Watch: Porsche Taycan GTS goes airborne at Gotland Ring racetrack
We visited the world’s longest modern circuit with Michelin for a rollercoaster ride in the mind-blowing Taycan GTS. Keep reading to find out how the remarkable Pilot Sport 4 tyre helps the EV Porsche clock speeds exceeding 145mph around the lap.
Germany’s Nürburgring or ‘Green Hell’ as it’s infamously titled, has become a household name since the advent of the internet. But you’ve probably never heard of its Swedish equivalent: the Gotland Ring. However, with 41 fearsome corners and over 7.3 km to its name, this sustainable playground is one of the most arduous tests of a vehicle — and its tyres — imaginable.
So, what happens when you take Porsche’s sleek, silent, and ballistically fast Taycan GTS and stick a battle-hardened racing driver behind the wheel for a hot lap? You get a 2.3-ton super-saloon which doubles as a commercial aircraft over Gotland’s sudden elevation changes and — as you’ll hear — leaves your stomach behind.
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Gliding up to the start-finish line accompanied only by a sci-fi-esque hum, we’re unaware of the savagery in store. Stamping on the throttle, our racing driver orders the Taycan to deploy its full 590 horsepower of electrification across both axles. We’re immediately slammed into the backrest, the air temporarily squeezed from our lungs, as the Porsche catapults us towards 60 mph in a scant 3.7 seconds. Surprisingly, there’s not even a chirp of protest from the Michelin rubber as every last pony is converted into forward momentum.
Almost instantly we’re barreling into turn one with a velocity which has the passenger’s feet twitching towards an imaginary footbrake. To our disbelief, the Pilot Sport 4 tyres dig in their heels and the Taycan dives towards the apex with an agility a car of this size and weight has no right to. Then on to the next bend. And the next. All the while gaining velocity like a runaway freight train as our racing driver nonchalantly negotiates turns with just a flick of the wrists.
By this point our brains have just started to readjust to the warp speed at which we’re travelling, however this is quickly drawn back into focus as we reach a steep downhill compression section – forcing the Taycan’s alloys deep into the arches and our spines into the seat squabs. Glancing down at the digital dash, the numbers continue to soar past 140 mph when our pilot decides to “not leave the braking as late as I usually would.”
As we emerge from the other side, the best is yet to come. Our driver quips “you’re about to experience what Elon Musk charges thousands for” and, on queue, the EV Porsche lifts all four wheels clean off the tarmac for what feels like about ten seconds, but was, in reality, a fraction of one.
And just like that, it’s all over. As our driver begins the cool-down lap our thoughts finally catch up and we begin to process the astonishing feat we’ve just witnessed. Clearly, in its quest to ensure the Taycan drives like its ICE-powered ancestors, Porsche has tuned the EV’s chassis to perfection. And evidently the location of the car’s considerable mass (beneath the floor) plays a part in keeping the centre of gravity low – crucial for nimble handling.
However, special commendation must also be given to the tyres which allow the Taycan to go, stop, and turn, with such incredible ferocity. Not just for their performance edge – which Michelin has honed with experience gained from involvement in Formula E and Le Mans – but also for their longevity.
As our racing driver pulls into the pits, heat haze still radiating from the brakes, he remarks that despite the considerable speeds, the weight of the car, and three screaming passengers, the same Michelin tyres have stood up to four days of continual abuse around the ‘Ring. Such durability is another of the Pilot Sport 4’s major USPs, further cementing Michelin’s claims that their entire range has been designed for use right down to the legal 1.6mm tread depth. Great for the environment and your wallet.
Want to see how other high-performance electric cars fare around the Gotland Ring? Keep an eye on our EV hub for the next installment.