2020 Porsche Taycan vs. 2020 BMW i8

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/07/15

The Taycan’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The i8 doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Porsche Taycan are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The BMW i8 doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

A passive infrared night vision system optional on the Taycan helps the driver to more easily detect people, animals or other objects in front of the vehicle at night. Using an infrared camera to detect heat, the system then displays the image on a monitor in the dashboard. The i8 doesn’t offer a night vision system.

The Taycan’s lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane and gently nudges the vehicle back towards its lane. The i8 doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The Taycan’s optional blind spot warning system uses digital cameras monitored by computer to alert the driver to moving objects in the vehicle’s blind spots where the side view mirrors don’t reveal them. The i8 doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.

Both the Taycan and the i8 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front and rear seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, all wheel drive, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras and available around view monitors.

The Porsche Taycan weighs 1106 to 1631 pounds more than the BMW i8. The NHTSA advises that heavier cars are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

Reliability

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J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Porsche vehicles are better in initial quality than BMW vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Porsche 15th in initial quality. With 6 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 20th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Porsche vehicles are more reliable than BMW vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Porsche second in reliability, above the industry average. With 14 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 7th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Porsche vehicles are more reliable than BMW vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Porsche fourth in reliability. BMW is ranked 17th.

Engine

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The Taycan 4S’ standard electric motors produces 113 more horsepower (482 vs. 369) than the i8’s 1.5 turbo 3-cylinder hybrid. The Taycan 4S’ optional electric motors produces 193 more horsepower (562 vs. 369) and 59 lbs.-ft. more torque (479 vs. 420) than the i8’s 1.5 turbo 3-cylinder hybrid. The Taycan Turbo’s standard electric motors produces 301 more horsepower (670 vs. 369) and 206 lbs.-ft. more torque (626 vs. 420) than the i8’s 1.5 turbo 3-cylinder hybrid. The Taycan Turbo S’ standard electric motors produces 381 more horsepower (750 vs. 369) and 354 lbs.-ft. more torque (774 vs. 420) than the i8’s 1.5 turbo 3-cylinder hybrid.

As tested in Motor Trend the Taycan Turbo S is faster than the BMW i8:

Taycan

i8

Zero to 30 MPH

1 sec

1.9 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

2.4 sec

4.5 sec

Zero to 80 MPH

3.9 sec

7 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

5.9 sec

10.3 sec

Passing 45 to 65 MPH

1.1 sec

2 sec

Quarter Mile

10.5 sec

12.9 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

130.7 MPH

112.1 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the Taycan 4S gets better fuel mileage than the i8 running its gasoline engine (68 city/71 hwy MPGe vs. 26 city/29 hwy).

On the EPA test cycle the Taycan gets better fuel mileage than the i8 running on electricity:

MPGe

Taycan

4S Perf. Electric Motors

68 city/71 hwy

Turbo Electric Motors

68 city/71 hwy

i8

Electric Motor

68 city/70 hwy

The Taycan 4S’ maximum EPA estimated driving range is 203 miles on a full charge. The i8 can only travel about 18 miles before it has to start its internal combustion engine.

Environmental Friendliness

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In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Porsche Taycan higher (10 out of 10) than the BMW i8 (3). This means the Taycan produces up to 36.3 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the i8 every 15,000 miles.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the Taycan’s brake rotors are larger than those on the i8:

Taycan 4S

Taycan Turbo S

i8

Front Rotors

14.2 inches

16.5 inches

13.4 inches

Rear Rotors

14.1 inches

16.1 inches

13 inches

The Taycan offers optional heat-treated ceramic brake rotors, which last ten to twenty times as long as conventional cast iron rotors, don’t rust, don’t fade during repeated high speed braking, and their lighter weight contribute to better braking, handling and acceleration. The i8 doesn’t offer ceramic brake rotors.

The Taycan stops much shorter than the i8:

Taycan

i8

70 to 0 MPH

155 feet

166 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

103 feet

111 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Taycan has larger standard tires than the i8 (F:225/55R19 & R:275/45R19 vs. F:215/45R20 & R:245/40R20). The Taycan’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the i8 (F:265/35R21 & R:305/30R21 vs. F:215/45R20 & R:245/40R20).

The Taycan’s optional 265/35R21 front and 305/30R21 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 35 series front and 30 series rear profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the i8’s 45 series front and 40 series rear tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Taycan offers optional 21-inch wheels. The i8’s largest wheels are only 20-inches.

Suspension and Handling

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The Taycan offers active sway bars, which help keep it flat and controlled during cornering, but disconnect at lower speeds to smooth the ride and offer greater off-road suspension articulation. This helps keep the tires glued to the road on-road and off. The i8 doesn’t offer an active sway bar system.

The front and rear suspension of the Taycan uses air springs for a smoother, controlled ride than the i8, which uses coil springs. Air springs maintain proper ride height and ride more smoothly.

The Taycan offers an available adjustable active suspension system, which counteracts cornering forces actively, limiting body roll and improving handling and stability. BMW doesn’t offer an active suspension on the i8.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Taycan’s wheelbase is 4 inches longer than on the i8 (114.2 inches vs. 110.2 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Taycan is 2.3 inches wider in the front than the track on the i8.

The Taycan Turbo S handles at 1.02 G’s, while the i8 Coupe pulls only .93 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the Taycan’s turning circle is 3.7 feet tighter than the i8’s (36.7 feet vs. 40.4 feet).

Chassis

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The design of the Porsche Taycan amounts to more than styling. The Taycan offers aerodynamic coefficients of drag from .22 to .25 Cd (depending on bodystyle and options). That is lower than the i8 (.27 to .28) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the Taycan get better fuel mileage.

The front grille of the Taycan uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The i8 doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

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Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the Taycan a Compact car, while the i8 Coupe is rated a Subcompact.

The Taycan offers optional seating for 5 passengers; the i8 can only carry up to 4.

The Taycan has 7 cubic feet more passenger volume than the i8 Coupe (88 vs. 81).

The Taycan has 4.4 inches more rear headroom, 4 inches more rear legroom and 3.6 inches more rear shoulder room than the i8 Coupe.

Cargo Capacity

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The Taycan has a much larger trunk than the i8 Coupe (15.7 vs. 4.7 cubic feet).

The Taycan’s available rear seats fold to accommodate long and bulky cargo. The i8 doesn’t offer folding rear seats.

Servicing Ease

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J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Porsche service is better than BMW. J.D. Power ranks Porsche first in service department satisfaction. With a 46% lower rating, BMW is ranked 11th.

Ergonomics

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Unlike the driver-only memory system in the i8, the Taycan offers an optional driver and passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat, steering wheel position, outside mirror angle, climate settings and radio stations and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

The Taycan’s optional easy entry system raises the steering wheel when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The i8 doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

Both the Taycan and the i8 have standard heated front seats. The Taycan also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the i8.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the Taycan keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The i8 doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

On extremely cold winter days, the Taycan’s optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The i8 doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

The Taycan offers optional massaging front seats in order to maximize comfort and eliminate fatigue on long trips. Massaging seats aren’t available in the i8.

For greater rear passenger comfort, the Taycan has available rear a/c vents to keep rear occupants more comfortable. The i8 doesn’t offer rear vents.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Taycan offers an optional Adaptive Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The i8 doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

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