The cars that car enthusiasts want and the cars that car companies have to build to remain in business seem to grow increasingly distant from each other, and that leads to a problem.
It’s easy to want Cadillac to make cars like the CTS-V Wagon, or the CT8 they reportedly just cancelled. It’s easy to want manual transmissions and carbon fiber tubs and lightweight, difficult-to-use, difficult-to-sell cars out on the market. But when even Subaru is having a hard time supporting the BRZ, you have to wonder if the desires of car enthusiasts and the needs of the companies that supply them don’t match up.
But that’s another problem, because if you just want a car company to make enthusiast-minded cars, all business sense be damned, then your favorite car becomes an orphan, and parts become a pain, and the whole effort just isn’t worth it. Ask any Saab diehard what that’s like. Or talk to a Lancia owner.
And while it’s easy to imagine that this is a false dichotomy, and that it’s possible for a car company to make money off of enthusiast’s cars, the real-world struggle of pure enthusiast brands like Morgan and Lotus makes that hard to believe.
Porsche might have the best profit margins in the business, but they’d be nowhere without their SUVs, or without the slow but steady normalization of their most hardcore models. The story is the same with just about every other large scale enthusiast company, from BMW to Maserati.
So should we root for companies with good business sense, or should we root for the companies that make the cars we love?