The head of Porsche’s GT division says rival automakers that have killed off the naturally aspirated engine and manual gearbox have made “a mistake”.
Andreas Preuninger made the comments while speaking to whichcar.com.au at the launch of the new 718 Cayman GT4 and 718 Boxster Spyder (check out local pricing for these two models).
“I think we have an advantage in the market over the competition because everybody has skipped and deleted the atmospheric engine and deleted even the manual gearbox," he told the Australian publication.
“That’s a mistake. Because if you look at the take-rates on the GT model side, in some markets half of the cars are manual and everybody is longing for a car like this with a normally aspirated, high-revving engine.
“It’s not an A-to-B means of transportation. It’s something you do for yourself; it’s something you do for pleasure and in that case it’s a healthy car; it’s like medicine because everybody is grinning and that’s healthy,” Preuninger quipped.
Interestingly, Preuninger added he thought the upcoming Taycan, which will be the Zuffenhausen-based firm’s first all-electric car, could quite easily exist alongside naturally aspirated vehicles with manual gearboxes.
“I’m sure there will be a lot of garages where a Taycan is parked next to a GT3 RS and it’s no contradiction. The good thing that we decided to do is not to neglect one for the other.”
He said the typical electric vehicle might not elicit an “urge to drive just for the sake of driving”.
“For that hobby instrument, we want GT cars to be alive as long as possible. I think they’ll be asking for that type of car in 10 years as well; why should they change their mind overnight? And it’s a big customer base and we have to look after everybody, from the younger ones to the older ones to the hardcore enthusiasts as well,” he said.
Ryan has spent most of his career in online media, writing about everything from sport to politics and other forms of crime. But his true passion – reignited by a 1971 Austin Mini Mk3 still tucked lifeless in a dark corner of his garage – is of the automotive variety.