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I thought I'd take a moment to point something out to Porsche or anyone from Porsche reading this topic section. It is my opinion that the upcoming initial reviews of the 718 are either going to make the car seem very attractive to introductory Porsche sports car buyers, or possibly kill the car altogether. What do I mean?

What I mean is if the first round of 718 reviews by auto journalists are full of phrases like "turbo lag", "down on power", "can feel the added weight", "I miss the old 6" etc. then the 718 is going to be branded a failure from day 1 and possibly never recover. It won't matter if the reviews also say "gets great mpg", "looks sharp", and "won't break your wallet". If the 718 becomes perceived as the new 914 (no offense to 914 owners), then it won't matter how many posters showing the original 718 racer cars you put into the dealer showrooms, people aren't going to be interested in buying what they perceive to be a lesser Porsche. Compare to the early Cayman reviews that talked about "balance", "great handling", and "a worthy challenger to the older 911". It was those kind of statements that help create the cult of the Cayman that we born out in this website and its members.

Conversely, if the first round of 718 reviews talk about "more instant torque than the old 6" or "a laser focus on performance and precision" or the "the right marriage of chassis and drive train" etc. then you may see the 718 as the desirable sports car for either new Porsche buyers or recent Macan/Cayenne/Panamera drivers who also want a Porsche sports car to go with their sedan or suv but dont' want to shell out for the 911.

My recommendation would be to get a small gathering of Cayman/Boxster experts together first to drive the 718 before you do your initial press junket so you can iron out any issues that these early reviewers bring to light that you don't want journalists to jump on come press time. I'm happy to serve in this capacity if you need someone to help review these cars early for internal purposes only, and even if you don't pick me to do it, I think Porsche needs to do this or else Porsche is taking an unnecessary gamble that early press reviews will be favorable enough to carry the day.

HTH...
 

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I agree with the above comments by K-Man S, and will add that the exhaust sound is also an important ingredient in this equation for the new 718. I hope they get it all correct. In spades.
 

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For the continued health of the company I do hope that they have the entire package all thought out, and I too would offer my experiences as a Boxster owner and consummate 'car-guy' should Porsche require some feedback from the guy on the street! :)
 

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We don't have to wonder what the reviews will be like for the new turbo Cayman. They will most likely be the same as the reviews for the new 991.2.... That is the same model as the last one just with an added turbo, that's what the 981.2 will be.

Folks need to relax, the new model will be as good, if not better than the last. It will definitely feel more powerful with the low end torque. Only challenge for Porsche is will people shell out all that cash for a 4 cylinder. I think it all be psychological, the car itself will be great.
 

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We don't have to wonder what the reviews will be like for the new turbo Cayman. They will most likely be the same as the reviews for the new 991.2.... That is the same model as the last one just with an added turbo, that's what the 981.2 will be.

Folks need to relax, the new model will be as good, if not better than the last. It will definitely feel more powerful with the low end torque. Only challenge for Porsche is will people shell out all that cash for a 4 cylinder. I think it all be psychological, the car itself will be great.
991.2 reviews haven't been universally favorable and I think there is a definite difference in going from a NA 6 to a Turbo 6 vs. going from a NA 6 to a Turbo 4. 4 is less than 6 in the eyes of most buyers. :)
 

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I have to say this reminds me of the fears and very lengthy discussions about the 981 and 991 having electric power steering. I have a lot of faith that Porsche isn't going to release a half-baked car. Porsche knows a thing or two about turbos. It's not like the 718 will be their first foray into uncharted turbocharged waters. Car reviews are what determines the fate of sports cars. Even though most people will never use a car to nearly its full potential, great reviews about what a sports car can do, is what sells them. Their test drivers and engineers are going to get the car exactly where they want it before they release it. Look at how they engineered the Boxster/Cayman GTS and S to be just a smidgen slower (straight line and on track) behind the base 911. They are masters at tweaking everything exactly so. On top of that, they know that everyone will be just waiting/expecting the 4 cylinder to be a step back so they are going to make sure that it is universally loved when it comes out of the oven and all fears will instantly vanish. I agree with Knobcrk in that getting around the psychology of a 4 cylinder will be the only hard part.
 
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The psychological issue may partly be affected by price. In the unlikely event prices were to go below 2016 981 MSRP, anything said may be overridden by a sense that it's a lesser car.

If instead, prices go meaningfully above 2016 981 MSRP, it could create a backlash fueled by the opinion "they're giving me less, charging me more, and hoping I'm dumb enough to go for it."

