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911_AS
Imola


Joined: 22 Apr 2013
Posts: 867
Location: London

2012 Porsche 991 Carrera S

PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2019 9:56 am    Post subject: Is This the End of Porsche as We Know It? Reply with quote

Article published yesterday on Car and Driver, worth a read. I think he does have a point. Thoughts?


Predicting the demise of a beloved brand isn't a proud moment.
Anyone who can remember the smell of a 928’s interior from the 1980s, or the eccentric vertical switches on the door of a 911, probably still sees Porsche as the aspirational brand of the people, a company that can sell a million-dollar car in the same showroom as a $55,000 car. Porsche is the quasi-exotic brand that is attainable.

But it just debuted a Quasimodo version of its Cayenne, and I fear everything is going to change.

Porsche isn't the first and likely will not be the last to succumb to a dramatic downswing as the result of rapid model proliferation. BMW led the charge on that front. BMW sports sedans were the bee's knees less than a decade ago. But since then, we've seen BMW chase the coupe-ified competition with countless model variants, cannibalizing some of its own sales with a Gran Coupe or a Gran Turismo. Or a hunchback like the new Cayenne coupe.

Developing a new car, no matter how small a variant, costs money—lots of money. Forget for a moment the ridiculous expense of the various homologation processes around the world (there should be a global homologation process, but that's a different topic). Separate toolings for the interior and exterior are expensive. And even smaller things such as wheel designs are costly, because God forbid the Cayenne coupe and Cayenne have the same wheel options.

The first sign of questionable decisions at Porsche came a few months ago, when I got my first-hand account of the new 911. Not because I thought the 992 was going to be horrible to drive, but because of how significant a departure the 992 makes. Money was clearly taken out of the interior. As Pete Stout, editor of the Porsche-focused 000 Magazine, pointed out, form no longer followed function. Exhibit A: the fake cowl-intake cutlines in the hood. And the addition of options and features, such as active-safety systems, that remove control from the driver. All changes that are very unlike Porsche.

Most 911 buyers pile on the (very profitable) options, and a cheap interior is one way to ensure that continues. But I'm one of those base 911 buyers who cringed when the base price of a 911 crept past $90,000 in 2017. (Well, I'm not quite a buyer, but you know what I mean.) There was an underlying value in a base 911, and I had admired those who chose it. The value previously associated with base Carrera was rivaled only by the E90 3-series and the Volkswagen GTI, starting with the Mark V; 987 Boxsters and Caymans are up there, too.

Along with this cheapness introduced inside the 992’s interior, Porsche spent money adopting adaptive cruise control for the 911 and a system to tell the stability control when there is too much water on the road. Options and added content, sure, but they aren't profitable if no one buys them. And worse, if everyone buys them, then Porsche will just increase features that remove control from the driver because that is what it thinks its customers want.

I'm not even going to get into the 992's digital instrumentation. The five-dial analog gauge cluster has been a staple of 911s for 50-plus years. The current setup is as digital as I want it to be. I do not like LCD screens because I have sensitive eyes at night. No analog speedo is a crime against all kids who may peer into a parked 911. All kids want to know how fast a car goes.

The 911 has gone from being a sports car that could be driven daily to a GT that can impersonate a sports car. If you don't understand what I mean, I am surprised you have continued to read this far.

I see all these fundamental changes as a departure from the 911's longstanding place at the pinnacle of the automotive landscape. The 911 has gone from being a sports car that could be driven daily to a GT that can impersonate a sports car. If you don't understand what I mean, I am surprised you have continued to read this far.

After the 992 reveal, I thought the 718 Boxster and Cayman's replacement would be Porsche’s Ouija board, but then the Cayenne coupe happened (my second sign). It is this moment, I am predicting, that will go down in history as when Porsche jumped the shark.

I'm not saying Porsche has lost its way. Porsche, and its parent VW Group, has a handle on what is going on, I am sure. I just see a lot of indicators of worse things to come. The good news is there are several models launching that we can fawn over until I'm proved right or wrong. I'm really hoping I'm wrong.


https://www.caranddriver.com/features/a26898403/are-porsches-still-good/?utm_medium=40churn.churn.7.carousel&utm_source=email&utm_content=&utm_campaign=campaign
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MaxA
Albert Park


Joined: 11 Oct 2015
Posts: 1538
Location: Helsinki


PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2019 10:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I read that. It seems he's afraid that Porsche's going mainstream (which it has been for some time). Funny that there's no mention of the Taycan, and what's really driving the future. This is just a swoopier Cayenne, and if anything, it's rather better looking.
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Spa-Francorchamps


Joined: 10 May 2018
Posts: 301
Location: Hampshire


PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2019 10:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

To me, this article just says "the 911 isn't a proper sports car any more, it's now a GT cruiser". Didn't we hear this when they launched the 991 (and previous generations for all I know)?
Most 911 drivers that I see behind the wheel will never see their 50th birthday again (apologies to any youngsters) so it doesn't surprise me that Porsche is targeting a mature audience that probably favour comfort, modern tech and safety over hard core sporting credentials. And if you really want hard core sports versions, then "may I suggest the T/GT3/RS version, Sir?"

