Feels like a dystopian sci-fi future now, doesn’t it? Getting more performance out of a car historically required actual, physical modifications, but in the modern world where electrons provide propulsion, a “performance tune” can be as simple as just a software upgrade.
Case in point: Porsche has just rolled out a new software update for the 2020 model-year Taycan EV, with the Turbo S variant in particular receiving improvements to its wheel slip control – and as a result, shaves off 0.2 seconds in its 0-200 km/h sprint!
To be clear, this specific software has already been updated on the Taycan in September of last year, so this is really to get the older Taycans in line with the latest versions. According to Autocar, the update relates specifically to the car’s dynamics, the charging functions, the Porsche Communication Management (PCM), as well additional Porsche Connect features.
For Taycans with adaptive air suspension, the update adds on a new Smartlift function to the car, which can be programmed to automatically raise the ride height of the car at predetermined locations. For example, if your regular commute includes a section of speed humps, the Taycan can remember that specific location and automatically raise the car whenever you approach.
The Taycan also received updates to its battery management and navigation system, both interlinked through a new battery-saving function which reduces the power output from 270 kW to 200 kW where possible – helping to prevent overheating in the battery cells.
The navigation system also now displays more online-sourced information, such as more precise traffic data. iPhone apps are also now available in the infotainment system, with Apple podcasts being the new addition onboard. Android Auto however remains unavailable.
Despite this being a software update, this specific release for the Taycan will need to be completed at a Porsche dealership, unlike what some of its rivals – including Tesla – are doing.
Taycan’s product chief, Robert Meier explained that this is due to safety reasons: “We have changes on control units that are safety relevant – for example, the power electronics of the engine – and we want to be absolutely sure that this update goes through in a completely safe way. And that when we give the car back to the customer we want to be sure that it’s completely bug-free.”