We're Noticing A Very Weird New Trend With German Sports Cars


We've no idea where it came from, but we'd like it to stop.

In today's day and age, it seems very few nations can beat Germany when it comes to producing some truly cracking sports cars. For sure, Japan, America and the UK do have the impressive Mazda Miata, Chevrolet Corvette and a myriad Lotus models to their respective names, and the likes of the BMW Z4 do sully the German's standing somewhat, but there's no getting away from the fact that the German auto makers - in particular, Porsche and BMW - do seem to have a real knack for knowing how to properly set up a truly great driver's car.

Perhaps the best of the lot at the moment is the new Porsche 718 Cayman. As Autocar's Matt Prior handily explains in the video below, the new Cayman certainly ranks up their as objectively the most well-rounded sports car on sale today, with the chassis balance and body control being enough to allegedly put some supercar makers to shame.

By nearly all rational means, it's a truly stellar car, but that doesn't mean the Porsche is devoid of foibles. One particular gripe on the new Porsche Cayman is the auto-blip function that comes part-and-parcel with the car's 'Sport' mode: though the system itself works fine, the only way you can disable it is by either switching into a softer setting, or turning off the car's stability control system completely. This isn't something that's new to German sports cars, either. Not only is such a piece of ECU programming featured on the Porsche Boxster, but BMW's employed a similar system with the BMW M2 (again, it was Matt Prior who first brought light to the subject).

Though we obviously would never say these features turn these cars into worthless pieces of junk for the more dedicated driving enthusiast (they're just way too good to be legitimately levelled that criticism), they do leave us scratching our heads; wondering why the people involved with fine tuning the driver modes would think that having to fully disable ESC in order to heel-and-toe on your own would be a good idea. It genuinely is a baffling decision. What makes it even more puzzling is that some manufacturers have provided a solution to this quandary for years now. Nissan, for instance, also has a similar auto-blip feature on the 370Z sports car, but handily included an 'off' button that disables the feature while leaving the other safety assists in place.

Though this doesn't magically elevate the ageing 370Z into 'greatest sports car ever' territory, it does prove that touches like this aren't only a nice pleasantry to have, but are incredibly simple solutions to little niggles that we thought wouldn't have been overlooked by the engineers behind some of the greatest sports cars of the modern age. Fingers crossed the 'auto-blip or ESC off' trend is one we see die off sooner rather than later.


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