PORSCHE: HOW I'D STEP THE GAME UP OVER AT STUTTGART (UPDATED/REVISED).
Highlighting my adventures of becoming the CEO of Stuttgart's finest.
It is no doubt that Porsche is a brand that does sports cars in the most brilliant, charismatic, and unmatched way, nailing everything from being the most well-rounded brand inspiring confidence, even adding extra dosage of sportiness and exhilaration pushing you to have the time of your life. There's many things in which Porsche nails it home. I can list them, however, I'm not going to do that today. I do, however, feel the brand can crank it past 11 in terms of offering more choice and expanding brand cachet. Here's what I'd do if I was appointed as CEO for Porsche:
BUILD AND OFFER A NEW 928 BASED ON THE 911'S PLATFORM
Now this may indicate that the next gen 911 (992 successor) could get shrinked a bit as well, seeing as the next gen 928 would share the platform as well. The idea of this new 928 would serve as a front engined GT V8 rival to Aston Martin's Vantage coming in at $147K comparable to the Vantage's $152k.
SHRINK THE 992 911'S SUCCESSOR TO BE SIZED BETWEEN THE 997 AND 991 GENERATIONS
As the entire package, the 992 is phenomenal and brilliant as always, however, I'd like to go back and shrink the car to be more comfortably sized and confidence inspiring with the car fitting properly no matter where you drive it. There would be no worry making sure of the car sticks out in turns. I'd have the designing team tone the body to be even more proportionate, making the interior of the 911 not feeling cramped up as well. The weight would be shaved by 200 pounds at best making it sub 3,000 lbs. Also the pricing may be down by $10k-$15k, starting around 70k-90k for the non GT variants, the Turbo will top out at $120K. The GT3 will still be limited production at $135K, whereas the GT2 will also be a limited production run like it is. The 911 would focus on battling it out with the Lotus Evora.
FOCUS ON MAKING THE 718 A BIT MORE RAW FOR THE NEXT GENERATION
This one is simple. Ever since the release of the T.50, the desire to make things light has been a sheer interest of mine. Add to that, I'd offer a torquey 2.5L Flat-6 as the base Cayman/Boxster's engine leading all the way to the 4.0L Flat 6 power top trim GT4. I'd also make this the affordable Porsche at $45k-50k.
INVEST A BIT MORE IN THE QUALITY OF THE BASE TRIMS AND FIT MORE HIGH END, SOLID FEELING MATERIALS IN THE TOP END TRIMS.
Now, Porsche has you covered with leather in the higher end models and that's all great. However, the base models could step the game up solidly in interior quality. Examples can be leather for the base and the next level of Porsche's mannetino for the further high end models of the Macan, Cayenne, and Panamera. The RS track machines will still be the ultimate driving expression, so they'll be minimalistic, but still built to suit high standards.
DEDICATE A SPECIAL ASSEMBLY LINE TO MORE PURE VARIANTS OF THE CAYMAN AND 911
When potential customers spec out their cars, the configurator for new 911s and Caymans would have an option for technology delete for those that want a more purer, lighter driving experience without the infotainment and other technology, only keeping vital stuff like air conditioning and ventialted/warmed seats.The option will be costing a grand. Lightweighting would be increased here a bit more. The chassis would be purely engineered to be beautifully balanced by simply having tons of confidence and taking in pure driver inputs, and not trying to harm or put the driver at risk. Confidence in handling will be achieved by increasing the chassis rigidity of the cars. These regular, "pure" 911s and Caymans could be offered under any trim (ranging from the S all the way to the GTS). These special pure, optional variants will also be hand built in the other part of assembly. Porsche will take orders for these optional variants. Those that want the everyday creature comforts offered in the Caymans and 911s can get them. These variants will compete with the Lotuses and Alpines. The new pure assembly lines will also offer interesting new color combos and high end quality stitching in the interior.
SPEAKING OF PURE/NATURAL, PORSCHE WILL MOVE TO HYDRAULIC STEERING RACK
After seeing Lotus, McLaren, and Koenigsegg still sticking with beautifully weighted, communicative, and telepathic Hydraulic-assist steering racks, it struck me that Porsche should reconsider their stance on EPAS and make the move back to Hydraulic racks. This isn't because I have anything against EPAS, however, my aim is to ignite that old school Porsche feel. I feel that Hydraulic steering racks still have potential, when it comes to sports cars of all calibers. Every single one of the sports-oriented models I've listed thus far that I've dreamt of bringing back, including the already-existing 911 and Cayman, would be offered with beautifully weighted, very interactive Hydraulic steering. I'd also add adjustable modes, but the key is to make it not too heavy or too light, just the right weight and filled with communication from the road to the hands of the driver. Porsche could also consider manual, unassisted hydraulic steering racks for the hardcore driving cars.
As for the family cars, like the Macan, Cayenne, and Panamera, the steering would also remain fully dialed in at every speed;
GO FERRARI AND MCLAREN HUNTING WITH A NEW MID-ENGINED 904
That's right! we are coming back with the 904 nameplate. Originally, the idea for a new mid engined supercar came from the project that Porsche introduced with the codename titled "960". Sadly, due to VW's infamous dieselgate case, the project was shelved. We are bringing back the 904 because it is everything the "960" should be. Now, the ideal new 904 will adopt a new, simple 5.0L Flat-8, offered as both naturally aspirated for the driving experience and Turbo for some solid track attacking. Starting price will be around $210K and the max can get up to $239k. This new 904 will have the 6 Speed manual as default and PDK is a $800 option. The new 904 will have 689 HP. For an exotic, the new 904 will have a usable power band even at low speeds with both the PDK and Manual. Supercars these days are all about power, however, we'll do exotics the Porsche way: With decent touch of refinement yet full of flair. A fair 200 units will be made.
