Porsche Taycan upgrades: 2020 cars get performance boost

Porsche is offering a complimentary software update on the Taycan, to bring 2020 model year cars into line with the latest versions.

Additionally, a retrofit for a 22kW AC on-board charger will be available from the end of the year, with a price still to be confirmed.

Despite these updates being software-related, this isn’t an over-the-air update. Unlike some releases from rivals, such as Tesla, the Taycan will need to be taken to a dealer.

Taycan product boss Robert Meier, explained that there are safety reasons for doing so: “We have changes on control units that are safety relevant – for example, the power electronics of the engine – and we want to be absolutely sure that this update goes through in a completely safe way. And that when we give the car back to the customer we want to be sure that it’s completely bug-free.”

The Taycan was updated back in September 2020, so any car purchased before that will benefit from this release.

The enhancements relate specifically to the car’s dynamics, the charging functions, the Porsche Communication Management (PCM) and additional Porsche Connect features.

For Taycans with adaptive air suspension, the update adds the Smartlift function to the car, allowing the car to be programmed so that the ride height is raised automatically at certain locations. In other words, if your regular commute includes a section of speed humps, the Taycan will remember where these are and raise the nose accordingly.

There is also optimised chassis control, improving wheel slip control and acceleration in the Turbo S in particular. As such, the 0-200km/h sprint is now 0.2 seconds quicker.

Charging tweaks relate to the software around the navigation. You can now set the charge level with which the Taycan will reach your destination, and drivers now receive a notification via the app when the necessary battery level has been reached. There’s also a battery-saving charging function, which reduces the speed from 270kW to 200kW where possible, helping to prevent overheating in the battery cells.

Despite charging stations at Porsche dealers offering up to 350kW charging capacity, the Taycan’s will remain at 270kW. The issue is the hardware, as without significant upgrades to the battery cells, there is only so much power the car can absorb.

Meier confirmed that “there are hardware limits on the battery cell and so long as you don’t change the battery cell itself in the car, you will not be able to improve the amps you push into that cell by a huge amount. You will not see a quick improvement of the charging power within the Taycan with the hardware you have in the car.”

However, Meier did hint at future plans for other models. “When you look to the next car generations, which we are developing, we are happy that the chargers are able to do more than 270kW and we of course work on that topic.”

There are also satellite navigation tweaks, so the display gives more online information such as more precise traffic information. iPhone apps are now available in the PCM and Apple podcasts are available to Taycan owners. Android Auto remains unavailable.

Piers Ward

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