Porsche’s first Taycan Software Update is not over-the-air, requires early owners to bring car in for service

Porsche are releasing their first software update for the Taycan. While the company says they have made improvements to the all-electric Taycan in new models shipped since September last...

Porsche are releasing their first software update for the Taycan. While the company says they have made improvements to the all-electric Taycan in new models shipped since September last year, earlier customers are now getting an update to benefit from new features.

While the update will be free of charge, unfortunately Taycan customers will need to bring their vehicle into for service to a Porsche Centre to have them apply the update. In a world where the competition has successfully delivered dozens of OTA updates to customers across the world, this does seem like a miss-step from Porsche. Thankfully they are committing to future updates coming over the air via ‘Functions on Demand’.

The good news is the update actually delivers some significant improvements.

For the Taycan models with adaptive air suspension, the update includes the new Smartlift function. This allows the Taycan to be programmed so that its ride height is automatically raised at certain recurring locations such as road humps or garage driveways. This was a feature Tesla offered on their Model S back in 2016.

The update also optimises chassis control, which improves slip control and therefore acceleration in the Taycan Turbo S. This drops the acceleration time from 0 to 200 km/h to just 9.6 seconds, a 0.2 seconds reduction than before.

When you’re taking a road trip, it’s important to plan your stops, particularly as the electric recharging infrastructure continues to be built out across the world. After the update, the Taycan can now set the charge level with which the Taycan needs to reach the specified destination. 

During a charging process with active route guidance, the driver receives a notification in the vehicle and in the app when the necessary charge level for the remaining route has been reached so that the journey can be continued. 

One interesting inclusion is a new Battery-Saving Charging function. While Porsche made headlines during the Taycan announcement for having the fastest 350kW charging to date, by the time the car shipped, the reality was a 270kW max. There is additional wear on the battery when charging at higher rates and it really should be done only when needed. In an effort to reduce this impact on the battery, Porsche are giving owners the option to reduce the charging rate from 270 kW to 200 kW if desired. This lowers the battery temperature during the charging process.

Earlier models of the Taycan shipped with just an 11kW charger, but more recently that got upgraded to a 22 kW on-board AC charger. For those looking for faster home charging, then a retro-fit option will be available in selected markets from the end of 2021.

The navigation system has also been fine-tuned: this includes the display of online information directly on the map as well as traffic information with lane-level precision. In terms of entertainment, anyone who connects their Apple ID to their Taycan can now use the Apple Podcasts (including video streaming) and Apple Music Lyrics functions. With wireless Apple CarPlay, iPhone apps are now available in the Porsche Communication Management (PCM) system via a wireless connection.

Furthermore, additional updates can always be carried out on current-model-year Taycan via Functions on Demand (FoD). These are flexible upgrades that work on an over-the-air basis after the sports car has been originally configured and purchased. Current FoD, in addition to the Porsche Intelligent Range Manager (PIRM), are Power Steering Plus, Active Lane Keep Assist and Porsche InnoDrive.

Customers can choose whether they want to purchase the respective function for their Taycan or take out a monthly subscription (no word on the cost). The latter option includes a three-month trial period. After registering and selecting the desired function(s) in the Porsche Connect Store, the Porsche backend sends a data package to the Taycan via the mobile phone network, providing a connection can be established. Drivers are notified of the availability of such a data package by the Porsche Communication Management (PCM). Activation then takes a few minutes: a message appears on the central display after it has been successful.

Overall it’s great Porsche are starting to deliver software updates, but clearly there’s a long way to go to catch the slick update process of their largest competitor, Tesla.

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Creator of techAU, Jason has spent the dozen+ years covering technology in Australia and around the world. Bringing a background in multimedia and passion for technology to the job, Cartwright delivers detailed product reviews, event coverage and industry news on a daily basis. Disclaimer: Tesla Shareholder from 20/01/2021
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