Believe it or not, Porsche didn’t set out to cash in on the safari build craze with its new 2021 Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo. It wasn’t 911 owners tossing up Instagram-perfect dirt clouds, but rather, city-dwellers with one parking space and a need to escape who they had in mind. Yet somehow Porsche’s perfect one-car garage still ends up leaning hard into the kind of off-pavement fun that’s taken the Porsche world by storm, and that’s why it rules.
Porsche transformed the Taycan we know and love into a more spacious wagon, added extra ground clearance, and made the larger battery pack and all-wheel drive standard in order to make it the perfect EV for going out into nature. Its overall vibe is so outdoorsy that they launched it with its own custom bike rack alongside two new Porsche e-Bikes, for Pete’s sake.
One thing is for certain: the Taycan Cross Turismo looks ready for fun even without the higher-profile nubby tires I’d like to put on it. The regular Cross Turismo has a 20-millimeter (0.78-inch) increase in ride height in its standard ride mode, and if you get the Off Road Design Package, that increases to a 30-millimeter (1.18-inch) lift by default.
The Taycan Cross Turismo has Porsche Active Suspension Management standard, which works with the car’s air suspension to prepare the car for different kinds of terrain. The real star of this party—Gravel mode—raises the Taycan Cross Turismo’s air suspension up to that maximum 30-millimeter height increase. That isn’t all Gravel mode does, though, as it also adjusts the suspension firmness, torque management system, and traction and stability control to maximize grip on loose surfaces like gravel, sand and mud.
Visually, the Taycan Cross Turismo gets fender extensions, a different front and rear fascia and unique rocker panels. Extra body cladding helps keep rock chips from tearing up too much on the car.
Practicality is the name of the game, as the Taycan’s long-roof body adds both headroom and stuff room. Front passengers get 0.35 inches more headroom while rear passengers get a whopping 3.62 inches more. The cargo space is larger than the regular Taycan, too, with 15.7 cubic feet in the two less powerful trims and 14.3 cubic feet in the two upper-tier Turbo trims. Folding the rear seats forward gives you up to 42.8 cubic feet of cargo space.
It isn’t just headroom that makes the new Taycan Cross Turismo feel so roomy inside. The panoramic glass roof comes standard, although you can order a slick-roof version if you want. The glass roof adds useful roof rails up top, though, just in case there isn’t enough space for things inside.
If you need even more space, Porsche also designed a Taycan-specific bike rack that mounts to the rear of the car. The Taycan doesn’t have the structure for a traditional tow hitch setup, hence the need for a special design.
Should you need something to fill said bike rack, Porsche announced today that it will also sell two different electric-assist bicycles through its dealerships, both of which feature carbon wheels inspired by the Taycan’s roofline. The Porsche eBike Sport is geared more towards on-pavement fun, with a full-suspension carbon fiber frame, Shimano drivetrain, Magura brakes and Supernova lighting. The Porsche eBike Cross is the version ready for dirt, with a hydraulically adjustable Crankbrothers seat post, Shimano trip computer and Magura MT brakes.
The drivetrain on the Taycan Cross Turismo is one of the things that isn’t all that different from the regular Taycan sedan. Every version of the Taycan Cross Turismo comes with two motors (one per axle), a two-speed rear transmission and the Taycan’s 800-volt battery architecture. The larger 93.4-kWh Performance Battery Plus pack that’s an upgrade on the regular Taycan sedan is standard on the Cross Turismo.
Other standard perks include active aerodynamics and Porsche’s PCM infotainment system. The Cross Turismo also has two new wheel designs which are cool, but at 20 and 21 inches, they’re also probably not what Team Safari This Wagon is looking for.
The Taycan Cross Turismo launches with four trims, largely based on the existing four Taycan sedan trims. The Taycan 4 Cross Turismo is your entry point into gravel Porsche glory, with similar specs to the base Taycan with the larger Performance Battery Plus pack: 469 horsepower and 368 pound-feet of torque. Likewise, the Taycan 4S Cross Turismo really just packs another flavor of the Performance Battery Plus-equipped Taycan 4S drivetrain, packing 562 hp and 479 lb-ft. of torque. There’s also a Taycan Turbo Cross Turismo with 670 hp and 626 lb-ft. of torque and exactly zero turbochargers. Then there’s the one we really want: the 750-horsepower, 774-lb-ft. Taycan Turbo S Cross Turismo.
Surprisingly, the Cross Turismo’s extra goods don’t slow it down much more than its pavement-queen counterpart. The Taycan Turbo S Cross Turismo rockets from 0 to 60 mph in just 2.7 seconds, only 0.1 seconds slower than the regular Taycan Turbo S. The Taycan Turbo Cross Turismo, Taycan 4S Cross Turismo and Taycan 4 Cross Turismo are no slouch in the 0-60 department, either, clocking in at 3.1, 3.9 and 4.8 seconds respectively.
Porsche says that there are over 21,000 possible different configurations across the now-eight-car Taycan range—and that’s only taking into account the different options for trim level, exterior color, interior selection and wheel choice. That’s not getting into the nitty-gritty details like deviated stitching or available tech options like the Porsche InnoDrive driver assist package. I think this means you’re silly if you don’t order yours in a loud color!
The range starts at $92,250 for the Taycan 4 Cross Turismo (all prices including delivery fees). The electric safari long-roof Porsche geeks crave hits is expected to hit U.S. dealerships in summer 2021.
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