Porsche Taycan Drive Instantly Converts Walter Röhrl From EV Hater To Believer

Walter Röhrl is not exactly known to be a fan of electric vehicles; in fact, he was an outspoken hater.

The legendary rally driver has always been a big advocate of the internal combustion engine. Last year, the two-time WRC champion and Porsche ambassador famously said he didn’t want to be involved in the development of the Taycan (then known as the Mission E), or any other electric Porsche for that matter, because he disliked EVs.

“No, I don’t need that. I’m convinced that by the time that car hits the ground I’ll have an arrangement whereby I’ll either be retired or I’ll have nothing to do with that,” the Porsche ambassador replied when Germany’s Motorsport Magazin asked whether he liked the Mission E.

Well, it appears that his wish didn’t come true as Porsche had him drive the Taycan. Surprisingly, he seemed to like it. Whether that’s his genuine opinion or just Porsche PR department talk (probably a bit of both) we’ll never know, but Röhrl seems to have had a very sudden change of heart.

“Even in my fastest rally cars, I have never experienced performance like it”

“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,” he told Porsche’s media portal. When asked about how the Taycan handles, Röhrl praised the engineers for a “great job on the tuning” and “excellent use of the low center of gravity.” The Porsche ambassador added that “the steering and even the brakes handle superbly.”

It’s not just the handling, though. What’s even more surprising is the fact that he doesn’t miss the engine noise of an internal combustion engine: “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.”

Before we leave you with the video, it must be said this was Röhrl’s second drive in a Porsche Taycan prototype, following a short lap on a circuit a few months ago. This time around, he commented that “you barely notice the weight anymore,” referring to how the car feels now compared to what it felt like last year. Coming from him, we gather that’s a good sign indeed.


more photos...
  • SteersUright

    Surprising to nobody, Porsche will build the most desirable electric car on the planet.
    Too bad for Tesla, I was rooting for them as they really paved the way. But, they simply dropped the ball. The current Teslas look nearly the same as the original sedan and frankly, very outdated next to this Taycan.

    • S3XY

      I want you to explain to me how Tesla dropped the ball in a detailed factual explanation

      I’ll come back to check for your response

      In the meantime I’ll be playing Atari games in my Tesla, something you can’t do in a porsche.

      Btw Model 3 alone outsold Porsche’s entire line up last year.

      • Matt

        Ooh Atari, checkmate!

        • casho2015

          I like you Sir

      • Loquacious Borborygmus

        well…well…I’ll be enjoying driving my car.
        So there!

      • Shobin Drogan

        Why should he waste his time explaining to an easily triggered fanboy who only comments on tesla related posts and nothing else?
        Your detailed factual reasoning why Tesla is superior is quite flawed.
        Porsche’s cheapest car = 718 Boxster or Macan? (luxury cars that cost almost 2x more than a model 3)
        Since we’re comparing apples and oranges.
        A Honda civic in USA alone outsold Tesla’s entire production output number in 2018. We’re not even including global numbers.

        • Nordschleife

          He does actually post to other articles that are not Tesla related about the almighty virtues of a Tesla.

  • Six_Tymes

    so, then those are fake exhaust tips. and its not like he would say anything negative

    • дапвт

      Every knows they are fake.

    • carsmofo

      That’s a prototype. I’m sure production model wont have those exhaust tips.

      • Six_Tymes


    • enthusia

      that’s part of the camouflage, it’s disguised to look like a panamera. i would trust that porsche has a little more dignity and self-awareness to actually put fake exhausts on an EV.

  • Ilbirs

    When you put aside some of the main problems of electric cars, namely range, recharging time and how many charging cycles a battery whitstands, the bespoke platforms put together a lot of interesting features everyone like and would want to have all of them on a single vehicle, like:

    1) Lots of space that are freed due to a flat battery put under the floor (that becomes also flat), axles put very close to the front and rear ends, propulsion that more or less is within the wheels’ diameter and not protuding that much;

    2) Good stability due to the heavy stuff being placed very low and under the place used by the occupants;

    3) Rear wheel drive if single motored (see entry Teslas and also the soon to be released entry VW MEBs) or AWD if we’re talking about dual motor setup;

    4) Some simplicity as there isn’t a motor per wheel but a single one sending power to the two wheels of that axle and individual wheel speed on curves being managed more by a conventional differential instead of some complex computer.

    And also we have together two characteristics that are found separately on ICE rides, as you don’t need to take your hand out from the wheel to change gears, the main characteristic of an automatic model, but have a regenerative braking way stronger than the strongest engine braking you’d have on a manual vehicle. I hope that soon we can have available batteries that can give us long ranges (imagine something between 800 km/500 mi. and 1,000 km/625 mi. without needing hypermiling techiniques and you’d make happy a lot of drivers), being charged as quick as you fill a tank and that last long without losing their properties of holding energy. If it’ll be the solid state battery or other solution like fluoride ion, only time will tell.

