Watch Porsche Taycan Get Tested By Rally Legend

JAN 14 2019 BY DOMENICK YONEY 30

Disregard the fake exhaust tips.

Walter Röhrl does not like electric cars. We know this because he plainly says so in the video above. The world-famous race car driver, best known for his rally career, has petrol (and probably carbon monoxide) running through his veins. Still, he contends that shouldn’t exclude him from taking one for a little test drive. Especially if the EV we’re talking about here is the Porsche Taycan, the battery-powered sports sedan set to arrive in 2020.

Herr Röhrl has a fondness for the German brand. It was from behind the steering wheel of a Porsche 944 GTR LM that he finished first in his class (7th overall) at Le Mans in 1981. Judging from his reaction here, it seems the automaker is on the right track. Röhrl reckons that despite it lacking an internal combustion engine, it’s still very much a Porsche.

And fast. Apparently, the company Cayenne with the camera crew couldn’t keep up, losing him almost as soon as he left the gate at the  Porsche development center in Weissach, Germany. When they did finally catch up — he had to pull over and wait for them — he said, “It’s crazy. In all my years of rallying, I’ve never experienced such performance. The Taycan goes so well at such speed, really tremendous.”

And that’s just for starters. Röhrl had much more to say about the car in a short interview contained in the official press release. It awaits you just below.

Performance like never before

His first ride in the new Taycan was a few months ago. Even on just a short lap the car still left its mark, both on the development team to which he belonged at the time, and on Walter Röhrl himself: “It’s a very exciting time because technology is moving forward at an incredible rate. I’m anxious to see what the car can do compared with last time.”

The black-camouflaged Taycan almost disappeared from view, just moments after the convoy left the main gate of the Porsche development centre in Weissach; the camera team’s Cayenne lost the struggle to keep pace as it immediately became clear that Walter meant business. He wanted to test the vehicle to the limit.

A few kilometres later we caught up with him at a car park in the woods, where he had stopped to wait for us. The look on his face spoke volumes.

Walter Röhrl: “The Taycan goes so well at such speed, really tremendous.“

What was your first impression?

WR: It’s crazy. In all my years of rallying, I’ve never experienced such performance. The Taycan goes so well at such speed, really tremendous.

How does the Porsche Taycan handle?

I’m surprised because you barely notice the weight any more. The engineers have done a great job on the tuning and have made excellent use of the low centre of gravity. The steering and even the brakes handle superbly.

In what ways could you detect the Porsche DNA?

If I had to drive it blindfolded, I would still know immediately that I was sitting in a Porsche. The weight and the feel of the steering – and yes even the brakes, which are far more difficult to get right because of the combination of recuperation and conventional brakes – they’re all right on the money. And that’s what a Porsche should be all about.

The rally legend praises the new Taycan

We were then joined in the car park by Robert Meier, complete vehicle project manager, and Ingo Albers, chassis director for the Taycan product line, who came to discuss the vehicle with Röhrl. Their pride in response to the rally legend’s comments during the interview was clear to see, and in conversation they addressed every tiny detail. The discussion quickly moved on from brake response to general topics such as battery cooling system, heat exchange for interior heating, and average heat efficiency in a wide range of driving profiles.

The fact that Walter Röhrl addressed the issue of electromobility was notable, and he had plenty of questions on the topic ready for the team. He was certainly impressed by the answers he was given, long before market launch, and it was really striking to see how excited he was already about the product, even though it is still in the development phase.

What impresses you the most about the Taycan?

WR: How little I actually miss the engine noise. I would never have expected that the lack of any sound from the drive system could mean no loss of performance. In fact I really like the quietness of the Taycan; it’s something of an experience in itself.

In comparison with a conventional driving experience, how is the Taycan most different?

Simply in the performance. Even in my fastest rally cars, I have never experienced performance like it – and the immediate response, this instant reaction that makes me smile every time.

Where does Walter Röhrl see room for development between now and series production?

Not a great deal on the car itself, as I think they are already on the way to delivering a fantastic product. However, my opinion is that they need to get infrastructure in place quickly, because I think I would go mad if someone was in front of me at the pump and I had to wait.

