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Porsche Refuses To Ditch This Old School Analog Technology

Design / Comments

Heck, it's barely even considered technology.

German automakers have consistently been at the forefront of new technologies. BMW, for instance, was the first to introduce a system where a variety of functions, such as the stereo, climate control, and navigations, were all intertwined into a single unit – iDrive. The first iDrive was launched in 2002 and its center console knob and interface combination changed how automakers integrated and designed such systems.

More recently, BMW has introduced gesture control (to mixed reviews), while Audi and Mercedes-Benz have made impressive advancements of their own. Porsche, on the other hand, has its iconic 911 and the model's loyalists don't like too many changes happening too fast.

Switching from hydraulic to electrical steering caused something of an uproar, and let's not even go into the backlash Porsche faced when it replaced its air-cooled flat-sixes with water-cooled versions when it introduced the 996 911. So how does Porsche feel about things like gesture control and touchscreens? Will they completely replace old school switchgear? Nope, at least not for the foreseeable future.

Autocar has confirmed with Porsche R&D boss Michael Steiner that interiors without physical buttons are not going anywhere. Touchscreens, such as the one found in the all-new 992 911 will certainly continue to be used and upgraded, but actual physical analog dashboard controls will remain. Why? "It's fun to push buttons," Steiner said. "It's not always about screens. We wanted a clean inside, but it's all about enjoyment."

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Take a look at the new 911's interior layout and you'll see a nice combination of new and old technologies, a large touchscreen and buttons beneath it. But unlike the previous 911, Porsche cleaned up the number of buttons on the central console in an effort to make things less complicated. But what we really dig are those five analog buttons above the air vents and below the touchscreen. They have a charming old school look and feel, and they're there because Porsche listens to its customers.