Home » A Tesla Cybertruck Smoked The Porsche 911 Carrera T In A Drag Race, But The 911 Is Definitely More Fun

A Tesla Cybertruck Smoked The Porsche 911 Carrera T In A Drag Race, But The 911 Is Definitely More Fun

Porsche Carrera 911t Ts2
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The all-you-can-eat buffet. Any item costing $0.99. Daft Punk’s helmets. The Porsche 911 Carrera T. All of these are gimmicks. But you know what? Occasionally I do want to eat my body weight in shrimp, I like saving money, Daft Punk rules, and the 911 Carrera T is just about all the 911 I’ll ever need. There are good gimmicks and there are bad gimmicks. The premise of the stripper-but-with-all-the-good-parts 911 Carrera T is perhaps the best gimmick of all.

I say all this with love because I’d take a 911 over just about any sports car most of the time. This is my bias. I’ve driven old 911s. I’ve driven new 911s. I’ve driven meticulously cared-for 911s and I’ve driven well-worn daily drivers. They’re all good. I didn’t buy a 911 when they were undervalued and now everyone’s figured out they drive better than they look so there’s no unscrambling that 996 headlight. I don’t think 911s are overvalued now, they’re just fairly valued, which may forever keep them out of my price range. I guess I’ll buy a Panamera.

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What makes the 911 Carrera T a gimmick is that this is just another trim level of mostly stuff you can/could get on other trim levels of Carrera, with a couple of smart additions, repackaged as something very new and very important. In Porsche’s own words, which could also double as a Trojan ad, the Carrera T is “a commitment to purism. A conscious release. For increased driving pleasure.” All 911s are for pure driving joy, but the 911 Carrera T is the most purely pure 911 for purity of pure driving. It’s just a little silly and that silliness is only compounded by the fact that it 100% works on me. And it probably works on you, too. I’m a Carrera T man. It’s basically my personality now.

My pal Matt Miller, an Autopian member and Bloomberg anchor, had me on his show a couple of months ago to talk about the rich pink 911 T press car he was driving. I was so jealous. Matt sits above me in the press car hierarchy and I realized immediately that I needed to get my hands on that car, so I begged Porsche to let me borrow it.

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The entrance to (or exit of) a great driving road.

It was all booked up, but if the snow held off I could maybe have it at the end of its visit to New York. Mercifully, it stayed warm enough for me to take it for a week.

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The Basics

911t 1 Of 1 (10)
The paint looks extremely different depending on the angle of the sun.

Price: $136,280 as-tested

Engine: 3.0-liter twin-turbo boxer 6

Transmission: Seven-speed manual

Drivetrain: Rear-engine, rear-wheel drive

Horsepower: 379 horsepower @ 6,500 RPM

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Torque: 331 lb-ft @ 1,900 RPM

Fuel Economy: 17 MPG city, 25 MPG highway, 20 MPG combined

Body Style: 911

Curb Weight: 3,254 pounds.

Why Does The Porsche 911 T Exist?

911t 1 Of 1 (1)
So many good switches. Turning the temperature down is like selecting a Sidewinder missile.

The Porsche 911 Carrera T (or just 911 T) is the antidote to all of these tests where an electric truck shows up at a dragstrip. (see below). It is the “slowest” Porsche 911. It’s got the least powerful 911 engine, at just 379 horsepower and 331 lb-ft of torque. When you mate that least-powerful 3.0-liter twin-turbo to Porsche’s exquisite 7-speed manual it’s even slower, clocking a 0-60 mph time of just 4.5 seconds.

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It’s no surprise then, that when Tesla decided to drag race their Cybertruck against a new 911 it seems to have picked the Porsche 911 T with the stick-shift. Based on the numbers, most 911s would pick off a Cybertruck in a 1/4-mile, but the truck is impressively fast.

