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



  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,909
    A base diesel C or 3er with gobs of low end torque and the ability for some suspension tuning would be well received, IMO. The BMW 335 diesel proves they can be sporty.

    Turbo 4s can be very sporty, too.

    However, it's the hybrids that don't seem to embrace that ideal, and that seems to be the movement of today. Maybe they can be tuned for something different. But the hybrid or weak electric globalized new world order transportation pod will be as devoid of soul as the societies wrought by those ideals themselves.

    Overweight and overpriced isn't so bad for the used car shopper. Let the rich and foolish eat the depreciation.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,909
    I think those stories about Japanese kids not liking cars might be written by westerners who hope their own youth rejects cars. Doesn't seem to be working. I have met few young people who shun driving, especially in NA where most public transportation grids are defective.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    fintail says, "People don't slow down due to becoming wise at a random age."

    They do, indeed, do exactly that.

    At some point, you realize the uselessness of speeding around everywhere and how ridiculous it is.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,909
    It's over the top, but no more so than the oversized house that is the American definition of success, or any amount of other items. The question I have to imagine is who is to say what is excessive? The market can decide it, the public sector is not trustworthy IMO.

    I don't see any mass market green cars today having much fun. I don't count the diesels, as they are still simple petroleum based products.

    If the Orwellians have their way, there will be no point at attempting fun cars even with new style propulsion - cornering gs, acceleration times, etc will all be monitored and controlled by a central surveillance system and tracking of all vehicles 24/7. Go around a corner too fast, get sent to a re-education class. That's part of the new malaise.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,909
    This isn't about simple speed, and there is nothing in the world linking it to wisdom. The LLCer is not a wise person.

    My last post to you, Larry. Good day.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Good day to you, also.

    What is an LLCer?
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,955
    stories about Japanese kids

    Could be - I do happen to know two people my age (>55) who have never driven, one man, one woman. One lives in Seattle in fact. They seem to manage just fine.

    (LLC = Left Lane Camper)
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,676
    My sister lives in Seattle and has never owned a car. She is 52 and just recently married and lives on a sail boat. Has taught several years in China. Now she is back at the University teaching. I don't see how anyone could get by with just a bike in Seattle more than 4 days per year. We never talk about money. She has to have a bundle from all those years teaching. Always lives frugal.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,909
    They must have plenty of free time (teachers, public sector union workers?), or nowhere to go and all day to get there.

    Even with traffic I probably save more than a half hour a day by driving rather than using transit, and I am just under 4 miles from work. You'd have to be insane to bike my route, especially early mornings. And for errands like shopping, I can't imagine. For people I work with and who live in suburbs maybe 15 miles away to be able to afford a house - vanpool or car is the only way, transit would take hours. They might do well with a globalized transportation pod, but it's not like they are commuting in Excursions as it is.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,669
    However, it's the hybrids that don't seem to embrace that ideal, and that seems to be the movement of today

    Just don't forget, all we have seen so far of alt powertrains is a tentative foray into the technologies available, and one or two variations on potential commercial applications.

    Can hybrids be fast? The V-6 hybrid Accord was significantly faster than the straight V-6, and made better fuel economy at the same time! And that was then hybrids were in their infancy!

    The all-electric Tesla is one of the fastest production cars available on the market today.

    So don't forget these technologies are in their infancy, and let your imagination roam with them a bit. Also, don't forget that as "alt" powertrains become the norm, prices will come down and people won't expect just one thing from them any more. Like everyone expects a hybrid to be a Prius right now.

    All we have seen so far is the very tiniest baby steps into these technologies. There is so much untapped potential for performance there, automakers just need the market to catch up first.

    BTW, since many automakers right now are touting their new diesels as their answer to the green mandates of the new CAFE and GHG emissions standards, I consider diesels to be part of the green solution at least in the foreseeable future.

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

  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,118
    "Could a new malaise era be brewing?"

    Interesting article and good comments. I have nothing to add, other than maybe we enthusiasts need to organize so that our views can at least be considered by our lawmakers. If all we do is gripe, nothing will change.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,909
    I think it is normal for some hybrids to have better straight line acceleration, by a tiny margin anyway. But is this necessarily better performance? How did it handle compared to the the normal version? I assume the suspensions were identical. I think the E-class diesel outruns the normal 6, too.

    I can't go nuts for the Tesla yet, I don't see anything to tell me it is a viable concern. And the big problem with that tech is power...where will it come from?

    I see a public sector seeking more centralized control and regulation, I have to fear those factors will outpace technology and create a new malaise age, just like what happened about 35 years ago. Tech eventually caught up, but I don't know if it will again.

