There’s been some chat on the internet about modern cars being too good and depriving the driver of feedback and involvement. There’s nothing new about this – people have been complaining about Porsches becoming less involving and lacking in that elusive quality called character for many years.
Take the Porsche 911, for instance. It’s been with us since 1963 and each time Porsche has updated it, purists have grumbled into their beards. It all started back in 1969 when Porsche increased the 911’s wheelbase by 57mm to improve the car’s wayward handling; of course, some people claimed that this destroyed the car’s character.
Over the years, Porsche added more safety equipment, better brakes, four-wheel drive, ABS, traction control. And then, shock horror, in 1998 came watercooling. Porsche’s latest sin has been to endow the new 911 with electronically assisted power steering which, yes you guessed it, has destroyed the car’s character.
All of which should add up to a complete dilution of the Porsche 911. But guess what? It doesn’t. The modern 911 is more powerful, more refined, more comfortable and more capable than ever before but it still feels like a 911, and is still great fun to drive.
Porsche has to move with the times. The majority of today’s buyers want a decent hifi system, an automatic gearbox and parking sensors, so the purists need to get over it. Most owners of older Porsches only drive them occasionally (and there’s nothing wrong with that) so can cope with the lack of mod-cons and, indeed, the cars are all the more enjoyable for their simplicity. But if you want a Porsche to use day in day out, then a modern 911 is definitely the way to go.