Have we reached the end of the manual transmission and high-revving natural aspirated engine? No, says at least one automaker. The head of Porsche's GT division says that they'll be continuing for at least another decade.
Andreas Preuninger is in charge of the company's GT cars. Like the 911 GT2 RS and the 718 Cayman GT4. It was at the launch of the new second-generation Cayman GT4 where he spoke with Wheels Australia about automakers who are abandoning the third pedal and going all-turbo.
“I think we have an advantage in the market over the competition because everybody has skipped and deleted the atmospheric engine and deleted even the manual gearbox. That’s a mistake! Because if you look at the take rates on the GT model side, in some markets half of the cars are manual and everybody is longing for a car like this with a normally aspirated, high-revving engine,” he enthused.
For buyers of these cars, an engaging drive is important – maybe the most important.
"It’s not an A-to-B means of transportation. It’s something you do for yourself, it’s something you do for pleasure; and in that case it’s a healthy car, it’s like medicine because everybody is grinning and that’s healthy," Preuninger said.
But that's the present. What about the future?
"I think they’ll be asking for that type of car [GT models] in 10 years as well, why should they change their mind overnight? And it’s a big customer base and we have to look after everybody, from the younger ones to the older ones to the hardcore enthusiasts as well," Preuninger said.
He sees EVs sitting in garages alongside new GT cars, that the two not only can co-exist, but are necessary. "I think everybody takes notice and understands that we have to help on the automotive side to get emissions down, and I think for a car that’s used mainly in the city, in the big urban areas and isn’t used for long hauls, then an electric car is perfect. It’s great!" he said.
So should we expect a Taycan to arrive in a few years in GT2 spec? "No," Preuninger says. "We’re in different departments with different missions. We have good contact – we’re a relatively small company still and we talk a lot and we share our experiences and most of the people who work at Porsche are absolute car nuts. So we exchange cars with the Taycan team, but we’re not involved in any electric approach or project right now."