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OTA updates for Porsche Taycan announced

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The updates will effectively make all Taycan units, regardless of model and age, 2023 MY vehicles. — PHOTO FROM PORSCHE

By Kap Maceda Aguila

PORSCHE has obviously made yet another breakthrough with its first pure-electric model, the Taycan. Since it was introduced late in 2019, the model has globally sold some 75,000 units. You could say that the Taycan has proven the iconic sports car maker to be a (profitable) mover in the electric vehicle (EV) space — the same way that the Cayenne and Macan confirmed its entry into the SUV segment as a lucrative decision.

Now, Porsche is giving the Taycan a comprehensive, and convenient, update. In a recent online press conference, the company announced the availability of a “comprehensive (software) update” — one that would in essence bring all the variants currently on the road “up to the status of a 2023 model year.” This will be achieved via an over-the-air (OTA) software update, depending on where the vehicle has been sold.

What do the new updates promise for Taycan owners? A slew of benefits include an increase in powertrain efficiency, plus “new functions and improvements in the Porsche Communication Management (PCM), Porsche Connect and assistance systems.” Included, too, is the ability to have individual functions equipment unlocked after purchase (function on demand, FoD) — further freeing up its over-the-air (OTA) update capability. Perhaps the best part is that this update can be done for free. However, customers are requested to bring their units to an authorized service workshop first because there will be work that needs to be done on site.

Said Taycan Model Line Vice-President Kevin Giek, “This campaign will allow our customers to benefit from the continuous further development of the Taycan. We have extensively optimized the model series in almost every respect since 2019… New functions have been added and others have been revised or tweaked to further enhance the customer experience. Following this update, anyone driving a Taycan from early in the car’s production run will be pleasantly surprised by how much has developed on the vehicle side since then. Internally, Porsche refers to this as the ‘uPdate,’ because the 2023 model year, which started in July 2022, bears the letter P.”

For all-wheel drive models, the update will enable greater range — through a partial decoupling of the front wheels in certain situations. In “Normal” and “Range” driving modes, “the front electric motor is almost completely disconnected and de-energized.” Both axles will be free of drive torque when the Taycan is coasting or at rest. The move can drastically cut frictional drag losses. The driver can monitor this on the vehicle’s central display as an energy-flow indicator. The vehicle’s ability to recuperate energy has also been “optimized,” said Porsche, even if the driver changes the driving program.

Another area that benefits is thermal management, through “better conditioning of the battery, especially at low outside temperatures.” The result? The Taycan can be rapidly charged more frequently overall and over a wider range of battery charge levels (SoC). “The waste heat from the electrical components, for example, is used even more than before to temper the battery. For 2020 and 2021 model-year Taycan models, this enables greater range and shorter charging times,” reported Porsche.

Porsche Communication Management (PCM) and Porsche Connect get new functionalities and features as well — highlighted by a colorful tile design on the start screen and greater ease of use. On select models, the update enhances voice control and offers Spotify and Android Auto in wireless iterations. In relevant markets, charging stations can be filtered and selected in the navigation system based on charging capacity. The 2021 MY Taycan also sports a refreshed head-up display with an improved view of the navigation map.

Some assistance systems have been upgraded as well. ParkAssist function now work with a greater range, and the Taycan’s ability to find available parking spaces has been improved — with smaller spaces now offered as an option.

Meanwhile, the 22kW onboard charger is now available for a retrofit as well, but at the owner’s expense. The retrofit will charge the battery significant faster.

We reached out to Porsche Philippines about this development. “OTA updates are still not applicable at the moment because the country’s telecom capability is not yet compatible with the system Porsche uses. What Porsche Philippines does is to proactively inform our customers of any software update issued by the factory, and we can do that for their vehicles on site. Porsche Philippines has been doing this for the Taycan (and all nameplates) since the model arrived in the country. This is just one of the numerous advantages of buying a Porsche from the authorized distributor. Gray market operators do not have access to official update notifications from the factory.”

Local Taycan owners are thus encouraged to bring their units directly to a Porsche Philippines facility to have the updates made.