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Porsche's Taycan EV has pulled in more than 20k deposits (engadget.com)
67 points by clouddrover 16 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 62 comments

Did Porsche change the terms on these deposits? When they were announced, local magazines reported (correctly) that these "reservations" don't reserve anything, all Porsche owes the payer is regular information about the vehicle. In particular, they don't affect the deliveries in any way.

They're basically refundable deposits with no obligations on either side, so 20.000 wealthy people either misunderstood the terms or paid to receive newsletters.

Sounds exactly the first Model 3 reservations... sans securing the beta build of a car (which is a plus for some)

Maybe they just really want the car and can afford a deposit.

Securing a spot in line was the whole point of Model 3 deposits.

IIRC, the order of deliveries depended on state and the specific build and options. This was clear up front.

Perhaps you are both correct, and the reservation secured your spot in line. Not a global line for all Model 3 sales, but a small line for your particular combination of build and options.

Yes. Having a reservation let you order earlier. All else being equal, an earlier reservation let you order before a later one, but there were other factors as well.

I saw both sides of this, placing a reservation and then ultimately waiting for a version that didn’t require one. I did get a chance to order before it opened up to the general public, but I didn’t take advantage.

Yeah, but based on the announcement of $35K car which was not what was delivered for over a year, so the terms only applied to the customer not Tesla and the spot in line didn't matter much.

Or they're a way to put dibs on a spot in line to decide whether to buy the car, and the size of the deposit exists only to ensure that people are minimally serious.

In which case, there is some signal to be extracted from people's willingness to give Porche an interest-free loan on the deposit money.

I wonder how they structured it legally. Does anyone have a contract, either in German or English? Can't seem to find it online.

Thank you very much!

I'm 100% sure the interior of this car will have a much better finish than a Tesla. A Tesla inside just feels cheap to me.

Agreed. I was interested in Tesla before I took one for a test drive. It handled fine and it was nice to drive, but the interior really felt lacking for such an expensive vehicle. Drop the same for a Mercedes and you'll have a very comfortable ride. I ended up not getting a car at all, I'll wait for an EV with an interior to match the price tag.

It was the other way for me. Test drove the Cayenne, Macan, GLC43, S, X and a few other vehicles. With the Porsches and Mercs, while the seats were super comfortable, it was like walking into a "button exhibition". And my god the typefaces they used on the Merc and the forced use of a barely working "joystick" instead of a touch-screen was all counter-intuitive.

Of course this was in 2017 and things could've changed now, but with my 2 years in the S, I'm sold on Tesla. Only rule being get a Tesla 1 year after the model is introduced so they iron out all the production issues.

I've never been much of a fan of Porsche interiors, but Mercedes have always felt quite intuitive to me, and very comfortable seating. I quite like the central wheel thing they've had forever, more so than the new touch pad thing I've seen on the newer models. I also prefer buttons and other physical interactions over touch screens though, never quite understood why they are the new hot thing. The big screen in the Tesla just made me stressed, and I couldn't use it while driving because of the need to look at the screen. Maybe this goes away with time, but I find the same with the big touch screens in the new Volvo models as well.

Touch screens are really bad to use on uneven roads too, where bumps will make you accidentally press whatever and now all my fans are at 100% and I don't know how to fix it...

Tactile interfaces matter on the road! Car touchscreens are a modern trend that needs some evolution.

I really like the combination of Mercedes rotary wheel/button interface with a Apple CarPlay, it's pretty much my ideal interface. Huge icons and text, not a lot to clutter, and a simple and consistent input mechanism. The wheel is great, and comfortable. A few more buttons for things like temperature control and seat/mirror adjustment and I'm set in terms of non-steering column interface.

I don't understand. Why would anyone want a touchscreen when you can have actual buttons?

It seems like a good and futuristic idea until you almost drive off the road trying to change radio volume.

Case in point: I was in a new Volvo XC40 just yesterday and the fans were going like crazy. I tried adjusting this on the big screen in the middle but ended up having to park and adjust it while standstill because I couldn't figure out how to do it without taking a (long enough to crash) moment to look at the screen to know where to point and drag. Before they went on board with the touch screen craze they had physical dials for this, did the job every time. Mercedes have buttons, which is less ideal, but still better than a touch screen I have to navigate through.

The issue is that while buttons are far more expensive and provide a better user experience, touchscreens look better and are much cheaper. So what is a luxury car manufacturer to do?

I suspect expense is not as much of a problem as upgradeability. Buttons are fixed in place forever, digital interfaces can change with each app, and apps themselves can change with a firmware flash or OTA update.

Despite early detractors, touch interfaces are now dominant in mobile devices for this reason, their flexibility.

