There have been rumors for a while now that Porsche will be replacing the six cylinder engines in their lower-end models with turbocharged four cylinders. This would follow their recent downsizing move with the Panamera S models, where they replaced the 4.6L V8 with a twin turbo 3.0L V6. Porsche already has a history with four cylinder engines from their 912, 924, 944 and 968 models, so this move would be far from unprecedented. I myself have a lot of personal experience with the topic at hand. I learned to drive on a Porsche 944 S2, the 7 years I have owned my Subaru STi have given me a lot of insight into the performance merits of turbocharged engines, and I have also sampled many modern Porsches through my work for this website. So putting all of this together, I feel I can offer a very well rounded opinion on this issue. I also have some wonderful ideas for where it could take things in the future.
Controversy isn’t rare when it comes to the automotive industry. There’s not a manufacturer on earth that hasn’t made something that, to put it nicely, didn’t quite stick. However, I think it’s fair to say that we’ve not seen such a controversial topic as Porsche’s new 991 GT3 for quite some time.
Now if you’ve for some reason had your head fully submerged in a pit of mud, let me explain why this new GT3 is so controversial. Recently, Porsche has been equipping it’s freshest sports cars with the company’s own PDK gearbox. Along with the new electric power steering, Porsche’s latest creations have received quite an earful of complaints from nostalgic Porsche fanboys concerning the paddle-shifters located behind the shining steering wheels. And when Porsche came out and said that the new GT3 would also be equipped with the PDK twin-clutch gearbox, the automotive world’s close followers erupted into an immense amount of complaints about the car.
Even after evo magazine released an almost twenty minute long interview with Porsche GT3 head Andreas Preuninger, and other online magazines also did their best to convince the growing population of groaning car enthusiasts that the car could still be great, many still remained unconvinced (keeping in mind that no one’s actually driven the car yet).
However, the new GT3 is not alone. It seems that the conversion of manual ‘box cars to semi-automatic, paddle-shifting machines is a growing trend in the realm of sports cars. Car after car, more and more companies are pressing on and equipping drivers with the flappy paddles as standard, and sometimes, it is the only option. So, taking this into careful consideration, what can be said about the future of the sports car? Where will manual ‘box cars be within the next two decades? Where will paddle-shifting cars be within the next twenty years? It’s a growing concern among many, and they’re all dying to find the answer.
Today was the first day of Spring, and the weather, while still a bit chilly by most standards, was nice enough to take my MX5 Miata out for some roofless fun. I met up with my friend Dan, whose photos have been featured on this site many times, and we went for a nice long drive, two Miatas tearing hard through the woods. This was one of those days where you just forget everything else in your life, and enjoy cruising along. For me, such cruising is like a form of meditation, very in the moment, and focused on enjoying the little things in life. An MX5 allows you to enjoy the world even more, because with the top down you are truly outside, connected with your surroundings. Toward the end of the drive I had a huge grin on my face, and I got to thinking about exactly what it is that makes this car so great, for so many people. Read the rest of this entry »
Recently, I found myself engaged in a conversation with my non-car enthusiast friend about the current state of the automobile. The engaging talk was mainly comprised of a light-hearted debate about things such as hybrids and sports cars. That is, until, my good pal took it a step beyond. After I brought up a brief reference to a Lamborghini, my friend decided to ask me, notorious for my obsession with high-powered, noisy, speed freak machines, “What’s a supercar good for, they’re not economical or very comfortable, what’s their purpose?”
Immediately after hearing this, a few lone drops of the cold, deliciously carbonated Mountain Dew that I was sipping on at the time, wandered down the wrong pipe. My friend, realizing what he had just said, suddenly had a change in face and, as his eyes widened, realized that a long lecture was on hand.
BMW has always held a special place in my list of carmakers. After the end of WWII, they were in tatters, like the other German car companies. But, in the 1960s and 1970s, their commitment to making cars that could make the driver grin endlessly (for a price) gave them a reputation of being a bit of an upper middle class car guy’s hero, in that for the price of a Cadillac or a Mercedes sedan, you could get a car that was capable of brightening your melancholy day with just a squeeze of the gas pedal and a turn of the wheel. But that was nearly 40 years ago, and based on what I’m seeing in the news (and what I’ve driven in the past year or two), I’m skeptical of their old motto. Read the rest of this entry »
Mercedes-Benz isn’t all what it seems. While some may mock it for expanding the E-Class range to a coupe and a convertible, and some may question it for offering AWD on the AMG products, no one will see me on that side of the line. In fact, I’m the one doing the slow clap. Mercedes is taking a lesson from its rivals, Audi and BMW, and using the best of what it’s learning. The German luxury market is changing, and Mercedes is keeping up with it in an exemplary way–but the new E63 is proof that they’ve got their ears to the streets and listening to the good word. Read the rest of this entry »
Happy New year everyone! On this first day of 2013 I would like to take a look back at 2012, both for us at MoM and for cars in general. Below are my general thoughts on the industry this past year, as well as my favorite cars I have driven this year, and of course a gallery of some of my favorite moments from 2012. Lets revisit this great year one more time before we set out into 2013…
Back in the 1970s, Cadillac and Lincoln were facing an onslaught of luxury imports. Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Jaguar were all moving in on their sales and they needed to adapt to the newbies, which were just as luxurious (if not more) for a decent price, with better economy and reliability. Both brands went to the drawing board, and within two years of each other debuted a new, smaller model which was designed to give an owner the same experience as the bigger cars, but with a nod to better economy and practicality. Read the rest of this entry »
Jaguar’s been one of the few companies in the past couple of years that hasn’t made a huge mistake with the models they sell. Yes, their product line isn’t as diverse as the competition, but what they have invested in is paying dividends, and the new F-Type is proof that their current focus is one I’m going to keep a close eye on in the near future. From the styling to the engine options revealed recently, I’m unashamed to say that I love this car even before I’ve seen it in the flesh.
I don’t normally like to repost articles without attaching my own opinion on here, but this article just posted on Jalopnik hits the nail on the head I think. I spent my whole summer working on the PR for the Chevy Spark, and the talk was about how to get young people interested in cars. I was a huge fan of the VW Bulli when the concept was released, and I still think it would be quite successful. Give this article a read and see what you think.