Porsche's electric grand tourer sets itself apart with its insane output and traditional driving values
Torrential Taycan: Porsche's first modern electric car The Porsche Taycan Turbo is very aerodynamic, with a drag coefficient of 0.22, making it among the most slippery cars ever made. PHOTO: PORSCHE

Porsche has undergone many dramatic changes in recent decades, but the most radical yet must be the Taycan, its first modern electric car.

Well, you may ask, what's so radical about that, given that so many brands have made battery-powered cars?

Firstly, going electric is a bigger deal for Porsche than most other brands because the Stuttgart stallion has long been associated with unabashedly wanton combustion engines.

Secondly, the Taycan is quite unlike any other electric car today. It is one which feels, drives and sounds closest to a petrol-powered car.

And that is a big deal. Because electric vehicles tend to come across a little like glorified golf carts. They also tend to be homogenous in their driving characteristics. They may differ in power and performance, but when it comes to how they make you feel at the wheel, they are often cold and clinically efficient.

The Taycan is something else. For starters, it is the sportiest-looking electric car there is today. Size-wise, it is slightly smaller than the Porsche Panamera - shy of 5m long, 2m wide and with a 2,900mm wheelbase (versus the Panamera's 2,950mm). Next to it, the Tesla Model S looks bloated.

Its form is backed up by substance. The car sits very low. It is only slightly taller than the 911. But with a flat bank of lithium-ion batteries on its underside acting like a ballast, the car has an enviable centre of gravity (CG). Porsche claims it is almost 10 per cent lower than the 911's CG.

It also happens to be very aerodynamic, with a drag coefficient of 0.22 (Turbo), making it among the most slippery cars ever made.

Powering the Taycan are two motors - one in the rear axle that is paired with a two-speed transmission and a slip differential and a smaller one in front.

They work in tandem or individually as the car sees fit. When extra traction is needed, it is an all-wheel-drive. Under normal conditions, it is a rear-wheel-drive. And when the car is cruising along at high speeds in Range mode (Eco), it switches to front-wheel to conserve energy.

No other electric car matches this level of cleverness.

But most crucially, the Taycan is an electric car which petrolheads will easily warm to. This is down to how it sounds and moves.

Its soundtrack is synthesised - Porsche says it took the sounds of the motors, eliminated the high pitches and amplified the low frequencies. The result is a note you swear is from an exhaust - especially on the outside.

Inside, you hear a mix of electric motor whine and soft drone of a four-cylinder in relaxed state.

The aural feedback alters with gear changes, giving you the much sought-after sensation of a sporty car as it downshifts. No other electric car tested thus far offers this.

The Taycan also offers instantaneous and lethal acceleration, making overtaking anxiety-free. Filling gaps in traffic is as effortless. The Turbo S hits 100kmh in 2.8 seconds, well within supercar territory. But as you tackle the twisty bits, the ebb and flow of the electric Porsche's drivetrain makes it entertaining.

And unlike all electric cars thus far, the Taycan does not offer one-pedal driving at all. Instead, you use the brake pedal to slow down or stop - again like a regular car.

This is because Porsche wants to preserve some driving purity and because it believes that coasting can also be efficient.

That does not mean it does not have recuperation. It does, with Sport Plus mode giving you the highest recuperation. By virtue of this, the resistance you get when you lift off acts like engine braking - most useful for tackling corners.

The Taycan is sharp and stable. It acquits itself well on the many narrow serpentine stretches along a 700km test route.

But it cannot hide its heft. Its 2.3-tonne weight is obvious as it tackles the sharper bends at speed. On the slipside, it is one of the most stable cars as the speedo nears 200kmh on the autobahn.

And the car attains that speed easily. Even the lesser Turbo is more than adequate, in whatever drive mode you choose. As radical as it is, the Taycan is clearly still very Porsche.