One of the great things about the internet is that if you can take a pair of mechanical arms and somehow connect them to a 18" high pile of mulch, that pile can type opinion articles for a website. Which seems to be precisely what's happened here, in this Car Connection article about why sports cars are now irrelevant.
Well, to be more precise, the article is 4 Reasons Sports Cars Are Now Irrelevant, because the internet loves lists. And, to be fair, this article does make some good points, with only one exception: this article makes no good points whatsoever.
Seriously, it's rare I've encountered something so beautifully, comprehensively, joyously wrong. I can vividly imagine the author, Richard Read (who seems to hate fax machines — sweet, innocent fax machines) happily unscrewing the top of his head and gingerly placing his brain in a bubbling nutrient broth just prior to writing this. And then giving it a couple affectionate pats. It clearly wasn't needed.
Let's go through this crapwich so I can show you exactly what I'm talking about. Right off the bat, there's plenty there:
Porsche will unveil a new model this month — one that would've been almost unthinkable a decade ago.
It's a compact crossover called the Macan, and when it arrives in showrooms in early 2015, it's expected to cost around $40,000.
Paired with its larger, $75,000 sibling, the Cayenne, Porsche SUVs might outsell the company's better-known sports cars for the first time in history.
So what he's getting at here is that Porsche's small SUV is about to come out, and that's relevant because he claims it marks a big change where these SUVs will outsell Porsche's sportscars. Which I get would be big news, if it hasn't already been that way for a long-ass while.
In fact, his very first line is wrong with a really remarkable degree of precision — the event he says would be unthinkable a decade ago actually happened almost exactly a decade ago when the Porsche Cayanne SUV was introduced.
And, Porsche's SUV sales are already outselling all their sports cars, Macan or no — this is nothing new. Read extrapolates from this bad data by saying
And if stalwarts like the Porsche 911 can't keep up in today's booming market...well, that looks a lot like the death of the sports car.
... which makes no sense. He's assuming a lot here, and it's all wrong. From the idea it's new that Porsche's SUVs have been the company's bread and butter, to the inane idea that sports car relevancy has to do with sales volumes — none of those are true.
In fact, you could argue that it's precisely because Porsche is willing to debase themselves (no offense, Cayanne/Macan folks, I'm just being dramatic) by making SUVs so they can keep on making 911s and Caymans and 918s then sports cars must be deeply, profoundly relevant. Relevant enough that a company will still want to make them despite the fact that there's not nearly as much money to be made.
If a company — a cold, calculating, greedy company — is willing to keep building sports cars without regard for the bottom line, then you can be damn well sure there's some relevancy there.
We haven't even gotten to his numbered list! Let's do that, now.
Okay, his first reason is
1. Tinkering is no longer possible.
... and that's bullshit. In fact, tinkering may be getting even more possible. Sure, it's not the same as it was when we were swapping carbs on a Slant 6 with a hickory stick and our teeth, but if this dipshit spent five minutes Googling he'd see that tuner culture and tinkering culture are alive and very well.
Tweaking or swapping ECUs, for example, is easy and incredibly effective. That's sure as hell tinkering, even if it's using code instead of wrenches. There's turbo kits being created for BRZs, there's backyard guys doing crazy engine swaps and putting bodies on upside down, and more.