By on November 11, 2014

BMW-X4-03-550x330

“The sports car market is roughly half of what it used to be,” Ian Robertson, BMW’s head of sales, said in an interview at the manufacturer’s headquarters in Munich. “Post-2008, it just collapsed. I’m not so sure it’ll ever fully recover.”

Speaking to Automotive News, Robertson noted that SUVs and crossovers have replaced the sports car’s function as a status symbol, while emerging markets tended to gravitate towards large sedans that one can be driven in.

While those of us who love driving will scoff at the notion that a CUV could ever replace a sports car as the most desirable automobile, market data has shown that the CUV is the most desirable body style not just in North America, but in many emerging markets – in both locales, it serves as a symbol of affluence and high status, despite what we may consider to be inferior attributes vis a vis a passenger car.

The other factor is that driving conditions have changed. Increased congestion, urbanization and a demonization of speeding (backed by harsh, if not draconian penalties) has made the notion of a sports car an outmoded one for many people. Even the latest 991 Porsche 911 GT3 has abandoned the manual transmission. And while Porsche claims this was done in the name of technological advancement, let’s not fool ourselves: it was a careful, calculated move designed to appeal to the poseur who wants the GT3 because of its racing heritage, despite never intending to take it on track, much less above 60 mph.

 

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268 Comments on “Quote Of The Day: The Sports Car Is Dead...”


  • avatar
    Lie2me

    The sports car is dead, long live the SUV

    … Deal with it

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    Lots of factors:

    * The average buyer is older, and buyers less willing to put up with sports-car compromises.
    * CUVs are way more capable than they used to be, and certainly more capable than sports cars from the last several decades.
    * Younger buyers’ have been pretty much hollowed out by the last few jobless recoveries. A hugely expensive depreciating asset is not high on the priority list when you’re already eyeball-deep in debt and working a string of unstable contract-only jobs
    * Heck, the whole middle-class has been hollowed out; that means that sports cars—discretionary at best—are now the purveyance of people who can afford second- or third-car toys. Those people aren’t going to buy something plebian

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      Companies like Ford like to claim, “We build for the 20%. Let the rest take everything else.” However, instead they sell to the 80% and ignore the 20% who actually know what they want up front.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        @Vulpine – Actually……….Ford said that they will focus on the 20% (of their vehicles) that makes 80% of their profits.

        The 20% that knows what they want don’t tend to boost car companies profits.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          Think about what you just said. You didn’t disagree with me, merely re-worded it. Where are Ford’s biggest profits and then tell me again why their cars are such junk.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @Vulpine – That isn’t quite what you said. 20% of the product line making 80% of the profits. Concentrating on the money makers first and then the tertiary products makes sound business sense .

            As far as “their cars being junk”, that is a matter of opinion not backed by research firms. I would not expect you of all people to make such a blanket statement. On the other hand if you aimed that remark at FCA who fired their QC boss, that would be an entirely different story.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Look again, Lou. Except for their trucks, Ford’s ratings are in the lower half of the charts–deep in the lower half.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      That’s the problem, isn’t it? The target buyers, the young, can’t afford a sports car, and there are no low cost convertible two seaters available. Almost all the cheap used MGs and TRs are gone (the rest are collector cars), and there’s only Miata on the market. In the ’70s, a 23 year old neighbor traded his running VW bug for a not-running TR2, and got it running with minimal work he did himself. There are no sports cars out there like that for similar cost, and kids today don’t know how to turn a wrench. No customers, no supply, no market.

    • 0 avatar

      @Psar
      +10
      I’d get an FRS if it had a bigger greenhouse. I’d have gotten an RX-8 if they had decent fuel mileage, because it is a bit practical.

      And, yes, if there were less inequality, more people who would like them might be able to afford sports cars.

    • 0 avatar
      malikknows

      Yes, yes, yes. I was waiting for someone to talk about the economics of this. Yes, the middle class is getting squeezed and the first thing to go are the toys. Same thing is happening with motorcycles and, I believe, boats.

      The true cost of a car used only on weekends is very, very large. Relatively fewer people can afford them. Young people get this and instead are playing with relatively low cost toys like phones and computers video games.

      Oh, and I’d like to mention that BMW shares some blame with their butt ugly Z4s. The Z3 were beautiful, their replacement not so much.

      • 0 avatar
        ect

        The economy is definitely a factor, but there are other factors as well.

        At a conference some years ago, one of the presenters showed a chart with 2 lines on it – the number of men in the US turning 47 every year (he went back at least 25 years) and changes in sales of Harley-Davidson motorcycles. The lines matched almost perfectly. His point was that H-D customers are not young men, but over-45’s with some loose change to spend.

        I suspect that the passage of Baby Boomers into their 50’s and 60’s means that there are fewer men in the age bracket “sweet spot” for motorcycle sales. Sales of sportscars might show a similar pattern.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    Ironically, BMW is largely responsible for this. It was the German sports sedan that launched the trend of combining practical packaging with good handling and performance.

    For whatever reason, automakers typically reserved that combination of attributes for two-doors until BMW and Mercedes did it differently. Now that there is no trade off required, why make it?

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      Because some of us won’t buy 4 doors on anything if given a choice?

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        Your tastes are not particularly interesting or of value to these discussions.

      • 0 avatar
        psarhjinian

        I’m personally very glad that the trend of restricting performance options to two-doors is dead or dying at most brands. Two-door/four-seat cars can DIAF.

        Although I’d credit Subaru and the WRX for putting the squeeze on the affordable sports car, at least from the bottom up just as much as BMW has from the top-down.

        • 0 avatar
          elimgarak

          agreed on the wrx point. After extensively driving an evo X MR, i’m really disappointed in most ‘sports cars’.

        • 0 avatar
          Occam

          It would be nice if four door cars had full size doors. In a two door, the armrest and windowsill extend far enough back that they’re useful even if you’re not short. The stubby front doors on my four-doors put a B-miller right next to my shoulder.

          Look at four doors in a typical parking lot, and note how often the headrest on the drivers’ seat is visible in the rear window.

      • 0 avatar
        msquare

        Not enough of you to go around, though. And BMW offers coupe versions of all its sedans. You have to wonder what the point of a Z4 is versus a 4-series convertible.

        Mazda is a little different because there is no real substitute for the Miata in its product line, and it has remained pure in concept. Porsche, of course, will always be about the sports cars, but even they have historically included vestigial back seats. Always wondered why sports car purists never made a fuss over that.

        There used to be a performance gap between sports cars and sedans. Even if the sedan boasted a more powerful engine, a sports car could usually outrun it on a track or a winding road. The BMW 2002 proved you could have sports-car performance and sedan practicality.

    • 0 avatar
      FormerFF

      That’s it. You can get more performance than you can use in a tarted up sedan or hatch, and still be practical, all for less money than what a sports car would go for. Look at Derek’s post on his new Mazda 3, where he abandoned his MX-5 for a hatch.

    • 0 avatar
      S2k Chris

      “Ironically, BMW is largely responsible for this. It was the German sports sedan that launched the trend of combining practical packaging with good handling and performance.”

      Came in to post this. With the number of good-handling, almost-affordable, compact to midsize sedans that are great fun to drive, why squeeze yourself into a small, rough-riding, impractical 2 seater every day, especially if you’re only a casual enthusiast?

    • 0 avatar
      malikknows

      Yes, Pch, this has something to do with it. These days, there are sedans that can dust anything not a supercar. Plus, a back seat is handy.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    And to continue the above post, (by Parsajian) the growing income disparity has indeed had a major impact on car buying.

    In the late 50’s through to late 90’s truly expensive cars were rare. Now Astons, Ferraris, Lambos, Maserattis, Bentleys, etc are vehicles that I see daily on the road (except in the winter). Back ‘in the day’ it was rather rare to see even a Porsche or Jag. Now the rich instead of settling for run of the mill Jag/Porsche can purchase a supercar or hypercar, a segment that was virtually non-existent less than a generation ago.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      I know of someone who bought a Gallardo as a foul-weather car.

      All-wheel drive, donchaknow?

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @Arthur Dailey – your comment outlines why the sports car market has shrunk. A few others have alluded to it as well.

      The rich buy the higher end sports cars. Upwardly mobile types buy or lease the mid-level stuff. Baby-boomers with cash fit into the mid level area and also tend to be the one’s buying muscle cars.

      Young men/women who would be interested in sports cars can’t afford the entry price and/or lifestyle choices mean they need a platform that is more versatile.

      I own a crewcab truck and a mini-van because a sports car is not versatile enough and isn’t worth the cost for what I’d need it to do.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    There are those of us who actually appreciate a non-sedan, whether it has a back porch or not.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    This is such a no-brainer, sports cars are impractical on so many levels, the average transaction price of a new car is over $30K. We need vehicles that can do everything that still create some kind of image for us as the rogue individualist and create status. Enter the SUV, because you’re the kind of go anywhere, do anything guy that the sports car used cater to, but now the SUV does

  • avatar
    John R

    I believe it. Sigh…people are idiots.

    The “desirability” of SUV/CUVs escapes me with the exception of the more conceited brands. A FRONT WHEEL DRIVE Kia Sorrento will always beg the question “Why??” from me.

    The tractability (if a person gets one with AWD) and utility I get. I had an AWD Rav4 as a rental once and it was extremely useful. If that’s what a person needs, fine; but to have one just to have one?

