The Porsche Taycan is efficient. It is powerful. It is handsome, spacious, luxurious and well-made. It is everything you want in a car. So, what could be wrong with it? you might ask yourself after you crash off of the yard and onto the roof of a neighbor’s BMW.
First, the details of the wreck. The driver was pulling into a driveway in Mannington, in the UK, as The Sun reports, down on a quiet cul-de-sac.
[A] local told Sun Online: “I feel sorry for the guy. He was visiting a neighbour of mine.
“I heard it and went to offer some help to make sure he was ok. Luckily, there were no serious injuries.
“I heard it happen, it was a loud crashing noise. He was pretty shaken up. He had a few bumps and bruises, but he was ok.
“He seemed like a really nice, genuine guy and he’d just smashed up his new Porsche.”
The video in question was posted by an unnamed “vehicle recovery firm,” as The Sun reports, but it has since been posted and re-posted again going viral. Here is the clip in full res, getting roasted by British Touring Car Champion Matt Neal:
Here is the full length of the wreck, in which you can see the car pause for a moment on the steep grade before getting into action. This is what stirred the imagination of the TaycanForum, which was quick to point out that this was probably just a case of a driver mixing up the gas and brake pedal. Forum user chicane had a more precise view of the problem:
i bet any money car was in hold position due to the steep incline, driver wanted to creep it further up hill but smashed the gas too hard to get it out of hold. Car is really difficult to creep when its in hold mode as I have this happen to me daily as i park in a tight drive way and need to get very close to the car in front of me.
Again, no one was grievously injured in the crash, as The Daily Mail also reports, though the British tabloid further notes that “the driver is believed to have bought the £83,000 Porsche Taycan just five days before yesterday’s accident.” That’s $110,000 in USD, if you’re curious.
I can’t go into too much detail dissecting why this crash happened. Been there, done that. I can say that this does highlight a few issues with the Taycan in and of itself:
It’s too fast. The Taycan is supercar fast. It sprints to 60 in 2.6 seconds in Turbo S trim, with 750 horsepower going through all four wheels. It’s race car fast, honestly, and while race car drivers spend years sweating their ways through go karts and junior classes, all with their careers on the line, Porsche Taycan drivers just get handed their keys and wished the best. The learning curve is not flat, and the thought of this happening to a dude five days into ownership doesn’t surprise me.
It’s hard to control. Well, it’s probably better to say that it’s too easy to control. This is not a Taycan-specific problem. You can mix up your pedals in any car with an automatic. Though I will point out that TaycanForum members say that they have pedals mounted closer together than they’re used to. Here’s what they look like:
Also that its transmission lever looks like this:
It’s also too heavy. This Taycan weighs close to if not more than 5,000 pounds. It is an SUV in the shape of a sedan. Once it’s out of control, it becomes a rather large rhinoceros charging in whatever direction you inadvertently pointed it.
It’s too big. The Taycan looks relatively normal on wide American suburban roads and on German highways. It looks genuinely small on American highways, where we all drive F-150s. In the UK, as you can see, it is as large as a house. Would you want to suddenly try to wrestle an out-of-control house with instant all-electric torque shooting you off a ledge?
It offers a false sense of security. The Taycan is outfitted with every modern safety system, active and passive. It’s got everything from radar-guided cruise control to absorbent crash structures built into the body, and a five-star crash rating from Euro NCAP. None of that stopped this guy from driving off a ledge. Rethink your idea of a “safe” car.
Are these problems that only the Taycan suffers? Not at all! Hell, Toyota paid $1.2 billion to end its unintended acceleration scandal. I’m sure this guy could have somehow managed to do something like this in my 1974 Volkswagen Beetle if everything went wrong. (He’d be a lot more banged-up, too.) I just would be a lot more surprised about it.
In the end, take this all as a little reminder that getting behind the wheel of a two-ton car is almost certainly the most dangerous thing you’ll do all day.
Update: Porsche Cars North America has responded to this post with the following statement:
We are grateful for the chance to respond. This incident occurred in the UK several weeks ago – we’re relieved to hear from our colleagues in England that no one was harmed. Safety is at the core of everything we do at Porsche and the Taycan was designed from the ground up with this in mind. We deny the allegations contained within this story in the strongest possible terms and find its message misleading. This was an accident, believed to be caused by the driver inadvertently depressing the accelerator while the car was in ‘drive’ as he reached for something behind him – an unfortunate and unforced driver error. There is no evidence to suggest that there was any fault with the car of any kind. Again, we’re relieved to hear that the driver was unharmed. We take our responsibility for the safety of anyone in or around one of our cars extremely seriously.