I’ve been browsing the building configurators(for the US) online this morning and the Germans sadden me, with a few exceptions.
I like my cars naturally aspirated with a manual transmission and rear wheel drive. So not a lot of options for me. The Germans used to be the best builders in the world for this category. Let’s take a look at what they have become.
Audi: Currently has a 2.0T I4, 2.5T I5, 3.0T V6, or 4.0T V8 for their main cars. The only exception is the 5.2NA V10 in the R8. But not a single manual available.
BMW: Currently has a 2.0T I4, 3.0T I6, 4.4T V8, 6.6T V12, 1.5T I3, and finally a .647 Liter NA 2 cylinder. Their only NA engine is in an electric car.
BMW will put a few manuals out there:
230 coupe/M230 Coupe(but not convertible)
430/440 Coupe(but not convertible)
*M3 not available on website, but regular 3 series auto only.
Mercedes: Currently has a 2.0T I4, 3.0T V6, 3.0T I6, 4.0T V8, 4.7T V8, 5.5T V8, and 6.0T V12. Not a single NA engine or manual.
Porsche: Currently has a 2.0T Flat4, 2.5T Flat4, 3.0T Flat6, 3.8T Flat6, 2.9T V6, 3.0T V6, 4.0T V8, and finally a 4.0NA Flat6.
The 4.0NA only being available in the 911 Speedster, 911 GT3, Cayman GT4, or Boxster Spyder and all with a manual option.
They do provide a manual option for every Cayman/Boxster though so thats a plus, but only on the 911 Speedster or 911 GT3 in the 911 range. Shame.
VW: Currently has a 1.4T I4, 1.8T I4, 2.0T I4, or 3.6NA VR6.
They do provide the most manuals though but still scattered.
Jetta S and GLI models only.
Golf S, SE, GTI, or R only.
Golf Sportwagen S only.
All trims of the Golf Alltrack.
I get why most of those engines are 500cc per cylinder as it’s the most efficient, but it gets to be very boring. Most of the ones that don’t fit that design are holdovers and will be replaced before too long. It’s gotten to a point where Audi, BMW, and Mercedes are just building the same cars with different sheet metal and tuning. Just partner up already and be done with it. Oh, and not a single diesel for the US market.
So the only German cars that meet my specs for a sporting car are the Porsche 911 Speedster, 911 GT3, or Cayman GT4. Yay me.