Automakers always try to highlight specific features of a new car as some sort of revolutionary innovation. It’s the process that gave us “dynamism.” Now there’s a new one; a designer just called the passenger footwell of the upcoming electric Porsche Taycan a “foot garage” with a straight face.
Last week, Porsche released a likely-scripted interview with Michael Mauer, the style director at the company, where he revealed the upcoming all-electric Taycan sedan has been engineered with something he called “foot garages.”
Here’s the snippet from the interview (emphasis added):
The Taycan is absolutely unique in terms of its proportions. Usually, purely electric vehicles are higher than their conventionally powered counterparts because the relatively heavy and large batteries are positioned in the floor of the vehicle while the occupants sit above them. We were not willing to accept this.
However, you can’t just install the batteries in a different place – for reasons relating to driving dynamics alone – as the centre of gravity must be as low as possible. Because you also can’t just make the vehicle wider, the specific challenge was to position the passengers as low as possible without them having to assume a reclined position like in a Formula 1 racing car. We solved this with so-called “foot garages”.
They enable a comfortable sitting position even in conjunction with the sporty vehicle height. In retrospect we can say that this so-called package was the greatest challenge. How high can the vehicle be? How long and how wide should it be, how horizontal or upright will the passengers sit? That’s what’s typically Porsche to me – this striving to find the ideal solution.
While the concept of a “foot garage” seems pretty straightforward, I still have to block the mental image of my feet sliding into a corner of a Frank Lloyd Wright masterpiece. I figured Mauer probably means they left some space in the battery unity in the bottom of the car to make sure the passengers could sit comfortably.
But I couldn’t be sure so I reached out to Porsche, and a spokesperson pointed me to this Porsche website for the Mission E Concept car that features an image of exactly what Mauer is describing:
See those two square areas where it looks like the battery is missing? Those are the foot garages.
I imagine, since the front seats don’t also get garages for human feet, that this may also have something to do with mounting the rear seat lower to achieve better headroom under the sloping roofline of the Mission E concept, which the production Taycan sedan is based on. Or maybe not.
So there you have it. If you ever find yourself in the backseat of a Porsche Taycan one day, rest easy knowing your feet are surrounded by chemical batteries just inches from the road rushing by below you. May your foot garages get good airflow.