STUDY: Men can’t help but enjoy fast cars – it’s that testosterone thing again

Autoblog — We Obsessively Cover The Auto Industry

Talk about a foregone conclusion. Researchers at Canada’s John Molson School of Business at Concordia University in Montreal took thirty-nine typical young men (i.e. college guys) and placed them in one of two cars. The first was a Toyota Camry. The second was a Porsche 911 Cabriolet. They then let the men drive up and down on two streets. One was busy and filled with women. The other was deserted. After each little cruise, each man’s saliva was measured for levels of testosterone. Results?

Interestingly, whether there were ladies present or not, the mens’ testosterone didn’t increase at all after driving the Camry. Can anyone else hear Toyota’s CEO Akio Toyoda groaning? The Porsche? Well, this is interesting. When a young man drives down a skirt-filled street in a Porsche droptop, his testosterone level rises. And when then same young man drives down a totally empty road all by his lonesome in a Porsche convertible his testosterone level… rises. To the same level, in fact, as it did when all the ladies were around.

Says lead researcher Gad Saad, “In other words, just put a guy in a Porsche, and his testosterone levels shoot up, whether people watch or not.” This biological reaction, according to Saad, is a form of “sexual signaling.” A way of signaling to potential mates that the driver of said car is the best breeding stock, the best potential mate. Continues Saad, “It’s saying, ‘all you pretenders out there – you couldn’t be driving this Aston Martin – you couldn’t even rent it.'” Insert crack about auto journos borrowing it for a week here. Tip of the tuque to Jarrett!

So, fast cars are exciting, with or without women. And Toyota Camry is boring, no matter what.

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