THE COST OF PROGRESS
These are strange times we live in. Progress, especially progress in the motor industry, is not measured by anything as trivial as a flat second or a kilogram. Instead, it’s measured by a collection of micro-units that collectively combine to form a single quantifiable measurement of progress.
One practical example is the Porsche 718 duet that is featured in the pages, and on the cover of this edition. While it is technically correct to say it’s the Stuttgart-based carmaker’s entry-level models, it is not until you compare it with earlier Porsches that you see precisely by what margin the goalposts have shifted.
Both the Cayman and Boxster are powered by Porsche’s 2.5-litre fourcylinder turbocharged engines and produce 269 kW. Compare that to the Porsche 911 GT3 that was launched in the early clutches of the 2000s and the exponential rate of progress becomes clear. The 3.6-litre mill from the GT3 only managed to churn out 265 kW, and still, you get the idea that the figures from the 718’s are somewhat restrained, conservatively withheld from its fullest potential.
It’s not just Porsche, though, these forward leaps are dotted all over the motoring landscape. There’s the announcement from Volkswagen to discontinue manual gearboxes in the GTI, all in the name of millisecond cogshifting. Or, Merc’s feat of narrowing the gap between bakkie and luxury SUV by a near indistinguishable amount with its Navara-based X-Class.
On paper then, this progress looks to be all good. But, what happens when this amount of progress outprogresses us, ultimately outsmarting and outperforming us as human beings? Well, we will have to wait and see, won’t we… But, until then, we will continue to give you the very best in premium motoring.