This drag race, too, was a gimmick. An effective one, yet also a revealing one. I haven’t driven the Cybertruck yet, but I’ve driven a few Teslas and plenty of fast electric cars, and the 911 T is better dynamically than all the fast EVs I’ve driven. In certain contexts, a Lucid or a Cybertruck or a Polestar might be faster, sure, if you find yourself in a race. I rarely find myself racing electric cars, or any cars for that matter, but I do often find myself driving for enjoyment.

911t 1 Of 1 (12)
The “T” stands for “Terrific”

America’s fascination with 0-6o mph times predates electric cars so you can’t blame EVs for how tiresome this has gotten. It’s just that the quirk of almost instantaneous torque and cleverly programmable traction you find in an electric car means that EVs have a huge and impressive advantage. Good for them. It’s always fun to stomp on the skinny pedal and outrun people.

To me, though, that’s not my favorite part of driving.

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I don’t wish to be crude here, but in some ways, this fascination with 0-60 times is like bragging that you can climax in just 10 seconds. Or you can polish off a whole lobster before most people can put on their bib. Or that you managed to get to the gift shop in The Louvre before your friends made it to the Giotto.

If an EV like the Cybertruck is the ultimate vehicle for those who take pleasure in the finishing, the 911 T is the ultimate vehicle for those who take pleasure in the doing.

That’s the reason why the 911 Carrera T exists. It’s the 911 for people who favor the qualifiable over the quantifiable. It’s not good in spite of its relative slowness, it’s good because of that slowness.

There’s also a slightly more cynical perspective on why it exists, but more on that later.

What Is A Porsche 911 Carrera T?

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The 911 T technically is slotted between the 911 Carrera and the 911 Carrera S, but it borrows parts and spirit from the bigger and faster GTS, which sits above all of them.

What does that mean, exactly?

Most importantly, the base 911 Carrera and Carrera 4 are no longer available with a manual transmission, so this is the cheapest way to get a new manual 911 that doesn’t end in a police chase. There’s the same twin-turbo flat-six out back as in the Carrera, but the half-second stick-shift penalty means this is a sportier model that’s slower in this one dimension.

The 911 T isn’t about short bursts of speed, it’s about feel and there are a number of upgrades to make the car more of an experience. Porsche gives this Carrera the full-Ozempic and ditches the rear seats, gets a lighter battery, abandons some sound deadening, and gets thinner window glass. All of this theoretically adds up to 100 pounds of savings.

More than just lightening the car, most of these changes make it easier and more pleasurable to enjoy the sound of the motor, the clacking of the gears, and the chirp of tires. After a few hours on the highway cruising in 7th these charms may wear slightly thin, but as Bruce Springsteen sang: That’s the price you pay, oh the price you pay.

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(Side note: If the 911 Carrera T were a Springsteen Album would it be “The River”? No, absolutely not. It would be “Nebraska.” I refuse to explain why).

Porsche 911t Frunk
The Frunk will hold plenty of beer, though it might be smart to wait a minute before opening said beer after a trip.

In addition to the things Porsche takes out of the car, the things they put back in also warrant mention — thing like Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM), Sport Chrono, sport exhaust, and a mechanical limited-slip differential. Up front are 245-section Pirelli P Zeros on 20-inch wheels, out back the wheels are 21 inches with a much wider 305-section tire.

Sport Chrono, if you don’t know, adds the cool little clock in the center of the dash for charting lap times. More importantly, it brings with it the mode selector dial, PSM Sport mode, rev-match shifting, and magnetorheological driveline mounts that stiffing to keep, uh, the driveline in place as you’re pushing the car (I assume if you can feel the engine mounts stiffen you have reached the mythical 10/10ths, my friend). [Ed Note: I always found if odd that a package named Sport Chrono that references adding a little clock comes with a ton of mechanical hardware that improves handling. -DT]. 

All of this comes at a theoretical starting price of $118,050 starting price (after delivery fees, as tested), which makes the Carrera T about $2,200 more expensive than a base Carrera and a few grand less than the Carrera S. Since getting the car, the base price of the Carrera T seems to have gone up, but the price differentials seem roughly the same.

