where the packaging advantages of not having an engine result in a sleek, low and delicate design that's far removed from today's bloated SUVs.

Taycan Cross Turismo: power and performance

Mirroring the Taycan range, the Cross Turismo offers a 4, 4S, Turbo and Turbo S with differing levels of performance. The standard 4 is not exactly slow, with a 0-62mph time of 5.1 seconds thanks to the 380hp twin-motor setup; the large battery allows a range over 300 miles including city driving, and over 250 miles with a typical mix (manufacturer figures are below - our experience with the Taycan is that, as with Tesla and other higher-performance EVs, the range guidelines translate well to the UK's roads).

Using launch control, even the standard Taycan 4 can overboost the motors to produce 476hp if you want bragging rights - but for the ultimate performance the other extreme is the Turbo S.

2021 Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo Turbo S. driving off-road

For £140,000 the Turbo S upgrades everything except the battery, which is the same on all models at 93.4kWh gross (maximum), 83.7kWh net (actually used to deliver range). You won't find any turbochargers - it's just a name.

With launch control the Taycan Cross Turbo S can reach 62mph in 2.9 seconds, releasing 761hp through all four wheels; in normal use it drops to 'just' 625hp.

The range suffers a little as you move up the performance ladder, but Porsche still claim over 300 miles of city and 241 for cross-country driving - as with conventionally fuelled cars, how far you go on a 'full tank' is heavily influenced by how fast and aggressively you get there.

  • >> Taycan 4 Cross Turismo: 380/425hp - £79,340
    5.1s to 62mph, 338 miles max. range
  • >> Taycan 4S Cross Turismo: 490/571hp - £87,820
    4.1s to 62mph, 331 miles max. range
  • >> Taycan Turbo Cross Turismo: 625/680hp - £116,950
    3.3s to 62mph, 317 miles max. range
  • >> Taycan Turbo S Cross Turismo: 625/761hp - £139,910
    2.9s to 62mph, 306 miles max. range

Naturally all models of Taycan Cross Turismo are rated 0g/km for emissions, and support fast charging where available, up to 270kW. A conventional public 22kW charger will fully charge the Taycan in 5.0 hours.

Taycan Cross Tursmo: soft-roader

Although Porsche's got a fine history of actual off-road performance cars, the Taycan Cross Turismo is really aimed at unpaved tracks rather than outright off-road adventures. It'll handle a beach, dirt lane or grassy track just fine, with an optional extended clearance kit for rougher terrain extending the capability of the air suspension. Terrain modes encompass driving fast on gravel and other loose surfaces, drawing on Porsche's Dakar Rally heritage.

2021 Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo profile, whire

To underline the Cross Turismo's capabilities, it gains wheel arch cladding and decorative skid protectors on the front and rear bumpers, and 19-inch robust-looking aero alloy wheels; predictably you can go up to 21-inch with low profile tyres. Less useful off-road, but definitely needed to fill the arches if you want a sporty look.

Inside the Taycan's interior is largely unchanged, with intuitive controls, large displays and supportive, comfortable seats (that can of course be upgraded to even more luxurious items, should you wish). Boot space is much improved - the tailgate adds height, and the seats fold, giving between 405 to 1,171 litres of room.

2021 Taycan Cross Turismo with bike rack

You do lose some space compared to a Panamera Sport Turismo, but it's not much  when you remember the Taycan has an 84-litre front boot, which is well shaped for laptops or camera bags (or carrying charging accessories).

The standard Taycan has a 366 litre boot, for comparison, but the biggest advantage is the larger aperture on the Cross Turismo.

Taycan Cross Turismo on-sale date

Sales start now, and the Porsche Taycan Cross Tursimo is already on Porsche's website for configuration and pricing. Options include upgraded active anti-roll suspension, higher ground clearance, bespoke trim and a fixed panoramic roof with roof rails - as well the usual extensive catalogue of personalisation and upgrades, but the base spec you get is already well-equipped for range, comfort and performance.

What this means for you

There's another option for your high-end, performance electric car - and it's a good one. The Taycan is already an accomplished electric car with some genuinely clever, unique touches that make it a pleasure to drive, even in the UK's crowded towns and speed-restricted countryside.

The Taycan Cross Turismo adds practicality, trendy rugged style and consistent performance - no need to pay more for the best battery, for example.

Undecided EV buyers torn between the traditioionally-powered Panamera Sport Turismo and Taycan Cross Turismo will note that the Taycan 4S Cross Turismo offers quicker performance for less money - £87,820 vs £96,130 for the Panamera which takes 0.2 seconds more to 62mph.

For Porsche owners at least, there's little financial penality for going electric at this stage.

2021 Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo Turbo S, rear

While far from affordable, it compares well with the increasingly dated and commonplace Tesla Model S, higher-end Audi e-Tron and the Jaguar I-Pace - and because you get air suspension and full-size batteries it makes just as much sense as an entry-level Taycan 4, rather than the usual pressure to spend loads on upgrades.

If you were in the market for a regular Taycan or a Panamera Sport Turismo, you may want to reconsider.

Further reading

>> Best electric cars to buy in the UK
>> Best SUVs 2021
>> Best small SUVs 2021
>> Used Porsches for sale

2021 Porsche Cross Turismo driving