The traditional format for launching a new car involves hundreds of thousands of kilometres of secretive testing, followed by a sudden flurry of high-profile media events. But what if you ignored convention and gave the world’s media a pre-emptive peek behind the curtain? This is the question asked by Porsche in the run up to this week’s official launch of the Taycan Cross Turismo.
Five countries in five climate zones
The answer arrived in the form of an unprecedented two-month international road trip. Porsche took the Cross Turismo to the Taycan’s five biggest markets, allowing it to perform in extremes of heat and cold and on myriad different surfaces, underlining its all-terrain abilities to a select group of journalists who would be allowed to drive the pre-production car as part of its final shakedown.
The itinerary began with the US and specifically its deserts, before heading to the frozen wilds of a wintry Norway. Next up was the United Kingdom, where gravel and mud offered their own unique challenges before the car returned to mainland Europe and the narrow, cobbled streets of central Amsterdam. The fitting finale was a high-speed blast on the asphalt of Germany’s unlimited autobahn.
Corona-related travel restrictions
“Usually, without the travel restrictions of a pandemic, we would follow the car during its developments process, but since that wasn’t possible, we had to come up with another idea,” says Mayk Wienkötter, Spokesperson Taycan & E-Mobility. “We figured the five biggest markets would be the most interesting, in part because they happened to be in different climate zones, which helps to tell the story of the car.”
The challenges presented in undertaking this venture during the COVID-19 pandemic were numerous. The car had to travel unaided by the usual team of engineers who would normally accompany a prototype on any international mission. Even though every conceivable safety measure was put in place, Wienkötter confesses that the whole idea at times made him nervous.
Confidence in the Taycan Cross Turismo
However, there was one factor that helped him sleep at night: “Confidence in the product,” he says with a smile. “It was a very late prototype, which helps, and since it is derived from the Taycan saloon it is actually a really mature product already. And that paid off. We didn’t have any technical problems at all.”
Another highlight: After two months traversing some of the most inhospitable terrain the northern hemisphere has to offer, and wearing all the grime that such a trip had thrown at it, the very same Cross Turismo drove onto stage for the live international launch event.
“To us it made perfect sense because you always have these super shiny cars on stage at world premieres,” Wienkötter explains, “so to have a dirty and partially camouflaged car is much more eye-catching. It’s been on different continents, in different climate zones and on different surfaces, and has collected different types of dirt and grime – all of which we wanted to preserve to tell the story of the car.”