FIX THE LONG-GEARING ISSUE OF THE 911 AND CAYMAN
Who would want to break the speed limit by trying shift into the next gear? I'd tweak the standard 7 speed by setting up a final drive gear ratio. It'll be just as god-tier and sublime as Porsche's 6 speed. The rations will be more shorter keep the shifting and driving overall engaging. As for shifter feel and clutch pedal feel, both are already ace and I will simply adjust them a bit more to be more crisper than ever. This will be done so that the cars are fun at any speed on public roads.
BRING THE 917 BACK AS THE ULTIMATE "DRIVERS" HYPERCAR
As pointed out in this article I wrote a while back, I felt the 917 deserves respect for bringing Porsche to be where it's at today. It is with this emotive machine that Porsche earned some serious recognition in the world of motorsports. I will make sure that the 917 ought to be designed for serious driving enjoyment and joy in driving. It will be a machine that all the owners for sure will enjoy and keep with them. The new 917 will be designed to be used on a daily basis. With the Aston Martin Valkyrie and T.50 debuting, I think the 917 returning returning would be the right call. Between having 850 HP and the proper balance, dynamics, & rawness a Lotus and T.50 have, this new 917 will be very soulful and will present a unique driving proposition. It will be the most soulful, emotive, and unique driving expression from Porsche as always. Doing what we'd do best. This new 917 will feature a 6.8L Flat 12 putting out 850 HP and the overall body stucture will weigh around 2,050 lbs. The max redline will be 12,500 RPMs. This car will be tons confidence-inspiring and will have proper solid chassis balance. Very little to almost no driving aids will be in this car to make it very engaging to drive. Around 50 units will be built. The powerband will also be pretty usable and can be driven hard. This a totally modern take on the classic 917K.
MAKE THE MACANS & CAYENNES MORE COMPELLING AND UNIQUE FOR MORE STEADY SALES
Sure, I've graced with so many exciting things thus far, however, I think it's important we start updating the bread and butter Macan's and Cayenne's handling and premium of overall feel with the sharpened design to earn more sales and value. Make them the choices worth considering more often. Even the Panamera would be more of a cruiser, but will also handle gracefully.
I WOULD REINTRODUCE PORSCHE BACK IN RALLYING
Porsche has made its mark in Le Mans, Mille Miglia, Targa Florio, etc., all of which have been proving worthy of Porsche's quality, endurance, and passion. Porsche's sentiment to Le Mans is valued at the highest degree. Basically, it plays a significant part in Porsche's motorsports pedigree. However, I feel rallying could also restore that small, yet significant piece of heritage Porsche fanatics remember the brand for. This opinion is also shared here written by Stef Schrader, so even if it seems unpopular at the moment, Porsche's return to rallying will also be something to write home about. I would ready both a few units of the 911 and Macan to participate in Baja events and get more recognition. The prototypes would be suited for different environments. This seems to be the right time, because off roading enthusiasts have a lot of choice (Bronco, Wrangler, Defender, etc.) in what to buy, which should literally tell you that off roading is at it's finest at the moment. Besides, who wouldn't love rallying like the good old days? Hence I believe Porsche will continue being on the map for a GREAT time ahead!!
KEEP THE LEGACY OF NATURALLY ASPIRATED ENGINES ALIVE AND WELL.
I know that Turbocharged engines are inevitable and so are EVs. However, Naturally Aspirated engines prove to have that emotion, thrill, and experience that the other two choices fail to pull off. With innovation in terms of engine design and configurations, I would help keep the legacy of Naturally Aspirated engines alive and running. I would also build more potentially wonderful engines such as a 5.0L Flat 8, 6.8L Flat 12, etc. Porsche would even experiment with more different number of cylinders as well. Also find more lightweight materials to make the engines obviously lighter as well. The engines shall also be properly sizeable to fit in the engine bays of future cars.
KEEP THE MANUALS ALIVE.
Porsche should always stay true to enthusiasts and keep offering the ultimate experience with the pleasure of rowing your own gears. Even tweak the manual to be even more solid and mechanical than ever by lowering the clutch assist valve for more robustness in shifting.
D0 COOL BESPOKE ONE-OFFS/LIMITED EDITIONS.
This one is pretty clear. This is more creatively oriented and will want Porsche owners/fanatics coming back for more excitement.
FINALLY, CONTINUE PUSHING OUT MORE EXCITING, UNIQUE INNOVATIONS AND EVEN WORK WITH TECH TITANS, LIKE KOENIGSEGG.
"Pushing out more exciting innovations" would mean exploring new boundaries of what can be done in terms of technology. I would build different chassis with new, different designs that take stronger and brilliant handling, reflexes, and communication to the next level. In order for more exciting things to be done, we ought to invest into more fuel options as stock like Koenigsegg does with E85 & E100 fuel, as that benefit/help efficiency and power output on a greater level. The main source of motivation for innovation is Koenigsegg, who always tries new things and does the experiments that big boys like us need to do. One day, Porsche would even collaborate with Koenigsegg on Freevalve and other parts of engineering. Like I said, this collaboration would expand into other fields of technology as well (inside the automotive industry and maybe even outside). We'll have to see what more possibilities lie ahead. Porsche shall create world-leading technology, while still staying simple and classic & pure in terms of connective feel to the road. The goals here are to make the philosophy of ICE even better than ever, while also experimenting with hybrid and EV tech, and standing out as unique in terms of innovation and driving experience. Finally, we hope to bring forward newer, exciting tech with Koenigsegg