Sales are an entirely different matter. Porsche and Audi can build 140 HP 2 cylinders sourced by Lada and built on Tata chassisí and people will line up. Itís the long term effect on enthusiast cachet that it would effect. Porsche has so much brand power that they can sacrifice a ton of long term value by milking it and cashing in today (see BMW, a car I used to dream about and now would have issues spending more than Honda money on, theyíre just not special anymore although I still respect what they do well). As an enthusiast, thatís what Iím weary of. And how Porsche respects the enthusiast side of their brand, base, and products is how I personally will value them. I couldnít care less about sales as I donít own their stock and will let the boardroom worry about that (Macans selling so well once the base came out is a large reason why I sold mine, wasnít as interesting once I saw them everywhere being driven by Joe/Janes who couldnít care less about Porsche dynamics). Iím not a guy whoíll buy a Porsche built in America (for example) with the heart and soul (engine, chassis) engineered by marquees who I consider inferior on the engineering side and not as special nor unique. If thatís the case, Iíll just buy an actual American car for a lot less money. But thatís because I romanticize cars. Cars arenít appliances and logical for me. Theyíre hobbies and toys above all. So the fuzzy, maybe not fully logistical stuff goes a long way.
I always said that I would never buy a base Macan with its VW engine and Audi chassis because it went too far to me. Same goes for the Audi engine most probably. Itís not about the power, but the ďsoul,Ē and funny as it sounds to those who see cars as appliances or look at the fundamental net effect, I like to be in tune with the ďsoulĒ aspect of a car. Otherwise itís not worth paying premiums. My wifeís Hyundai is a truly remarkably impressive appliance car for a bargain price.
I drove an SQ5 and S5 coupe, I personally feel the 3.0 Audi engine lacks some soul and emotion and didnít sound great (standard 3.0 turbo 6 sound, whereas the Macan V6s were clearly engineered to *try* and emulate a Porsche flat six sound, especially at startup). Great fundamental engines and I think right now Audi is engineering and designing better and more sewn together cars than BMW and M-B (never used to think that before), but again, but they didnít stir me like the Porsches do. Iím not a fan of turbo engines in general as I feel theyíre all homogenized in feeling, sound, powerband, displacement, character (or lack thereof) etc. especially now and days, but the Macan V6ís, especially GTS did a decent job of trying to emulate an N/A vibe, imo a factor of Porscheís engineering and care when it comes to these emotive nuances. The horrendously delayed pedal response is another story.
The top half of your post pretty much sums up my exact sentiments towards vehicles and driving in general. Itís reading what you wrote... having just had the conversation this morning with my wife about her LR Discovery, and itís (minor) yet existing ďissuesĒ, and her parentsí opinions of the situation. They only see cars as an appliance; and I very much respect that... But they LITERALLY, and I truly mean literally, have no understanding nor empathy, for a person who feels the way we do about cars (and/or vehicles in general). They could never begin to understand how we could pay so much money for something that still has issues... it completely boggles their minds.
They donít understand the emotional connection a person can have with a carís interaction. They arenít even capable of comprehending the existence of such a ďfeelingĒ. And Iím okay with that... Heck, even I question it some times, and whether itís even worth it anymore.
Regardless, I (too) agree that at least Porsche is still trying, tho Iím not sure for how much longer they will be successful at it. And I also feel the EXACT same way about BMW (sadly)... it used to be my dream car (M5).... now, donít really consider the brand much different than anyone else. And Audi has followed right behind them.
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