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.