Setting the first ever EV BIC lap record with a Porsche Taycan Turbo S

Porsche Taycan EV lap record at Buddh International Circuit

After the record-breaking lap of the 911 GT3 RS, setting a lap record for a production EV in the Taycan Turbo S may have seemed like a sideshow, but it wasn’t, especially not when you look at the lap time Narain finally clocked – an amazing 2m 10.313s. Compared to the GT3 RS, this may seem slow but for a production EV, it’s a shattering lap time that we think will remain unbeaten for a long time. To put the Taycan Turbo S’ lap record in perspective, we need to delve into some of its important specifications first. At the heart of this Taycan Turbo S are two permanently excited synchronous electric motors – one on the front axle and one on the rear axle, which deliver a combined 750hp and 1,050Nm of torque and propel or rather catapult this sports EV to 100kph in 2.8 seconds. These are big numbers but on a track, it’s not absolute power but the power-to-weight ratio that counts. And like most EVs, the Taycan Turbo S is heavy, weighing 2,870kg, a good 1,135kg more than the GT3 RS. But why are we comparing these two, which are at the opposite ends of Porsche’s spectrum? Both cars are out to conquer the BIC on the same day in the hands of the fastest Indian. For Narain, who just cracked a sub-2min lap time in the extreme GT3 RS, a hot lap in the silent and far more luxurious Taycan Turbo S was going to be a Sunday drive. Or was it? The brutal acceleration took even Narain by surprise. “I can’t believe how fast this thing accelerates. It’s crazy.”

Porsche Taycan BIC EV record
FMSCI weighs Taycan Turbo S to ensure it meets homologation specs.

For the record run, the all-important tyre pressures are set, but that’s about it. Unlike the GT3 RS, there’s nothing to play with except the drive modes, and on a track, the default setting is obviously Sport Plus mode with the traction control firmly off. The battery’s state of charge (SOC) is the most important thing because unlike the GT3 RS, which can be topped up with 100 octane in a few minutes, you can’t simply fill up the Taycan with a jerry can of volts. Unloaded off a flatbed truck, the Taycan has a 100 percent charge, which should be good enough for a couple of hard laps.

Porsche Taycan BIC EV record
Track temperature, ambient conditions favourable for maximising performance.

Watching the Taycan Turbo S fly past the start-finish straight with a swift and silent woosh is anti-climactic after the GT3 RS’s screaming flat-six, which reverberated around the track. What tells you that Narain is on a flyer is the loud and anguished squeal of rubber around the corners. “This car is heavy, so there’s a lot of weight transfer and stress on the tyres so you have to be a bit gentle through the corners,” he says. The low centre of gravity, courtesy the heavy 93.4kWh battery pack, helps balance the car through the fast transitions in the middle section. “The Taycan’s steering is fantastic. It’s so precise and has great feedback, which lets me accurately place the car on the track. I just love it!” says Narain. The straight-line speed also impressed him. “Performance in a straight line is incredible and that’s where I gained a lot of time. The Buddh International Circuit has two long straights, so it just eats them up.”

Porsche Taycan BIC EV record
Tyre pressures aside, road-going Taycan needed no track prep.

Interestingly, the Taycan Turbo S clocked around the same top speed as the GT3 RS at the end of the straight, but reached it much faster. After the tense and on-the-limit laps with the GT3 RS earlier in the day, Narain was far more relaxed in the Taycan and was actually enjoying himself, a big grin planted on his face every time he came into the pits. So does he think EVs are fun? “They are so much more enjoyable to drive now and the fun factor in cars like this Taycan Turbo S is right up there. I think there’s a bright future for performance EVs.”

Securing both the fastest ICE lap record and the EV record is a way for Porsche to unequivocally assert its dominance on the track. So whether it’s ICE or EV, Porsche stands as the pinnacle of speed. And when the lap record is broken again, don’t be surprised if it’s with a Porsche.

Narain Karthikeyan's POV

Porsche Taycan BIC EV record

After the GT3 RS, the Taycan Turbo S is a completely different animal and equally impressive, albeit in a very different way. It also has to be driven in a very different way. It weighs around 1,000kg more than the GT3 RS, so it’s a very heavy car and you need to do all your braking in a straight line so as to not upset the balance. In the sharper 1, 3, 4 and 5 turns, I take a sharper line like a V instead of a U and slow the car down right to the apex. You feel like you’re really slow, but you can’t rush into the corner because the weight just pushes the car away from the apex. But once you hit the apex and nail the throttle, the Taycan Turbo S explodes like a rocket ship out of the corners. The acceleration and instant response is of another level and it felt so much faster down the straight than the GT3 RS. However, it can’t come anywhere close in the corners and was 20kph slower in the Parabolica! But in the corners, it’s still a lot of fun. I switched off the traction control and the Taycan Turbo S felt so nimble, the rear end stepping out neatly. This is such an easy car to drive, which speaks volumes of Porsche’s engineering even with EVs.

Also see:

How the Porsche 911 GT3 RS lapped the BIC in under 2 minutes

Breaking BIC records in a Porsche 911 GT3 RS, Taycan video

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