What a bunch of toys we have in this issue. On our cover, we have something that is basically what is set up against the legend of some of the other stuff in this issue. The Mercedes AMG GT S follows in a long line of cars that were more GT than S. And every few years, if not more often, we see magazine headlines saying, “is this the 911 beater?” Well, as we often say and we say again after what was an insanely awesome day driving every 911 model family ever produced (the 911-2 wasn’t there, but that was just recently done as well and on our March cover), 911s are really different machines. Even over the years, they manage to hold their own identity while changing with the times. Now, this AMG GT S is not a 911, but it isn’t trying to be. Rather, it turns out to be the best interpretation yet of what the three-sided star thinks most of what the world wants. What’s more, it presents a platform on which there is much that can be done. Some already say that what we see here are the building blocks for a dynasty. The car followed on from the SLS in some ways, which itself paid homage to the very first Merc Gullwings. But the new car is by far a better car than the SLS in terms of driving. Plus, it has built in the flexibility demanded of the fluidity of modern technology.
As we have just come off judging and attending the International Engine of the Year Awards in Stuttgart and are heading straight into the C! Awards preliminaries, it is becoming increasingly obvious that we need to change the way we look and assess our cars. Even at Le Mans, this has become obvious. At the 24 Hour Endurance Race in Le Mans this June, one controversy was that the class in which the race-prepped 911s ran was skewed heavily towards the bigger-engined cars. Yet the bigger-engined cars are basically running older technology while Porsche is banging the doors of the future. This ties into the Engine Awards in that Porsche just won a class they normally don’t, the 2.5 to 3 liter segment that has been traditionally dominated by BMW. And Porsche won with their new 3-cylinder turbo that is not the engine in the 911 Turbo. And at the Engine Awards, BMW won the 1.4 to 1.8 liter class with a supercar. So, mixing and matching genres and abilities is truly a part of our world now. Things are no longer defined or segmented or boxed into a niche. More and more, it is all about what the true vision is and whether or not that vision fits our wishes or the way we see ourselves.
Nice that there’s so much to choose from. Remember when there wasn’t? When no one would take chances? When no one believed in the consumer as a mature intelligent force in the market?
We often discuss the more financial, economic, and investment issues that have to do with the country, and the positive thing we can say is that in general much of the growth is demand driven. Yes, there are large companies that see dollar signs and go forth and try and conquer. But we in the trenches see most of this growth as the answer of demand. Investment isn’t just exploratory, it comes rushing in order to fill a hole or support a much needed growth spurt. So while we have seen some car companies come and go, and we honestly see that some here now will be making some serious changes, in truth, we still see more consumers waiting in the wings and poised to enter the market. But then, that’s what we said over a decade ago…