Re: Porsche Haters?
You got me thinking ga41.
I don’t actually hate Porsche. Indeed it seems a little silly and pointless to hate a car manufacturer. And, in any event hate isn’t one of our better emotions, is it? Expressing my feelings in a more positive way, I really want to love a successful sports car manufacturer like Porsche. But sadly I can’t bring myself to do it. Why not? Well I think it goes something like this…
Porsche have had some really iconic cars in their history. Cars that get the saliva flowing. Some I’d list in my all-time favourites such as the 356, 917, and even the 911 back when it looked fresh (I can’t exactly remember how long ago that was but 25 years is probably in the ballpark) and hadn’t been claimed as the weapon of choice by the red braces/socks of yuppies (whatever happened to those guys?).
And then Porsche ran out of ideas. Or at least they seem to run out of good ones. The 911 got caught in loop that Porsche was unable/unwilling to get out of. The engineering got fancier and fancier, overcoming the basic and somewhat flawed design. Meanwhile the stylists had a long lunch that continued for at least two decades. Yes, it’s a design classic. But it has passed the point of reinvention. Every new iteration struggles to find another way to tweak those blasted headlamp shapes or that pesky engine cover. The result is that we’re now getting design features reappearing after a gap of several years to be tried again, all with the aim of “refreshing” the design. That strip between the rear lights is a classic example.
The 911 remains a damn fine car. It still performs the impossible…the role of an everyday supercar. But it frustrates the hell out of me.
The Boxster was a great attempt to break out from the 911’s shadow whilst recalling the shape of a bygone age. I fell back in love with the brand again. But, it didn’t last. Let’s put a roof on it and hey, we could make it look like a 911! Sorry, the Cayman makes my eyes bleed. The proportions grate from every angle. Here at last was a Porsche I’d never lust after.
But wait! That wasn’t the real bad news. Let’s make an SUV that looks like a 911. We’ll engineer the hell out of it to perform like a sports car, so why don’t we pretend it is one by making it look like our sports car. And lo, the Cayenne was born and makes shed loads of money from people who I assume have wallets large enough to obscure their eyesight and dull their taste.
And soon then world will welcome a new wonder. The 4-door 911. Well we don’t want to have to waste time on the styling do we? Especially when we can turn a healthy profit by using the same shape over and over, even if it doesn’t actually work very well. I still hope that the spy shots are somehow a clever ruse and it actually looks terrific, but I suspect the Panamera will be every bit as ghastly as it can be.
[By the way, if you assume I must have the same feelings about Aston Martin you’d be wrong. I know that a whole lot of my issues with Porsche should equally apply to AM but they don’t. Not really sure why, but love isn’t logical, is it?]
So ultimately it’s hard to love Porsche even if I wanted to. Porsche have somehow contrived to have a diverse range and be a one trick pony at the same time. I’m left with a sense of disappointment and a feeling of an opportunity wasted.
Did I just say all that out loud? Bummer. As they say, “Rant over”.
"Life's like a salmon swimming upstream - hard work ... and sometimes you get eaten by bears" Wilson Dixon