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Will Green Cars Be Exciting To Drive And Enjoyable To Own?

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  • lilengineerboylilengineerboy Posts: 4,116
    Maybe it's a stretch for people to assume it's a sacrifice to drive a hybrid....

    It just depends on wants and needs. If all you need/want are power windows and a ride to work and back, then for that lifestyle its not a sacrifice at all...well, except for the cost premium over a non-hybrid vehicle.

    As it pertains to this forum, will they be exciting and fun to drive, my answer so far is a resounding NO, and as I said, I appreciate the sacrifice. I have a lot of seat time in a current gen Prius, a fair amount in a current get TCH, and some in a previous gen Prius. Of course, it could just be that Toyota can't make a fun car anymore...
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,118
    "...it could just be that Toyota can't make a fun car anymore..."

    "Anymore" implies that there was a time when Toyotas were fun. I can't recall that Toyotas were ever the choice for "fun." Well, okay, maybe the MR-2 and the Supra were fun. Kinda, sorta. And now there's Scion. I think Scions are supposed to be fun, but since I've never even ridden in one I'll leave it to someone who's at least driven one to comment on whether Scions are fun.
  • fezofezo Posts: 9,195
    My Celica is mild fun but your point on Toyotas is absolutely correct.

    Don't suppose anyone's tried an Altima hybrid? I figure I'll check teh Fusion when that appears, It gets good write ups anyway.
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,931
    exciting and fun to drive

    People sure get excited about hypermiling and they seem to have fun scrolling through those endless menus on the dash readout checking the various readouts.

    I'm mostly joshing with you, but maybe we need to define "driving."
  • lilengineerboylilengineerboy Posts: 4,116
    "Anymore" implies that there was a time when Toyotas were fun. I can't recall that Toyotas were ever the choice for "fun."

    I was primarily thinking of the cars you mentioned, the 84-95 MR2 (1st & 2nd gen), the Supra from inception till about '86 or so when it became a cruiser, and then again in the mid-90s when it became a psuedo-supercar, the 22R powered Celicas (and the later Celica all-trac turbo, although the Eclipse GSX was cheaper, more powerful, and faster), and the AE86 Corolla GTS, the Toyota fanboy poster child.

    Its been pretty lean the last 10-15 years from Mr Watanabe though at a time when Honda went through 3 Civic SIs, the S2000, RSX, Integra, and even the NSX isn't that far gone (of course, they did kill the RSX, Integra, had a total miss with the Del Sol (high school girls don't care about vtec) but that still leaves a fun Civic SI in coupe or sedan... Even Nissan resurrected the Sentra SE-R and the 350Z, killing the lame duck Infiniti Maxima in favor of the G35.

    That said, look at how sales are tanking for all the "fun" cars and the Camry is a sales leader...as the Toyota marketing guy said at the auto show, the number one selling flavor of ice cream is vanilla.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,669
    It's a good point: we may be seeing GM and Chrysler go away in the next five years, so there go Viper, Charger, Challenger, Camaro, and Corvette maybe. We would still have Mustang and 370Z, maybe an SI or two if Honda stays in that game, but the bottom line is the volume automakers are gradually getting out of the fun car business. I'm sure while they are busy getting even further out of the fun car biz, they will be increasing their "green" offerings by leaps and bounds, so maybe we will have to look to the small automakers for the "exciting" and "fun" cars in future.

    If so we can expect them to get more expensive and perhaps less plentiful, I think. And we will probably see few if any "go green", although Tesla certainly proves the exception to that rule.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,068
    If that happens, well you might still have Porsche and a handful of exotics.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,669
    Well, and of course Porsche keeps hinting at (and failing to deliver) a hybrid....

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,681
    I think the Porsche hybrid will be the Cayenne. They would be better served with a diesel as the sister Touareg will be offering this spring. I cannot imagine a 911 hybrid being as much fun to drive as a Carrera.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,669
    I cannot imagine a 911 hybrid being as much fun to drive as a Carrera.

    What if it were faster off the line and offered better fuel economy at the same time? That is the case with the Camry hybrid, for instance, vs the regular Camry 4-cylinder.

    Of course the downside is weight gain. But the Li-IOn battery packs are much smaller and lighter than the NiMH packs that hybrids are using today. So maybe Porsche could limit the weight gain by developing Li-Ion for their hybrids.

    I agree with you: for Cayenne and other large crossovers and SUVs, diesel is the way to go, not hybrid.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,669
    might have stuff like this in them:

    Nissan is developing several in-car technologies that warn, prompt or help a driver consume less fuel. One is a touch pad on the accelerator pedal that pushes back slightly if the driver increases speed too much.

    So how much is "too much??!! LOL!

    http://www.autoweek.com/article/20090421/CARNEWS/904219989

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,118
    I all for acting responsibly. However, "driving fun" is being redefined to include guilt, and in other ways that I don't find entertaining. It seems to me that we're also edging closer to big brother.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,902
    This is somewhat on topic:

    Could a new malaise era be brewing?

