In Car and Driver’s most recent issue they placed the 911 behind the new Corvette, and they did based off of the price differential, which they can’t do. Let me explain.
It’s my opinion, my very German biased one, that you cannot compare the price of the 911 to a Corvette directly. Why, because of who makes the two cars. Porsche is now owned by the all mighty Volkswagen Group, and Chevrolet is owned by General Motors. These two companies both operate with economies of scale in mind. For those of you unfamiliar with this economics term (I think it’s from micro), economies of scale equals cheaper cars the more you sell, essentially. That’s why VW’s new MQB platform will save them so much money; because they can standardize a lot of parts and cars and therefore the parts and cars become cheaper. Porsche and Chevrolet both benefit from economies of scale, but one benefits more than the other, can you guess which one? I’ll give you a hint: one car uses an engine whose basic architecture is shared with all types of cars; from sedans to trucks, while the other shares its engine architecture with one other car, two if you want to be a stickler. Can you guess which is which?
The 911 costs a lot more than the Corvette, and it’s not just because of the badge on the car, although that does increase the price considerably. Besides the badge, the 911 is just better built; in the comparison test the journalist noted a huge panel gap from the dash to the driver’s door, and you could even see it in the pictures, no such gaping holes exist in the Porsche, at least we should hope not otherwise the Hans or Klaus responsible for attaching those trim pieces will be shot. But you can only charge so much for higher quality, so I’m back to economies of scale again.
Like I said before, the engine in the Corvette is shared with billions of cars, whereas the awesomely great engine in the 911 is shared only with the Cayman/Boxster, so the economies of scale are greatly reduced. The 911 is also a world car, whereas I think the Corvette will only be sold in left hand drive, I think, I thought I read something about them finally making a right hand drive model so people can experience driving it on the wrong side of the road.
I found Car and Driver’s comparison a little ridiculous because they kept praising the 911 saying how it’s the greatest car of all time and the Corvette is not better than it, but because of a thirty to forty thousand dollar difference they placed it second. Sure, the actual 911 they tested was something like $150,000, but that doesn’t mean every 911 costs that much, unless you have no willpower and the salesman forces you to get leather covered air vents. Porsche has capitalized on charging stupid amounts of money for options that otherwise should be standard, like the Porsche crest on the wheels being painted, or just charging stupid amounts for unnecessary options, like $900 for a key fob to be painted the same color as your car.
But in reality, this is just another failed attempt to defend the German against the American’s using a somewhat stupid excuse, but hey, hopefully it was somewhat enjoyable to read.