The Porsche 911 GT2 RS was unveiled at Goodwood
Does electrification threaten our enjoyment of the sights and sounds of modern sports cars?
The uber-desirable 911 is making its public debut on the hill, but at yesterday’s press launch at Goodwood’s motor racing circuit it also made two full-bore passes of the assembled hacks.
I’m shame-faced to say that it came by so quickly that my efforts to fire up the phone and video it are too lacklustre for public consumption. But let me assure you that the speed of the car and the sound of the twinturbocharged 3.8-litre flat six-cylinder engine screaming along is enough to – truly, really, not just hyperbolically – stand on end.
In a sanitised world, it’s these moments that remind you of how lucky we are to have such cars – and if you are prone to melancholy, to ponder just how much longer we can enjoy them, and in particular the aural delights that car makers have delivered in they pursuit of performance and pace.
For all the future-world excitement of electrified powertrains – and I am convinced of the positives – here, still ringing still in my ears, still making my eyes blink in disbelief, is one of the delights delivered by cars that they will not be able to replicate.
Porsche boss Oliver Blume is sanguine on the subject, reasoning that electrified cars bring their own benefits, and arguing that by investing so heavily in electrified tech – first plug-in, then full – Porsche is buying itself time to keep on building super-special cars powered by combustion engines like the GT2 RS.
It’s a fair argument, but one that I can’t help feeling is only going to be extending the gap until combustion engines are no more. Petrolheads can cling on, but I don’t see a side to the emissions argument that will ultimately allow a stay of execution.
How far off that date is from arriving is hard to predict, but it feels like the time is right to take every opportunity to celebrate the very best cars and engines while we can – and to savour events like Goodwood, which should long give us the chance to give our ears a work out, assuming of course the the long arm of the authorities doesn’t extend to killing off car shows.