    • S3XY

      You don’t know own nor drive an EV. You’re just as uninformed as this old wrinkly ignorant man.

      All the “problems” you mentioned are not problems. I

      • ace_9

        You should stop posting on car sites. You look like a complete electric car psycho. The original comment is actually very positive and true and he is obviously a fan of electric cars. Yet you label him as “old wrinkly ignorant man”? Are you shouting that also at your peer tesla owners?

      • Nordschleife

        This is why few people respect you. Llibrs literally just extolled the virtues of the electric powertrain and only suggested his wish of increased mileage and you can’t even agree to that.

        You’re the very definition of ignorance. Even when people agree with you, you find ways to berate them. There is clearly no middle ground with you. Few people are going to blindly say Tesla is perfect.

      • Big Black Duck

        hey dude…ignore those morons below..i am with you on this…but IIbris has a right to his opinion

  • Merc1

    Once Porsche, BMW, Audi, Mercedes and VW all get their EVs up and running, Tesla is going to have a hard time staying in business.


    • Finkployd

      Even with their latest productions they don’t come close to Tesla´s current offering …and it’s due to be refreshed anytime soon. So idk

      • Merc1

        What latest offerings? None of their EVs have hit the market yet. They don’t have to match Tesla’s 0-60 time, only build a higher quality, more accessible vehicle and that they’ll do easily..


        • Finkployd

          i3, Etron, eqc, and all their forgotten previous attemps

          • Merc1

            None of those, except the EQC have even remotely been aimed at Tesla. The EQC hasn’t gone on sale yet so again, what are you talking about, do you know?



  • benT

    “From EV Hater To Believer”

    Hated but had not tried.

    Not much outside the ordinary hater here.

    Most haters ain’t tried and LOVE to hate, mate.

    Ironic that Haight street is iconic hippy culture location.

  • ace_9

    Walter Rohrl was of course paid to say good things, if he thinks it is a good car. But what everyone ignores is that if you gave him a closed circuit and a choice of an old Audi S1 rally car or this electric Porsche… I certainly hope he would not disappoint. This is a difference between car people and non-car people who don’t see behind easily measurable aspects of a car.

  • steve

    His cheque is in the post!

  • Mike Gonzalez

    every act of hate is based on ignorance, I doubt he had ever driven an EV before

  • avenuec

    “Here Walter, try it and tell us what you think ”…as they slip the check in his pocket.

    • Big Black Duck

      I guess they must have copied this strategy from what the oil companies did to the Automotive industry

  • Paul Govan

    Are we supposed to care a #%*! what some self-regarding dinosaurian Rip van Winkel / Canute thinks about electric cars – I have my own judgement values and my own ethical, transport, environmental priorities, thanks.
    Paul G

    • casho2015

      If he was reviewing a Prius then I’d kinda agree with your rabid hatred of him. But as he is one of the best race car drivers in the world and a massive part of Porsche history then what he says has impact

  • JBsC6

    THose massive weird headlights are preproduction camouflage right? Otherwise the vehicle looks pretty nice.

    • Beelzaboot teriaksun

      yes they are. Have you not seen the production model ?

  • Beelzaboot teriaksun

    My opinion is that the Taycan is actually faster/quicker/smoother than the S1 he competed in. Technology has come a long way in the last 30 years, and EV especially make the difference

    So I think he’s not biased when stating his opinion

Road-Going Alpine A110 GT4 Spied, Could Get As Much As 296 HP

It looks like Porsche isn’t the only one readying a mid-engined GT4 road car .

BMW Pulls Out Of Endurance Racing After 24 Hours Of Le Mans

BMW hasn’t won a single race with its M8 GTE race car in this season’s WEC championship.

Take An Exclusive Look Into Ferrari’s Special Corse Clienti Club

The Ferrari Corse Clienti includes ex Formula 1 cars and the exclusive XX program.

Mercedes GLE 580 Gets 483 HP Electrified Biturbo V8, $77,795 Tag

The new Mercedes GLE 580 packs less power than the GLE 53 AMG but it has a V8 instead of a straight six engine.

Kia’s New Small SUV Interior Surfaces In Official Sketches

The small SUV gets a 10.25-inch infotainment system, Off-Road driving mode and locking differential.

We Drive The Hyundai i30 N: What Would You Like To Know?

With its first-ever hot hatch, Hyundai has made great waves and surprised everyone – including the competition.

Autopilot’s Automatic Lane Change Feature Cuts People Off And Brake Checks Them

Consumer Reports calls the new feature potentially dangerous.

G-Power Will Tune Your BMW M2 Competition To 532HP For Just Over $1,500

The tuner’s asking a decent €1,400 for this power upgrade, which makes the M2 an absolute beast.

Study Suggests 78% Of Non Sedan Owners Would Consider One In The Future

Interest is sedans remains high, even though Ford and GM are abandoning some segments.

Mercedes Aims To Inspire A New Generation Of Women To Love Cars

Mercedes will give away thousands of toy cars to inspire the next-generation of automotive enthusiasts.