Porsche Taycan, the German premium automaker’s first all-electric vehicle, is being put to the test by rally legend Walter Röhrl as part of its development program ahead of the launch later this year.
The 71-year-old admitted that he is not a fan of electric vehicles, but he wanted to give his “honest opinion about how the Taycan handles.”
Porsche gave him a black-camouflaged Taycan prototype and he set out on the roads near the Porsche development centre in Weissach.
The company says that the camera team had difficulties keeping up with him in their Cayenne.
When they caught up, Röhrl appeared to have changed his mind when it comes to electric vehicles or at least this particular electric vehicle:
“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.”
The rally driver was particularly impressed with the steering and brakes:
“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.”
Porsche has been pushing the idea that even though the Taycan is electric, “it’s still a Porsche.”
It appears to be aiming to reassure longtime fans that they are not moving away from their performance DNA, but Röhrl said that he could actually feel it:
“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.”
Here’s a video of Röhrl’s Porsche Taycan test drive:
Again, I am very excited about the Porsche Taycan. I think it’s going to be an important vehicle for the entire EV market, especially due to the introduction of the first 800-volt powertrain in a passenger electric car.
That said, I would take what Röhrl said with a grain of salt since he is not exactly impartial here.
He has been on Porsche payroll testing vehicles for years now since he retired from the rally circuit.
I am not saying that he is lying in any way and what he said actually makes a lot of sense. But it looks like Porsche is so far only letting people on their payroll drive the Taycan, like Röhrl and pro-driver Mark Webber before him.
Porsche should launch the Taycan in the coming months and at that point, it should finally end up in the hand of customers and reviewers and we should get a much better idea of the vehicle. Can’t wait.