The End of The Grand Tourer..?
Companies will soon be forced to stop production of gasoline engines, so what will that mean for the grand touring cars we love?
Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati, Aston Martin, and Jaguar. When you think of these companies, What’s the first thing that comes to mind? Forget for a moment the modern sports cars they produce, and remember that these companies all provided the best examples of what we affectionately call, gran turismos, or grand touring cars. The golden age of motoring in my eyes isn’t the 20s and 30s, when everyone was able to afford cars, but rather the 50s and 60s when cars were becoming more than just modes of transportation. They were turning into beautifully crafted missiles that could do much more than get you from point A to point B. These were some of the first cars designed to comfortably fit you, your passenger, all of your luggage for a vacation abroad, and effortlessly charge across Europe at 100 miles an hour.
Grand touring cars might slowly be coming to an end in the near future because of the jump to all-electric. Most electric cars are all four-door sedans and SUVs built for convenience and ease of use on a daily basis. Other performance-oriented electric cars are supercars built for top speed and acceleration that pull more Gs than the space shuttle. That last part might be a bit of an exaggeration, however, everyone is trying to beat the 0-60 times achieved by each other at the drag strip every month. But even if car companies start making fully electric grand touring cars, there would still be that little something missing.
When the Lexus LC 500 came out, it offered both a V8 and a hybrid V6 powertrain. Nobody probably wanted to think that soon it would only be available as a hybrid, but that is the world that we live in today. The Polestar 1 is another coupe that is helping to shift this part of the market towards hybrid electric technology, however there’s very limited availability. Modern GT cars like the Ferrari Roma, Maserati Granturismo, Aston Martin DBS Superleggera, and Jaguar F-Type all still have V8 or V12 engines, just like their predecessors.
One of the biggest reasons why grand touring cars were so popular in the 60s was because of the engines they had. Powerful, comfortable, and capable were the three words that can describe any GT car because of what they’re built to do. What you saw on the outside was gorgeous, no doubt, but underneath was most likely a naturally aspirated V8 or V12 engine that sounded like nothing else in a car. Today, they'll soon sound like nothing. If we start making silent GT cars, all we're left with is luxury, which isn't such a bad thing, but it wouldn’t feel the same... I don't want my favorite kind of car to fade away after we go electric.