    Of all the 'green' claims out there, I do like diesels the most.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,909
    I know the vintage/specialty car hobby has some special interest organization to protect those vehicles from the wrath of ecoweenies (it's always mentioned in Hemmings)...maybe those who simply like cars that aren't new world order transport pods can do so too.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,676
    Of all the 'green' claims out there, I do like diesels the most.

    You need a pre urea inline six E320 CDI. They have no problem getting 37 MPG on the highway. I'm not sold on their V6 CDI yet. BMW stuck with the inline 6 and my guess it is better on mileage than the new E320 CDI blutech. That and the 335D are probably fun to drive. Of course for the budget minded the Jetta TDI is supposed to handle very well and get close to 50+ MPG.
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,955
    They must have plenty of free time

    Are you one of those sheeple that think you have to work 9 to 5 six days a week and commute 40 miles a day too? :P

    I don't care how exciting your car is, sitting in or just fighting traffic ain't much fun.

    (I think that's the first time I've ever used "sheeple." Did I spell it right? :) )
  • lilengineerboylilengineerboy Posts: 4,116
    I can't go nuts for the Tesla yet, I don't see anything to tell me it is a viable concern. And the big problem with that tech is power...where will it come from?

    So in the 80s, as a tween and early teen, I got into R/C cars. 1/10 scale electric off road buggies specifically. I had an RC10 and a YZ10 (RWD and AWD buggies - I ran in whatever class was easier). In the beginning, the cars used 6 C-cell sized 800 mAH rechargable batteries in a pack, and had a 15 minute DC (car battery) "quick charger". From there, they added a cell and then another so everyone was running 7 or 8 cell battery packs. Then the battery packs started switching for these low end NiCad cells to SCR and SCE cells and having 1000 or 1200 mAh ratings. That got a lot more run time and a lot more power to the motor.
    At the same time, companies started experimenting with windings in the electric motors, brushes, and wire diameter. Oh and magnet type. What started out as a 10 minute run at maybe 15 or 20 mph became a 20 minute run at much closer to 30 mph.
    The Tesla is the same thing...over time, batteries will be upgradeable, electric motors will be modified, power controller programming will be updated, etc. SSDD

    The issue is that this "fun" car is a buck-o-nine, or about the same as 5 2001 Boxter Ss, or a whole bucket of some other car that actually is fun.

    I am not worried about living in Larsb's world, I don't see that in my lifetime - or driving career at least.

    Oh and age related affects on driving start in the early 40s. Initially, most are related to vision and "accomodation" (the time it takes to adjust from looking at something close up to something far away, like checking your speed before going through a photoradar trap then refocusing on the road). Once you get to bifocals, its a real issue.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,909
    Well, I know in this day and age it's hard to find a private sector job that will let you come and go as you please and make a schedule around transit times rather than corporate demands. The globalized world won't work that way. So yeah, I am one of those sheeple :P

    I'd rather spend 15 mins fighting with the idiots on the road than spending 45 mins to travel on a bus.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,909
    Those first modern diesels are known to be pretty good I think...but I don't know if they have any kind of special handling or fun potential.

    I am not turned off the urea design....I am a car maintenance nut, so I wouldn't forget to do it.

    A co-worker of mine had an 04 Jetta TDI that aged very poorly, he had a lot of problems by 45K miles when he dumped it. I am scared of them.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,909
    I like to think the Tesla will be more practical and cheaper as technology improves, but will the company survive? As you say, that money could buy a commuter hybrid, and a few real fun cars and enough money to keep them in gas for years. I do wish them for the best, for simply daring to try.

    I also wonder how the power grid can adapt to everyone using that tech,

    I know my dad slowed down a lot between 45 and 60...I don't think he got any wiser during that time :shades:
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Posts: 5,663
    over in the '2.0 Midsize Sedans' thread about 20-25 posts or so back. backy was drooling over a VW Passat or something, and I was just mentioning the old VW CamperVan's of the late 60's-ta-early 70's model(I think it's got the word Westphalia in it's model title). And how they can still be bought for anywhere from $5,000-$12,000. Of course, the closer to $12,000 you pay the easier it will be to get an old VW Bus for camping out that will actually be running still. :P

    But I originally commented on that thread about the new '09 Mazda 6's and their cost of $28,000. That started backy defending the midsize VW and how much goodness is packed in to the VW as opposed to the Maz6.

    But my main thought is this. I still, even though I learned to drive stick on a baby blue '66 VW Fastback 4-speed, and really enjoyed the car, don't trust buying a new VW. And it's because of reliability issues. A lot of the problems seem to be electrical in nature. I remember nightmares with my first car, a '65 Mustang, with electrical issues. I don't want to buy a car that starts destructing after 40,000 miles. VW has lost me for a long, long time. I trust my current car's maker Mitsubishi and old fave Kia way more than Germany's VW, because of build integrity and ongoing horror stories concerning VW new vehicle reliability concerns.

    2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS

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