On the other hand, cost or not, tactile interfaces let human drivers keep their eyes on the road. I suspect that when cars are fully autonomous, nobody will care about that any moore.

Despite early detractors, touch interfaces are now dominant in mobile devices for this reason, their flexibility.

I'm in the market for a new flagship phone (mostly for a highly portable connected camera), and if I could get one with a physical keyboard I'd buy it in a heartbeat instead of debating and delaying trying to decide.

Especially in a car, reconfigurability is an advantage for the manufacturer more than it is for the user. Like you hint at in your last paragraph, touchscreens completely deny the use of, ironically, our sense of touch.

There is a perfectly valid market for devices with keyboards, home buttons you can press with gloves on, &c. We agree on this.

I absolutely agree on the ugly fonts in Mercedes. New Porsche replaced a multi button interface with a dual touchscreen, which I am not a fan of. I really like the Bmw iDrive system. It gives you an option to use either a touchscreen or a rotary wheel, it’s super convenient.

In the auto enthusiast circles, it's widely accepted that this side of ~2006 Audi is the gold standard for interior. They're going into the full EV market and are really pushing the advertising for their Audi e-tron very hard. I don't know about anything else, but I can guarantee you it will be luxuriously finished with attention to detail.

(VW group owns both Audi and Porsche. Porsche interiors, despite coming in more expensive vehicles, still play second fiddle to Audi's and are generally a little more austere.)

I've owned Audis. Recently visited a Porsche dealership to look at Macans and Panameras. Shocked at how cramped the interiors were... And maybe if the Macan was going to be cramped because it's a small car, the Panamera would be roomier.

But at 6 feet tall, I couldn't imagine sitting in either car regularly. So maybe I'm not a Porsche kind of guy.

So, all things being equal, that experience lowered my Taycan interest, and kept Audi e-tron interest pretty high.

And I don't know enough about their roll-out plans yet, but I do wonder about the Audi charging network availability.

But at 6 feet tall, I couldn't imagine sitting in either car regularly. So maybe I'm not a Porsche kind of guy.

Unlike some other brands, the Porsche Macan can be configured exactly the way you want it. Options are a la carte. There are some option bundles, but you aren't forced into them. A Macan without a sunroof has lots of headroom, both front and back. I'm 5'11" and my head doesn't come close to the roof.

But if you're 6'6" then you're probably very limited to the cars you can sit in. Basketball players tend to drive large SUVs, such as the Cadillac Escalade.

The only way to know what the Taycan will be like will be to sit in one. Plus you certainly don't want one of the first few model years. The pioneers always wind up with arrows in their backs.

I do wonder about the Audi charging network availability.

Tesla was forced into doing a supercharger network, because there was nothing like that out there. But it would be insane if every manufacturer felt the need to build out their own network. That seems crazy inefficient.

Porsche interiors are typically solid (albeit German-ly engineered, especially the cupholders). It'll be miles ahead of Model 3 interior.

IMO, Porsche's interiors are pretty ugly with thousand buttons everywhere. I personally prefer the clean lines of Tesla

For me that's a plus.

I'll take buttons I can operate without taking my eyes from the road every single time over clean lines that I only see with eyes off the road. I'm very much not a fan of more and more touch making its way into every car make.

porsche can be worse than an 80s cheap honda when they want to, so get them down of that high horse.

for proof, go see a 1999-2006 carrera 911/996.

Which details should I look for, exactly?

Quality of plastics is the main thing. I don’t think it’s as poor as people hype it up to be.

This doesn’t make sense.

Looking back a decade to try and descredit a notion about cars they build today does what exactly?

Company goals, priorities and quality change over time.


Related: Polestar, Volvo's spinoff, is also taking deposits on their Polestar 2, which they also position against Tesla's Model 3:


Price is higher than the Telsa, but you could take the view that just like Porche, they bring Volvo's experience--good or bad--at running a sustainable manufacturing business to the table.

Call me superficial, insecure, vain, pathetic, etc. There's no way I'm driving around in a car called the Polestar. It's just not happening.

I'm not sure why you find the word so troubling.

Polestar have been racing Volvos for a decade, and Volvo have been selling Polestar editions of their cars very successfully. "Polestar" is essentially Volvo's performance branding, just like AMG for Mercedes and M for BMW.

I personally like the V60 Polestar, it's a nice little 360hp wagon. I have a Polestar engine tune on my personal wagon.

As for the word itself... Volvo is from the Nordics, and culturally the Pole Star is a significant and positive term:


These numbers don’t mean much. There are plenty of people willing to put down a bit of refundable cash for their electric car dreams.

