Rally Legend Walter Röhrl Drives the Porsche Taycan: "Performance Like Never Before"

pkr1991

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“Performance like never before”


This is the second encounter for rally legend Walter Röhrl and the Porsche Taycan. Shortly before climbing in, he seemed to be about as tense as the engineers assigned to monitor the test ride – but that changed very quickly. The Newsroom brings you an exclusive test drive.

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.


The Taycan can be recharged up to a range of 100 kilometers in four minutes

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.

https://newsroom.porsche.com/en/pro...GD2JktdjoWqWwKadiEYRTxJtHkt6CCqvNjrd0G4wLCCU8





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Dee

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I would be more surprised if Walter was disappointed about the Taycan...
But then again, we wouldn't have known if he was...
C'mon, this is just teasing, stop it. :D
 
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DrParis

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I hope The final design is not just a smaller Panamera as the test mules suggest. I need to be more impressed to fully execute this purchase. I have some pessimism because of the other posts re: The 992 and those test mules. They were very similar and predictive of the final product.
 

Dee

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I hope The final design is not just a smaller Panamera as the test mules suggest. I need to be more impressed to fully execute this purchase. I have some pessimism because of the other posts re: The 992 and those test mules. They were very similar and predictive of the final product.
Exactly my first thought when I saw this mule for the first time last year.
But then again, the very positive reactions on the concept Mission E was the reason Porsche decided to put it in production.
So, it would be pretty silly to NOT make it look like the Mission E, build a huge new plant with a total new fabrication method (free-units) and make a second, fully working concept in the form of the Cross Turismo in a simular design (probably with the production interior for the Taycan, if you know where to look, the small differences between the interior of the Mission E and Cross Turismo).
Besides, the chief designer Oliver Blume said the production version will stay very close to the design of the concept car.
Same for the 918 Spider, almost a 1 on 1 on the production version.
I'm pretty confident, although I doubt the suicide doors and camera's as mirrors will make it...
After Audi released their E-tron my hope rises the Taycan will have cameras as well...

Grtz Dee.
 
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DrParis

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I hope you’re right. I do have faith that Porsche will get this right considering their huge invest in € and man power
 
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Series7

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I hope you’re right. I do have faith that Porsche will get this right considering their huge invest in € and man power
Performance wise I have no doubt they'll get it right. The standard they've set with their gas cars makes me confident of that. The more subjective aspect - styling, is more of the wildcard.
 

Dee

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PS Did you guys notice the black wheels in the vid?
Looks like the wheels of the new 935!
That would be amazing as I'm a big fan of Porsche's racing history, 917, 956, 935, 936 etc...
Screenshot_20190118-115938~2.png
 

JayGT4

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PS Did you guys notice the black wheels in the vid?
Looks like the wheels of the new 935!
That would be amazing as I'm a big fan of Porsche's racing history, 917, 956, 935, 936 etc...
Screenshot_20190118-115938~2.png
Good eye @Dee! Definitely looks similar. I like how they look in motion but not sure when at stop... although they do have a certain hybrid/EV look to them :)

Porsche-935-clubsport-race-car-Laguna-Seca_2.jpg
Porsche-935-clubsport-race-car.jpg
 
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Kristoff

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Performance wise I have no doubt they'll get it right. The standard they've set with their gas cars makes me confident of that. The more subjective aspect - styling, is more of the wildcard.
It seems from the prototypes most are expecting they went conservative on the styling and not bold like the concept. Only time will tell but I think it will surprise people.
 

Dee

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It seems from the prototypes most are expecting they went conservative on the styling and not bold like the concept. Only time will tell but I think it will surprise people.
Those prototypes are just mules.
Besides, that wouldn't be smart, no one is waiting for an electric Panamera.
It was the spectacular design that triggered people to put down a deposit, otherwise we would just wait for a production version, like all other Porsches.
It was a huge succes.
Also, Oliver Blume, chief designer at the Taycan team, said that the production version would stay very close to the concept.

https://www.digitaltrends.com/cars/2020-porsche-mission-e-specs-rumors-performance/
 
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ron_b

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Here is someone torturing Taycan tires, for demonstration purposes only...

 
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