Thursday, January 9, 2014

Cars That Miss The Point, Part 1

This is going to be a series. Let me start the series by saying that this is not a "these should be banned" or anything stupid like that. Just that the cars that will be featured are, IMHO, antithetical in nature to their very reason for being. I'll start with what I consider the most egregious of the group.

Yes, the Porsche Panamera. For decades, Porsche made midrear*-engine sports cars. The front-engine 924/944 series, as well as the V8-powered, front engined 928, were viewed askance by true Porsche aficionados as not being true Porsches. Models came and went, but the 911 - the quintessential Porsche - remained iconically the same. Sure, they rounded the headlights down and streamlined it, but it was the same 911 that burst onto the scene in the 1960s.

It confounds me why Porsche would bring a car like the Panamera to market, it really does. For nearly 50 years, their marketing strategy was selling two-seater sports cars to rich people, and it appeared to have worked well for them. AMC, Plymouth, and Pontiac sold boring sedans, and look what happened to them. If someone wants a six-figure German luxury sedan that'll move like hell, they'll get an AMG Mercedes or an M-class Beemer.

Then again, Porsche's best-selling model is the Cayenne, so maybe Porsche owners are just stupid...

That is all.

*Derp. This moment of stupidity brought to you by sleep deprivation. Good catch!


Ancient Woodsman said...

Folks can flame away, but one that I think "misses the point" is the luxury-laden, hard-top, four-door, automatic transmission Jeep. I'm not talking about the fancy Cherokees, but what once was the fun little CJ, Wrangler, smaller Renegade.

The overly-large, overly-fancy, rough-edges-smoothed-off giant comfort box that is now the swollen Jeep for the most part misses the point.

I could be wrong.

Ted said...

Once again Jay, like a Cayanne, you need to drive one to understand the Panamera. They are definitely superior to a M class 5 series and reach a different market segment from an S class. Think more along the lines of. Aston Martin / Masserati / even 599 as the competition.

The Suburban Bushwacker said...

Great idea for a series, there are loads of great example. i'm not a Panamerica believer either.
the 911 is still rear engined - mid engined was for the track cars until the boxster.


Ross said...

Doesn't anyone study history any more? Remember the Ford Thunderbird - BOTH of them? BOTH times market research indicated that people wanted 4-door versions of the 2-door sports car, both times Ford came out with one... and both times sales tanked and the car was discontinued.

Sometimes history doesn't repeat itself; sometimes she screams "WHY WON'T YOU LISTEN TO ME???" and lets fly with a club.

Ted said...

Nobody wants a 4 door 911 even if Trotman Barns actually did build one in the 70's. But that's not what the Panamera is.

The goal is to fill the "true believers " 3 and 6 car garages with one or more of each model. You need an SUV. , a 4 door touring sedan. , a couple of different weekend sports cars, a track day toy. And a tow vehicle for your trailer.

........ All sold by Porsche

The Suburban Bushwacker said...

Ted nails it!

jetfxr69 said...

914 was mid-engined.


The Suburban Bushwacker said...

And a volkswagen LOL

Ed said...

Troutman Barnes, not Trotman Barms. Search on one to see automobiles, the other to see horses.

Douglas2 said...

First time I saw a Panamera "in the flesh", it was a rear 3/4 view, and I thought is was a Honda Crosstour until I got close enough to read the logo.