In a world of increasing complication, Porsche’s boss has promised Top Gear his firm will keep building straightforward drivers’ cars as long as people want them.
“We will continue with our puristic sportscars – GT3, GT3 RS, GT2 RS, and our T models,” says CEO Oliver Blume. “You can even get them without a radio. With a manual transmission and all of that. We will reduce up to a minimum.”
People keep clamouring for them. Like when the 991 GT3 was first offered only with a PDK and people asked for a manual. And got one. “We listen very keenly to what our customers say. Engineers build the cars for their dreams.”
Blume is determined to keep the flame of heritage burning. “We had a big response to the 935,” he says of that non-road-legal GT2-based monster. Understatement really, given it sold out fast even at £750,000 and now gets advertised at around double that.
(Click HERE to check out Singapore's Porsche 935 'Moby Dick', number 62 of 77)
“We will continue to do that [sort of car] in future. But everything we do has to be authentic and needs a link to the past. Like the 935 or 911 Speedster. They combine tradition and future, like sports shoe makers are doing 1970s influenced trainers.”
“We know clearly what we will do, and we will do a very special limited edition like that every two or three years. I’m not a fan of limited editions that have nothing to do with Porsche just in order to do one. It must be authentic in substance and content and linked to our heritage.”
So could he have put an even higher sticker price on the 935? “That’s always the question. It was linked to our 70 years of history and so we set a price beginning with a 7. Always we have a funny story, like making 918 of the 918, and we made 1948 of the 991 Speedster to mark the year we were founded.”
But Porsche can’t get stuck in the past. It’s always been in the technical vanguard among sportscar makers. “The 911 platform is already prepared to be a hybrid in future, and when we bring a hybrid to the 911 it has to be highest-performing 911. What is feasible is to use our motorsport experience with the 919, to make a normal hybrid without plug-in, to reduce weight [compared with plug-in] and use the combined advantages of electricity and combustion.”
Using hybrid to add performance is one way to face the future. So is the possible use of full-electric power for the 718 replacement. But it’s hard to believe they’ll be the sort of collector’s items the limited-run pure-sports Porsches have become. Especially the ones that nod to heritage.
STORY Paul Horrell