“It’s a pity,” Majewski says.
Maybe, I think. But for Porsche, the point of the 911, the highest-performance car among its production stable, is that it can do all that a driver like Majewski asks of it, even if most drivers will never push their cars nearly that hard.
Porsche cars are designed for driving, not merely looking good in the driveway.
Its cars are gorgeous, no doubt. But for Porsche, design is also about authenticity. That’s an overused word in the corner offices of most corporate headquarters. But in Porsche’s case, it’s a word that had resonance in the earliest days of the company. When founderFerry Porsche was asked about the design of the company’s very first car, the 356, he said, “In the beginning, I looked around but couldn’t find the car I dreamt of, so I decided to build it myself.”
The son of a car designer—his father Ferdinand created the original Volkswagen Beetleat the request of Adolf Hitler—Porsche infused his company with a passion for creating dream-worthy vehicles that continues to this day. It’s the reason J.D. Power and Associates ranked Porsche in 2008 not just the top automaker in quality but also in delighting customers with design and performance.
Porsche understands that customers are willing to shell out money for goods that engage them, goods to which they have personal connections.
The way a company such as Porsche creates those products is by developing cars that its designers crave. No cutting corners. Nothing inauthentic that risks the company’s credibility. From that first 356, Porsche’s strategy has been to create cars that its designers wish they could own.
That’s one reason Porsches have evolved from modes of transportation to mythic symbols.
Its fans don’t just drive the cars; they collect them. The company believes that roughly 70 percent of all Porsches built since the original 356 are still on the road today.
With that lust come the scores of Porsche coffee table books stuffed with glossy photos of its race cars, its 356s, and its 911s. Porsche clubs circle the globe, from the United States to Germany to New Zealand to Lebanon.
Porsche has used design to create a cult.
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