911 R - Just A Pipe Dream05 Mar 2016
You’ve been planning, saving, and dreaming about taking the next step. Making all the right decisions to put yourself into position to become an owner of a special GT Porsche. Eventually, rumors begin to stir; websites with headlines diving into the details of the mid engine Corvette, and release date of the next generation Toyota Supra, begin to describe the triumphant return of a manual transmission to a GT department 911. You get excited, but remind yourself, half of these articles only exist for those few clicks of users without AdBlock installed.
Just months later, the Geneva Auto Show starts. The show debuts an incredible range of cars from every automaker. You rush to see Porsche’s announcement. The pixels slowly load, and you see it, the 911 R. 500HP, 339 lb-ft torque, lighter than the GT3RS, manual transmission, and most importantly a car designed, and developed by some of the very best. You can’t contain your excitement this time. It’s really happening.
But the rest of that story isn’t worth going into. Things spiral down hill and you learn you won’t be even given a chance at an allocation. You’re not ridiculously wealthy; The 911 R’s are almost all to be given to 918 owners. The road ends here.
This fictional story, albeit probably a true story for a lot people, is quite the dilemma. How do you balance keeping a car ‘special’ without alienating customers that are new to your company or even existing loyalists?
From Porsche’s business point of view the grass couldn’t be greener. With such a limited number being produced (even less than than the recent GT4), it will be quite a rare and special site on the road. This also means that this car’s value will almost certainly appreciate go well above the MSRP. There’s also no need to have any concern about sales. Every car is, or will be sold, before it even lands at the dealer’s doorstep. Lastly, this has got to be the best way to get consumer and media attention. I bet you can’t name a single car enthusiast who hasn’t heard of the GT3RS, GT4, and now the 911 R.
Quite a fail proof business plan for Porsche. But what about the the narrative we so often hear about being ‘for the driver’. What about the customer that has never had a Porsche and this is the one. Or the customer that has been enjoying a 944 for the past 10 years and wants to add the 911 R to the garage? Maybe they haven’t invested as much money in the company but I bet you they’ve put the same amount of heart into their car, and driving experiences, as any other owner.
They…we, deserve a fair shot.