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The Perennial

The Perennial

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Colin’s Guide to Electric Cars

Colin Ternus

“Cybertruck beats Porsche 911 while towing a 911,” and “What Makes the Tesla Model 3 Performance Variant So Special?” These are some of the headlines toting the powers of Tesla, and you can easily find similar headlines for other Electric Vehicle manufacturers. A craze of horsepower and acceleration has struck the nation in a similar fashion to the 1950’s muscle cars. These EV’s are truly impressive, but I feel that they are beginning to shift towards a one-sided future that takes away from the enjoyment and art of driving.

For the Cybertruck “beating” the Porsche 911 headline, the Porsche deserves some context. Porsche’s goal with the 911 model is to create the optimum handling experience: to corner faster and feel stable at higher speeds. Porsche is known to not put massive engines in their cars, as they want to focus on driving and handling aspects. The video is slightly misleading, as a Cybertruck towing a 911 beats the Porsche in an eight mile drag race, not the quarter mile, but this also is not a very fair comparison to make from the get go. As stated before, 911’s are built to be track cars, not drag cars, so this comparison on a drag strip isn’t playing into the strengths of both cars. Comparisons like this are losing some of what it means to create an enjoyable car. Personally, I would prefer to drive cars with better handling as it would allow me to feel safer on the road while also having fun at the track. 

Another trend among the top EV manufacturers is the redefining of “performance.” You see this with all of Tesla’s lineup, and also with the Mustang Mach-E. The focus of the performance add-on’s is to create more horsepower, adding to the existing power of the car to make it even faster in a straight line. While this makes sense from a marketing perspective, it presents the same problem as before, pulling away from the other aspects of driving a car. 

While this is a niche opinion about EV’s, it’s still present within car communities and cultures, and one of the roadblocks keeping people away from the electric future. Electric cars aren’t seen as enjoyable for a large group of people, and those people are the ones clinging to their fossil fuels and oil. There are some EV manufacturers focusing on bringing in car enthusiasts into the EV space; however, the fact that these cars are rarely talked about as much as the Teslas of the world is a representation of where the vehicle dynamics space is heading. 

EV’s are a necessary step towards a greener future, but why not make that step an enjoyable one full of wonder and invention rather than going quickly in a straight line? Tech reviewer Marques Brownlee recently reviewed the sport version of the Polestar 2 and its adjustable dampers.

“That’s the type of thing you have to be crazy to really spend extra on and want,” Brownlee said. “This car makes no sense for having this.”

Is it crazy to want the ability to tune your own suspension in order to have a more enjoyable driving experience? Is it crazy for a performance pack to include features that improve other aspects of the car besides how fast it can accelerate? Is it crazy to want to enjoy your driving experience rather than just getting from point A to B as quickly as possible? If that’s considered crazy, then I don’t want to be sane.

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