Porsche is a name that’s synonymous with endurance racing. The 917 and 919 both became history-making cars in the sport, both managing to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans in their respective eras, and Porsche is getting ready to enter the new LMDh class by 2023. Porsche seems to want to extend that endurance racing DNA into its latest all-electric offerings, as the company took to the legendary Brands Hatch circuit in the UK last December to do a boundary-pushing 1000 kilometre run with two Taycans!
The Taycans used for the run were two road-registered standard production cars (a Taycan 4S and Taycan Turbo S specifically) and were driven by a star-studded lineup of Le Mans legend Richard Attwood, 2020 Porsche Carrera GB Cup champion Harry King, former F1 driver Jonathan Palmer, 2020 Cayman Islands Porsche Sprint Challenge GB Champion James Dorlin and experienced British motoring journalist Colin Coodwin.
Attwood and King drove the Taycan 4S, whilst Palmer and Dorlin drove the Taycan Turbo S. Goodwin, meanwhile, shared driving duties between both cars.
Both Taycans were given special liveries with historic significance to Porsche’s endurance racing past; the Taycan 4S had a special Salzburg-themed livery harking back to Porsche’s first outright victory at Le Mans, whilst the Taycan Turbo S had a livery that harked back to the Porche 956 of 1984 that Jonathan Palmer won the 1000 km of Brands Hatch in that year.
The drivers drove in endurance racing-style stints over the 1000 km distance, with Motorsport UK officiating over the attempt and ratifying all the timings and measurement provided by TSL Timing.
Whilst a number of different venues would be suitable for the run, including high-speed bowls as well as traditional race circuits, a traditional race circuit in Brands Hatch (specifically, the 1.208 mile / 1.944 km Indy Circuit) was chosen due to its different challenges that are more relevant to the real-world applications of the Taycan.
Porsche was relying on the Taycan’s ability to charge itself up really quickly, its ability to regenerate up to 265 kWh of energy under braking and its exceptional thermal management (better than that of a comparable Tesla) to get it across the line after 100 km. It seems that Porsche was proven right, as the run was a complete success!
The result of the 1000 km run was that the two Taycans ended up setting 13 new UK endurance records in the ‘electric cars over 1000 kgs’ category. The Taycan 4S took the records for time taken from a standing start to cover 50 kilometres, 50 miles, 100 kms, 500 kms, 500 miles and 1000 kms, as well as the record for distance covered from a standing start in 1 hour (61.013 miles / 98.192 kms). At the same time and within the same category, the Taycan Turbo S took the records for time taken from a standing start to cover 200 kms, 100 miles and 200 miles as well as the records for distance covered from a standing start in 3 hours (156.806 miles / 252.356 kms), 6 hours (279.657 miles / 450.065 kms) and 12 hours (569.028 miles / 915.762 kms).
The two Porsches ended up covering the 1000 km distance in 13 hours, 0 minutes and 25 seconds starting at 7:00 am and ending at 8:00 pm, meaning that many of the laps took place in the dark. Both cars achieved an average speed of 47.7 mph. During the run, the Taycans also consumed an average of 1.38 miles/kWh, working out at 72.5 kWh over a distance of 100 miles.
During the run, the Taycan 4S spent a total of just over 3 hours exiting or entering the charging area or charging; this was completed over the course of 6 stops lasting around 30 minutes each time.
Due to social distancing requirements, each car had to be managed by a small crew of just two people, along with a technical representative and an overall co-ordinator.
Communication was maintained between the teams and cars using Porsche’s proprietary onboard PCM system, Sports Chrono stopwatch and Porsche Connect app and a connected hands-free mobile phone.
All in all, this was an incredible long-distance achievement for an electric car. Hopefully it’ll inspire much more advances in EVs in terms of their endurance both under road and track conditions and, who knows, maybe an all-electric Porsche will enter the 24 Hours of Le Mans or the 24 Hours of Daytona one day?