A tiny Canadian company called ElectraMecchanica has over 40,000 paid reservations for their Tofino electric roadster ($1k deposit each). Does that mean they’re going to be twice as successful as Porsche?

The difference being that Porsche Taycan is going to happen and the owners are going to benefit from the overall Porsche service infrastructure.

Sure. Just saying that 20k deposits is actually low by “electric dream machine” standards.

They initially announced only 20k cars to be manufactured. The reservations prompted them to double the number. That’s exactly the point of the article.

Well earned. The car is beautiful, even in the renderings. If it succeeds, we could expect an electric 911 in 4-5 years. Who knows.

The iconic shape and design of the 911 is dictated by its engine placement. I feel with an electric drivetrain, a new design would be needed. A design copy of the 911 would be lazy and regressive. The abilities and packaging of electrics are amazing. Too amazing to sacrifice for looks. And I say that still perfering petrol cars.

Actually I think, the 911 shape is a great shape for an electric sports car, and that it is not a coincidence, that the Model 3 has some very remote similarities. The 911 is designed as a very aerodynamic car, enabled by the rear engine. As there is no engine in the front, the front part is very low and without a large cooler, consequently without the dominating grille. For good aerodynamics you want low fronts and a very smooth shape. The rear part of the 911 is constantly declining with basically no vertical section at the end, also great for aerodynamics. Picking up these aerodynamic features would completely make sense for an electric car - the rear won't be completely filled by the engine but allow for a trunk.

It might still sell well. Drive a new Camaro or Challenger, and you'll see they heavily sacrificed driver visibility for the sake of better emulating the old look.

So many vehicles these days have really lousy sightlines. I rented some Dodge sporty car a few months back and I almost felt unsafe driving because I didn't have a good view when changing lanes.

These "sporty" muscle cars are designed for drag racing. No need to change lanes there! Just look up the marketing for Charger Demon. It's not a bug, it's a feature ;)

What are you referring to here? Modern cars have bigger pillars so they can roll over, at the expense of massive blind spots, you seem to be talking about something else?

Those two cars happen to have really terrible visibility for the driver. It's not just the safety aspect or just the pillars. It's the rake of the windshield, low seating position, and body shape all together.

I imagine it's because the designers wanted a shape that emulated the old cars, and everything else had to work around that.

Ok thanks, I wasn't sure if was a trend I had missed or what.

> The iconic shape and design of the 911 is dictated by its engine placement.

The engine placement only made some characteristics possible (e.g. the low bonnet). If the shape and design were "dictated" by the engine placement, surely other cars with rear engine would have to look similar?

> I feel with an electric drivetrain, a new design would be needed.

Why change something that clearly works? Experiments like the i3 can go very wrong.

What if the battery pack was placed where the engine is in the 911? I do admit the frame would have to be strengthened even more to protect the battery pack, but that's no different than an engine.

I would presumably think that rear-placed battery pack and drivetrain would keep the typical 911 handling characteristics.

1. I don't know if there is enough volume there. 2. If there is, the weight balance of the car would be fucked.

Good point. 997 and 991 generation 911 weight distribution is around 38%-62% split (front vs rear). I'm not too sure on weight numbers of battery packs these days, but perhaps these could be split between front and rear of the car to get to those distribution numbers as close as possible.

Otherwise yeah, you end up with 930 Widowmaker 2.0 and cars spinning rear-first into a tree.

Are there different renderings than the one shown on the OP article? That one looks like some spaceship car caricature to be found front and center in Fast and the Furious 27: Electric Drift.

I wish they'd suck with Mission E as the name, but it's a nice looking car either way

I sat in the Taycan at a Porsche sponsored conference last year. The design feels so plain normal and boring to me. The Model 3 design is 1000% more innovative. I am convinced that car museums in the future will have a Model 3 on display, but not a Taycan.

That said, if you like Porsche, the Taycan gives you a Porsche with an electric motor. That is the only innovation I can see here.

I took once a Tesla-taxi from Schiphol to Amsterdam center. It had a huge touch screen console and the driver could not enter the destination into the carnav because of some annoying modal pop up.

If turning a car into a crappy pc/tablet is innovative then yes. But some people just like to drive their cars (by themselves)

For people expecting Tesla like software, upgrade experience, user experience, they will likely be disappointed. Otherwise you should just expect nothing much more than a Porsche that has an electrical drive train

"For people expecting Tesla like software, upgrade experience, user experience ..."

That sounds like a potential selling point ...

"Otherwise you should just expect nothing much more than a Porsche that has an electrical drive train ..."

For me, the killer features are the CoG and weight distributions of a "skateboard design", achieving AWD with multiple motors, and the acceleration/torque advantages of an electric drivetrain. It appears that the Porsche has all of those.

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