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Watch a Porsche Taycan prototype hit 90 mph on the deck of an aircraft carrier

Porsche isn’t quite ready to unveil the finished version of the Taycan — its first production electric car — but the German automaker is finding interesting things to do with Taycan prototypes in the meantime. Porsche has already subjected a Taycan (pronounced “tie-con”) to 26 consecutive acceleration tests, and drove one around a racetrack for 24 hours straight. For its latest stunt, Porsche decided to go full Top Gear and do an acceleration and braking test on the flight deck of a decommissioned aircraft carrier.

Racing driver Shea Holbrook was challenged to go from zero to 90 mph and back to zero within the confines of the USS Hornet’s 869-foot flight deck. In addition to leaving little margin for error, the deck’s bumpy steel surface was a poor substitute for a racetrack’s smooth pavement, Holbrook said in a statement. Nonetheless, she managed to hit 90 mph in just 422 feet, and came to a stop with 98 feet to spare, according to Porsche. The entire run took 10.17 seconds, Porsche said.

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The fully electric Porsche Taycan accelerates 0-90-0 mph on the USS Hornet

A near-silent electric car is a big contrast to the roar of fighter aircraft on takeoff — a familiar sound when the USS Hornet is in service. The ship was commissioned in 1943, serving in the Pacific Theater during World War II. In 1969, the Hornet brought Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins back to the United States after their journey to the moon. The ship is now a museum in Alameda, California.

The Taycan can’t match the top speed of the aircraft that once graced the Hornet’s flight deck, but it will be among the sportiest electric cars around. Porsche has said the Taycan will do zero to 62 mph in under 3.5 seconds, with a top speed of 155 mph. The car will recharge quickly too: Porsche has also developed an 800-volt charging system that the automaker claims will be one of the quickest available.

Porsche will finally take the wraps off the Taycan on September 4 at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show. The Mission E concept that presaged the Taycan was unveiled at the Frankfurt show in 2015, so it’s fitting that the production model will make its debut there. Porsche plans to follow up the Taycan with other electric models, including an electric version of the Macan crossover.

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Electrify America opens first high-power charging station for Porsche’s Taycan
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One of the headline features of the Porsche Taycan (pronounced "tie-con") electric car is its 800-volt charging system. Porsche claims this high-power system should allow an 80% charge in just 22.5 minutes -- much quicker than current systems. But that won't matter if Taycan drivers can't find a compatible charging station. In the United States, Electrify America is working to get those stations ready ahead of the Taycan's launch.

Electrify America has opened the first charging station for the Taycan in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania. To test it, a Taycan was driven directly from Niagara Falls (where Porsche staged the car's reveal) to the charging station. The car successfully charged at a maximum power level of 270 kilowatts, according to Electrify America. The organization claims that's the highest power currently available for charging passenger cars. Eventually, cars should be able to charge at 350 kW, according to Electrify America.

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The Taycan takes Porsche into the electric car segment for the first time, but it won't stand on its own for very long. The German firm already announced plans to make an electric, Taycan-based wagon, and it confirmed the second-generation Macan will run exclusively on batteries. Looking ahead, the 718 Cayman and 718 Boxster (pictured) could give up gasoline, too.

The Boxster and the Cayman are the "right cars to start electrification in [Porsche] sports cars," according to deputy chairman Lutz Meschke. Speaking to British magazine Autocar, he stopped short of confirming an electric two-seater is on its way, but nonetheless shed insight into how it might be built, and why.

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