This particular car added $3,270 for the Ruby Star Neo paint (do it), $4,530 for the leather interior with the checkered Sport-Tex seat centers (skip, base cloth is best), $230 for the extended range fuel tank (sure), $280 for the heated GT Sport steering wheel (it is a great steering wheel), $2,770 for the front-axle lift system (definitely), $1,060 for Lane Change Assist (nope), $3,270 LED-Matrix Design Headlights (if you’re Jason), $2,820 for adaptive sport seats (not for me). The grand total is $136,280 delivered, but for about $133k I think you can get the perfect one.

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It’s a Porsche. Picking out your options is like half the fun of getting one.

What’s It Like On The Outside?

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It’s a 911. It looks like a 911. This one is pink.

Either you like the look of the 911 or you’re crazy, I don’t think there’s a lot in between.

If we’re getting picky, the Carrera T would look better in the Fuchs-evocative Carrera Exclusive Design wheels as I don’t like the titanium grey Carrera S wheels that come with the car.

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I think the 992 generation is an improvement over the 991 for the sole reason that Porsche got rid of the weird frowny turn signals and better resolved the rear of the car with the parallel red lights on the rear lid.

Compared to the base 911 Carrera you can differentiate the T at a quick glance because of its contrasting trim on the upper and lower mirrors, high gloss black taillights, and Agate Grey trim strips on the rear lid grille. Just kidding! You can tell because it says “Carrera T” on the side, though those little details are nice.

What’s It Like On The Inside?

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The 911 is so nice. Philosophically, I have a hard time justifying spending $140k on a new car when there are so many old cars that could be had for the price. Then I sit in a brand new 911 and I understand it.

After a lot of recent trips in cars that are just flat touchscreens and acres of restrained Swedish whatever it’s so satisfying to have a real gauge cluster with a real gauge. There are buttons. So many buttons. And switches. After so much minimalism it’s like being in the cockpit of the 747.

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The seats! So good. Every surface feels right. The steering wheel has buttons, but only the buttons you need. It has that little drive mode selector at the bottom. Oh that’s so fun to turn. Too much fun to turn. I’m surprised I didn’t wear all the little diamond-pattern plastic texture off of it.

Should every car be the 911? Yeah. Every car that doesn’t need cupholders, at least, because there’s one big one right in the middle of the center console where your elbow belongs and then the little vestigial one that pops out in the passenger seat that, in this generation, almost works.

Just don’t drink. It’s better for you that way. The less drinking the less stopping, and the less stopping the more driving.

How The Carrera T Drives

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Auto journalists love to toss around the term “analog” to describe a driving experience, though I’m skeptical any modern car is truly analog. Can a car with a system like PASM, which uses sensors to determine when to stiffen the dampers on the fly, truly be an analog car?

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An MG MGB is analog.

These days, though, every car is actively trying to be digital. The connection to the road is getting more tenuous by the day (the Cybertruck, for instance, is fully drive-by-wire with no physical connection between the steering wheel and the tires).

In the context of modern cars the 911 T may not be truly analog, but it is visceral. The lack of sound dampening and the existence of a manual transmission already make every interaction between the car and the road feel like something is actually happening.

Not everyone wants that. Believe it or not, I know a few normal people. Civilians. They want to be isolated from the road. To them, being able to use your nose and your hands and your ears to drive seems exhausting.

It’s not. It’s thrilling.

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I intended to bring the car to Lime Rock Park but the bad timing of an illness meant I ended up having to take the car to a favorite and hidden stretch of road on the other side of the river that contains an unusually high density of camber changes and elevation for this part of the world.

There I performed amateur phrenology on the road with those big, sticky Pirelli P Zero tires. Moments like these are why this car exists. The car stays so planted and so composed as I push closer and closer to the car’s limit without ever making me feel like I lose track of that limit.

Steering is crisp and shifts are sublime. This is an all-time great manual. I got into my BMW after this and, again, not to be crude, but shifting it felt like making love to a bowl of butterscotch pudding after clicking through gears in the 911.