Maybe I'm wrong, maybe some nostalgic American journalist knows better than Porsche's management. I guess only time will tell.
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77szymon
Spa-Francorchamps


Joined: 14 Mar 2018
Posts: 298
Location: UK

2003 Porsche 996 Carrera 4S

PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2019 10:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think there is any problem more of it I truly believe most of this changes are pushed by customer demand. 992 is great car look bit plastic but so is any other brand sport car, also I think these days more customers demand a car: prestige, quick, quiet, comfortable, easy to live with and Porsche is up to good job with it.


By the way about BMW I have seen yesterday new Z4 NICE CAR worth to visit local BMW to inspect it.
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MJA911
Sepang


Joined: 10 Dec 2013
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Location: Berkshire

2012 Porsche 991 Carrera

PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2019 10:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

He does have a point, a few points really. With the 991 I think the 911 did increase its span of capability into the so-called GT category and by definition sacrificed some sports car focus but I’d argue that doesn’t mean it’s a less capable sports car than what went before.

The 992 is taking it another step on and optimistically I look at that as an oopportunity for Porsche to learn from the major architectural change that came with the 991. They’ve shifted the engine back a tad for example, but the article does point to the ever increasing digital manipulation of the driving experience. Inevitable, but as an enthusiast I hope it doesn’t mask/replace engineering integrity and special characteristics that makes a 911 a 911. A friend is fond of saying that from 991 onwards the 981 Cayman is more 911 than a 911, see what he’s saying, but don’t think it’s the case, yet.

As for the Cayenne Coupe, that’s quite sad, but then I find big SUVs an affront when bought to use in urban and city environments so come at it from from a negative place anyway, coupe versions even more so. What will be will be though, the consumer is king and compared to the competition the Cayenne Coupe looks the least worst to my eyes.
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Albert Park


Joined: 04 Nov 2016
Posts: 1727



PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2019 10:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MODS/ADMIN - Double tap in the body of the email.

As for the message, can’t really comment. Not driven anything more modern than a 997. A friend has just picked up a 991 Carrera T and had it heavily modded, perhaps once I’ve been out in the ‘Angry Smurf’, I might be able to comment.
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Robertb
Dijon


Joined: 01 Sep 2003
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Location: South Oxfordshire

2002 Porsche 996 Carrera 4S

PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2019 12:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This sort of article happens every time Porsche launch a new car. When the 996 came out, it was like the face-melting scene in Indiana Jones.

Porsche build cars that people want to buy. Of course its changed as they are no longer solely building Beetle engined roadsters. The genius of Porsche management is that they make trends, not follow them. Remember how everyone said the Cayenne was the 'end of Porsche as we know it'.

Au Contraire, its success has allowed Porsche to continue to indulge niche sectors such as GT3/GT2s that will lap the 'Ring quickly, as well as 991/992 that will appeal to LA dentists.

Jaguar management have ably demonstrated what happens if you doggedly stick to the company 'core values'. They build great cars which no one buys.
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spongebob squarepants
Zolder


Joined: 20 Dec 2009
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2019 1:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lol what a load of old 🏀!!!

It’s a little like the 991 “GT cruiser” debate. A 991 is a proper sports car in any guise, I’m sure the 992 will follow suit. I’ll take that cheapo interior any day Rolling Eyes
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Disco
Estoril


Joined: 13 May 2008
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Location: Hertfordshire

2010 Porsche 997 GT3

PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2019 2:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmm - the article seems to ignore that it isn't just the market that is driving the evolution of the 911, but also regulations globally. Those safety systems that mask the driving experience are gradually becoming either mandatory or at the least essential to achieving adequate safety ratings. The ever increasing size of cars is a consequence (pedestrian impact tests have tainted the styling of just about everything for most of the last decade to a greater or lesser extent as an example) and emissions have pushed everything internal combustion to smaller and forced induction.

The world is changing and the car has to change with it. No manufacturer can entrench in the present, let alone the past. The hybrid is rumoured to be due at the mid life refresh of the 992 and give it 2 more generations and they will probably be completely electric - otherwise the 911 will end up slower than the Macan... Paper Bag

As for the Cayenne coupe - that is just an extension of standard badge engineering. It makes a tonne of cash and expecting anything else would be a tad naive IMHO.
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Johnd52
Montreal


Joined: 06 Oct 2014
Posts: 576
Location: North Yorkshire

2011 Porsche Cayman 987

PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2019 2:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don’t see a problem. Withe the success of the Cayenne and Macan Porsche has become a mainstream producer. The 992 is largely aimed at the well of purchaser of lifestyle vehicles where the image matters more than performance. They keep producing low volume GT / RS and other specials, which are the ones that really maintain the image and for which they can charge a significant premium.