Röhrl is happy to hear that the 800 V architecture of the new Taycan provides him with up to 350 kW charging capacity, as electromobility would appeal to him personally too, if he could get 100 kilometres out of a four-minute charge, and so cover long distances without having to stop and charge for hours.

Source: Porsche, YouTube

 

 

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30 Comments on "Watch Porsche Taycan Get Tested By Rally Legend"

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It’s a Porsche!

It sounds amazing to me. I can’t wait for seeing Thomas from Autogefuhl driving this car for a review.

BEVfan 16 hours ago
I hope I will see Thomas from Autogefuhl driving this car for a review

Wtf? And I saw another comment saying the same thing. It seems that Thomas has big fans on these websites.

So after trying only one electric car he claims it the best? Roadster 2 is coming.

How dare he prefer pre-production car A that he has driven to pre-production car B which I have not driven.

You mean how dare he prefer the vehicle made by the company that pays his salary vs any other vehicle?

I remember he has already driven a lot of electric cars. Even Mercedes SLS AMG Electric Drive (4 electric motors, very special in 2013), Roadster 1, Model S etc. He knows the general advantages.

Maybe he will like next Roadster, too.

Yes just like all the Tesla fans that say the Roadster 2.0 , that doesn’t exist, is the best car ever

HAHA! Ok that’s fair, but then people here always comment on cars they’ve never seen.

“How little I actually miss the engine noise. I would never have expected that the lack of any sound from the drive system could mean no loss of performance. In fact I really like the quietness of the Taycan; it’s something of an experience in itself.”

Exactly. Put the stereo on and it’s like driving in a sound room.
It’s an incredible experience to hear your favorite music with no midrange and lower-range engine noise blocking the music, while you drive in a sporting fashion. It really is the unique experience of an EV.

As some people will only buy a Porsche, it’s good it’s still got the Porsche DNA.

Next time use a drone.

I’m not sure how one can “not like” electric cars when we’re only just now seeing what they can really do. Am I to assume he would have loved the Model T purely because of its petrol engine? Glad he was open-minded enough to give this a try, but his ignorance of EVs speaks volumes.

So does your condescension

Just because he likes a “petrol” sports car doesn’t mean he likes all petrol cars.

That looks good as an ads or promo.

I am glad that Porsche is joining in. This is good for EV community so all the performance heads won’t have anything to nitpick against EVs.

I do like the Taycan and If I have $100K to spend, I may buy it over my beloved Model S PxxD. It is the best looking 4 door Porsche in my opinion.

> We know this because he plainly says so in the video above

It’s called an ad. They gave him money and some words to say. It’s the same mechanism that forms the economic basis for your own business, and you should be able to distinguish this from verifiable truth…

The time around Nürburgring will be interesting, large because it’s objective and can’t be changed by simply paying the track!

Another Euro point of view

Agreed, this short video is clearly designed as an ad, now it does not mean that this guy does not believe at least part of what he is saying but this way to talk to the camera is clearly staged.

This is an ad of course. But he often said, that he is a fan of combustion engine, especially for rally driving, because of the weight difference etc.

The suicide doors of the e-mission are gone.

Much of the Mission E’s good looks are gone too.

It’s still a test mule and not the final car.

So they are testing the aero, range, noise, stability and downforce in other mules? Anyone seen these other mules?

Yes, they are. But those are not on public roads. Porsche has their own testing areas where they can do the testing in private. When you spy a test mule, be sure that Porsche wanted you to see it.

All those things have to be tested in controlled environments. How do you want to test aero/downforce if you have no control over the current windspeed, direction and air density?
How do you want to test noise without calibrated road surfaces?

They want to measure significant data and not just get an impression.

They should be well past lab testing models and testing production vehicles by now.

I suppose if it was Tesla it would’ve been released a long time ago and updated regularly to fix any minor issues. 😐
No one outside of Porsche knows what “tweaking” or remaining issues need to be fixed to their satisfaction.

Sorry…….it is the Taycan body.
Those of us that lusted over the 2015 Mission E body (and had early deposits) will have to accept the Panocan compromise, or continue shopping.

Look great but that fake exhaust pipes dont make sense! You can see them at 1:39!

Likely still a test mule with some disguises to try and fool people.

For all those saying Walter is biased well so us Elon when he praises Tesla, so what?