    • 0 avatar
      LeMansteve

      From my lovely wife’s perspective, these are the reasons she likes SUVs/CUVs:

      1. she likes to ride high for better road visibility
      2. the high ride height makes loading and unloading groceries, kids, etc easier
      3. getting in and out is easier
      4. it doesn’t carry the strong negative perception that goes along with driving a minivan, hatchback or wagons
      4.1 she doesn’t like attention and so a popular CUV makes her “blend in”

      It’s not my preferred mode of transportation, but it works very well as a family hauler. Also, FWD does the trick in 99% of many driving situations, so why not? We are not driving around in the mud or snow.

      • 0 avatar
        FormerFF

        My wife drives a CUV as well. It’s analogous to the station wagon my mother drove.

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        5) You love driving it as well, but when the other guys snicker you just say, “Not me, wife”

      • 0 avatar
        S2k Chris

        Personally, I’m THRILLED my wife desperately wants a crossover as her next car. It means A) she will be driving a car big enough for the family so I don’t have to, and B) I can borrow it on occasion for Home Depot runs, etc, and am free to continue buying smaller, more fun to drive cars to get to and from work. It’s awesome to have the convenience of a crossover in the family without having to drive the darn thing every day.

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          Shhhh, that’s suppose to be a “guy secret”

          The “Not me, her” go around. The oldest secret in the Guy Book

          • 0 avatar
            319583076

            “suppose” =/= “supposed” that’s strike two for you today.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            ““suppose” =/= “supposed” that’s strike two for you today.”

            I want a tomater on that berger with a side of taters. Stop being so pedant Mr. Persnickety… and stop making me so hungry

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            ““suppose” =/= “supposed” that’s strike two for you today.”

            I want a tomater on that berger with a s*de of taters. Stop being so pedant Mr. Persnickety… and stop making me so hungry

        • 0 avatar
          Quentin

          This this this this. When my wife’s daily driver was a MINI, someone in the house had to have a practical car, so I ended up with a GTI instead of an MX5 or S2000. After the MINI hit 9 years old and it was a very depreciated toy, my wife got a CUV for family hauling, so I traded my practical car for a stupid little RWD coupe.

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          There’s a reason I have both a Triumph Spitfire AND a Range Rover in the garage.

          Why compromise, just have more than 1 car. Four covers most of the bases for me, though if I had more garage space I’d have a big @ss German or British luxo-barge just because. The Rover can do that duty too though.

      • 0 avatar
        sportyaccordy

        Sorry pal, your wife is an idiot (according to John R). To hell with practical considerations for daily life- everyone should drive a sports car, OR FACE JUDGEMENT BY YE INTERNET ENTHUSIAST COUNCIL.

      • 0 avatar

        Real women aren’t afraid to drive around in station wagons and minivans.

        (Forgive me, LeMan! My sister had the same problem a decade and a half ago. Now the kids are gone, the XC90 sits in the driveway most of the time and she has an FRS)

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        For my wife, it’s all about the combination of practicality and no minivan/wagon stigma. I think she’d actually prefer to drive a Mazda3 rather than our Forester, but it doesn’t have AWD and the cargo area’s quite a bit smaller. But she’d rather drive the Forester than be seen in the same parking lot as anything with a sliding door.

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      In a dense urban setting, stacking passengers and cargo high is more efficient than stretching them out long. The added ground clearance of SUVs may be pointless, but compared to he sedans they are replacing, SUVs tend to sit people more upright, allowing more rows of seats per length. As well as more cargo volume per length. And length is what you want to minimize if your situation is such that finding parking is a bigger issue than high speed stability and ride quality.

      I personally think the only problem with FWD in CUVs, are that they are inevitably built on a chassis still compromised by the need for an “upmarket” awd version. Aside fro that, at CX-5 power levels, who the heck cars about awd? And, if your CUV is FWD, at least you’re less likely to be a poser… :)

      In reality, though, and sorry for sodding like a broken record, the proliferation of CUVs really are a sign that speed limits have fallen behind advances in vehicle dynamics. The German automakers aren’t fighting to preserve the Autobahn simply because they like to fight. But when speed limits are set to ensure driving a homemade billycarts on wooden wheels has no dynamic disadvantage compared to the latest McLaren, more properly laid out cars do get asymmetrically disadvantaged. If road planners instead set speed limits under the assumption everyone drove a McLaren, only those who really needed the added space and ground clearance of SUVs, would bother with the wretched things anymore.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      @John R

      I couldn’t agree more.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    The average car is now capable enough to exceed the capabilities and/or tolerance for sudden movements and noises of the average motorist. So there is much less benefit than there used to be for most motorists in buying for performance.

    Buying for image, on the other hand, is the same as it ever was. And somehow the SUV/CUV has developed an unshakable image as a status symbol. I’m really not sure why or how that became so strongly entrenched, but it has. At the low end, people see a CR-V as a “nicer car” than an Accord, which is actually bigger, drives better in every respect, and is based on a more sophisticated platform. At the high end, they see an X5 as a “really nice car” worth drooling over and the more expensive and posh 7-series as a car for old people only. In general, sports cars are seen as for douchebags and sedans as for old people, while the CUV/SUV is just what normal people are supposed to buy.

    In the end I think it may just come down to height. We are conditioned to treat tall people with more respect, and tall cars may be getting the same treatment.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      Height bolsters confidence.

    • 0 avatar
      matador

      I was in a high school sociology class. I remember actually being awake during this lesson.

      The teacher showed us a report that analysed women’s fashion (Mens would be more boring, he said). The report concluded that women who wore high heeled shoes/ high heeled boots were more insecure about their self image than those who wore more “sensible” shoes/boots.

      Now, what the difference to them was? I can’t remember. I slept through a lot of High School.

      Apparently, men want to be longer. Women want to be taller.

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        Boy, was he wrong… Women wear high heals because they accentuate certain attributes.

        • 0 avatar
          matador

          This would be a good time to point out that my sociology teacher was wrong- many times.

          He taught out of Jimmy Carter’s biography, and thought that Social Security was created by Lyndon B. Johnson.

          I transferred schools the next year. He was a large reason.

          From what I understand, he’s still teaching history at the same school.

          ——————

          Though, in fairness, why would women need to accentuate “certain attributes”? That makes me think that some do it for a lack of self esteem. They apparently feel that they need a lift.

          *Cue Rimshot*

    • 0 avatar
      NMGOM

      dal20402 – – –

      This exactly: “The average car is now capable enough to exceed the capabilities and/or tolerance for sudden movements and noises of the average motorist. So there is much less benefit than there used to be for most motorists in buying for performance.”

      I have a 2007 BMW Z4 3.0si, and half the time it bores me to death. (See avatar.) It is SO capable that there is nowhere (except a track**) where I can legally drive it to enjoy the feeling of extreme speed, cornering, and braking that it is meant for. (Sometimes I do high speeds and curves in remote isolated wilderness two-lanes with no traffic, but it’s rare: once per year! Is that worth the car?)

      So, last Fall, I bought 2007 Jeep Wrangler X. Guess what? It’s a hoot! It corners modestly, rolls delightfully, accelerates poorly, jostles over every bump, and brakes by sometime next week. Yet, I love the thing. It is earthy and tactile and unsophisticated and sensory, and gives the impression that you are “one the edge” at 30 mph on a city street. And this says nothing of it’s absolutely great go-anywhere Winter traction and off-road capability, which are almost without equal.

      ** Race drivers used to say that its safer on a track than on a highway. No more. If you sign up for a track day, there are now just as many or MORE goofballs there than on conventional roads. Everybody seems to think they are doing Formula 1, and few know what the “lines” and protocols need to be. Rule of Thumb”: You never know what the other guy is going to do!

      ==============================

  • avatar
    krhodes1

    Ultimately, I don’t care. Modern sports cars past the Miata/FRS have become so ridiculously high performance that they are no fun at all driven sanely on a public road. The point at which the fun starts is past the point where Johnny Law will cuff and stuff you. And even the Miata and FRS are so competent that they feel slow and kind of boring.

    Luckily, there is an endless supply of old sports cars of modest accessible performance available. I’ll be driving my Spitfire until I am too decrepit to get in and out of the thing. More fun than any car should be without exceeding the speed limit.

    • 0 avatar
      FormerFF

      +1. As the Porsche 356 drivers say, it’s more fun to drive a slow car fast than a fast car slow.

      • 0 avatar
        S2k Chris

        But it’s more fun to drive a fast car fast than a slow car fast.

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          If you’re on a track. On the road, driving a fast car fast just gets you hauled off to jail or, at best, issued multi-hundred-dollar tickets.

          I should have added to my above comment “the average car is now capable enough that it rarely has to breathe hard to exceed the speed limit by enough to get you in real trouble.”

          • 0 avatar
            S2k Chris

            Meh, most places if you stay under triple digits, you’re fine. I have plenty of fun caning the crap out of my (sorta) fast car at 60-80mph. The thought of stepping down in horsepower makes me sorta nauseuos.

          • 0 avatar
            FormerFF

            It’s extremely rare for me to get above 60 mph on anything but an expressway. Count yourself lucky that you have roads that are fun to drive at those speeds.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            I don’t know where these “most places” are. I’ve lived recently in Washington, the District of Columbia, and Massachusetts. In Washington and both of its surrounding states, state police can and will pull you over for less than 10 over the limit. It just happened to me in Idaho this summer, and to my wife in Washington a couple years before that. In DC, the top speed limit is 50 and there is a permanent speed trap on the one stretch of road with that limit, and the neighboring state, Virginia, gives out automatic reckless driving tickets for 80 mph even in 70 zones. In Massachusetts there is a little bit more leeway, but only a little — I got very used to the speed traps on Mass Route 2 when commuting to my ex-girlfriend’s place in southwestern NH.

