REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL: PH BLOG
Why we need to take the rose tints off and embrace the future with both flappy paddles!
You may, by now, have spotted the flaw in this argument...
Yep, if manufacturers listened to us we'd now be on our next generation of stupidly thirsty M cars with high-revving engines and jerky gearboxes. Lethal 911s that prove our manliness by demanding Rohrl-like hand-eye coordination and commitment. Or a fiery demise at Schwedenkreuz. Clios with powerbands 500rpm off the redline and mid-20s fuel consumption.
Actually they did listen to us. And the latest technology means they can build cars that deliver the visceral thrills all but a noisy one per cent demand while making them liveable with and appealing to a vast new audience. Let us not forget, manufacturers exist to build cars they can sell to us in numbers sufficient to turn a profit according to their particular business model. Not satisfy some romantic dream. And most of them are getting better at it.
Thing is, it's not really reason to feel gloomy. New GT3 too tech heavy to be fun? Drive an old one then. Don't want a turbocharged five-door Clio with flappy paddles? Cash in on the majority turning their back on high-revving, manual ones and pick up a bargain. New cars too much about power and grip? Buy a Toyobaru or MX-5. There are enough cars of all vintages to go around and suit all tastes and budgets.
Dual-clutch apologists are no more wrong than manual die-hards are right. Technology enhanced speed at all costs no less valid a goal than going a little slower but feeling more involved.
GT3s of old I've come round to a more optimistic view. That, far from the end of proper driving as we know it, we could actually be on the cusp of a technologically exciting age of amazing cars that really push the boundaries of what's possible. Be they million-pound hypercars or cleverly engineered 100mpg runabouts.
And if that doesn't float your boat we've still got the classifieds.