I'm neither judging nor defending either view. I'm saying only that these reactions affected by the ultimate pricing might play into the psychological reactions potential buyers might have that could affect sales.

On the other hand, we need to remember that a bunch of times some Porsche old-timers got vehemently upset with new models for a variety of reasons (e.g., going from 993 to water-cooled 996, introducing the 914 knowing it was sold as a VW in Europe, introducing the Audi-ish 924, reacting to the obesity of the 928, moving away from sports cars to the Cayenne/whale, etc.), in each case there was much gnashing of teeth, but the cars sold anyway, albeit often to new segments of the buying public.

In the end, they always seem to land on their feet. We ourselves have bought these cars while griping about a bunch of changes they've already made that we don't favor. Is there anyone out there who really loves having zero spare tire, no dipstick, electronic power steering, an engine with practically no reasonable accessibility, or a MSRP that is never considered a "good deal" by any of the car mags (and for good reason)?
 

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Just about every Porsche update improves performance, safety, environmental impact and refinement, but it usually comes with a sacrifice of feel. I don't want a turbo 4 cyl, but I already don't want to trade my 987 for the refinements of the current 981, and I don't see the turbo 4cyl as being much more egregious than something like electric steering, considering handling is one of the things that Porsche is really known for.

Ultimately, as long as performance numbers incrementally improve, people will line up for the newest thing from Porsche, regardless of whether the performance gains amount to anything in the real world. When the 981 came out, many 987 owners were critical...but there are now 981s in some of their signatures. :hilarious: I'd imagine that the same will happen with the 718.

p.s. fwiw, just under 119,000 Porsche 914s were produced in only 7 years, which is already a better clip than the Cayman.
 

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People buy Porsches because they have excess disposable cash/income. They buy them for emotional reasons. These are not rational or logical purchases. This is a generalization I know but I think it is fundamentally true. Therefore, Porsche's products and marketing need to be focused on this aspect. And they are.

Couple of thoughts on this:

1. Big upcheck on the name change. I like it a lot. Yes, this is a psychological and emotional change. But we are buying Porsches and not Hondas for a reason. Porsche's sports cars were always numbers until the Boxsters/Caymans came out which bins them in with the Cayennes and Macans - non sports cars. A 718 owner can proudly talk about the 718 lineage at cars and coffee.

2. I think if the price stays the same or moves up, this is going to be a big problem for Porsche. Moving to a flat-4 is going to be viewed as a big downsizing even if torque and HP is more. It wont sound like a Porsche either. It will also be heavier. I think it is going to be a fail if price doesn't go down. Too expensive for what you get. I don't think the price will decrease either because it appears their costs will be similar or even more.

3. The sound is going to be a big problem just like it is in the 991.2. Read reenlist - its terrible. My last trip to the Porsche experience center in Atlanta, I asked my instructor about the new 991.2's sound. They all got to drive it on the track. He was really down on it. These instructors are not just people off the street either or BMW owners. They are long time Porsche owners that know the brand. If a paid Porsche employee is stating this publicly to potential buyers, then the success of the car is in doubt. The 981.2 is going to sound much worse than the 991.2 too.

4. I think this change with the 981 is much more significant than the water cooled change and WAY more significant than the electric steering change. Shifting to 4 cylinders from Porsche's iconic 6 is huge and add in the turbo change and lack of sound is just a big risk. It will be a totally different car.

5. My hat is off to Porsche marketing. They linked these huge changes back to the 4 cylinder 718 and 919 turbos....all with solid racing history. Porsche has also been on a year + campaign demonstrating that turbos and 4 cylinders have always been part of Porsche's DNA. They are trying to compensate and get out in front of the anticipated negative response from the community on the shift to 4 cylinder turbos. They didn't bring back the 912, 914 or 924 name change for a reason.

6. Remember that these changes to the 981 are not customer driven. They are regulatory driven. That's a big problem for any company.

The real feedback is going to be from forums like this and reenlist. The auto rag journalists are bought and will almost always be generally positive. I don't put much stock in their opinion.
 

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People buy Porsches because they have excess disposable cash/income. They buy them for emotional reasons. These are not rational or logical purchases. This is a generalization I know but I think it is fundamentally true. Therefore, Porsche's products and marketing need to be focused on this aspect. And they are.

Couple of thoughts on this:

1. Big upcheck on the name change. I like it a lot. Yes, this is a psychological and emotional change. But we are buying Porsches and not Hondas for a reason. Porsche's sports cars were always numbers until the Boxsters/Caymans came out which bins them in with the Cayennes and Macans - non sports cars. A 718 owner can proudly talk about the 718 lineage at cars and coffee.