            I suppose the one place I’ve been recently where there seemed to be a bit less enforcement is Montana. But there, driving fast carries its own set of hazards — roads really are terrible, and deer are everywhere.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            You need a good Radar Detector

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            @Lie2me

            In the modern world of instant-on and laser speed detection, all a radar detector really does is tell you that you are about to get nailed with a speed tax. And if the cop sees it, you are definitely getting a ticket.

            Paying attention works just about as well. I don’t let any moss grow when I am driving, and I have had one (well deserved) ticket in this century. You have to go with the flow – 95mph is perfectly fine in pre-rush hour traffic on I-95 in MA, but you had best stick to 70 on the MA Turnpike at night with no traffic. Also helps to have a car that blends. Gray-green station wagons are as stealthy as an F-22 in my experience. Actually, this is a huge point in favor of wagons in general – cops pay no attention to them.

        • 0 avatar
          sportyaccordy

          But “fast” is so fast now there’s pretty much nowhere to drive a fast car fast besides a race track.

        • 0 avatar
          bumpy ii

          Not so much. “Fun” speed in a Miata starts somewhere around 45 mph, while “fun” speed in a Corvette is somewhere around 120 mph. Not much of anywhere in North America you can do that without shelling out $$$$.

          • 0 avatar
            sportyaccordy

            Yep, the track closest to me might hit 120 on the back straight in a C7 if you’re good. And you better have track insurance if you aren’t.

          • 0 avatar
            golden2husky

            Not true at all. My C7 is fun to drive even at lower speeds. Usually, fast cars are dull at low speeds and don’t become engaging until the speeds get high. The new Vette is different. Driving at 50 actually feels good. And as the speeds increase, it feels even better. The car does not seem any more stressed as the speeds increase. Its kind of weird actually. The big risk with cars like this is that should you exceed its (or your) limits and leave the road, you will be sideways at likely fatal speeds….

        • 0 avatar
          George B

          The site of the future Toyota headquarters is the intersection of two highways with 70 mph speed limits and rather lax enforcement. SW corner of Sam Rayburn and Dallas North Tollway

          https://www.ntta.org/roadsprojects/existroad/Documents/SRT_Project%20Map_050112.pdf

          I drove in 80 mph traffic earlier today on the Sam Rayburn Tollway and the President George Bush Turnpike. An ex-girlfriend used to call the Dallas North Tollway the Dallas Autobahn. Tall vehicles can go 80mph, but they gulp gasoline and get thrown around by the wind when driven that speed.

    • 0 avatar
      Fred

      +2 Think I’ll fire up the Elan for a drive tonight, before it gets really cold.

    • 0 avatar
      matador

      Today’s cars can easily be fast.

      I used to own an Impala with a 3400 that would go up to 111. Even my 1995 LeSabre will supposedly go 108 MPH. I’d hardly call a Buick LeSabre a “Performance Car”.

      But, our 1993 Escort was wheezing at 75. That was a compact car. Today, a Dodge Dart will top 120 MPH. A Chevrolet Sonic LTZ will do 125.

      Who needs to go faster than that?

    • 0 avatar

      That was my thought too about the hachiroku and all the endless whining (including on TTAC) how it needed more power. For crying out loud, it’s got 200 hp! Typical blog-comment sportscar enthusiast needs to get to grips with the fact that he’s not Jack Baruth. Jeez.

      You what’s actually the best sportscar today for people who used to buy MGs? Ford Fiesta SFE with 1.0 liter turbo. Only comes with manual! Just throw decent wheels and tires on it and you can rocket around in it for endless fun. And it has 4 doors.

  • avatar
    FormerFF

    “And while Porsche claims this was done in the name of technological advancement, let’s not fool ourselves: it was a careful, calculated move designed to appeal to the poseur who wants the GT3 because of its racing heritage, despite never intending to take it on track, much less above 60 mph.”

    I disagree. The sequential box is up to date technology and is faster than the three pedal setup. There are no new three pedal Ferrari cars either.

    • 0 avatar
      Landcrusher

      +1

      Everyone should be very sparing with the term poseur. Now that autos are faster than manuals, you would have to call the guy with the stick the poseur. Of course, he is not a poseur, he invariably has better reasons than trying to fool others into thinking he is a race car driver for choosing his transmission.

      OTOH, the guy crying “poseur” is invariably posing as an authority since he is showing himself as anything but one.

      Just drop the term to avoid sampling the taste of your own shoe leather.

      • 0 avatar
        petezeiss

        “Everyone should be very sparing with the term poseur.”

        Or preferably just avoid it altogether. I never get it; if someone has actually bought a vehicle then they’ve committed to becoming something, not just posing.

        They may have become a d-bag, boy racer, soccer mom, miserly oldster or, like me, an über rational, superbly-balanced paragon of simple goodness and moral probity; but they have *manifested* themselves as something.

        Posing means pretending but once you’ve paid your lump of flesh you’re no longer pretending. You are your car.

      • 0 avatar
        psarhjinian

        “Everyone should be very sparing with the term poseur. Now that autos are faster than manuals, you would have to call the guy with the stick the poseur”

        The term you’re looking for is “hipster”.

    • 0 avatar
      hubcap

      +2

      I think it’s a bit of both and I also agree you should be careful about labeling others as poseurs.

      Dual clutch transmission shift faster. That’s a fact. For cars and drivers whose goal is ultimate performance it makes sense to go with this choice.

      I’m also sure there’s an economic factor. Manufacturers know that the number of people who drive manuals is small. Instead of offering two transmission choices they offer one. If a manual die hard wont purchase the car because it has a dual clutch that’s unfortunate but doesn’t have an impact on the bottom line. That purchaser will be replaced by others that have no problem with the automatic and possibly don’t know how to drive a manual.

      As for me I prefer manuals but it wouldn’t preclude me from purchasing a car (such as a McLaren 650S Spyder) that didn’t offer one.

      • 0 avatar
        tedward

        The issue was always that the GT3 isn’t really a “race” car designed solely to go fast. In fact it’s never been the fastest car of it’s type. It’s a street car which is absurdly track capable, and one that provided the most analogue (overused term but it applies) driving experience in the Porsche lineup. If they wanted to make ze fastest Porsche they would have used the Turbo’s drivetrain and yes, it would be PDK. Instead they cashed in on the cachet of the GT3 badge by making it more accessible with an automatic transmission. Which would be fine, if they hadn’t simultaneously abandoned all of their previous owners clear preference for the “analogue car” by only offering it with the automatic. Porsche misread the actual appeal of the GT3, I guarantee you they do not enjoy the bickering and acrimony that followed that drive-train decision. I, for one, think they are scared of Nissan and Chevy products, to name but a few, beating their halo in magazine comparos.

        If a GT3 owner had bought one in the past expecting to own the fastest 911 it simply meant they didn’t know the lineup. That would be the Turbo with a few, relatively minor, suspension and tire changes. The actual track Porsche, the cup cars, have had sequential gearboxes for quite some time, and no one cares at all about that.

      • 0 avatar
        wstarvingteacher

        Or you could drive a manual because you grew tired of automatics biting the dust. Had bad luck with a couple GM 4L60e and now driving a 5 speed M/T. Too old to drive fast but sure like it not breaking.

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    Sports sedans are to blame for one thing. Also apart from the Corvette or a poverty spec Porsche, it’s hard to get a bona fide sports car for under $100k.

    Not to mention sports cars are sort of like Jeep Wranglers. Those who want one will buy one and keep it for a very long time, not replace it every couple of years.

    Personally, if I was to spend a lot on a car, an Escalade ESV Platinum would be better for me than a similarly priced sports car.

    • 0 avatar
      S2k Chris

      “Not to mention sports cars are sort of like Jeep Wranglers. Those who want one will buy one and keep it for a very long time, not replace it every couple of years.”

      Plus many of us sports car guys will wait and buy the fancier sports car used, since we can have a babied Corvette or Porsche for $30k instead of a new less capable sports coupe.

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        “it’s hard to get a bona fide sports car for under $100k”

        I don’t where you live, but near me, Craigslist always has >20 Miatas for sale nearby, well under $10K.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      Escalade Platinum: the worst of all worlds.

      It combines the price and quick interior wear of a luxury car, the material quality of an econobox, the ride and exterior size of a truck, the off-road capability (thanks to low running boards) of a sedan, and the interior space (thanks to that folding third row and ladder frame) of a midsize CUV.

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        I stopped reading once you said “the ride […] of a truck” in a negative fashion. Today’s trucks ride better than yesteryear’s BOF sedans. And with the trucklike ride comes trucklike capabilities. 1460 lbs. payload and 8200 lbs. towing? Yes please.

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          “Today’s trucks ride better than yesteryear’s BOF sedans.”

          That’s sort of like saying hitting your foot with a hammer is less unpleasant than hitting your thumb with it. The Escalade is bouncy, bobby, and floaty. It can’t hold a candle to the ride of the other SUVs in its price class (MB GL, Lexus LX 570, Range Rover V6). I can only assume that most of its defenders are loyal BOF repeat buyers who haven’t experienced a modern luxury-car ride.

