Comment of the Day: German Engineering Edition

Illustration for article titled Comment of the Day: German Engineering Edition
Image: Volkswagen

Sometimes the best questions to ask are the most obvious ones. When Chris Harris asked why the new Porsche 911's door handles needed to be so complicated, he was asking what we were all thinking. What we’ve been thinking for decades.

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Perhaps if Porsche were to take a bit of the Lotus ethos for a spin, the new 992 911 might not be quite so large and heavy. Simplify, etc.

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Congratulations on your COTD victory For Sweden. You gave me a good chuckle, and earned a few stars along the way, too. Here’s hoping your Swedish engineered cars aren’t overly complicated. Obviously these door handles are much more complex than a twin-charged over-the-road hybrid SUV, right?

Jalopnik contributor with a love for everything sketchy and eclectic.

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DISCUSSION

The Germans are the epitome of “Fix it until it is broken.” Why make something simple and robust when you can make it needlessly complex, impossible to service, and heavier than necessary.

Want to be a German engineer? It’s easy.

Make everything from the shittiest plastic you can find so it breaks when looked at.

Require a special tool to do non special things. Think triple-square bolts.

Insist that a simple part that doesn’t do anything special must be replaced if removed.

Incorporate things that are supposed to wear out and be replaced cheaply into things that never wear out but you can charge more for. Ex. VW PCV’s in the valve cover.

Make sure that everything in the engine bay is somehow under everything else. Caveat: If the component is not under everything else, make sure the fasteners are inaccessible.

Put soft touch urethane on anything so it can become sticky, paint interior plastics ALMOST the same color as the plastic so it can peel off and look like shit, and install headliners and door cards that fall apart faster than ‘90's GM interiors.

Tell your customers it must be worth more, or we wouldn’t be charging so much for it.