    With the "speed kills" crowd being permitted to implement their Orwellian surveillance grid, and the greenies bankrupting the first world in the name of environmental causes, it's a possibility. The performance mindset of the past 10-15 years could end up being like the 1955-70 period. However, a world full of Nanos and G-Wiz might be worse than a world full of Vegas and Mustang IIs.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    When you grow up, you allow common sense and practicality and life experience to override the "emotional responses" which affect you much more severely when you are young.

    That's why most older people like to drive slower. They have seen the light of the foolishness of excessive speed. It's a maturity thing. ( Sure, some OLD GUYS AND GALS never outgrow their "need to speed" but MOST do. )

    Common sense, energy-conserving "green cars" will not be fun for speed freaks, ever.

    There will always be cars built for people who "love to drive" but those cars MIGHT someday be priced out of the range of the Average Joe.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,902
    That's some nice condescending tone there. If common sense and practicality ruled older people, why are they responsible for most of the mistakes of humanity? Looks like "life experience" is a recipe for mediocrity at best, and failure at most.

    Older people drive slower because they realize their diminished capabilities, and are more sensitive to the physical sensations of speed. There's nothing sensible about taking corners at 5mph like the typical old timer will do - it's all about not liking the sensations made by gravity and physics hard at work.

    Green cars will likely not be fun for anyone save for LLCs and hypermilers who merge onto 60mph roads at 30. All we have so far are Teslas and a few similars who have yet to prove themselves as a viable mass market concern.

    If fun to drive cars are eliminated, they won't be priced away, they will be legislated away. Globalized transportation pods will be the mandate. For nonthinking new world order minions under a 24/7 CCTV grid, it will be fitting.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    I said "older people" not "Senior citizens."

    Everyone knows that that group (the 70+ crowd) drives the way they do because of declining capability.

    People in the 35-55 range usually have the same capability they had at 20 when it comes to driving reactions, but they "wise up" and CHOOSE to drive slower because after 8,000+ commutes, EXPERIENCE shows them that driving that extra 7-10 mph does not get them there any faster in the long run. Just gets them tickets and grief.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,669
    I think it's probably true that we have seen the end of the horsepower wars for now. I won't say forever, but maybe. As of 2009 the hp wars have really gone over the top anyway, haven't they? One of the most over the top, in fact, is your fave Mercedes. The fact that you can buy a 600+ hp street car, with the pervasive gridlock and 70 mph national speed limit we have now, is just evidence of hp wars gone mad.

    But of course for many, "fun to drive" is not just about the drag race to 100 mph, it is about cars that handle well, do lots of sport-oriented things well. It is likely that such cars will persist into the "green age" IMO. Just because "fun to drive" will always be appreciated by a small, albeit not growing, segment of the population. And because there's nothing that prevents a car from being green AND fun to drive.

    I look forward to technologies like twin-charging (a la VW) and various electric and hybrid modes improving the green factor AND the fun factor of cars simultaneously.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,931
    Everyone says that the Japanese kids don't care about cars and don't care if they own one or not, much less care about if they are exciting to drive.

    Then a story like this comes along:

    Tokyo: Underground Street Racing Paradise

    (btw, some of the potshot posts have been deleted).
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,669
    Right at the moment I was commenting on hp wars gone mad, I read this article:

    BMW, Mercedes consider return to 4-bangers in U.S. market

    Facing stricter fuel economy standards, BMW and Mercedes-Benz are considering bringing four-cylinder engines back to the United States.

    BMW stopped offering four-cylinders in 1999 when its 318ti hatchback flopped. Mercedes-Benz had four-cylinder engines on the 2005 C230 and SLK230 but dropped them in favor of six-cylinder models.

    BMW of North America is considering a twin-turbocharged, direct-injection four-cylinder gasoline engine for U.S. vehicles, said CEO Jim O'Donnell.

    .....Mercedes-Benz is deciding whether to offer the four-cylinder diesel from the E250 Bluetec concept at the New York auto show this month.

    The show car, based on the new E-class sedan, has a 2.2-liter four-cylinder diesel with 204 hp and a fuel economy rating of nearly 40 mpg on the highway.

    Ernst Lieb, CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA, said the E class may not be the right car for the engine in the United States. But, he said, it is well-suited for the C-class sedan and GLK compact SUV and could be used in the current generation of both vehicles.


    http://www.autoweek.com/article/20090427/CARNEWS/904279995

    I certainly think they need to do something about the fuel economy of their cars offered in the States, and some 4-cylinder engines, whether gas or diesel, could help in that regard while still providing ample power to be fun to drive. The last 318ti was one of the most fun cars to drive that BMW has sold here, IMO. Big engines just give automakers an excuse to make the cars too heavy and add big bucks to the purchase price. Leading to overweight and overpriced, that most deadly of combinations.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,902
    55 is a senior citizen according to many who issue benefits for older people, and I see nothing that suggests capabilities do not decrease by around that age. However, most that age seem to realize it. It has nothing to do with this tenuous ideal of "experience". People don't slow down due to becoming wise at a random age.

    This isn't about people who dare to travel at speeds still deemed acceptable in most of the developed world. This is about the green car movement and its impact on modern performance cars.
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