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          “Today’s trucks ride better than yesteryear’s BOF sedans. ”

          I know, right? My ’89 F-150 rode and drove like a Lincoln Navigator… hey, wait

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            Some motojourno said that the Ram 1500 ride is what BOF cars would be like if they still made them………………….

            Depending on your view of trucks, that isn’t necessarily a compliment.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          No, thank you. I don’t need the size; I don’t need the abysmal fuel economy, I don’t need 1460 payload and I don’t need 8200lbs towing. What I DO need is small enough to go anywhere (meaning between closely-spaced trees/cars/walls) if necessary while carrying me, my wife and my dog–and two 45-pound 3-hole bowling bags.

      • 0 avatar
        sportyaccordy

        By those metrics, most sports cars are even worse, aside from material quality. I will bet you don’t analyze a Lotus Elise by the same metrics; and yet, by nearly any practical measure it is a much worse car.

        Why do “enthusiasts” entertain such blatant exceptionalism/double standards?

        • 0 avatar
          Maymar

          I don’t think it’s reasonable to criticize something like a Jeep Wrangler for a rough ride, or cramped, cheap interior, just as it’s missing the point of a sports car.

          But an $80k Cadillac should have a decent ride and interior. That’s no double standard.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          @sportyaccordy – great point. An “enthusiast” is someone who labels a Complete pile of shaaat a vehicle with personality.

      • 0 avatar
        sportyaccordy

        And how would something like a Cayman measure up by the same standards?

        It’s always funny to see “enthusiasts” engage in blatant exceptionalism/double standards. Sports cars are just as “terrible/excessive/whatever” as an SUV, if not worse, but all the things SUVs are demonized for are forgiven for sports cars, “because enthusiast”.

        • 0 avatar
          Hummer

          What sporty said, my DD SUV has 2,200lbs payload and 7k tow capacity, and it is used in towing and offroad. I love sport cars, but let’s not have a double standard.

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          The Cayman is a sports car that is a good sports car. It’s not meant to be a truck or an economy car.

          The Escalade is a luxury truck that is neither luxurious nor a particularly good truck. A Chevy 2500 HD is a better truck and a MB GL or Range Rover (or even a Navigator) is a better luxury SUV.

          I’m hard on the GM BOF SUVs not because of what category they’re in but because they’re bad at almost everything. (Although, as Hummer says below, I’ll give them durability.)

          • 0 avatar
            Mandalorian

            I’ve ridden in more than my fair share of trucks and SUVs and never once have I gotten in and started crying and moaning about how bad the ride was.

          • 0 avatar
            sportyaccordy

            IIRC the Caddys have class leading towing capacity. And the 2500 HD has true econocar interior quality. For people who need both the Escalade fits the bill, which is why it continues to outsell all those other SUVs. Doesn’t hurt that it’s also a good bit cheaper than them all equally equipped.

            Cayman is a good sports car but it’s impractical, it’s loud, it’s woefully underequipped for its base price and it’s just not a good daily driver compared to something like an M3 with 90% of its dynamic prowess for the same money. Don’t get me wrong, the Cayman is one of my dream cars, but if you are going to be “hard on” one car be equally “hard on” everything by the same metrics.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            I’m hard on cars that don’t do what they’re supposed to.

            The Cayman isn’t supposed to tow or provide a comfortable ride. It’s a sports car.

            The Escalade is being marketed as “luxury.” It’s just not. It has lousy interior materials (improved with this generation, but not enough to compete in the segment) and rides like a pickup. It has no advantage in luxury over a $30k cheaper Suburban. Yet the “luxury” touches make it less effective as a truck.

            And, no, it’s not cheaper than the competition, except for V8 Range Rovers. Escalade prices sit right on top of MB GL and Lexus LX prices, and the Platinum is more expensive than a V6 Range Rover.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            Even as a Ford guy, I can say that except for the base models, no full-size truck has “econocar interior quality”. And a Denali is just a shade below a Cadillac.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            Sorry, but none of the GM trucks have decent interior materials, not even in the K2XX generation. That’s just as true for the Denali and Caddy versions as it is for a W/T Silverado. Plastic is hard and leather is the usual GM stuff. 2014 Ford trucks don’t either, although I haven’t yet seen a 2015 F-150 in the flesh.

            Again, I think a lot of people praising the Escalade (or Denali) have never looked up close at a Range Rover or even a Benz E-class from the last few years. The standard is no longer “a luxury truck should be at least as good as an Impala.”

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            It’s all relative. We “plebians” who consider a Lariat or LTZ “pretty spiffy” wouldn’t want Mercedes-level interiors anyway–they’d get dirty too fast.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            Ach, my comment was lost.

          • 0 avatar
            sportyaccordy

            @dal20402- If the Escalade is so low quality and horrible riding, why is the ESV the go to choice of NYC corporate executives for family rides? You would think NYC execs would be discerning for quality, and a poor ride would be unbearable over the frost heaves. And yet after living in the UES, ~2 or so blocks from these people’s homes, and commuting past them every day by bicycle/motorcycle, it became immediately apparent that the standard private school shuttle was the ESV. So if they are so bad how do you explain that discrepancy? Methinks you exaggerate to hold up some irrational grudge with said truck family.

            ALL BOF SUVs are cramped compared to their exterior footprint… just comes with the territory. Escalade is also the highest seller in its class, despite being so awful, and as I just showed it’s not just down in Longhorn Mrrrca country but also the chi-chi 0.01% blocks of Manhattan and Conneticut. So how is it that you know better than the thousands of folks buying these trucks over their supposedly superior competition?

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            The Escalade is the choice of the black-car fleets because it’s durable, every mechanic knows how to fix it, and people like the looks. Black-car customers really don’t care much about what the car is so long as it looks sufficiently imposing when they pull up to the curb. My experience with Escalades (and the reason I don’t like them) is as a passenger in black cars, usually being taken to or from airports. Before the Escalade, the black-car choice was the Town Car. That car is even crappier, as I think you’d have to agree, and the ride is just about as bad.

            No one in big cities actually buys an Escalade for personal use, except in the ghetto. They all belong to black-car services. The people buying luxury SUVs for personal use in Connecticut have Range Rovers and GL550s.

            You’re right that I don’t like the vehicles, but I think there are ample good reasons behind my dislike.

        • 0 avatar

          Really. My second gen MDX handles well, goes well with 300 hp, and the dual disc front brakes haul it down. “The Water Buffalo”, as we call it, can bomb a back road with aplumb, the sh awd keeping the chassis stable and the combination of wide tires and big brakes dealing with the massive forces of this huge truck. 100 mph is easy on the open road (give some Honda engineers a Pilot and an X5, and here’s the result).

          Seats Seven. 16 mpg, but nothing is perfect-takes energy to move that much metal, especially if you like the sound of the high speed intake runners.

          I’ve been OK with four door speed since my GLH Turbo, which annoyed no end of 924/944 poseurs back in the day. A four door chassis is stiffer and lower profile for law enforcement.

          Back when a typical car was a Chevy Biscayne with a 283, a sportscar made sense. Now, when any number of huge cars car “drive well”, not as much. My GLH was fast because the 0-60 was 7.5 seconds, and it ran a 16.1 quarter. Today, I’m pretty sure the MDX spanks it.

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          @Sportyaccordy

          The point is that for what it is supposed to be, an Escalade is pretty terrible. They are incredibly expensive for what they are. They ride poorly relative to other offerings. The interior IS poorly made for a $90K car.

          A Cayman can’t be judged by the same standards, you need to judge it by the standards of other $60K sports cars, just like you judge the Escalade by the standards of other $90K SUVs, not sports cars.

          No double standard to be seen.

          I have NO problem with SUVs and trucks if you have a need for such a thing. If anything, driving a little 2-seater sports car is conserving resources, if that is all you need to get yourself around. And I can see around you, and you are less likely to kill me if you run into me. I have a 5000lb 12mpg SUV in the garage, but I don’t commute to work in it.

    • 0 avatar
      matador

      http://www.cars.com/vehicledetail/detail/619721525/overview/ It’s $50,000. I’d call a Lotus Evora a sports car.

      Not your style? How about a Ferrari?
      http://www.cars.com/vehicledetail/detail/611568533/overview/

      Or a Lamborghini?
      http://www.cars.com/vehicledetail/detail/617163543/overview/

      Or an Audi R8?
      http://www.cars.com/vehicledetail/detail/621643570/overview/

      On a budget? How about this Porsche Cayman?
      http://www.cars.com/vehicledetail/detail/615689453/overview/

      If you need $100k to find a sports car, methinks you’re doing something wrong.

      • 0 avatar
        energetik9

        And Matador, “If you need $100k to find a sports car, methinks you’re doing something wrong.”

        Totally agree. You could even argue a Miata is a fantastic sports car. An M3/4 is under $100k also. Lotus, Alfa, Mazdaspeed, etc. There are options.

        I personally drive a 911 Carrera 4S. Guess what, I bought it used and less than $100k. And for all the practicality debate, I also own an SUV and my wife drives a BMW convertible. It’s the perfect combination.

    • 0 avatar
      dtremit

      “Not to mention sports cars are sort of like Jeep Wranglers. Those who want one will buy one and keep it for a very long time, not replace it every couple of years.”

      That’s half of the problem — people buy ’em and keep ’em. The other half of the problem is that everyone buying them new wants the latest and greatest. Once a sports car has been on the market for two or three years, the sales disappear.

