Nine minutes and eleven seconds isn’t much time to cover seven decades. The book Excellence Was Expected now covers nearly 1,700 pages. In just over nine minutes one could probably flip-book through a lot of the pages, and enjoy a few photos, but not much else. The latest edition of the 9:11 video magazine covers a lot of ground in not much time, and the segments which bookend it are incredibly interesting and different to one another. If Matt Hummel’s well worn 356 is pastoralism, then the Mission E trends closer to science fiction. Whether that science fiction is hopeful or dystopian really hinges on your opinion of autonomous cars. To get great works of those genres from a single author would be remarkable, yet to Porsche, it seems to follow the natural progression of the brand.
Seventy Years of Progress
Matt Hummel’s 356 is one of the most likable cars featured in a Porsche-produced video thus far. With its heavy patina and slightly clattery flat-four, it seems like an old farmhouse condensed into a sports car. Every mark must have a story, but individually they are almost unimportant. It’s the amalgam of textures produced by its decades long life that make it special. Hummel, along with guys like Mark Pribanic, keep these cars alive in ways that encourage them to use the cars often. Because really, what is another bump?
The middle segments of the video document important Porsche models from throughout the brand’s history. The 959, Boxster, Cayenne, 918 Spyder and 917 each make an appearance. The Targa, interestingly, appears in Porsche’s wind tunnel to show the model’s ability to preserve the occupants’ hairdo.
At the other end of the spectrum from Hummel’s 356 is the Mission E
While a production-ready Mission E is supposed to be on dealer lots in 2019, what we currently have are concepts. The concepts more closely mimic the interior design of the USS Enterprise from the J.J. Abrams Star Trek reboots than anything currently offered by Porsche. According to Ivo van Hulten, Director of Interior Design for Porsche, this follows a tradition of excellence set by the brand.
With the Mission E, and an increasingly autonomous future, the quality of interior materials will become more and more important. The nature of how we interact with the interiors of our cars is bound to change along with our roles as occupants. Even today the line between living space and cockpit is becoming increasingly blurred.
The last seven decades have defined Porsche as we understand it. Hopefully the next seven decades will see Porsche as a leading light for the future of automotivedom. Porsche’s new products are exciting, and hopefully the remain vital symbols of what we value as enthusiasts for decades to come.