Just last week I asked the question Is Porsche the "Benchmark" for all other Supercars? Since then I've been inundated with emails from readers. Some agree, some don't and others wanted to know how I was defining a "Supercar". So for starters, let's define the term.
According to Wikipedia
Supercar is a term generally used for a high-end sports car, whose performance is highly superior to that of its contemporaries. It has been defined specifically as “a very expensive fast or powerful car with a centrally located engine”, and stated in more general terms: “it must be very fast, with sporting handling to match,” “it should be sleek and eye-catching” and its price should be “one in a rarified atmosphere of its own.” but the proper application of the term is subjective and disputed, especially among enthusiasts.
As the definition says, the term is "subjective. I commented last week (to a blog reader) that certain Porsche models, especially of the Turbo and Twin Turbo variety are generally described as “supercars”. What’s interesting about Porsche and makes them so great is their infinite drive-ability and relative ease of maintenance (compared to say a Ferrari or a Lambo) that they can truly be used as daily drivers. Something much more difficult to do with other “supercars”.
Why do I bring this subject back up so soon? Well, as I was surfing around today I noticed that Jaguar may be once again planning a Porsche 911 rival. Look at those words, a Porsche 911 rival. Porsche as a brand couldn't ask for better press. Every time another manufacturer compares themselves to Porsche it just helps to reinforce the image that the Porsche 911 is the sports car of choice.
As an aside, I say once again planning, because the car mentioned in the article I read is the same one that was first introduced as the F-Type roadster back in 2000 at the Detroit auto show. Now that we are on the eve of Jaguar switching ownership from Ford to Tata, the rumor mill is back in full-force suggesting the development of a sports car that will be much more enticing, more true to the idea of a sports car than current flavors of XK or the proposed F-Type (originally designed to compete with the Boxster) and on par with a Porsche 911. I think it's a big goal for Jaguar, seeing how they don't even have anything that competes with lesser Porsche models (or any other sports car marques for that matter).
In my opinion, what makes Porsche the "benchmark" for all others and what has set the standard so high is the overall quality, ride, build and timeless styling combined with the fact that any one of the 911 variants (including the scary fast Twin Turbo) can be used as a daily driver.