    • 0 avatar

      One problem with Wrangler is that once you started modding it, it’s very difficult to let it go and start anew, unless you’re the type of enthusiast who is always looking for next big project.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    I DD a legit sports car now. I’m looking to sell it for something like a Mazda 3 or Fiesta ST. I drive 25,000 miles a year, and while my commute thankfully lets me exploit my car’s talents, I feel I would be much better served by a car that gave up a little outright performance for cheaper running costs and a more relaxing, while still engaging/sporty drive and more practicality/usability.

    I feel like the folks crying the loudest about the rise of the CUV and death of the sports car don’t live in the real world, or aren’t adults yet. Most of the objections against the SUV as the vehicle of choice for families are either meaningless philosophical pontifications, or are just not fully fleshed out/rational. SUVs are indeed more practical than sedans/wagons, and are no more indulgent/excessive than sports cars. These folks need to grow up.

    Personally, if I can avoid owning an SUV I will, but I am not totally opposed to it, especially now with the small premium CUVs. A Lexus NX or Audi Q3 or even an MB GLA all seem like pretty fun family rides… basically wagons, which everyone seems to love, on stilts with a different name, which seems to enrage the dullards. The anti-SUV meme needs to die.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      This. If a person could only have one car and needed it to do everything decently, their best bet would be a compact or midsize CUV.

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        You think like I do, maybe that’s why we drive the same CUV

      • 0 avatar
        tedward

        True, but a wagon does the sporty compromises better than the SUV, comparably equipped, which is why people argue for that package. I think a lot of the criticism from a non driving perspective comes from their relatively high markups (which will change as the segment matures) and their compliance driven aesthetic (approach and departure angles, uniform ride height.) It also doesn’t help that the first popular SUV’s were outright dangerous, and due to their truck heritage, fairly awful as actual cars. That kind of perceptions sticks.

        If crashing through snowbanks is a must do, the CUV is king though, there’s no doubt about it.

        • 0 avatar
          Hummer

          Crashing through a snowbank on a CUV is just that, the several hundred-thousand to replace the bumper all the plastics behind it, fog lights, and repaint it, is sure to take away any fun to be had.

          Nothing worse about any SUV comparable to cars of the same time period.
          Ford couldn’t build an SUV for crap and screwed up the bronco 2 and explorer so bad that SUVs 20 years older were superior, Ford has this strange ability to sell complete crap, have everyone find out its complete crap, and continue peddling the same crap as if no one notices. It’s completely unrational how Ford has managed to stay in business over the last 30 years, seriously the F series, mustang, and the crown Vic are the only positive thing Ford has for its image.
          It seems one automaker (Ford) screws up and it creates a fear that is completely unrational compared to what every other automaker offered at the time.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            Wow, I could say the exact same thing and just substitute “GM” for “Ford” Just shows how biased car guys can be

          • 0 avatar
            energetik9

            Yeah, I agree. GM, Ford, Dodge. The worst? Just depends on what forum you’re on. They all make good cars and they all make some POS’s. Can’t we just leave it at that?

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            “They all make good cars and they all make some POS’s. Can’t we just leave it at that?”

            Yeah, right, might as well just close down all the car forums

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            But who actually made the vehicles that created the negativity?
            Both of those were the aggravators of the notion, how did the bronco 2 get into production? It’s tall as a fullsize of the time, as narrow as a compact and manages to place all that weight up high. The first gen S10 of the time managed to avoid that situation for the better part of it.
            And I rag on Ford because I’ve repeatedly dealt with the problematic natures that plague them.
            Coils, head/plug issues/, the ball joints shouldn’t even have the honor of the name, just to scratch the surface, not saying other makers don’t have faults, but Ford vehicles made sure any defect would result in inoperability.

        • 0 avatar
          sportyaccordy

          Most people don’t want sporty though. And for those who do, a hatchback does the sporty compromise better than a wagon. Lot of folks lament not being able to buy the Mazda 6 wagon, but unless you regularly haul 5 adult passengers or 4×8 plywood the 3s hatch is simply a better car. That whole Camry class is just too damn big to be legitimately sporty… they all occupy the same space that an old Avalon did.

  • avatar
    robc123

    big deal. give me a torch, a LT1 crate engine and some coilovers.

    the only way to kill the used car mkt- would be to ban combustion engines.

    so take out the LT1, trans and put a great electric motor in it. done.

    can live without alacantra and sat nav systems anyway.

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    I can imagine this conversation 50 years ago when pony cars appeared on the scene…displacing sedans and what not.

    I’m very thankful for my SAAB convertible, but it’s a weekend car. There’s no way it would serve my needs as a daily driver; a CUV does a much better job regarding comfort, sightlines, egress, and cargo.

    CUVs are the new station wagons. And they make way more sense than a sedan if you have kids and their flotsdam.

  • avatar
    jkk6

    -I’m 28 years old and I like to feel like Aladdin every time I hold the handle. Hop into my magic carpet ride yee haw~.

    Although the 15mpg is slowly getting to me, $80 weekly fillups in my FX35 $320 a month, $4k yearly gas expense is wanting me to trade in for a ILX, but then again it’s cheaper than my friends S5 which he says he puts in $20 of gas almost everyday.

  • avatar
    nickoo

    Sports cars have always been for the 2nd car owner or the young and unencumbered who can live with the compromises. As sports cars are more expensive than ever (see ludicrous z28 over-reach) and keep going that way, less youth will be able to afford them, combined with the steady declining conditions of the middle class that make cars less of a culture and more of utility, is it any wonder sports cars are a dying breed?

    I’m a sports car guy, having owned several and owning one now, and also plan on making my next eventual car purchase likely a mustang, however, I have a backup full size SUV which makes it possible. But even I recognize that a properly equipped GTI or (formerly) WRX are smarter purchases.

  • avatar
    hubcap

    I’d think that as driving/car enthusiasts we’d lament the decreasing availability of sports cars in the market. Though it seems as if the eunuch like, CUV intifada is downright giddy.

    Sports car have always been impractical when compared to most other consumer vehicles. That statement has always been axiomatic so why does it get repeated like it’s something newly discovered.

    Who would think that a sports car is a family vehicle? Has it ever been? Yet we get plenty of people declaring it unfit for family duty. No isht.

    When you want to dig a hole do you grab your drill or a shovel?

    Sports cars are compromised. But what they’re built and optimizes to do they do damn well. They might not be everyone’s cup of tea but I’m a bit sad to see their numbers decline.

    • 0 avatar
      azmtbkr81

      I agree about the CUV intifada, they’ve been gloating about the demise of the off-road oriented SUV for the last few years and are now sinking their teeth into sports cars.

      Their thirst for universal blandness won’t be slaked until every last one of us is driving a beige, bloated egg.

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        Slippery slope fallacy much? And just like the sports car crowd, the off-roader crowd doesn’t buy new anyway.

        • 0 avatar
          azmtbkr81

          No? Then how do you explain the 155,000 Wranglers sold last year?

          My point is that as enthusiasts I find it odd that many on this board see less variety as a positive development.

          I would likely never buy a Miata but I also wouldn’t point, laugh, and act like a smug ass if it were taken off the market as I know many people are passionate about them.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      Here’s the problem though. People generally don’t have the money for such toys, and even if they do, they don’t have the access to the roads or tracks necessary to get the most out of them.

      A sport”y” car can hang with sports cars of not even 10 years ago, while also being much more usable as cars, and more fun on the street as you can get closer to their limits. The average Joe can only have 1 car per driver in the household, and if he has a family it’s just not practical to only have one car the whole family can fit in.

      But I think a lot of what you see as “giddiness” is just a reaction to all the folks who pass judgment on people who drive CUVs. It’s like, yea, people are strapped for cash and putting practical considerations ahead of seeking the approval of judgmental, naive, whiny internet auto enthusiasts. If sports cars are so near and dear to you, bust your ass and make the money so you can buy one. Otherwise…………………………………..

      • 0 avatar
        hubcap

        I’m not advocating a sports car draft. I feel that, for the most part, people will pick whatever vehicles are right for them. I don’t know anyone who would purchase a sports car (as in 2 seater or 2 seater + a vestigial rear) as their only vehicle if they had a family to transport. I don’t know why you’re arguing that. It’s a moot point.

        And yes, sporty cars are very good and very versatile. Noone is arguing that they aren’t. In fact, some sports cars are also pretty versatile. No, they can’t carry oversize loads but for a small car the Cayman has a good amount of payload capacity as does the Corvette. Of course not as much as an Accord or CR-V but for what they are it’s pretty good.

        You mention people passing judgment and yes that does happen and its unfortunate. It’s not all one way though. Think about the barbs directed at those who like trucks, motorcycles, German cars, of for that matter any car beyond a certain price point.

        Lastly you mention if enthusiast want a sports car they need to make more money to buy it. Does that really need to be etched in writing? If you want to make more money to buy anything; an airplane, a boat, a camper, a motorcycle, a new kitchen, a new bath, an extension to the house, a vacation home, a still, or a meth lab you need to bust your ass. The rules don’t change because you want a sports car.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          All my life I have never absolutely needed a sedan and still don’t, even though I am now married. Up until I got married and for several years after I had a 2+2 that got amazing fuel mileage (people wouldn’t believe I could exceed 32mpg highway with that model) and it was capable of carrying almost anything I needed to carry until the one time I bought a 32″ television–I couldn’t squeeze that thing in no matter how I tried.