To lodge one complaint: It feels like the footwell has gotten smaller since the 991 and 997, putting the dead pedal a little closer to the clutch than I’d like and otherwise making the pedals feel uncomfortably close. You get used to it, but it’s not a good change.

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Backroads aren’t the only place to have fun in this particular 911. Jumping onto the interstate from a cloverleaf-style onramp with my father-in-law in the passenger seat I demonstrated how oversteer works, surprising my father-in-law.

It’s to the credit of the car, more than the driver, that oversteer was quite gradual and predictable and I got to look the hero. Trying to do a static burnout was harder as Porsche doesn’t let you rev beyond about 3,500 with the clutch in so… uh, maybe don’t try that.

Around town, the 911 Carrera T isn’t truly any less refined than its more expensive brethren. The noise is barely an issue and, if you check the box marked “front-axle lift” you can get an extra 40 mm of ground clearance up front on demand. This is an excellent feature.

As is the paint. My daughter loved it. My neighbors loved it. Everyone loved it. Get a fun color. Don’t get a white 911 T. Get a green one. Or a blue one.

If you need any more 911 than this you’re either faster or richer than I am, or maybe both.

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Does The Car Fulfill Its Purpose?

Carrera T Manual
Photo: Porsche

Hell yeah. The 911 Carrera T is exactly what’s promised, which is a slightly more enjoyable 911 for slightly less than what it would cost if you just took a Carrera and tried to get all of these options.

It’s also, somewhat cynically, a car that’s more valuable than a Carrera with all of those options or, even, a faster and more expensive 911 Carrera S.

Any automaker with sense is jealous of Ferrari’s profit margins and Ferrari’s margins rely on people willing to pay/buy whatever to keep getting Ferraris. To make people do this, Ferrari maintains a somewhat contrived scarcity of its products.

Porsche is a slightly more democratic operation, especially if you want a Macan, but any new Porsche 911 variant somehow contains value outside of its actual, printed value, and so the mere creation of another 911 T adds another thing for Porsche people to latch onto emotionally and financially.

This may explain why someone paid above sticker this summer for a low-mileage 911 Carrera T on Cars And Bids.

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And, yes, I know there was a 911 T that proceeded this. The first old 911 I ever drove was actually an imported 911 T and I loved that car, but it existed at a time when there wasn’t a Macan T, a Boxster T, and a king-of-trim-mountain 911 GT3 Touring.

Ultimately, the 911 Carrera T is a gimmick. It’s a ploy. It’s mostly a repackaging of stuff you can get (or should be able to get) on its other cars and some trim pieces. Who cares? It’s awesome. I will acknowledge that it’s a gimmick and yet, at the same time, it almost makes me like it more. It just works. And why does it work?

To quote the great Roger Sterling from the show Mad Men:

“I’ll tell you what brilliance in advertising is: 99 Cents. Somebody thought of that.”

A tip of my hat to the person who thought of Carrera T, because that’s a kind of brilliance, too.

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67 Oldsmobile
67 Oldsmobile
2 months ago

I do not like staggered wheels and the ass end of the current 911s is too fat after the wheels. I like the car though.

Scott
Scott
2 months ago

Ferrari maintains a somewhat contrived scarcity of its products.”

Which (if what I’ve read over the years is true) is also how DeBeers and the diamond industry operates. Contrived scarcity lets a producer achieve profits that would be impossible in an unmanipulated supply-and-demand environment.

Anyway, of course I love the 911T and if I were the kind of fellow who’d drop $130K on a new car (or any car for that matter) I’d probably be tweaking the configuration of my intended online twice a day.

Doctor Nine
Doctor Nine
2 months ago

The world invites us to participate. Some people are overwhelmed by the plenitude of choices we face, as we splash down, face first, into our own personal infinite seas of experience. Some though, find that the cold water of adverse experience stimulates them. Rather than building a self-imposed cage of safe spaces, they motor on, past the broken bones and physical or emotional scars. They consciously embrace all experience, even, or maybe especially, the pain, in order to find those rare, rare moments of existential joy that may only fleetingly last seconds.

