By Michael Tashjian
What began as a gag over two years ago has somehow, now, become reality. Our
friendly German engineers have imagined, designed, and produced an all-electric
Porsche named Taycan (‘lively, young horse’). The project is akin to a Disney
Imagineer building a ride at Future Land which serves no real world application but
satisfies the demand of a millennial. Forgoing delving into the financial aspect of
electric cars, it is safe to say it’s going to be a loser for a very long time. Don’t believe
it? Just ask Mr. Musk whose product is part of what the 4-door sedan platform is set
to compete directly with. Why would this author never be a buyer at this point of
the Taycan or any electric car for that matter? For one very simple reason: I can fill
my gas tank in two minutes and drive 400 miles or even better, 280 miles while
towing, to a Metro PCA Driver Ed event.
My personal beliefs are not running in parallel with the upcoming consumer in this
segment, however. The 24-40 year old segment, and especially those Californians,
have drank the cool aid on anything green. I will not begin to dive into the carbon
footprint an electric car has as opposed to its evil twin, the combustion driven
automobile. It must be noted, however, that in the passenger automobile space,
there has been no evidence on the impact (or lack thereof) on the environment from
this new car segment.
Porsche marketing has almost always proven successful over the past decade when
introducing a new model line, no matter how silly in our purist eyes it may be and
the E Performance line is no different. This effort did not prove successful for the
70 th anniversary for Porsche, though. No big budget marketing campaign with some
new 911 models. Why you ask? In my opinion it is due to the fact that the Porsche
purist is no longer the driving force when marketing to the consumer for this
particular brand. Certainly I have read a few articles of late making a case
contradicting that statement but I must go off the sales number and future models
exclusively. Far more lucrative of a venture would be to supply mainstream, middle
class America. Gasp. Middle class you say; what middle class? Okay. That’s not what
Porsche is in this for. Without going down that rabbit hole let’s say that most young
professionals (or at least upper middle class) interested in a Porsche will be able to
lease one so as long as their credit is decent. Even the name Mission E, aka Taycan,
aka Anti Christ, showed the true direction of the campaign and branding. Sort of
Henry Ford’s Model T meets the Chrysler Plymouth motto of ‘make it more
expensive and they will come’ mentality, for those of you who watched The Men
That Shaped America on Discovery. Will Porsche prove to have been on the right
side of this branding realignment? Only time will tell. One gauge would be the
acceptance of E Performance into the 911 model line which if the performance
figures add up, should be beneficial to the average track guy/gal. But in the real
world of boards, shareholders, and executives there is really only one measure: the
It will not be only the Taycan on this new platform but the likes of a slew of other
marks like Bentley, Audi, and more. According to Porsche AG, half of the Porsche
lineup will be electric by 2025. Great. This essentially makes the Porsche as we
know it, all but obsolete. The backbone of magic as we know is misdirection. Has
Porsche been misdirecting us purists for the past 10 years? What a tick! They have.
Currently Porsche has over 40 models when counting the model and sub model
alike. And they have all become more ‘efficient’; half of them are not sports cars, and
all but one supercar offering is not hybrid. I won’t even delve into the 992.1 GT3
being turbocharged as that certainly seems to be the case.
This is going on right here in our little Porsche world. With all change though,
comes [some] opportunity. If you’re not into spending 45 minutes picking your
nose waiting for your electric car to charge, then join the dark side. Mark my words;
us petrol users will become the cigarette smokers, and eventually, the outlaws.
First, they tax the hell out of it (gas guzzler), then they tell us we will die from it
(cigarettes), then they all but ban it (DDT).
So hold onto to your 80’s 911, your 928 GTS, and any Porsche running on good od
American…scratch that, Arab crude, as it will be past modern acceptance before you
know it and eventually, be a thing of the past. Just do yourself a favor: stash away
some gasoline to fill it up too, will ya?
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