          As a result, I finally bought a different vehicle and it was an SUW (Sport Utility Wagon) known as the Saturn Vue (long before GM screwed them over and imported an Opel crossover and gave it the Vue name). At 3400 pounds it was a mere 200 pounds lighter than the previous car and actually LOST 2mpg highway despite running an inline 4 instead of a V6. Aerodynamics DO matter. Now 12 years later and driving a 4×4 SUV (winters can be bad when you get hit with three blizzards in 4 weeks). I also own a full-size pickup truck for those oddball hauling tasks. The problem is, wife refuses to drive the truck due to its size and can’t (won’t) drive a stick. So, truck gets traded within about 4 months for something much smaller but still has some carrying capability. Once that’s paid for, a nice ‘toy’ car becomes our next purchase.

  • avatar
    Sigivald

    Another thing to remember is that “everyday” cars now are … fast.

    Handling of even lame cars is better than many nice cars of decades past.

    I say the sports car isn’t dead – it’s closer to ubiquitous.

  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    I must be missing something: who ever said that sports cars were substitutes for 4-door sedans, station wagons, SUVs, CUVs, whatever? They aren’t and never were.

    A sports car is a toy and, therefore, a luxury. Even for a single person, a sports car makes a very poor only car.

    The problem with sports cars is that they’ve gotten too expensive. They are now fully luxed-out. BMW is as guilty as anyone. Compare the interior of my ’01 Z3 with whatever it is that BMW is selling now as a 2- seater. They are also overdone, in terms of performance capabilities, which costs money.

    It’s true that an increasingly large portion of the population in the U.S. (and perhaps elsewhere) lives with congested roads and heavy speed enforcement. Moreover, if you’re driving a car that doesn’t come alive except at extra-legal speeds, you’re also missing out on the fun. While is may be more fun to “drive a fast car fast” than to “drive a slow car fast,” the problem is that the opportunities for driving a fast car fast are very limited.

    Finally, the scale economies that make high-volume cars (or CUVs, if you will) such a great deal are absent from sports cars. So even something like the FRS, which appears to be the kind of “sports car” that I’m saying should be made by more companies costs a fair amount of money. For less money, you can buy a “hot hatch” that is, in some ways, more fun to drive . . . and it’s cheaper because it’s based on a high-volume car with lots of scale economies, e.g. GTI, Focus ST, Fiesta ST and so on.

    And, sure, the 2008 recession killed the demand for all kinds of “middle-class” luxury items: second home, etc.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      If there was significant demand for cheap sports cars, then there would be more of them.

      As is stands, the ones that are on the market generate little sales volume. The Miata was a bona fide hit when it was introduced in the 80s; if it wasn’t for the legacy and Mazda’s need for some kind of halo, then it probably wouldn’t be on the market now.

      There used to be some demand for sports cars as daily drivers, but that has obviously declined. With 200+ hp sedans with decent handling available at average prices, there is no need to make sacrifices as there was in the past.

    • 0 avatar
      FormerFF

      When I was single I drove a first gen Mazda RX-7, and it was perfectly fine as an only car, especially for those of us who lived in apartments or townhouses. When I met my wife, she was driving a Honda Prelude, and at the time she owned a single family home. The more GT styled sports cars are fine for a single or couple, there’s enough room for two plus either luggage or groceries.

  • avatar
    akatsuki

    What auto makers need is a new civic del sol. Take a Civic, decontent it and add a manual targa roof panel. And charge a ton less than any other civic and I think they will fly off the lots. Like less than 15k.

    • 0 avatar
      S2k Chris

      “What auto makers need is a new civic del sol. Take a Civic, decontent it and add a manual targa roof panel. And charge a ton less than any other civic and I think they will fly off the lots. Like less than 15k.”

      Easy there, Bob Lutz. “What automakers should do is take a low-margin car, take all the stuff that makes the margin out of it, then slash the prices so they’re basically selling it at cost.” Sounds like an awesome business plan.

      • 0 avatar
        akatsuki

        No, what I am saying is that there is room for a youth sports car, but it will need to be cheap.

        A new Del Sol would be perfect. 2 seater, so it doesn’t threaten the mainline Civic. Keep it just base model with few options to keep the sticker nice and low.

        Of course you can tack on options, but what happens is that you end up with a $24,000 crap car that nobody wants, but that is what will end up in channels. I’d sell the options as in house aftermarket add-ons for people to customize their rides. It would go over much better. Dealers would be happy to have point of sale add-ons and customers could spec out their rides how they want.

    • 0 avatar
      Dave M.

      Amen to this! I loved the Del Sol Si…Honda desperately needs a little fun car along these lines….

    • 0 avatar
      energetik9

      Wasn’t the Del Sol ridiculed by the press for being such a bad car and a poor performer?

  • avatar
    319583076

    Here’s a perspective I haven’t seen yet…today’s sports cars are for old, rich men. In the US, the boomers. They are at the end of their careers, whatever they’ve lost in the recession is back, and they’re still showing up at work everyday to max out their retirement match/pension/bonus/profit sharing plan.

    Guess what they’re buying for themselves? A reward. That muscle car they couldn’t afford way back when. That euro sports sedan they aspired to in the 80’s. Whatever stupid, emotional fantasy they still cling to will drive their ultimate auto purchase.

    You’re all arguing this topic as though we are the audience and we are the new car shoppers. We’re not.

    Old people buy new cars. Perhaps the most selfish and most entitled generation in this country’s history is looking to launch into retirement with a bang. What better way than a 700 hp Hellcat? A $150k 911? A Jaaaaaag?

    Today’s performance machines are pumped up image marketed to obsessively image-conscious boomers.

    These vehicles aren’t enthusiast vehicles, they’re lifestyle accessories. Stop acting as though they are genuine products built and sold to people that care about driving.

    Sheesh!

    • 0 avatar
      S2k Chris

      While parts of this are factually correct, you sure are a whiny little btch about it. Put on your big boy pants, go get a real job, and buy yourself a sports car.

      “Whatever stupid, emotional fantasy they still cling to will drive their ultimate auto purchase.”

      And why shouldn’t it? You sure are a cynical, miserable person.

      • 0 avatar
        319583076

        Thanks for the psychoanalysis, Chris. It’s sure nice of you to hang around with guys like me to remind me what a real man is, and that I am not one. You’re a real swell guy!

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          That is kind of the TV reality show version of the life and times of a Baby Boomer. Like any TV show, interesting and entertaining, but hardly based in any kind of reality.

          But, thanks for playing. You’ll receive a lovely parting gift as Vanna White shows you out

          • 0 avatar
            petezeiss

            Piffle, 319’s little screed is one of the most perceptive vignettes about us Mouseketeers I’ve seen in a long while.

            Keep on sizzlin’, Burger Man.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            It doesn’t relate to my booming existence one bit. What he’s describing is the mid-life crisis I had 10 years ago. Well, I got over it

          • 0 avatar
            petezeiss

            He’s talking macro. Don’t you find most people you meet to be dumber, cruder and louder than you?

            Why would boomers be any different within their cohort? This Cadillac and the other cars 319 refers to are dumb, loud and crude mapped to sheet metal.

            Heh… conflated my articles (Caddy) but it still works :-D

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            You’re older and wiser then me

          • 0 avatar
            petezeiss

            Can I get that on bronze?

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            Don’t push it, you’re only a couple of months older

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        There is a ton of truth in what @319583076 said.

        I have yet to see a guy under 50 years old in a Boss 302. The majority of “sports cars” I see tend to be “boomers”. Same can be said of the Harley Davidson crowd.

        Emotional fantasy sells.

        Mass media has convinced everyone that youth, beauty, health and wealth is what you need to have to be happy.

        If you got the wealth (or credit) you can buy something that makes you think you have the first three.

        • 0 avatar
          danio3834

          >I have yet to see a guy under 50 years old in a Boss 302. The majority of “sports cars” I see tend to be “boomers”.

          This is probably because in your anecdotal experience, you hang around more 50+ year old guys than younger dudes.

          I know and have met many guys in their 20s and 30s who drive BOSS 302 Mustangs. Therefore, I proclaim that because that’s predominantly what I’ve seen, the BOSS must be a younger man’s car.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @danio3834 – I don’t need to hang with 20 year olds to see what they drive. I just peer out the window of my truck and observe what is around me. I have a 20 something neighbour. No sports cars in their driveway or among their friends. Tons of 4 door cars, Jeeps, and pickups though.
            I’ve seen 1 under 50 guy in a new Camaro. I see lots of younger men in slightly older muscle cars and sports cars.
            That is in line with the comments of many other bloggers. The young either can’t afford NEW or lifestyle choices mean sports cars are impractical.
            I work with a ton of people in their mid 20’s and early 30’s. None have a muscle car and IIRC one has a Subaru Impreza WRX.

    • 0 avatar
      golden2husky

      Not true at all. My C7 is fun to drive even at lower speeds. Usually, fast cars are dull at low speeds and don’t become engaging until the speeds get high. The new Vette is different. Driving at 50 actually feels good. And as the speeds increase, it feels even better. The car does not seem any more stressed as the speeds increase. Its kind of weird actually. The big risk with cars like this is that should you exceed its (or your) limits and leave the road, you will be sideways at likely fatal speeds….

    • 0 avatar
      golden2husky

      ……These vehicles aren’t enthusiast vehicles, they’re lifestyle accessories. Stop acting as though they are genuine products built and sold to people that care about driving….