I suspect the real problem for most of us on this forum is that the world is moving away from the values that we apply to car ownership. Automated vehicles and GPS enforced speed controls, together with the cultural change that they embrace, will do far more to challenge our enthusiasm than Porsche’s model line up.

For many, now is the time to identify your ‘keeper’. Buy it and enjoy for as long as possible.
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911_AS
Imola


Joined: 22 Apr 2013
Posts: 867
Location: London

2012 Porsche 991 Carrera S

PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2019 4:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some really good feedback and opinions shared - thank you all. Keep 'em coming!
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Luddite
Spa-Francorchamps


Joined: 18 Dec 2018
Posts: 343
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2019 7:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting subject, though to me it is perhaps all seems just part of the inevitable evolutionary processes relative to automotive technological advance that has seemingly increased exponentially in the last 20 years or so and seems now to be increasing even faster...?

In an attempt to gain a measure of understanding of what might be thought of as the value of Porsche I have read through this thread picking out some descriptive

words contributors have used which may elude to some extent as to their Porsche priorities...?

Demise of a beloved brand

Form no longer followed function

Removal of control from the driver

Five dial analogue instrument cluster

impersonating a sports car

It`s now a GT cruiser

Favour comfort, modern tech and safety over hard core sporting credentials.

Easy to live with

911 did increase its span of capability into the so-called GT category and by definition sacrificed some sports car focus

Ever increasing digital manipulation of the driving experience. Inevitable

This sort of article happens every time Porsche launch a new car.

The world is changing and the car has to change with it.

the world is moving away from the values that we apply to car ownership

Another thread on Tip Vs Manual contains thinking on the values of both, and perhaps the disadvantages too, which also seems to acknowledge evolution in automotive technology..? And I guess the ultimate tec is contained in the vid on the thread related to Chris Harris` experience of driving the amazing 919 Hybrid..?

I guess as individuals we may have a time span when we may form beliefs of one kind or another, and my motoring experience began sitting on the kerb-stones watching a neighbour ever modifying his elderly Rover 14 circa 1930 and this was in the late 50`s, long before there were ever "Classic Cars", I remember hardwood being shaped and bolted into place to reinforce the chassis where rot had weakened it considerably... No such thing as MOT till 1960 ish. and it seemed around that time flashing indicators were thought of as pretty high tec.. Where I lived cars were a rarity indeed.

My introduction to Porsche came some time later in the form of a 68-9 912 with dog leg first gear, of course when the box changed to a more conformist layout in later 911`s there were those purists who lamented the passing of the old gear-shift pattern.. My next Porsche was a 70`s SC, followed by an 80`s SC, and the newest Porsche I have driven was a then new 993, but unfortunately have no experience of any of the later models. With the benefit of hindsight, I guess my enthusiasm for sports cars perhaps ended with the 993, as it seems my sports car desires perhaps saught a more RAW motoring experience when motoring for fun, though during those times I had access to mundanemobiles too for the day to day necessities. .Much the same situation exists today, where flappy paddles, reversing camera and beeping sounds with associated text appearing to warn me of this that and the other can get the better of me at times, but for motoring ENJOYMENT where sitting in traffic queues plays no part, I still favour a tad more involvement with my choice of machine, while still able to acknowledge the many advantages of technology.

It seems driving can provide a measure of sensory perception..? Just how much one wishes to have ones senses stimulated would seem to be a personal choice..? Even if your Porsche was bought primarily as a fun car you may still have to drive in traffic for quite some time before you find a bit of free tarmac, so a manual might still be too much "involvement" overall to be considered fun, and in slow summer traffic air-con might be thought a must..? Where to draw the line between SPORTS car equipment and driver comfort..? I guess if your Porsche also has to take part in the daily commute then priorities may move further away from what some might consider real sports car values...hmm...?

I guess you might find some Porsche owners in THEIR choice of fun cars enjoying a bit of raw motoring on this event..?

https://www.endurorally.com/events/the-11th-flying-scotsman-2019/

60`s and 70`s Porsches are often seen competing in similar "Classic Rallies." worship
 
  
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DucatiRob
Kyalami


Joined: 22 Jul 2015
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2006 Porsche 997 Carrera 2S

PostPosted: Fri Mar 22, 2019 9:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting article! I understand completely where he is coming from, but I think he is missing the point somewhat! Porsche has to appeal to it's potential customers and compete against a variety of manufacturers from BMW and Mercedes to Ferrari and Aston Martin and may others! Not every customer is a Porsche enthusiast, many buy into the brand more than the cars themselves and have a different idea of what the car should be equipped with, how they feel and handle and what they should look like! I guess Porsche has to try and accommodate all it's potential customers to service and prosper, which has to be good for all us Porsche enthusiasts in the long run!
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