• Feb 15, 2010

It might not get you a date, but this Porsche definitely taps into our biology drives and pumps us up

"Is that a Porsche in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?" That's the subtitle on a funny and informative piece by colleague Diego Rodriguez over at AOL Autos. In it, Rodriguez looks at the connection between biology and our attraction to certain cars. While relating how deflated he felt every time he had to get into his faded Taurus in a lot full of "Range Bruiser Nantucketmobiles" and Aston Martin DB5s, he points out that it wasn't social conditioning so much as "a hard-wired biological mechanism," at work.

To explain the phenomenon, Rodriguez looks back more than a century to 1899, when "economist Thorstein Veblen published his seminal work The Theory of the Leisure Class, in which he postulated that we buy expensive things not so much for their inherent qualities, but for the attention we receive as we experience said object." He blames it on lekking, the mating dance done by species for eons, but Rodriguez says it goes much further than that:
"...a 911 literally makes a driver more potent from a biological standpoint, whether or not there are witnesses to your possession of the car. A Porsche driver, science says, no matter where or how they drive, have higher testosterone levels than if they were stuck in a sedan. By driving a Porsche they become more potent competitors in the game of life..."
Because of that, Rodriguez sees the future of automotive design linked more closely to biological wants and needs. It's a good read and definitely worth the click over if for nothing else other than the graphic that tops the page – Priceless.



[Source: AOL Autos]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 26 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      Do we really need to give high-end car owners another excuse to think they're elite? As time has shown, again and again, just because someone owns an expensive car does not mean they are better at life, just that they earn more money (or pulled bigger loans) than most folks. I honestly can't look at a Lambo owner and think "that is a cool person". Generally, as wrong as it may be to cast judgement on others, I think the guy's a jerk and don't want anything to do with him. This is not to say I'll treat the owner differently, I'll treat him or her just like I'd treat a Camry owner. Perhaps I'm the one being a jerk, but a totalled Gallardo (yellow spyder, of course) I saw yesterday on my local canyon road just strengthens my theory.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Sex & biology? How about mathematics and power?
      • 4 Years Ago
      So in that case are we expecting more "I went on the Internet this week and I found this!"
      • 4 Years Ago
      This is an interesting topic and studying the emotional response to car buyers (especially ones writing the larger check) is an import area for manufacturers to consider.

      The more expensive the car, the more emotional response matters. Any car north of, say, $30K it becomes more and more about emotion. It's at that point where people with a lot of extra disposable income are shopping and practicality becomes less of an issue. It's about how you feel rather than the utility and practicality at the higher price points.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The "a hard-wired biological mechanism" is nothing to do with testosterone; everything to do with insecurity and greed. Of course a wimp isn't going to admit that, is he?
        • 4 Years Ago
        "Sorry, babe, I seem to have a...Sebring."

        "Um, that's OK. It happens to lots of guys."
        • 4 Years Ago
        Grist to the mill, guys. Grist to the mill.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Did you get lost? Here, let me help you find your way again:

        http://green.autoblog.com/
      • 4 Years Ago
      porsche is really stepping up their game this year, did u guys take a look at the video of porsche's first hybrid race car
      http://gizmoave.com/2010/02/15/porsches-first-hybrid-race-car/
      • 4 Years Ago
      Well,at least it's got a turbo.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I guess i gotta sell my Ranger and get a Shelby. Won't hurt my feelings any..just hurt the wallet...
        • 4 Years Ago
        Hold onto your Ranger, a truck says manly, and a compact truck means you are confident and don't need to show off in a full-size, lifted beast of a truck. My old S10 used to attract the ladies when I had it.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Judging on the current and past sales leader, automotive designs are by functions first (truck, sedan, hatchback, van),and the form will follow.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Hey Autoblog, thanks for posting a link to the article...not

      If you're going to say "hey check this out, my friend wrote it kekekekeke" at least posting a bloody link for the sake of all that's automotive.
      • 4 Years Ago
      A bit off topic, but does anyone else hate the shade of blue on that Turbo? Of all the beautiful colours in their palette and they had to choose that?
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