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Porsche Taycan Turbo GT in the test: enough for everyone, too much for me

Porsche Taycan Turbo GT in the test: enough for everyone, too much for me

More than 1100 hp, 1340 Newton meters of torque and faster than Max Verstappen’s Red Bull to 100 km/h: The Porsche Taycan Turbo GT is an extremely expensive primordial power. It’s fortunate that the test drive in Seville, Spain, was accident-free. And yet it was star-Editor Christian Hensen was a bit disappointed in the end – especially with himself.

Rocket launch. Left foot on the brake. Right foot fully on the pedal. The car makes it clear: let go. I obey. Hard to describe what happens next. When 1,340 Newton meters work together to force your body into the seat, you can’t breathe. And that is just the beginning.

I’m in Spain, Circuito Monteblanco and I’m sitting in a Porsche that’s worth more than a home away from popular big cities. About a quarter of a million euros. I’m supposed to become a racing driver for one day. Can’t be that hard, can it?

The journey itself was surprisingly challenging for humans – not machines. In wonderful early summer weather, we set off shortly after eight in the morning with a two-hour journey to the circuit. As usual, we had to share the cars provided because, understandably, not every press Heini had their own vehicle. But on a journey lasting several hours, it’s no big deal: I do the first half, my passenger the second. More on that in a moment.

Full of respect for the cost of the car, I rolled out of the place at a snail’s pace. I made the mistake of looking at the price tag beforehand. Sure, I had signed something beforehand and was definitely insured. But I didn’t know how high. So I set the speed limiter to the respective speed limit and drove off. First the highway, then the country road.

Out of the way, Porsche tourist!

Behind me, Spanish truck drivers and drivers were cursing and probably couldn’t believe that a Porsche could drive so slowly and according to the rules. Lamentablemente no puedo conductir más rápido. In German: Unfortunately, I can’t drive faster. Firstly, I didn’t know the car, and secondly, I had little interest in receiving fan mail from the Spanish authorities. Luckily, the traffic gradually lightened as we drove the Taycan through the remote mountain stretches that would take us a very long detour to the race track.

About halfway through, after a lot of straight roads, we swapped places. My previous passenger, a seasoned automotive journalist who has been doing the job longer than I’ve been alive, took the wheel. “Please let me know if you feel sick,” he asked me. Like right now? How come? At the speed limit of 60 km/h you’re unlikely to upset my stomach, I thought. How wrong was I?

Because the last hour and a half not only consisted of fantastic, but sometimes invisible hairpin bends and tight corners that I would have taken at a snail’s pace, but also of a driver who was at times unbridled and wanted to know what the car was doing before the appointment on the racetrack can. And so my sumptuous breakfast asked for permission several times until I arrived at the Circuito Monteblanco – it was only with great difficulty that I was not able to grant this.

“Great car. I’m excited to see what it can do on the race track. When I have a passenger, I always have to pull myself together,” my press colleague explained to me upon arrival. He didn’t seem to notice that our lively conversation had come to a halt after he took the wheel. Neither does my pale face. I used the next half hour to collect myself. Good thing he held back. It’s hard to imagine how I would have felt if he hadn’t “pulled himself together”.

Now knowing how my stomach reacts to fast car journeys, I skipped the buffet that had been set up and watched the hustle and bustle on the racetrack. At the starting point the picture is always the same: a Porsche Taycan Turbo GT stops, you briefly hear an artificial whirring sound, then the car pulls away. Over and over again. The so-called launch control, i.e. the starting aid, was one of the highlights to be tested on the race track. From the spot to 100 in 2.2 seconds, another moment later 200, then the first corner.

From the outside it looked quick, but doable. “I had to stop,” a colleague told me when he arrived after his trip, “it was too much for me.” Sounds great – especially since it’s my turn, I thought. And then the time had come: the nice Porsche fleet manager asked me to get behind the wheel of the purple Porsche Taycan Turbo GT (pictured above) and wished me a lot of fun.

The launch control is out of this world

The program was then explained by our guide, an experienced motorsports enthusiast who knew the route, its pitfalls and the rules very well. An easy lap to get used to it, then a slalom, stop at the start line and go through it once with the starting aid. Then two laps behind at the fastest possible pace, then let the person behind you go ahead, another two laps, the end. If possible, keep a distance between two to four cars and don’t fall back too far.

Well, I thought, you can. Without oncoming traffic and Spanish grandpas, who noticeably often find themselves behind tight curves, it’s easier to accelerate, sorry, and power up without a guilty conscience. The car offers everything you need anyway. 1034 hp overboost power, over 1100 hp in the time-limited attack mode, huge brakes and, above all, the new high-end Porsche Active Ride chassis, which dampens each individual wheel depending on the situation and keeps the car on the road.

The first lap went well – I kept up. Then the slalom. No problem. This was followed by the said rocket launch. Absolute madness. Do you need this in everyday life? No. Does it make sense? No. Do you want to experience it again and again? If you ask me: yes. It’s unbelievable how Porsche brings the power of the Taycan Turbo GT to the road. Driving straight like a pro? Hook it, Verstappen would be left behind.

But then the Taycan showed me what a novice driver I was. The “quick laps” after the first gondola ride taught me, above all, that I was clearly not up to the situation. The guide drove effortlessly in front, the experienced journalist, who had to share laps with me to his chagrin, was bored behind me. I really tried it: tight corner, step on the gas, approach the next corner on the outside, don’t miss the braking point, step on the gas. Two laps were over in what felt like seconds – and my T-shirt was soaked despite the set temperature being 19 degrees. Off to the pit lane.

“I’m going to do two more laps with your colleague, he’s a bit bored,” the guide told me in a friendly manner. I thought I would get a trophy for outstanding driving performance. But there was nothing more than “the snail of the day”.

Nevertheless, I was allowed to sully the venerable race track with my “driving skills” for two more laps. I learned a lot with every lap, but in the end it wasn’t enough to set the daily record. I didn’t really know what I was doing wrong, but it had to be a lot. In any case, I didn’t find the ideal line, that much was clear.

A car for everyone

Nevertheless – and this is the real crux of the matter – I always felt fast and safe in the Taycan Turbo GT. This car conveys to even the most untalented amateur racer that you are doing a good job and nothing can happen. An incredibly nice, if far too powerful car. Just great. It must be quite difficult to cover such a wide range of potential drivers, with both amateurs and professionals getting their money’s worth.

The Taycan knows how to kindly hide the fact that the car actually laughs at slow drivers at the end of a tour because its own limit is immeasurably far below the vehicle’s capabilities. Thanks for that, but I know I seriously under-challenged the purple monster.

I’ll be puzzling for a long time as to why my time at the Circuito Monteblanco was so subterranean. At the end of the day, Porsche works driver Lars Kern gave me some clues, as he demonstrated to me on two incredibly fast laps how to actually drive the Taycan Turbo GT. But who is supposed to memorize that in such a short time?

But Kern confirmed my impression – even if, as a Porsche engineer, he is responsible for the Taycan’s performance and can say little else: The Taycan Turbo GT, or all other models in the series, is suitable for all situations and all driver profiles. While I would certainly cut a fine figure at the ice cream parlor, people like Kern really have fun on the world’s circuits – and we would both be very happy with that.

Transparency note: This trip to Spain to test drive the Taycan was at the invitation of Porsche.

Source: Stern

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