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Formula Motorsports

Big Tech

BIG TECH  
by Michael Tashjian
Technical Chair – Porsche Club of America Metro
 
  Gone are Sound Stream radios, Diamondtel car phones, Clifford alarms, and welcome big tech. Though seemingly cliché to say, “big tech”, that’s what the younger generation, especially those in the lucrative Asian market, are demanding more of.  The 992 & Taycan alike show off their endless configurations and gadgetry on a 40’ augmented display…okay, maybe not quite 40’ but we’ll allow it.  It displays everything, including G Force; how we ever we got along in life without that, we can’t fathom. Performance stats are not only relevant to the drivetrain these days, either.  Now processing speed and screen resolution have a tab of their own in the marketing materials and IG post via @porsche. The question now is: where do we go from here?
 
  Hell. Fine, maybe not hell but certainly purgatory. The racing car driver as well as the enthusiast yearns for the raw driving experience, but will this be taken away like so many other invaluable rights? We won’t go fully down that rabbit hole. But there’s always a ‘but’, and right now it’s the big brother role that all these electronics are able to play. Traffic sign recognition, a.k.a camera, autonomous driving a.k.a tracking, and voice command a.k.a recording are beginning to become standard features and although provide a service, carry inherit risk for abuse. It wasn’t too long ago that we were all worried low jack would alert our spouses to our whereabouts. Now GPS and parking alerts let your better half know that you indeed skipped out on the office in lieu of Lime Rock. 

         For a brief time in our history the car represented freedom; this writer is personally afraid those freedoms and soul filling private cruises may be a thing of the past. But at least you can still ride a Harley in PA with no helmet…for now.
 
Let’s talk about the positives that tech has brought to the Porsche driving experience. No, I’m not referring to Auto Start/Stop which has given me a few heart attacks. A real leap in the right direction is Innodrive working in conjunction with adaptive cruise control which uses radar and cameras to recognize topographical road features, traffic, and road signs in advance and adapts. Not like the nonsense Infiniti was marketing in 1991 with the Q45; no, this one actually works. The system can vary speed, gear selection, as well as remain in the lane with the LKA option. All of these are now expected features as they’ve been fairly popular on many other marks such as Mercedes Benz and Lamborghini for some years now. Another welcome addition that one couldn’t have previously thought a necessity is wet mode. Sensors in the wheel well can detect water and choose the mode for traction and other aids in an instant. I can tell you firsthand, it works!  Rounding out the cabin, yes, the 400,000USD Burmeister stereo option is back and here to stay. I’m almost ashamed to admit in full transparency: damn, it sounds good. 
 
    So, Michael, where does this leave the PCA member when looking for a new Porsche?  Ideally, with a 992 Targa GTS. Granted, you may have to sell a couple of organs to buy it outright, but that’s why God paired second kidneys and Facebook marketplace.  
 
Coming: May 2021 992 GeeTee3 the inside scoop