Just ahead of the debut of maybe the first true Tesla competitor, the Porsche Taycan, the Stuttgart-based automaker shared official photos of the EV sedan’s interior. It’s filled with five screens, one of which is solely for the passenger, and the direction of the air flowing from the vents is controlled electronically and not by hand. Here’s a closer look the interior of Porsche’s upcoming electric sports sedan.
Porsche flew me to Atlanta earlier this week to show me how the new Taycan will work, but while I can’t divulge any of that yet due to an embargo, we can gander at new pictures of the vehicle’s interior, which looks damn good with all of its screens.
Let’s first talk about the screen on the right side of the dashboard, which is nicely integrated into the black band running along the center section of the dash—instead of standing out like a glued-on tablet, as has become too prevalent in the industry.
Porsche doesn’t say much about the passenger’s side screen, so we’ll have to wait to learn more. Here’s everything the company mentioned in its press release:
The upper and lower sections of the dashboard stretch across the entire width of the vehicle in the shape of a wing. A central 10.9-inch infotainment display and an optional passenger display are combined to form an integrated glass band in a black-panel look, thereby blending in visually with the interior.
For the first time, front passengers in the Taycan have the option of their own touch display, allowing them to easily alter settings without distracting the driver.
So the passenger’s side display is optional, and though Porsche doesn’t mention its size, the screen at the center of the dashboard sits at 10.9-inches, so just comparing the two shows that the passenger’s screen isn’t exactly tiny.
Speaking of that 10.9-inch central screen, it’s the gateway to quite a number of features, and Porsche describes a few of them, saying:
All vehicle configurations for the Taycan, such as Porsche Active Stability Management (PASM), can easily be set up on the central screen via direct access. The driver can quickly access all apps via a clearly structured and customizable home screen. Apps include navigation, telephone, media, comfort and Porsche Connect. With optimized voice control, drivers can access the required function even faster.
The dominating screen is the Taycan’s 16.8-inch unit that makes up the gauge cluster. It’s curved, and instead of having a cover to block out the sun, it’s made of a glass with a polarizing filter to prevent unwanted reflection.
The way the digital gauges are set up can be configured, with Porsche offering four main modes. “Classic mode” gets rounded digital instruments, with the center one being a power meter. “Map mode” deletes the power meter in favor of a map, while “Full Map mode” gets rid of all round instruments and places a big map across the entire display. Then there’s “Pure mode,” which “displays only essential driving information such as speed, traffic signs and navigation using a minimalist arrow.”
You’ll also notice that on the edges of the big 16.8-inch gauge cluster are touch-control buttons that manage lights and performance related things like stability control, ride height, and damper settings.
Down below the central 10.9-inch screen, there’s an 8.4-inch display, which lets the driver easily change climate control settings, plus he or she can write on it with their hand, and—as shown in the picture above—it will show show the charging status when the vehicle is plugged in.
Honda, oddly, went heavy on the touch screen controls but found them reviled and later dumped some things in favor of old fashion buttons and knobs. So it will be interesting to see how people take in Porsche’s setup.
The final, fifth screen is, like the passenger’s screen, optional, and it’s located on the back of the center console. The 5.9-inch unit with haptic feedback is there to allow rear passenger’s to control the available four-zone automatic climate control.
Part of that control involves adjusting not just temperature and air speed, but also direction, because the vents for the rear passengers, like those on the dashboard, cannot be manually adjusted.
Instead, occupants control the direction of the air flowing from the vents via touchscreens. Porsche discusses the system in its press release, saying:
Traditional, mechanically-operated louvres belong to the past, as airflows are now controlled both digitally and fully automatically (“Virtual Airflow Control”). By clicking the Climate menu, it is possible to switch between “Focused” for fast, directional cooling and “Diffused” for draught-free air conditioning.
If it’s not obvious, Porsche’s ditched as many mechanical buttons and louvers as possible, and the company seems proud of this, writing in its press release:
All user interfaces have been completely re-designed for the Taycan. The number of traditional hardware controls, such as switches and buttons, have been greatly reduced. Instead, control is intelligent and intuitive – via touch operation or a voice control function that responds to the command “Hey Porsche”.
I think the interior, whose dashboard shape Porsche says was inspired by that of the original Porsche 911 and whose seats can be specified completely leather-free, looks quite good. The way the screens are all integrated into the dash is elegant, and doesn’t feel forced like other tablet-style screens in luxury cars. I also like that the setup not too over-the-top. Sure, it looks modern and has five screens, but there are still clearly some older Porsche elements including what looks like a fairly normal Porsche steering wheel. That wheel, in case you’re curious, comes in two styles, standard one with available color inserts and GT, which gets “visible screw heads” and a round driving mode switch found in other Porsche models.
I also like the little dash-mounted electronic shift lever, which looks quite similar to that of the Porsche 918.
It’s not wild, but I’m into it, and I’m looking forward to seeing more when the car debuts in Niagara Falls early next month.