2. I think if the price stays the same or moves up, this is going to be a big problem for Porsche. Moving to a flat-4 is going to be viewed as a big downsizing even if torque and HP is more. It wont sound like a Porsche either. It will also be heavier. I think it is going to be a fail if price doesn't go down. Too expensive for what you get. I don't think the price will decrease either because it appears their costs will be similar or even more.

3. The sound is going to be a big problem just like it is in the 991.2. Read reenlist - its terrible. My last trip to the Porsche experience center in Atlanta, I asked my instructor about the new 991.2's sound. They all got to drive it on the track. He was really down on it. These instructors are not just people off the street either or BMW owners. They are long time Porsche owners that know the brand. If a paid Porsche employee is stating this publicly to potential buyers, then the success of the car is in doubt. The 981.2 is going to sound much worse than the 991.2 too.

4. I think this change with the 981 is much more significant than the water cooled change and WAY more significant than the electric steering change. Shifting to 4 cylinders from Porsche's iconic 6 is huge and add in the turbo change and lack of sound is just a big risk. It will be a totally different car.

5. My hat is off to Porsche marketing. They linked these huge changes back to the 4 cylinder 718 and 919 turbos....all with solid racing history. Porsche has also been on a year + campaign demonstrating that turbos and 4 cylinders have always been part of Porsche's DNA. They are trying to compensate and get out in front of the anticipated negative response from the community on the shift to 4 cylinder turbos. They didn't bring back the 912, 914 or 924 name change for a reason.

6. Remember that these changes to the 981 are not customer driven. They are regulatory driven. That's a big problem for any company.

The real feedback is going to be from forums like this and reenlist. The auto rag journalists are bought and will almost always be generally positive. I don't put much stock in their opinion.
Those are all excellent points. Point #4 is where I slightly differ in that, while I agree that the average buyer will see the move to 4 cyl as a much more major change than the move to electric steering, many enthusiasts see steering input as a major part of the experience, too. If someone forced me to put either electric steering or a 4cyl turbo in my 987, it wouldn't be an immediately obvious choice for me.

987 owners who trade up for the 981 generally do so in spite of the steering, not because of it, and I'm sure the same will happen with the 718 and its turbo engine (which will likely show a slight uptick in stat sheet performance, as usual.) Of course, I can only imagine what 718 owners will say when future cars are hybrid, or even all electric. :)
 

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Also, 718 will be single turbo whereas the 991.2 is twin turbo. This will likely have an impact on turbo size, amount of boost, amount of lag...........You can do more with twin turbos to compensate than with a single turbo. While turbo technology has certainly changed............when I owned and drove an Audi S4 with the 2.7L twin turbo and compare it to the myriad of VW and Audis I have owned since.......the single turbos all have some lag. Even single turbo to single turbo.....the Mark 6 Golf R I owned with bigger turbo on a 2.0 had significantly more turbo lag than my son's Mk6 GTI.................As long as we are speculating.......it would be interesting to see if down the road Porsche were to do something like what Volvo has done with some of their turbo 4s where they run electric driven boost initially to augment their gas driven turbo so it can come up to speed and thereby run a larger turbo with minimized lag.
 

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+1 what Subshooter said.

In addition, I think most people that shop these kinds of cars have heard of a 911 turbo. I think Porsche will leverage this when marketing, that the new generation has TT lineage. Some of the changes will be frowned upon at first, as is true with anything changing. Over time, those frowners may grow to better accept the 718, especially in an era where small displacement turbos will become the norm.

I expect many reviews to say, "This is what you gain, this is what you lose. Are the tradeoffs worth the upside? That will be up to the individual." In other words, a perfectly noncommittal middle of the road review of the car (like certain magazines always provide). E.g. You lose the engine growl but gain low end torque.

The area where I see most difficulty for Porsche is with their competitors. They may exploit Porsche's changes as all negative and how my brand offers no compromises in those areas.

Bottom line one is that this is a tough one to predict. Let's just hope that sales don't go down too far to the point where Porsche decides to put even greater emphasis on its SUVs at the expense of sports car resources.
 

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In the US, 981 sales in 2015 up through Nov represented about 13% off all of Porsche sales. Keep in mind that Cayennes and 911s sell substantially more and at a higher price. China's economy has slowed, but still represents the biggest growth opportunity for Porsche. China also taxes on engine size. I've read that taxes are significantly higher over 2.0L and something like 40% for >3.0L. I believe some Euro countries also tax based on displacement. Anyways, a 2.0L engine is required to sell in China. The base Macan is another example.
 
