Jörg Bergmeister might have won Le Mans twice – 2004 and 2019, since you ask, both times in a Porsche 911 – but slithering about on snow is outside his comfort zone. “I usually get paid not to go sideways,” he quips.
We’re climbing the Rossfeldpanoramastrasse, Germany’s highest mountain road, and repeatedly going very sideways indeed. Jörg is hard at work, feet punching the pedals, palms constantly juggling the wheel. The Taycan GTS kicks up the fresh-fallen snow as we drift gracefully through steep hairpins, then slingshot along the straights.
After five frenzied miles, and 854 metres of vertical ascent, we crest the summit. My ears have popped and I’ve hardly blinked. Despite his misgivings, Bergmeister – literally ‘mountain master’ in English – has lived up to his name, but the car also deserves some credit. With instant electric torque, four-wheel traction and a beautifully balanced chassis, the Taycan Sport Turismo is an all-purpose winter weapon.
A question of Sport
The Taycan has already been a runaway success. It’s now the best-selling Porsche in the UK, accounting for one in three cars sold. Last year, the saloon was joined by the Cross Turismo estate, complete with raised ride height and rugged body cladding. Think of it as a sportier, more stylish alternative to an SUV.
Porsche says the new Sport Turismo straddles the two existing models by ‘combining the everyday usability of the Taycan Cross Turismo with the on-road dynamics of the sports saloon.’
In essence that means a lower ride height, the option of rear-wheel drive and even sleeker ‘shooting brake’ styling. It looks fabulously futuristic.
Seeing the light
Inside, build quality is flawless and the wraparound cockpit feels far more intuitive than Tesla’s oversized touchscreen. The Sport Turismo’s elongated roof allows 45mm more headroom for rear-seat passengers than the saloon, plus a more practical – if hardly huge – 446-litre boot.
There’s also an optional ‘Light Control’ panoramic sunroof, with liquid crystals that can switch from transparent to opaque.
The Sport Turismo line-up mirrors that of the saloon, stretching from £73,650 RWD to £140,080 Turbo S. Naturally, with the full Taycan range plugged-in and waiting outside our hotel, I went straight for the latter. There’s nothing like starting slowly…
Theme from S-Express
Deploying all of 625hp (or 761hp with launch control) on loose, powdery snow is nigh-on impossible, of course, even with winter tyres. Yet the Turbo S never feels unruly or unsafe.
Its smooth, linear acceleration gives me confidence to switch into Sport mode and enjoy the keener turn-in and sharper chassis. The differences versus the Cross Turismo are incremental, but they are there.
I switch into a Turbo for my run up the Rossfeldpanoramastrasse, which criss-crosses the border with Austria. Although it’s nowhere near as fast or fluid as Bergmeister’s effort, I’m having just as much fun.
The Taycan’s Electric Sport Sound makes ‘throttle blip’ noises as the two-speed gearbox downshifts before each corner. It’s pointless yet somehow hilarious (and yes, you can turn it off).
Traction in action
After a brief blast in the second-rung Taycan 4S, I grab the keys for the entry-level RWD. It offers a relatively modest 280hp with the optional Performance Battery Plus (fitted here), but a fully-charged range of 306 miles is what counts now. The late afternoon light is fading and we have a plane to catch.
What follows is the most exciting drive of the day, and in the slowest car. With only two driven wheels, I sense the transition between grip and slip, the frozen surface demanding constant concentration. The RWD lacks the brain-scrambling thrust of the Turbo models, but linear steering and brilliant body control are more relevant here– and indeed on UK roads.
For £800 more than an equivalent saloon, the Sport Turismo suddenly looks like the top-choice Taycan. It may just become Britain’s best-selling Porsche, too.
Tim Pitt writes for Motoring Research
Porsche Taycan Turbo Sport Turismo
TOP SPEED: 162mph
BATTERY SIZE: 94.4kWh
RANGE: 263-305 miles