There is something about moments behind the wheel of a driver’s car that can be savoured as intensely as a fine wine. For some.

For those whose joie de vivre involves the smell of high test gasoline and the acrid aroma of burning rubber as tires exceed their power to hold the line in an overpowered slide, these moments are transcendent. It is a thing. For some.

The particular beast which you need, to climb your own personal Everest may be a Ducati. It may be a Top Fuel gragster. Or it may be a hot pink Porsche.

But please, before you die, remember that it is YOUR life.

There is a reason that David Glasgow Farragut is memorialized in stained glass at the West Point Chapel. “Damn the torpedos. Full speed ahead!”

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
2 months ago
Reply to  Doctor Nine

Evocative prose, sir!
Brought back a dawn drive: entering a mountain hairpin at the top of third, stabbing the brake, then gingerly engaging second as the old performance tires on the rear reminded me that any injudicious twitch of my right foot would be rewarded by an off of serious consequence. The car as an extension of self/every twitch and bump joyfully embraced—fully alive and aware.

Well said—and beautifully written

Doctor Nine
Doctor Nine
2 months ago
Reply to  TOSSABL

Grazie…

Andrew Bugenis
Andrew Bugenis
2 months ago

I’d be interested in seeing a Tales from the Slack about changing headlines after publication, I’ve noticed it a few times at this point. In this case, I’m sure it’s, “Cybertruck gets the clicks,” but I’d still like to know, and to see some other examples.

Bork Bork
Bork Bork
2 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Bugenis

It’s called A/B headline testing and most online media does it now because the world is garbage.

Doctor Nine
Doctor Nine
2 months ago
Reply to  Bork Bork

And they recycle the garbage, to see if they can get us to eat more of it.

MP0W3RD
MP0W3RD
2 months ago

I never thought I’d own a 911 and then I tripped over the opportunity to acquire a unique 996 off market.

I spent a small fortune (to me at least) getting it sorted but it’s one of the best cars I’ll ever own.

They’re still great deals at their current price points.

Jakob Johansen
Jakob Johansen
2 months ago

Matt, keep in mind that:”A Tesla Cybertruck Smoked The Porsche 911 Carrera T In A Drag Race, But The 911 Is Definitely More Fun”
Will be read as:
“I like consensual sex, but do prefer when it is non-consensual ”

In 20 years.

Jb996
Jb996
2 months ago

“the Cybertruck is the ultimate vehicle for those who take pleasure in the finishing, the 911 T is the ultimate vehicle for those who take pleasure in the doing.”

This is great. I’m kind of exhausted the moment I see ANY 1/4 mile drag race with ANY 911. They are not drag race cars; they weren’t designed for that, and never will be. That said, picking the slowest 911 is completely dishonest, and just about the headline, not reality. Not that I’ve come to expect reality from Muskovites or Teslastans.

Let’s take a Cybertruck, and a 911 out on a road course track. That would be hilarious, and a very predictable outcome.

Xpumpx
Xpumpx
2 months ago
Reply to  Jb996

by that same argument we could see how much they can tow. Porsches are known as fast cars and are easily recognizable. it is pretty good marketing to the masses.

Jb996
Jb996
2 months ago
Reply to  Xpumpx

It’s almost like comparing cars on something they weren’t made to do for is ridiculous.

It’s marketing to morons! So I guess Tesla really knows their base for the Cybertruck, I’ll give them that.

