First drive: 2021 Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo prototype review

It’s difficult to overstate the impact that the Taycan has had since it arrived, both on Porsche itself and on the wider car industry. Not only has the Taycan redefined what people thought an electric car could do, but it’s also the physical representation of how Porsche has shifted its business focus – and arguably even its whole ethos.

Look at the millions of euros the firm is chucking at digital start-ups if you want proof of that. Porsche even has its own sub-section, called Forward31, designed to build a portfolio of digital business. It’s all a far cry from the brand-defining victories at the Targa Florio and Le Mans: gone are the days of Porsche representing only class-defining ICE sports cars.

The Taycan is now the pivot point for the Stuttgart brand, where its high-performance products are joined by the electric upstart. So it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to learn that the Taycan family is expanding, first to this, the Taycan Cross Turismo. Here we’re driving a prototype of the final version, but it’s not far off what will arrive in the summer.

As is immediately obvious from the pictures, this is the more practical version of the Taycan saloon, much like the Sport Turismo is the booted version of the Panamera hatchback. As such, there’s a healthily sized boot on the Cross Turismo – up to 1200 litres. Below the parcel shelf, the difference doesn’t look as marked (exact figures aren’t available yet), but still, this is very much an electric Porsche that can easily do the whole family-transport thing.

There are further visual distinctions elsewhere, such as different wheels, a larger panoramic fixed glass roof and the roof rails in black (the last two both optional). Like the Mission E Cross Turismo concept from 2018, it comes with wheel-arch extensions, while it’s also the first Taycan to get a tow bar. Don’t go thinking that you can strap your caravan to it, though, because it’s purely to allow a bike carrier to be fitted. How very ‘lifestyle’.

Inside, there’s also an extra 36mm of head room in the rear. That doesn’t sound like much but, coupled with the larger panoramic roof, it certainly helps make the cabin feel airier back there. The Cross Turismo uses the same skateboard battery pack arrangement as the regular Taycan, including the ‘foot garages’, so the rear is comfortable.

The dashboard is largely identical to that of the Taycan saloon, save for a compass instead of the usual Sport Chrono clock. As such, the triple-screen set-up dominates, running all the way from in front of the driver to just ahead of the front passenger. These are all easy to operate, although, as with most touchscreens, there’s an element of ‘prod and hope’ in order to hit the button you want without taking your eyes off the road.

Everything else is ergonomically spot on, though, in the main. You sit nice and low, while the view ahead is clear. The slight blot on the copybook is around the rear window, whose aperture is a bit small.