Though he’s now a septuagenarian, Walter Rohrl hasn’t slowed down much. He’s as wiry as he was in his prime, and he still takes every outing on track—even one with a passenger sitting shotgun—very seriously. Yes, a smile occasionally breaks across his stern visage, but his focus never fades.
His famously precise driving is the result of five decades behind the wheel of a racing car. Unlike most of the driving we see automotive journalists indulging in, Rohrl’s driving is smooth and devoid of big slides. Accurate and understated, there isn’t much in the way of opposite lock. This is the style of driving we can expect from a man who spent much of his career avoiding cliffs, trees, and oblivious rally fans.
Cool and detached, he uses every inch of Knockhill’s surface, and enters some of the blind corners with the sort of confidence most can’t muster. Some of that composure has to be attributed to how nicely the Cayman sits over curbs and elevation changes. Though Rohrl is renowned for hating rally stages with lots of jumping, he’s virtually sedated as he climbs over Knockhill’s crests and clouts the curbs. A car that inspires this sort of confidence is something quite special.
Being the seasoned veteran and straightforward German he is, something would be amiss if he didn’t make one critique. As we’ve established before, the gear ratios in every iteration of the GT4 are frustratingly long, and we can hear how the motor falls out of its sweet spot in the second-gear hairpins (3:09), but it’s on-song most everywhere else. It’s a stellar car with a legend behind the wheel—so sit back and enjoy this masterclass, which despite the speeds, is strangely soothing.