Widgetsltd
Widgetsltd
2 months ago

It’s unlikely that I will have the opportunity to drive a 911T anytime soon. Which is a shame, because I love a car with real color on it. Make mine Viola Metallic. A 0-60 experience that consists of mashing the pedal and holding on doesn’t do much for me. What’s the point of super-quick acceleration if any idiot can do it? I’d rather have a car that must be DRIVEN to achieve a quick time. Heck, my old 2000 Boxster S doesn’t have stability control or traction control but it does have ABS…and a 6-speed stick of course. It may not be fast in the modern idiom, but everything it can do will only happen under the command of the driver.

pizzaman09
pizzaman09
2 months ago
Reply to  Widgetsltd

This! There is a reason my trusty dependable daily is a 99 BMW E36 M3. I love working it up and down through the gears, finding peak torque and working for the revs to get to red line. Is it fast, no, is there a reason I sold an e39 M5 for a slower car, yes. Its so much more engaging when you have to work for the power in a car. 0-60 runs are a good giggle, but you can’t drive all the time racing to 60, however you can enjoy a well executed and engaging lower powered manual car to all sorts of limts without going to jail.

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
2 months ago
Reply to  Widgetsltd

This. 0-60 times are a metric: you can’t put a number on how your car pulls out of a tight curve and accelerates toward the next brake point. How do you quantify a silly grin or gleeful chuckle?

JKcycletramp
JKcycletramp
2 months ago

Can we get a 911T vs Cayman GTS comparison? Everybody wins because all answers are correct!

Jack Beckman
Jack Beckman
2 months ago

Nice review, but I disagree about the Lane Change Assist. Safety first – I can’t tell you how many times I’ve looked, signaled, gone to change lanes, then the lane warning flashed and some bonehead suddenly darted up next to me. I’ll spend money for safety items.

I thought the 18-way seats were a waste too, until I got them – much more comfortable than the 14-way (and they are pretty nice).

OrigamiSensei
OrigamiSensei
2 months ago

Speaking as someone virtually certain to never own a Porsche (well, maybe a 928) you’ve done a wonderful job making this model seem quite attractive to me. I don’t need or want the fastest and “best” thing out there, I want engagement. That’s why I currently daily a Fiesta ST. This seems engaging in a way a Turbo S never would be to me (although we could talk about some of the GT2/3 and related models out there).

TheCrank
TheCrank
2 months ago

There will always be faster or quicker cars. Find something that puts a smile on your face when you drive it and don’t worry about getting “smoked” from a stop light.

Electronika
Electronika
2 months ago

At the risk of insulting the Tesla fans out there there is something outside of driving dynamics or a stick shift.

Its the fact that the Porsche is beautiful both inside an out. Especially inside. It is a work of art. The car invites a driver like an invitation to a fantastic party. While most of us will never be invited to an Oscar after party or to the concourse at Pebble Beach, just walking up to a 911 and open the door its a visceral experience where every surface, every material every control is well thought out, amazing to the touch and just plain fantastic.

True story…

When I was going to make my last new car purchase I looked at the 911. It was way too expensive and hard to come by, but when I walked up to it I felt like I was playing outside my weight class. Just the smell of the cabin was unlike anything I have ever sat in. It was just so well designed. It was like I was joining a club that I have been working to join my entire life. The feel that I had when I started the engine, the way the steering wheel felt and the texture of the shift knob. It was perfection.

Now in all fairness I haven’t sat in a CT… I did go look at one in the showroom and it is just plain ugly. I have driven a Y and a 3 and the inside is just boring. It looks like, and was designed by people who hate drivers, they want you to just sit there while the car drives you. Musk has said many times he wants to remove the driver from the equation and that is a design decision which is at odds with his claim that the CT should work like a truck and drive like a sports car.

It is no fun to have a sports car that doesn’t feel like a sports car. As a car enthusiast I want the total package, not just a metal box that goes like a rocket ship. Nothing in a Tesla feels “rich” or “expensive” or even “sporty” its a hard seat, unergonomic steering wheel and a laptop stuck to the dash. The Porsche is a sports car to its core.

Does that make a Tesla bad? No, but it does make a Tesla a sports car? NOT NOT AT ALL and anyone who thinks it is has never driven a true sports car,.

Hoonicus
Hoonicus
2 months ago
Reply to  Electronika

“Musk has said many times he wants to remove the driver from the equation”
This is my #1 gripe about the progression of vehicle development. I understand that people consider Musk a visionary, and grant that he has some great engineers working for him, but consider his “vision” as dystopian. Now the whole industry is trying to copy this dystopian vision, and I fear the age of driving pleasure is coming to an end.