      Safe to say you don’t have any experience with a modern sports car. I’m not a boomer (by a couple of years) and I care plenty about the enjoyment of driving.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        @golden2husky – I enjoy driving and one can be an “enthusiast” about almost any vehicle. That label seems to be confined to those that like sports cars. I have more fun in the back country in my truck than in any car I’ve driven.It boils down to what puts a smile on your face.As far as any experience with a modern sports car, that isn’t my thing. I’ve always preferred motorcycles and trucks. BC has implemented an impound system for 40 kph over the speed limit. That sucks the fun out of owning most sports cars since that is the point of owning one: trying to carve up a twisty road as quick as you can” or am i missing the point of a sports car? I’ve never encountered an affordable sports car that could keep up to me on a bike.

        • 0 avatar
          hubcap

          “That sucks the fun out of owning most sports cars since that is the point of owning one: trying to carve up a twisty road as quick as you can…”

          The same is true of motorcycles (at least the kind that I like to ride, cruisers not so much). I wonder is there a point to owning one?

    • 0 avatar
      wstarvingteacher

      But you have their number. They won’t be able to drive them around in a couple years when you take their licenses. That will show them!

      Please excuse me now. The nurse is here with my meds.

    • 0 avatar
      superchan7

      I’m a millennial; does that mean I’m not allowed to buy a new Porsche?

      I have 2 millennial friends who did, but after my late-model Cayman I chose to live out my childhood dreams and go after 90s exotics.

      My boomer parents have no desire for sports cars. They want to roll around in the softest, most isolated cocoons they can afford. That said, they grew up in urban environments where car culture is weaker.

      Painting with broad strokes is a quick way to find exceptions and even offend people.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        @superchan7 – for many it boils down to affordability and practicality. Who has the disposable income? That tends to be younger well educated people who have yet to start a family, boomers who are finished with family life, or the wealthy.

        is that a broad generalization?

        I’m sure statistics back up those “generalizations. The whole point of this article and thread is the discussion as to WHY sports cars are down in sales.

        I’ve posted my theory and yes it is fairly general as I’m running off of memory and anecdotal evidence.

        I welcome any difference of opinion and I apologize if I’ve inadvertently offended anyone.

        • 0 avatar
          superchan7

          My comments was more directed to 319583076, who claims that sports cars are lifestyle accessories for people who want to project success and “youth,” not people who really want to enjoy the stimulation of the senses.

          While it takes certain financial capability to buy and maintain a sports car, all of my sports car friends and local club chapters would beg to disagree as we tear up the mountain roads and stop by the…….winery? Marina? Gentleman’s Club? No. A hole-in-the-wall pizza joint. In a parade of Porsches.

    • 0 avatar
      Arthur Dailey

      And so to a large degree are muscle cars. The price went up so much that only old rich men bought them. And now that is how they are viewed, as the toys of old rich men. Very few of the younger generations have any memories or knowledge of a true American muscle car.

      Once the boomers are too old to work on, enjoy or drive them, watch the prices sink.

      Meanwhile in 15 – 20 years the price of ‘rice rockets’ will skyrocket as those newly retired or with an empty nest and some disposable income start buying the car that they wanted (or had) as a teen.

  • avatar
    Zykotec

    I don’t agree. The sports car is far from dead. Compared to any decade before the millenial, the average car today (especially in the US) is a sportscar. Both when it comes to handling and power. The sportscar has become the norm.
    The other thing is, the average passenger car has become so cheap to produce, that the cost difference between a big seller and a bespoke sporstcar has become a massive canyon. For a car to have a chance of reaching production today you either need to allready have a market waiting for the next model (like the 911 and Corvette) or base it completely on an existing model(unlike the FRBRZ86 and Viper)
    So, the sportscar is dead, long live the hilariously fast CUV.
    (I’d love to see a DB5 or Sting Ray try to hang on to an X5 on a racetrack)

  • avatar
    raresleeper

    Sports cars are dying because everyday cars are becoming faster.

    Sports cars are dying because everyday cars are becoming faster.

    Sports cars are dy…..

    Hey, that wheel we just reinvented- where is it??

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      I think sports cars are more about feeling than numbers. I don’t care how powerful a Camry or Escape is, it can’t replace the feeling of driving something like like a Miata or Cayman.

      • 0 avatar
        SaulTigh

        It’s all relative of course, but I largely agree with raresleeper. My ’08 MKZ, with it’s 263hp and very nice handling, knifes through traffic and is much more enjoyable to drive than the ’78 LeBaron, ’90 Taurus, ’93 Taurus, or ’96 Grand Marquis that came before them in my stable. I also wouldn’t fit in a Miata and I have my doubts about the Cayman as well.

        As amusing as I would find a Hellcat or a 911, I would never get to wring them out at even 25% of their capabilities given the congestion on local roads.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      I agree with Zykotec and raresleeper. Part of the reason the sports car market has shrunk is the fact that cars have become more competent in every aspect of driving. Sports cars need to maintain a performance advantage over their allegedly mundane siblings which drives up the price and often makes them even more narrowly focused.

  • avatar
    SWA737

    I’m not sure I quite buy the argument that more restrictive traffic laws and road congestion are a big factor here. Today’s high performance CUV’s are every bit as fast on most public roads as most true sports cars, yet the hi-po CUVs are proliferating. The practicality aspects I can see, the ageing boomers not wanting to get in and out of a low slung sports car I can see. The trophy soccer mom and her kids aspects I can see. But if it were really about “too fast to use on the street” why are the Germans selling every 500HP CUV they can build? Maybe trophy soccer moms don’t care about speeding tickets? OTOH, my wife drives an RSX-TypeS, so WTF do I know.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    I’ve never owned a sports car, and probably never will.

    But I don’t believe the sports car is dead, because there has always been demand for them.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    They’ll take the keys from my LS powered sedan from my cold dead hands.

    With that said, I do most of my driving in a minivan and find it incredibly pragmatic, able to do things I could never dream of doing with the G8.

    If the van blew up tomorrow, a CUV would be replacing it.

  • avatar
    petezeiss

    Sports cars are so cool when you’re 20.

    Nothing a 20-year old guy likes to do for fun should be legal.

    Safety regs have pretty well taken care of sports cars. I’m astonished motorcycles are still allowed.

  • avatar
    bergxu

    So here’s the method to my madness;

    Plunk wife into new Volvo V70 wagon (which she loves) and continue that cycle into eternity. Keeps her happy and off my case which…

    Allows me to continue to daily my 2009 Gran Turismo S.

    Keeps me happy and off her case.

    Oh, and keeps any CUVs out of our household.

  • avatar
    tedward

    BMW makes some sporty sedans and a lot of large luxury SUV’s, but has frankly missed the mark on actual, dedicated, sport cars for quite some time. Even if we love them the Z3 and M Coupe were outright ugly to consumers in general and the Z4 is not the sports car BMW apparently thought it was. Hell the glorious Z8 really isn’t that much of one either, it’s more the GT. Historically I love BMW’s, but sports cars are not something they do well, and not something their execs should be pining on about in public.

    Unless, of course, I’m running with a different definition of sports car entirely. That is entirely possible.

  • avatar

    It will be interesting to see what the new Mazda Miata’s sales will be in the next two years with their new model. I wouldn’t be surprised with so little competition in that price bracket that it will be a big hit and the other manufacturers will be playing catchup. VW had an interesting proposal with the BlueSport but the bean counters there wouldn’t take the risk.

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    Random note: the relentless drive to reduce NVH also means that the sensation of speed and cornering in new vehicles has been extended beyond the capability of the public road network.

  • avatar
    energetik9

    I don’t think this guy [Robertson – BMW] knows what he’s talking about. To me, this is partly a discussion on definitions. There are true sports cars (Porsche, Ferrari, M cars, etc.) and there are sporty cars. At one time, there was clear delineation, but in both categories, everything has blended. A Porsche Cayenne will out perform most cars on the road. Even a BMW X5M or a Tesla is in supercar range of just a few years ago. The lines are blended and the definitions confusing, but in the end, the sports car is not dead.

  • avatar
    superchan7

    Money is tight and cost of living has skyrocketed relative to the boomer generation. This is true in the US, and also in the rest of the world post-WW2. The fact that the 86/BRZ/FR-S even happened is a miracle. Sports cars aren’t on the decline–affordable ones are. MX-5s are moving up to high-20s base prices here in the States, which is now the same level as the Twins.

    A few of my millenial friends who were successful/fortunate/frugal/etc. have begun buying sports cars, with a few self-proclaimed enthusiasts who bought “nice” automatic BMW 335i’s. But the vast majority of my peers prefer to drive appliances, cheap or expensive. The move of young consumer interest to mobile phones and away from cars is likely a product of stagnant early careers and high housing costs.

    • 0 avatar
      hubcap

      “The move of young consumer interest to mobile phones and away from cars…”

      You phrase that as if it’s an either or thing. It’s not and at its core it’s a silly comparison.

  • avatar
    Sky_Render

    “…a demonization of speeding (backed by harsh, if not draconian penalties)…”

    This, OMG this. The sheer number of speeding and red-light cameras around, not to mention cops hoping to pad their departments’ budgets, has simply made spirited driving–even on out-of-the-way back roads–less and less appealing. Sure, I’d love to have some fun driving out in the country, but can I afford several hundred dollars in ticket fines, the possibility of having my car impounded/confiscated, and the corresponding increase in my insurance rate? When my parents were growing up, the cops used to PARTICIPATE in street racing.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    What’s killing the deal for me is too many ’80s sports cars are still around for cheap. Ultra expensive, for’80s cars, but you get something that’s simple, easy to work on and upgrade. And collectibe/nostalgic, for a tiny fraction of new. Plus ultra lightweight.

