What hath the Taycan to do with the Panamera? Our expert investigates.

Underneath the just-revealed Porsche Taycan, and underpinning its impressive specs for power and range, is an all-new platform—different than anything used for a current Porsche or Volkswagen Group product. The Taycan will, eventually, share its brand-new J1 platform with the Audi E-Tron GT; but for now, it borrows some pieces from existing models, which should allow Porsche to keep some costs down for this large investment.

The Taycan may have an all-new platform, but no matter what the verdict on its Porsche soul, it will share the Stuttgart lineage in body. The Taycan’s closest relative in the Porsche family tree? The Porsche Panamera.

Looking at cutaway images of both vehicles, it’s easily apparent that the Taycan takes a lot from the Panamera. The rear subframe mounting appears to be very similar, even though they contain two different types of axles and the rear control arms appear to almost be identical. The story is very similar in the front, as we see a similar control arm and upright design—based on the illustrations that have been released so far.

One of the first items that pops out on the Taycan spec sheet is the steering, which is listed as having 15.5:1 to 9.3:1 ratios in standard configuration and a 14.2:1 to 9.3:1 ratio if equipped with rear axle steering. These ratios are a direct match for the Porsche Panamera; the Taycan likely borrows the electric power steering system from the Panamera along with the rear axle steering components. 

2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo Sport Turismo rear 3/4
2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo Sport Turismo Porsche

Although the Taycan will probably receive unique tuning for the steering system, the matching ratios mean that it will likely have a similar steering feel and response as the Panamera.

Moving on to the brakes, we see that the Taycan Turbo S has an impressive brake system with 10-piston monoblock aluminum calipers in front and 4-piston calipers out back. The calipers clamp 420×40-mm ceramic discs in the front and 410×32-mm discs in the back. 

Once again, we find a similar spec on the Panamera; the Turbo S E-Hybrid is equipped with the same braking system in the same exact sizes. Based on the use of the brake system, it is not a stretch to think that the caliper and disc part numbers may match, along with similarities in the design of the suspension upright. 

The similarities don’t end with the brakes and steering; the Taycan is very close in size to the Panamera, coming in 3.4 inches shorter than its combustion counterpart, and sporting a wheelbase 2 inches shorter than the Panamera. The Taycan Turbo S has a 1.3-inch wider front track than the Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid—a fairly close margin—which appears to be accomplished, in part, by moving the hub slightly outward. In larger part, however, the front track owes its increased width to a 0.9-inch change in wheel offset versus the Panamera (when equipped with 21-inch wheels). 

Porsche Taycan Chassis
Porsche Taycan Chassis Porsche

A similar story plays out with the rear track: the Taycan Turbo S is only 0.7 inches narrower than the Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid, and accomplishes the change partly with a 0.2-inch change in wheel offset and partly by bumping the hubs slightly outward.

While there are some carryover parts and similar designs underneath, it is obvious that the Taycan’s body was designed from the ground up with efficiency in mind. The Panamera has a drag coefficient that ranges from 0.28 to 0.30 depending on the model and aero, and the Taycan has an impressive drag coefficient of 0.22 in Turbo Trim and 0.25 in Turbo S trim. Both Taycan trims have a frontal area of 2.33 square meters, so the differences in drag likely come from cooler and aero arrangement for the more powerful model.

A new entrant in the electric vehicle space is exciting, and based on what we’ve seen so far, the Taycan should feel and drive very much like a Panamera—but with much more on-demand torque. Fun stuff.

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