When Matt Smith took over from David Tennant as Doctor Who many mourned Tennant’s regeneration because he was ‘their Doctor’. Not used to Smith, they had yet to learn to like him, they were afraid he would not carry on the good work. Know of a German sportscar that suffers with the same problem?
Yesterday, (the 28th November), the new Porsche 911 was unveiled to the public online and in Los Angeles amid great anticipation. It is only the 8th generation of 911 since the model was first released in 1963.
The 992, its model designation, is heavier, wider, longer and more technologically advanced. It has also been re-designed so there is space for a future hybrid powertrain to be fitted.
And yet there are many who will mourn the passing of the now old 911. Top Gear’s Chris Harris is one of them tweeting:
“This (referring to an accompanying photograph) is now the ‘old’ 911. Still so damn good it makes you feel sorry for the opposition.”
Indeed it does. If the 992 is half as good as we think it might be, then Porsche’s competitors are in trouble. Yet, from all the reviews of its predecessor, it is clear that the new car has a lot to live up to given the now old 911 carried on the legacy from the brilliant 997 as the standard bearer for sportscars.
Ah yes the 997. ‘My 911’, not in the sense of having owned one, but in the sense of it being the one I grew up with and the one I mourned as a fan when the 991 took its place.
For those unaware, the 997 came after the 996 (1998-2004) and lived from 2005 (same year as Tennant became the Doctor) until 2012. During that time I went from 9 to a tumultuous 16, see my piece on Dyspraxia to find out more, but the 997 was there throughout.
The 991 that replaced the 997 looked to me to have got too big. It looked less nimble, less raw. The 911, to my teenage mind, had lost its ‘petiteness’, it had become less of a B-road expert, and moved too far towards the GT class.
What did I know however? I was 16 and I couldn’t drive. Those who weren’t 16 and could drive though also took a bit of time to love the new car. This was because it did away with hydraulic steering, something that gave the 911 great road feel. Yet with time people grew to admire and love it, proving that the 992 not only has to win the minds of drivers but their hearts too.
So what now for the 992? As a friend of mine pointed out yesterday, as soon as a new 911 comes out everyone suddenly becomes an expert on car design. In the same way, as a soon as a new Doctor Who gets announced, everyone becomes an expert on casting, just look at what happened with Jodie Whittaker.
To paraphrase Colin Baker, a man who too was a controversial appointment as the 6th Doctor, “This is the new 911, whether you like it or not”.