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6. Remember that these changes to the 981 are not customer driven. They are regulatory driven. That's a big problem for any company.
^^ this is the most profound statement.

There is nothing more that needs to be said.

Porsche is doing this is keep sales going in ALL markets otherwise they will have to close shop.

Kudos to the engineers whose challenge to keep the appeal despite all the changes.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Time and sales numbers of the 718 will determine if Porsche made the correct decision to go with a Single Turbo 4 Cylinder Engine......

For me...., I would not spend my $$ on a single turbo 4 cylinder, and I believe Porsche is making a mistake, yet it is there choice, just like it is mine to spend my $$ elsewhere.

I understand that they have to comply with the Econ and Enviro regulations, yet they seem to be meeting these regulations with a 3.0L twin turbo flat 6 in the 911, so a 2.5L twin turbo flat 6 might be a better answer. It would eliminate all the negative talk around a 4 cylinder engine and single turbo, while providing for a smaller displacement, lower emissions, better Econ, etc. option.

One possible counter to the above is the possibility of commonality of engine parts, and lower cost of manufacture for a 2.0L 4 cylinder single turbo, versus a 3.0L 6 cylinder twin turbo. Tough decisions for Porsche.... :wall:

Porsche can always offer a twin turbo flat 6 in the 718 in the future as an upgraded engine option or possible a "GTS" variant... :burnout:

:cheers:
 

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Well said. I agree that people should not jump to conclusions to create the perception that the car is bad before its even released to the public. As soon as that bandwagon gets going its hard to stop it.

EDIT: typos
 

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Shifting to 4 cylinders from Porsche's iconic 6 is huge
Time and sales numbers of the 718 will determine if Porsche made the correct decision to go with a Single Turbo 4 Cylinder Engine......nd

For me...., I would not spend my $$ on a single turbo 4 cylinder, and I believe Porsche is making a mistake, yet it is there choice, just like it is mine to spend my $$ elsewhere.
Sorry, its not huge. Its normal. 6 cyl is an aberration.

Remember, NO cars, NONE, sold more cars in the US than the 4 cyl 914 in 1973 and 944 in 1986, and both by large margins. They FAR outsold the 911. The move to 6 cyl is a recent move for the entry level cars, the last 18 years, which in car years was yesterday and in Porsche years was a month ago.

As a younger generation used to the 6 cyl, you might find it sacrilege. To both the older generation, they might see it normal and to the younger generation, they know nothing but 4 cyl. Something to think about. Its NORMAL for the entry level cars to have 4 cyl.

6 cylinders is an aberration. You might be used to it because its all you know. But for 30 of the 50 years since an entry level car was built, it was the way it was.
 

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6 cylinders is an aberration. You might be used to it because its all you know. But for 30 of the 50 years since an entry level car was built, it was the way it was.
If Porsche was selling "Entry Level Cars" I might agree with you. But since they are selling Luxury Performance Sports Cars, I must call foul on your statement.

The only model auto from Porsche that has survived since its original introduction in 1963 has a 6 cylinder engine, the "911". All the four cylinder Porsche Sports Cars are history.

:cheers:
 

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Yes but its not normal to pay Porsche prices for a four cylinder car - many people would simply shrug and buy an A45/CLA45 AMG etc.

This is something not to underestimate. For example, there was a recent article in Motor magazine that reviewed the C63AMG and new 911 - the bottom line was the reviewer acknowledged the Porsche had the performance edge however he also pointed out that in the real world it was a wash and in his view the Merc had more general appeal and an edgy character that made it more fun and interesting.

Many view the move to turbo 4s/6s as a removal of character something that is both hard to find in cars and people.
 

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My current car is a PT Cruiser GT 2.4 liter 4 cylinder with a turbo. For the last 10 years it has performed flawlessly, though only 16,000 miles. It has considerably faster acceleration than my 1977 Corvette was capable of, and there is very little lag when I gas it. Would I want this engine in my 2016 Cayman? Hell no.

The jury will not be in on the Porsche 4 banger turbo for quite a while. I was not willing to take that bet, so I am delighted to get one of the last NA flat 6 engines. I KNOW that will work, and I am sleeping well while I await delivery. I am not so sure I would sleep as well awaiting the 718. I wish Porsche well. I really do.
 
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