CARS REVIEW

Tested: 2021 Porsche Taycan Turbo S Cross Turismo Is Supercar Quick

2021 porsche taycan turbo s cross turismo
SEAN C. RICECAR AND DRIVER

If the Frozen Berry Metallic paint of the Porsche Taycan Turbo S Cross Turismo reminds you of a glittery pink salmon, you’re in good company. The comparison is more than scales-deep, too, as both Porsche and poisson are majorly muscular and highly adaptable to different ecosystems.

The Turbo S is the big fish of the Taycan Cross Turismo lineup, capable of streaking to 60 mph in 2.4 seconds. Acceleration is so forceful that this shiny specimen feels capable of vaulting over Hoover Dam and skipping across Lake Mead in search of a mate. Unrelenting thrust means the quarter-mile flits by in just 10.4 seconds at a speed of 131 mph. Launch control enables this rapid ascent, unlocking the full 750 horsepower from the dual electric motors. Dial back the urgency, and there’s still 616 horsepower and 774 pound-feet on tap. Having that much instantaneous power available recalibrates the concept of what’s possible. That poorly timed light you can never quite make before it changes? No longer a problem. Passing a caravan of left-lane dawdlers on the interstate? Accomplished before you finish reading this sentence. We may continue to take issue with Porsche’s use of the word Turbo on an EV, but there’s no denying the result.

2021 porsche taycan turbo s cross turismo
SEAN C. RICECAR AND DRIVER

We found most of the other performance figures to be equally as Turbo-like. Gigantic Pirelli P Zero Elect 265/35ZR-21 front and 305/30ZR-21 rear tires are as tenacious as they are meaty, serving up 0.98 g worth of grip on the skidpad. And when it comes time to drop anchor, the g-forces push you hard against the seatbelt. With Turbo-sized carbon-ceramic brake rotors (16.5 inches in front, 16.1 inches in the rear) squeezed by 10-piston front and four-piston rear calipers, velocity disappears faster than a fish slipping through your fingers. Stopping from 70 mph requires only 152 feet—an impressive number, even if it’s not quite as good as the 2020 Taycan 4S we tested. With the same tire and brake setup, that version stopped in 147 feet and also pulled 1.03 g on the skidpad.

2021 porsche taycan turbo s cross turismo

We’re inclined to chalk up the difference to weight. With an 83.7-kWh battery pack nestled beneath its floor, the Turbo S strains the line at a whale-like 5294 pounds compared to the 5128 pounds of the 4S. Despite the big battery, the EPA estimates the Turbo S Cross Turismo’s range at just 202 miles, and overall efficiency is similarly disappointing at 74/73 MPGe city/highway. On the street, we were able to do slightly better, averaging an indicated 83 MPGe on a charge. Give it several hard pulls, however, and the Cross Turismo will quickly drain its electrons.

2021 porsche taycan turbo s cross turismo
The anadromous side is reflected in the Cross Turismo’s ability to effortlessly navigate a variety of terrain. This is the outdoorsy member of the Taycan family, as evidenced by the seemingly requisite chunky black plastic cladding applied beneath the bumpers and atop the wheel arches. But point the Cross Turismo down an unpaved road, and those visual cues go from ersatz to essential. The five-position air suspension at full stretch can provide 6.9 inches of ground clearance, enough to navigate many debris-strewn trails. Hill climbs are effortless and drama-free thanks to the instant, abundant torque at all four wheels. And a dedicated Gravel mode helps you unleash your inner Sébastien Loeb, with suspension, ride height, and traction settings all optimized for maximum performance over loose surfaces.

Although every Taycan is a hatchback, the Cross Turismo’s wagon-like profile suggests a more practical, purposeful demeanor. Standard roof rails can accommodate a variety of adventure equipment, and a rear-mounted bike rack is also available. Outward appearances can be deceiving, however: With only 14 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats, cargo volume in the Turbo S is no better than its sedan-shaped non-Turbo siblings. (Non-Turbo Cross Turismos eke out a slightly more spacious 16 cubic feet when equipped with the base audio system.) The longroof proportions do pay off for rear-seat passengers, who benefit from an additional 3.6 inches of headroom compared to the sedan. Legroom is another matter, though, with only a scant 32.0 inches available. Not only is that significantly less than the spacious Lucid Air (37.5 inches), it’s also tighter than an Audi A3 (35.1) As a result, stretch-out space is at a premium, despite the Cross Turismo’s 114.3-inch wheelbase.

2021 porsche taycan turbo s cross turismo
SEAN C. RICECAR AND DRIVER

Up front, comfort is measurably better, even if the ergonomics are hit-and-miss. The shifter is awkwardly mounted below the instrument panel and obscured by the steering wheel. Retrieving items from the center console is hindered by an armrest cover that doesn’t stay in the fully open position. During the day, the panoramic glass roof provides little protection against the glare of the sun. A Light Control option is now available on select Taycan models, which should help. At night, the cockpit is awash in light emitted by the array of screens across the dashboard, including a 10.9-inch screen for the front passenger that’s part of the Technology Package ($4940). Even at their dimmest settings, the light pollution is annoying at best, distracting at worst. We were also disappointed by the poor sound quality of the Bose audio system, with the only noticeable bass coming from the warble of the fake engine sound. With only 65 decibels measured at 70 mph, the hushed environment of the Cross Turismo is the perfect soundstage for great audio and makes the Burmester system ($5810) a worthwhile upgrade.

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After all, six grand is drop in the bucket compared to our Taycan Turbo S Cross Turismo’s as-tested price of $204,570. Is the Turbo S worth the tremendous premium over the Turbo or the 4S? It depends whether the additional horsepower and quicker 60-mph times are worth the bragging rights. But as any savvy swimmer knows, only the quickest one to the destination wins.

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