Hello Porsche Taycan: Tesla-rivaling Mission E gets its launch name

Porsche has revealed the name of the production Mission E all-electric sedan, which will launch as the 2020 Porsche Taycan. The name was confirmed today, at the official opening of the "70 Years Porsche Sportscar" special exhibition at the Porsche Museum in the Zuffenhausen district of Stuttgart, Germany.

The name "Taycan" means, roughly, the equivalent of "spirited young horse," Porsche says, a nod to the animal on the company's crest. "The name has its linguistic roots in the East," according to the firm. It's pronounced "tie-can," though, just to keep things sufficiently confusing.

It's likely to cause a few arguments about the wisdom of Porsche's decision. Though the Mission E name was always said to be simply what the all-electric sedan concept was called, and not what the automaker had intended for the production car to necessarily bear, it had been generally well received. As we've seen in the past, something that resonates positively with potential buyers can be enough to persuade a car company not to go ahead with a rebranding at all.

Whatever the badge, though, Porsche's goal is the same: give Tesla some serious competition. The Taycan will go on sale in 2019, offering a four-door alternative to the Tesla Model S. While final performance figures haven't been shared for the car, Porsche is talking about a 0-62 mph time of around 3.5 seconds.

In contrast, Tesla's most potent Model S can do 0-60 mph in 2.4 seconds. Porsche is likely to follow its current strategy for gas and hybrid cars with is all-electric models, though, and offer varying degrees of performance under badges like "S" and "GTS" in the future. That leaves the way clear for even faster versions.

Of course, for an electric car there's more than just speed to consider. Range is equally important, and there Porsche has suggested that the Taycan will go over 300 miles on a full charge of its 90 kilowatt-hour battery pack. The sedan will support 800 volt, 320 kW DC fast charging for some of the most rapid recharges possible today: sufficient, it's suggested, for around 250 miles of range to be added in under 20 minutes.

That sort of charging station network simply doesn't exist at present, however, and so Porsche is taking it upon itself to build it. At least 500 fast chargers will be built across the US by the end of 2019, the automaker has promised, at both its dealership locations and in strategic points along highways. All the same, Porsche still maintains that most drivers will get all the power they need for the car at home or work locations.

The Taycan will only be the first of a range of all-electric cars from Porsche, which the company maintains will carry forward its legacy of sporting performance despite the change in powertrain. Also on the roadmap is a luxury crossover, previewed in concept form as the Mission E Cross Turismo, and a 2-door version of the Taycan. When they'll launch – and what they'll be called, now we know the Mission E name isn't destined for the showroom floor – remains to be seen.