‘It was as if Jesus himself had blessed Porsche with a new suspension system’

The deifying of Porsche has left Jethro with a worrying affliction – Porsche fatigue

Jethro opinion header

I think I get it. After years of letters proclaiming bias, of meeting people full of hate and bile, of hearing strange ‘Beetle’ jokes and being absolutely baffled as to how and why people could be so negative about a car that seems to encapsulate everything they proclaim to love about driving, something in me has changed. I’m sick of Porsche.

Maybe it’s circumstance. I’ve spent way too much time in California of late and here lies the centre of the Cult of Porsche. People scrabble over the bones of dead relatives to reach the head of the queue to buy a ropey G-series. Restoration shops occupy every corner, bursting with air-cooled 911s being painted beige to show just how cool their owners really are. There are Cars & Coffee events at every hipster café on the West Coast, where people congratulate each other for being discerning, erudite and wise. They are almost exclusively filled with old 911s or new ones in ever more bizarre ‘PTS’ colours. Many have roof rails carrying wooden skis. Because that’s the only way to look even more of a twat. It’s enough to put you off Porsche forever. 

Open social media and it’s the same pattern multiplied by many millions. Porsches of all the colours of the rainbow with leather-trimmed air vents are held up for us to worship. Every other day there seems to be another display or festival or museum opened exclusively to remind us – in case we’d forgotten – that Porsche is God in four-wheeled form. 

> ‘The Porsche Taycan is a terrifically comfortable and able bit of kit, but as a sports car, I’m not so sure'

Even worse, everything else is cast as the Devil. Dare to post a picture or video of a car that could be broadly compared with a Porsche, any Porsche, and you’ll be drowned by the onslaught of comments: ‘Why would you bother when you could buy a 911?’ cry the army of disciples. I imagine them sitting in their bedrooms – houndstooth carpet, Pasha wallpaper, whirring fans everywhere and dozens of burning effigies of Ferrari, McLaren and Lamborghini – ready to pounce should anyone, anywhere, say something positive about a car that isn’t a Porsche. 

That said, Porsche fatigue is almost as bad as the peculiar religion that pours scorn on anything that isn’t rear-engined, for it too begins to erode logic and surface an irrational inner rage. For me it came to a head with the coverage for the new 992 GT3. Now, I love GT3s, so I knew things were getting out of control. However, try as I might, I couldn’t quite let pass the incredulity that Porsche had – gasp – fitted double-wishbone front suspension to a 911. It was as if Jesus himself had blessed Porsche with a revolutionary new suspension system, hitherto unseen, full of wonder and mystical powers that would only serve to reinforce Porsche’s holiness to the faithful congregation. 

I said as much on Twitter and although a few chirped up in agreement they were quickly shouted down. One or two even pondered why I’d say such a thing. ‘If it’s so unremarkable why don’t any of the rivals use it?’ they said. ‘Erm. They do. All of them,’ I replied. But no. This COULD NOT BE TRUE AS PORSCHE ARE THE BEST AND THEREFORE YOU MUST BE LYING. I assume this was followed by sticking their fingers in their ears and screaming lalalalalalalalala until the bad person saying true things that could be hurtful went away. Imagine that? Being so invested in the Porsche cult that it’s impossible to accept that double wishbones weren’t invented in 2021 for the 992 GT3. You can only conclude that Porsche has won the internet. Porsche and Pornhub. This is how humanity will be judged. 

It must be even more maddening for rival car makers. McLaren released images of the new Artura within a day of the 992 GT3 being revealed. It’s packed with tech, has a fascinating new 120deg V6 linked to an eight-speed dual-clutch ’box with integrated electric motor, a brand new carbonfibre chassis and so much lightweighting that the hybrid system is almost entirely negated. The reaction? ‘Meh. More of the same.’ Now, I happen to agree that the Artura needed to look like an entirely new generation rather than a facelifted 570S, but the very next day a car that literally is more of the same melted the internet due to a 10bhp bump, a new shade of blue and an outlandish new suspension system first seen on a Citroën in the 1930s. 

It’s not Porsche’s fault that people have become so blindly devoted. They’re just doing what they do. Tirelessly developing the 911 so it stays fresh. It is the foundation of the company’s past success and future prosperity. It’s also pretty bloody marvellous. I can’t really be sick of Porsche. Not for long, anyway. It’s the zealots who are creating a Scientology-style mania around the cars. Luckily, there is a very easy way to cut through the noise and rediscover the love: close Instagram and go for a drive in a 911. They really are fantastic. Even the ones with MacPherson struts.

Recommended

Porsche 984 Junior – dead on arrival
Porsche 984 Junior
Features

Porsche 984 Junior – dead on arrival

This miniature marvel could have seen Porsche enter the ’90s with a truly affordable entry-level sports car
11 Jan 2024
Why Rennsport Reunion is the world's best Porsche gathering
Rennsport Reunion 2023
Features

Why Rennsport Reunion is the world's best Porsche gathering

It’s the world’s greatest gathering of racing Porsches. We join the legions of fans – and the legendary drivers and engineers – at Laguna Seca for the…
3 Dec 2023
Kamm 912c 2023 review – the £274,000 four-cylinder Porsche 911
Kamm 912c
Reviews

Kamm 912c 2023 review – the £274,000 four-cylinder Porsche 911

The flat-four Porsche 912 was once seen as the 911’s poor relation. Budapest-based firm Kamm aims to unlock its ultimate potential
10 Oct 2023
New Porsche 911 GT3 R Rennsport: the race car that you can't race
Porsche 911 GT3 R Rennsport
News

New Porsche 911 GT3 R Rennsport: the race car that you can't race

Taking Porsche’s latest GT3 race car as a base, the Rennsport is a derestricted, fully uncorked track car destined for 77 customers
5 Oct 2023

Most Popular

The Jensen Interceptor ‘Mk5’ is a 770bhp V8 hybrid restomod
Jensen Interceptor ‘Mk5’
News

The Jensen Interceptor ‘Mk5’ is a 770bhp V8 hybrid restomod

The groundbreaking Jensen Interceptor FF has been given an electrified overhaul almost 60 years after its launch, but it retains the all-important V8
28 Feb 2024
Renault Sport Mégane RS Trophy‑R – the car world's greatest misses
Renault Sport Mégane RS Trophy‑R
Features

Renault Sport Mégane RS Trophy‑R – the car world's greatest misses

Targeting a Nürburgring lap record proved the undoing of a potentially all-time-great hot hatch
29 Feb 2024
New Alpine A290: latest details on the Renault 5's hot hatch cousin
Alpine A290 concept
Features

New Alpine A290: latest details on the Renault 5's hot hatch cousin

Good news for fans of accessible performance, as Alpine reveals more details about its forthcoming EV hot hatch, the A290
26 Feb 2024