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Porsche releases a new software update for the Taycan

It improves range and adds features, just like a smartphone OS upgrade

Porsche is supporting its latest EV like a smartphone by issuing software updates that improve the vehicle. PHOTO FROM PORSCHE

The growing popularity of fully electric vehicles has been a massive success for the German brand: The Porsche Taycan has sold over 75,000 units of the four-door coupe and its shooting-brake sibling since the tail end of 2019 when sales first started. Today, for the 2023 model-year Taycans, there have been improvements announced over the earlier models.

The big and more important news is that the older models can be brought closer in spec to the 2023 models with an important software update that opens up more options, increases range, and introduces an optimized protocol to condition the batteries to allow them to operate more efficiently via better cooling and priming strategies prior to charging, helping them last longer.

Imagine being able to squeeze more range out of a car just from an easy software update. PHOTO FROM PORSCHE

For all-wheel-drive models, the front wheels are decoupled, allowing them to be detached from the driveline electronically, meaning no power is sent to them during cruising at low-throttle applications or coasting to a stop or going down a descending road when drive modes Normal and Range are selected.

Even on rear-drive-only models, the rear axle is decoupled electronically when coasting, all in an effort to reduce drivetrain drag and losses. Think of it as putting the transmission of your regular internal-combustion engined car with a traditional transmission, as being put into neutral.

In-house tests of Porsche show that on all-wheel-drive models, they have been able to increase range by as much as 50km on a full charge, according to Kevin Giek, the vice president for the Taycan model line. These, along with other minor convenience-related updates, necessitate a visit to the Porsche workshop—all for free.

Sure enough, Porsche's infotainment gains new features that are universally appreciated. PHOTO FROM PORSCHE

The rest of the software updates focus on convenience, including integration of the Spotify music-streaming service into the Porsche Communication Management (PCM) infotainment system; wireless Android Auto alongside the existing wireless Apple CarPlay; a tweaked user interface on the PCM screen; the option to filter out and choose charging stations in the navigation system based on battery capacity; and a revised heads-up display on Taycans equipped with this option.

For its assistance systems, more options now support the driver in more situations. The ParkAssist function now works with a greater range, offering parking spaces available over a wider area. The search for available parking spaces has been improved as well so that now even smaller spaces are offered to the driver as an option.

Unlocking features have been made available on vehicles even after purchase. Upon request at the dealership during the software update, features like keyless opening function or comfort access for the doors and the tailgate can be enabled.

The final important update included is the option of remote over-the-air updates in the future for earlier-model Taycans.

You can retrofit a faster charger in your Taycan if you want. PHOTO FROM PORSCHE

The last available new feature, although not free in the update, is the inclusion of an onboard 22kW charger for retrofitting on earlier models of the Taycan that did not come with this (or wasn’t available when it first came out).

This allows for faster charging, and the retrofit also includes activation of the Plug and Charge function. This enables convenient charging and payment without the physical need for a card or app. As soon as the charging cable is plugged in, the Taycan establishes an encrypted communication with the Plug and Charge compatible station and starts the process automatically.

All these aim to standardize and rationalize Taycans through varying model years to allow them to share the latest features and updates, thanks to the wonders of modern technology seamlessly integrated into today’s range of vehicles.

Botchi Santos

Botchi is your friendly, walking car encyclopedia. He loves helping people choose the right vehicle for themselves as much as he enjoys picking the right one for himself. Expect him to write about car culture, test drives and car-shopping advice. His regular column is called ‘Car Life’.