Electronika
Electronika
2 months ago
Reply to  Hoonicus

Hoonicus I hope you are wrong, but I fear you are right. I am going to wait until some of the more mainstream manufactures come out with some “real” EV sports cars. When we see the first EV Supra, EV Z, EV Miata or even the Hyundai N Vision to see if they are nimble, fast and feel like a real sports cars. Up until now every EV is either a disguised crossover or a 4 door sedan. They might go like mad but even the Porsche Taycan or the EV6 GT are big family cars and not sports cars. When we see something designed from the ground up as a sports car, I will see if we are going to have any kind of performance future. But even if you look at a MB EQS or the new big BMW’s they are rolling entertainment palaces, with huge screens for every occupant, massaging seats and more lights then Studio 54. The Tesla cars have essentially the same interior regardless you choose a 40k model 3 or a hundred thousand dollar Cybertruck.

Perhaps there will be a future demographic who want to sit in a box with no steering wheel or pedals and be entertained by huge screens, flashing lights and massaging seats as they are robotically whisked away to their destination by AI and microchips. And more power to them. In that use case driving dynamics don’t matter, horsepower doesn’t matter. All that matters is getting to your destination safely and with the flow of traffic. If this is the future that Elon sees why waste so much money and engineering capital to build the CT? Who cares if it can go off road? Who cares if it can out drag race a 911?

The minute you make it a performance monster, either on road or off you make it something that appeals to a DRIVER not a passenger. The speed, the “Sports Car” feel, the off road prowace all those things are for a DRIVER to enjoy. So why needlessly punish the driver? If you are going to remove the driver from the equation why make it do those things? A passenger sitting in a vehicle that needs no driver isn’t going to care about a drag race.

That is my big issue. Cars are designed for a specific purpose. The reason a sportscar is light, nimble, small, powerful and sexy is because it is meant to be used by a driver to have a personal relationship with the driver. Off Road beasts are meant to be driven off road and enjoyed by those driving it. They have short wheel bases, big tires, high articulation, short approach and departure angles and other things like locking axles and skid plates. There is a reason that “jack of all trades” vehicles are always a compromise. That is the point. Every car can’t be everything to everyone. There is a place in the future for an autonomous vehicle, but not every car should be autonomous. In our world where car makers think every vehicle can be a crossover and be made to perform like a sportscar is plain dumb.

Hopefully people will wake up and remind car makers that its ok to make different cars for different purposes.

I hope, that with the EV revolution, the skateboard platforms will allow car makers to make more lower volume cars since every car can use the same platform. Then we can have a small sports car, a automous car, a crossover and a truck not one huge, 8000 car that tries to be everything to everyone,.

Hoonicus
Hoonicus
2 months ago
Reply to  Electronika

What totally blows my mind about autonomy, is why go after the most problematic use case first? Seems more appropriate to go after freight trains first, learn from that, move onto passenger trains, then cargo aircraft, etc. I see the rationale for autonomous taxis, but don’t think the technology is ready.

Electronika
Electronika
2 months ago
Reply to  Hoonicus

That is a very good point. I can give you my 2 cents as a commercial pilot I think from a purely technical standpoint we are about 80% to a point where we could build an aircraft that is purely autonomous. Maybe a little further. A modern aircraft like a Boeing 787 which is what I mostly fly can at this point take off, cruise and land with the equipment onboard. As pilots, we are there mostly to monitor systems and to be there incase of things that are not expected. Do we let them fly themselves? absolutely not. are we ready for a fully automated aircraft without a pilot? NO.. because the machines are not.

Trains could be automated today but for the same reasons we need someone on board to monitor.

