It’s a testament to the rightness of the Taycan’s design that it still looks so fresh more than three years after it first went on sale, but Porsche still has plans to subtly upgrade its sporty EV with some mild styling revisions and some major new tech.
In fact, the two go hand in hand, because the new headlights fitted to the Taycan Cross Turismo prototype in our pictures aren’t just there to change the styling for the sake of change, as is the case with most facelifted cars. They’re our first sighting of the new LED Matrix headlights Porsche announced last December.
The current Taycan borrowed its headlight design, which features four DRL components surrounding a central headlight, from the 918 hypercar. But while the new lights retain the quad-LED motif, the central light has been removed altogether in favor of four smaller LED lights that claim to illuminate objects 600 m (1,969 ft) down the road.
Porsche says the core element of the new headlamp tech is a microchip containing 16,000 individually controllable micro-LEDs on a surface the size of a thumbnail. Although there are four visible lights in each lamp unit the important ones are the two lower lights on either side. The outer light in each headlight pod has a wide-angle lens, while the inner ones have a telephoto lens that produces a beam of light half as high and half as wide, but is far brighter. And managing the interplay of those two beams is a controller Porsche likens to the graphics card in a powerful PC.
Related: Porsche’s New HD Matrix Headlights Use Over 16,000 LEDs To Project Up To 600 Meters
Interestingly, the other Taycan snapped by our spy photographers, a fairly basic sedan, is fitted with what appears to be the current LED headlamps. The clever new LED lights won’t be standard or at least not on lower-spec Taycans, but we’d be surprised if Porsche didn’t also refresh the look of the base lights. It could be that these prototypes are simply too early to get the new look.
It’s also too early for Porsche to be revealing what’s going on under the bumper’s heavy camouflage. The current car has a vertical air intake positioned directly under the headlight. Judging by the lengths Porsche has gone to disguise the bumpers of these test cars we can probably expect some styling changes there.
As for what’s new under the hood (and floor), we’d be surprised if it didn’t involve more driving range and additional power. Porsche is reported to be working on a 1,000 hp (1,014 hp) Taycan that will keep it ahead of rival EVs, but across-the-board power increases are inevitable when Porsche announces the facelifted car later this year.