Final testing of the incoming Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo is taking place, ahead of the electric vehicle (EV) estate-crossover's full debut in March and global launch in summer.
More rear headroom, bigger boot
Like its four-door coupe-saloon EV counterpart, the Cross Turismo has gone through Porsche's usual extensive testing programme. But as this particular model has more of a lifestyle/adventure flavour to it, then not only has it been put through its paces at race tracks like the Nürburgring Nordschleife and Hockenheim GP circuit, but it has been driven off the beaten track in the south of France, in the Pyrenees and at the 'Safari' course at the manufacturer's own Weissach Development Centre. So far, the prototypes have covered 998,361km in total, which is equivalent to driving round the equator almost 25 times.
Most obviously, the Cross Turismo rides higher than the regular Taycan, and it also has a larger boot plus more headroom for rear-seat passengers. However, Porsche says it features 'all the strengths' of the EV saloon, such as 'superior performance and long range'. That likely means the 4S, Turbo and Turbo S model hierarchy will be carried over from the Taycan, although don't expect a rear-wheel-drive variant of the Cross Turismo as it is an off-road-type vehicle, when all's said and done.
'Swiss Army knife on 21s'
Stefan Weckbach, vice-president model line for Porsche, said: "When developing the Cross Turismo, we were of course able to build on our experience with the Taycan sports saloon. The biggest challenge was combining the requirements of sportiness with off-road capabilities. The Cross Turismo has to be capable of high performance on the race track and must also be able to handle scree, mud and gravel. The result is impressive. However, the Cross Turismo is not a hardcore off-road vehicle, but specialises in unpaved and dirt roads. It's like a type of Swiss Army knife on up to 21-inch wheels."
Like its normal combustion-powered vehicles, the EVs of Porsche must undergo climatic testing at the extremes, to ensure everyday usability even in the very coldest/hottest places on Earth. The Cross Turismo has already done 325 hours in the Porsche wind tunnel in storm-like conditions, building on the 1,500 hours the Taycan saloon logged during its own development phase. And then, on the lifestyle side, it has a bicycle carrier that is capable of hauling a number of e-bikes on it, but the carrier will not foul on the floor when the Cross Turismo and nor does it significantly affect the handling on tarmac.
An estate offshoot of the Taycan range is entirely sensible, because the big EV has been an incredible success story for the German manufacturer. More than 20,000 Taycans were delivered to customers in 2020 alone, while the model accounts for a colossal 70 per cent of all Porsches sold in Norway (a very forward-thinking, early-EV-adopting country - more than 1,000 examples are now on the roads in the Scandinavian country and Porsche's sales have doubled in the country, purely as a result of the Taycan.