But planes and trains aren’t sexy and are purchased by corporations and based on RFP’s (Requests for proposals) negotiated in board rooms. They work directly with manufactures with prices flexible based on quantity etc.

autonomous cars are supposed to be sexy… no one really wants them but people like Musk want you to be excited about them.. hens the push. without him and others like them nobody would be giving them a second thought outside of the basic driver assistance systems like SuperCruise that keeps the car on the road on long trips

Hoonicus
Hoonicus
2 months ago
Reply to  Electronika

As a pilot, what say you, as to putting all controls on a single screen?

Electronika
Electronika
2 months ago
Reply to  Hoonicus

I hate it in general but it can be necessary. It all depends on the execution. Let me give you an example. When I started flying, large airliners needed a three person flight crew. In addition to a pilot and a co-pilot we needed a flight engineer. The need for the flight engineer was to operate and monitor the many sub-systems needed to keep such a complex machine operational. My first posting was as a flight engineer on a 727. My role included the monitoring and operation of the engines, the pressurization systems, the hydraulics, air conditioning and many other systems.

Today, all large commercial airliners are flown with a 2 man crew (not counting relief crews for long haul flights) The role of the flight engineer has been replaced by computers and automation. However, every one of those systems need to be able to be accessed and monitored when performing checklists, making adjustments and god forbid when something goes wrong. To accomplish that engineers have provided pilots with computer screens with menus (with mostly redundant physical buttons). These were the result of many hours and billions of dollars that NASA and the Jet Propulsion Lab spent in the 70’s for the space shuttle program and remain in many ways unchanged from those on the Columbia (Enterprise had different and mostly “Steam” gauges). These screens first became available on the 757,767 series and the 737ng. and the Airbus A320.

While there is something beautiful and elegant in the 727’s or the Concorde’s cockpits with their 100’s of gauges and switches and its nice to see everything at the same time, today’s planes are much smarter and more ergonomic not to mention safer and I have to say, I have gotten to love the computers and my electronic flight bag.

Now this is my example of how to do multiple controls behind a single screen. Now is a Tesla a good example?? ABSOUTLY NOT.. when you have hundreds of gauges and controls that you don’t need instantly and can take your eyes off the road its ok. when you need to dig through unintuitive menus to get to turn off your seat heater or to move your air vent. That is terrible. I hate it and I like real buttons for things I can do without taking my eyes off the road. And I need a turn signal stalk.

Of course good UI design can be driven by looks or by function. Sometimes you get both. In my opinion the Danish or the Swedish seem to have a knack for it more often than not. So did the Japanese in the 80’s and 90’s. So I have hope

Hoonicus
Hoonicus
2 months ago
Reply to  Electronika

Yeah, SPOF is my point there. In a car, if some OTA update bug blacks out the screen, you’re fairly screwed. I’m aware airlines require redundancy, and electronically independent backup basic instrumentation.

Hoonicus
Hoonicus
2 months ago
Reply to  Electronika

20 some years ago, I was given an interior trim panel for the Dreamliner, and told I might get a shot at prototyping an alternative. There were a lot of delays in the development of that program, and I never received a work order before I left.

Electronika
Electronika
2 months ago
Reply to  Hoonicus

Hey I did my simulator training a full 2 years before I got to fly my first one. I had almost given up hope. They kept our old 767’s flying for years longer then they wanted to.

Its a shame, I would love to know what yours looked like

Hoonicus
Hoonicus
2 months ago
Reply to  Electronika

Nothing to get excited about. Interior cabin wall panel, but could have led to a possibly profitable OEM contract.

Detroit-Lightning
Detroit-Lightning
2 months ago

Great review Matt!

Auto Guy
Auto Guy
2 months ago

As so aptly discussed in “Reservoir Dogs,” nobody wants to be Mr. Pink.

Jb996
Jb996
2 months ago
Reply to  Auto Guy

Ya, but Mr. Brown? That’s a little too close to Mr. Shit.
Mr. Pink sounds like Mr. P****. How about if I’m Mr. Purple?

Auto Guy
Auto Guy
2 months ago
Reply to  Jb996

That, and “Everybody wants to be Mr. Black.”

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