    By now the aftermarket has figured out how to make them faster. And the forums, how to maintain, fix, mod. You have choice of bone stock to tasteful mods, in a car that’s been cared for, hoarded, low miles, and or restored.

    A young male has to love these. Cheap to insure vs impossible to insure.

    Think of all the ’80s sports/sporty/pony cars you can have for the price of a new FRS…

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      That’s a good point but you’d have to go to an area where these cars are available in sufficient numbers (so not the northeast or most of the midwest) and transport home.

      • 0 avatar
        NoGoYo

        I personally don’t see why I would need a Ferrari 458 to get the Ferrari experience instead of, say, a F355. Or a brand new 911 instead of a 993. Or…the list goes on. Modern cars are fantastic machines, bristling with power and technology, but sometimes you don’t need power and technology to get a certain driving experience.

        Hell, the money I’d save by buying the 355 would buy parts to keep the damned thing from exploding. :P

        • 0 avatar
          superchan7

          Cars like the 993 and the F355 are chosen from the heart, never economically justified. You have to want the air-cooled engine and cramped 993 cabin, or the crude pre-360 Ferrari build quality covered with the timeless 80s/90s body style.

          These older exotics will only appeal to a limited subset of enthusiasts: those who can afford to buy and maintain them, AND are willing to spend significant time researching the cars’ known issues to make educated maintenance and repair decisions.

          • 0 avatar
            NoGoYo

            Well my soul set itself on a F355 as soon as I watched a video of one with Campano F1 exhaust…

            I don’t need a 458 with all its techno wizardry, just give me that exhaust note and the sensation of speed.

    • 0 avatar
      Ryoku75

      As much as I love 80’s sports cars I’d be hard-pressed to find one that hasn’t been modded or screwed up in some way, plus insurance isn’t as cheap as you’d expect.

      When doing some quotes I found out that a non-turbo, 2+2 auto 300ZX costs just as much to insure as a 2003+ Crown Vic, and the newer Vic has much more power to boot.

      Though I’d gladly buy a mint Toyota Celica Supra over an FRS.

  • avatar
    ccd1

    The definition of what constitutes a sports car is in more danger than the car itself. Do sports cars have manuals or at least a manual option? Is there a weight/size limit? Should they emphasize handling over performance? Should it drive like a Camcord until you press the accelerator or change the drive mode? The capabilities of modern cars has blurred the line between sports cars and other performance car categories

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      A sports car should LOOK sporty, not staid; fun, not boring and essentially be completely impractical. The Camaro, Mustang and Challenger qualify as sport coupes for the same reasons. Sport sedans? Sorry. They simply don’t qualify because they are too staid, boring and practical.

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    The sports cars still alive, the definitions just gotten a bit warped since roughly EVERY CAR has to be “sporty” these days, both in terms of styling and handling.

    Out of the numerous cars I’ve driven only 3 were proper sports cars, an ’84 Mustang, an 80’s Nissan 300ZX, and a Merkur Xrt4i.

    Neither of these three felt that sporty, granted they were automatics and were the more “common” V6 or non-turbo variants, Merkur aside.

    I can’t say that I get the sports car love, but if theres anything that I despise its cars that try to be “sporty”. What you tend to end up with is the worst of both worlds, a non-sports car with compromised space for “sporty” styling and stiff suspension.

    • 0 avatar
      ccd1

      The cars you mentioned show the confusion about what is (or is not) a sports car. I would generally classify the Mustang as a pony car or muscle car, the Merkur as a sports sedan and the Z as a sports car. Other people would come to other conclusions.

      To my mind, a sports sedan has a truly useable rear seat that actual normal humans can fit into as well as having the required sporting creds. The gold standard for sport sedans is probably the BMW M3 (at least under $100K)

      If I were to make a list of sports cars currently available under $100K, it would look like this:

      Mazda Miata, Surbaru BRZ, Porsche Boxster/Cayman, Vette, and Jag F Type.

      • 0 avatar
        ect

        I agree with you about the Mustang and Merkur, and would add the Audi TT (especially the roadster) to your list.

        • 0 avatar
          ccd1

          I left the TT off my list because the most powerful TT, the RS was only available for MY 2012 and 2013 (ie, not currently available). That model was supposed to go head to head with the likes of the Porsche Cayman. The new TT-RS is not likely to appear before MY2016

          • 0 avatar
            ect

            But the TT is available, and certainly has more power than the Miata or BRZ.

            Also a lot more power than the Mk III Sprite that was my first car had in it!

      • 0 avatar
        Ryoku75

        The Merkur was a turbocharged coupe with two spoilers on the back, it was also pretty spacious, it could fit a full sized person in the back for our test drive, not a bad car apart from the awful 3-speed automatic and poor engine cooling.

        The 300ZX was a sports car as far as I’m concerned, RWD, dedicated platform, and style over function.

        The Mustang…you have a point, it shared its platform with the Ford Faimount which was basically Fords Volvo 240 copy.

        The Audi TT shares its FWD-bias platform with the VW Tiguan, thus its less a sports car in my book and more “sporty coupe”.

        If you want an Audi sports car you get the R8, for the REAL DEAL you get the Audi R8 Exclusive Ultra Selection GT Limited Grand-Am Le Mans China Edition.

        • 0 avatar
          ect

          The A platform is shared by 12 different vehicles, of very different types. I don’t see what this has to do with defining what the TT is?

        • 0 avatar
          ccd1

          As far as I’m concerned, the TT-RS is a pretty serious sports car. Not my choice for the track, but more than enough for public roads. As for the R8, I hate the idea that a sports car has to be an impractical toy and the R8 is just another impractical toy. Not even close to enough room for a weekend getaway with your “boo.”

          • 0 avatar
            Ryoku75

            To me a sports car needs its own dedicated platform, if it shares bits with a crossover or something, its not a proper sports car.

            The RX-8 shares bits with the Miata which is also sporty, thus its a proper sports car, its also semi-practical.

            The 350z? Shares CUV bits, and uses a souped up Nissan Quest V6. Its also not practical at all.

            At ect: How many of those 12 cars are sports cars?

        • 0 avatar
          ect

          “How many of these cars are sports cars?”

          I don’t think it matters, each car must be classified according to its merit, and the platform is really the least of these. Audi does its own design and engineering, so I doubt that there’s much parts commonality between the TT and the VW, SEAT and Skoda vehicles that are designed from the A series platform.

          You want a “true” sports car to have its own platform, and not share parts with cars that aren’t sports cars. Fine. But the market doesn’t agree, and it shouldn’t.

          It’s kind of like the folks who say it isn’t a truck if it’s not BOF. The XJ Cherokee changed that, and many trucks have followed in its path.

          So it is with sports cars. Times change, technology changes and we must adapt. The TT is a sports car, so is the 350Z.

          My Sprite borrowed liberally from the BMC parts bin, but it was nonetheless a sports car, by any definition.

          • 0 avatar
            Ryoku75

            “You want a “true” sports car to have its own platform, and not share parts with cars that aren’t sports cars.”

            It can share parts, it should have its own platform though.

            “But the market doesn’t agree, and it shouldn’t.”

            If “the market” disagreed with me, the Mazda Miata wouldn’t be getting another refresh.

          • 0 avatar
            ccd1

            I agree. The platform should not matter. Requiring a separate platform for sports cars just drives up the cost and makes it less likely that an OEM will offer one. And it doesn’t matter, take a look at the Macan which shares its platform with the Q5. By all accounts, it is a pretty good car and much better than the Q5. Execution matters more than platform

  • avatar
    ccd1

    I agree that a sports car should look sporty, but STRONGLY disagree that it has to be completely impractical. That is one of the expectations of sports cars that is killing it off, IMHO. I drive an Audi TT-RS which is surprisingly practical with the joke back seats down. There are other cars that offer adequate levels of practicality: Porsche Cayman/911 and the Vette. If you can live with the shallowness of the trunk, the F Type Coupe would quality as reasonably practical as well.

    Most of us could probably agree on what constituted a sports car in the analogue days. The problem is that traditional definitions start to fall apart in the digital age with things like dual clutch transmissions that offer better fuel economy and faster shifting as well. Unfortunately, there have been few attempts to re-define what a sports car should be. The BMW i8 being the only real attempt at re-defining what a sports car should be.

    Until the sports car is redefined and there is some level of consumer consensus with the redefinition, the chasm between new and old will continue to grow. Prior generation 911s will remain popular because the car better reflects traditional concepts of what a sports car should be than its faster, technologically more advance successor. I’m in the camp myself as I look on the sports car landscape and don’t see a sports car that combines the performance and practicality of the car I currently drive.

  • avatar
    ccd1

    There is an interesting interview with the guys from the Classic Car Club of Manhattan on the YouTube channel, Drive, on the Porsche GT3. That car is part of their fleet and their take on it is that the car is so good, it simply cannot be appreciated on public roads. A lesser car would be more rewarding on public roads because you could explore its limits.

  • avatar

    Younger buyers’ have been pretty much hollowed out by the last few jobless recoveries. A hugely expensive depreciating asset is not high on the priority list when you’re already eyeball-deep in debt and working a string of unstable contract-only jobs


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