Volles Rööööööhrl: Walter Röhrl testet den Taycan

Full Röööööööhrl: Walter Röhrl tests the Taycan

When it comes to the most pithy sayings, Walter Röhrl has always electrified the horsepower disciples of all generations with his pictorial explanations such as »oversteer is when the passenger is afraid, understeer is when I am afraid«. But what does it look like when it comes to electric mobility? We're doing the tube test.

Text: Alexander Morath Photo: Porsche 25.01.2019 3 min

Where's Walter Röhrl? Basically, the engineers at the Porsche development centre specialise in translating every tricky question into the right answers. But on this day in Weissach even the »Think Thank« has to pass. As soon as they had handed over the key for a test drive in the new Taycan to the rally legend, Walter was no longer seen. Also gone: the electric Porsche.

Volles Rööööööhrl: Walter Röhrl testet den Taycan

What remains is a slightly nervous camera team, which is anxious to get connected, as well as this one question, which is particularly burning on the tongues of the responsible vehicle developers: How will the four-time Monte Carlo winner and two-time World Rally Champion Walter Röhrl, who works for Porsche as a representative, consultant and development driver, evaluate the first purely electrically powered sports car from Zuffenhausen?

After all, »the nation's wishbone« once said in an interview with ramp that there is no other car that brings the power as directly to the asphalt as a 911. Now the Taycan, which translates as »lively, young horse«. At least there is a part of the coat of arms in it. But what about something much more essential: the Porsche DNA? So things like performance, handling, design - but also sound.

A few kilometers later Walter is back - and then gives the answer himself.

Volles Rööööööhrl: Walter Röhrl testet den Taycan

For Röhrl, a car is only fast enough if you stand in front of it in the morning and are afraid to unlock it. Will he ever get back into the Taycan under these circumstances? Anyway, after his test drive, he stated: »It's madness, I haven't had such a performance in all my rally years. The Taycan's going so well, it's really great.«

Volles Rööööööhrl: Walter Röhrl testet den Taycan

Walter Röhrl had already suspected it during his active time in rally sport: A car with two driven wheels is just an emergency solution. The Taycan therefore relies on a demand-controlled all-wheel drive with torque vectoring and two electric motors with a total of more than 600 hp. Röhrl's résumé: »This immediate availability, this spontaneous reaction, it's a great joy every time.«

Volles Rööööööhrl: Walter Röhrl testet den Taycan

»You can't treat a car like a human being - a car needs love.« Röhrl. But does a car like that give that love back? For Porsche drivers, the answer is a clear »yes«. At least with the previous models. What about the E-Porsche? Röhrl gives the all-clear: »If I had to drive with my eyes blindfolded, I would still know immediately that I was sitting in a Porsche. The weighting and the feeling of the steering, even the brake, which is much more difficult to adjust due to the combination of recuperation and conventional brakes, is to the point.«

Then there is the matter of the sound, through which - in order to stay in the picture - many a relationship has broken down. Cue: Perceptual disturbance. But all's well, says Walter: »I never thought the absence of any drive noise would mean no loss whatsoever. On the contrary, the silence here at Taycan is really very pleasant and an experience in its own way.«

Volles Rööööööhrl: Walter Röhrl testet den Taycan