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



  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    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!

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,600
    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: 42,971
    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: 42,971
    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: 12,726
    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.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    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: 12,726
    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.

    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.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • fintailfintail Posts: 42,971
    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.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 42,971
    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: 42,971
    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: 42,971
    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: 42,971
    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?
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    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: 31,180
    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: 42,971
    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: 12,726
    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.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,600
    "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: 42,971
    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: 42,971
    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: 31,180
    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.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    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: 42,971
    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: 42,971
    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: 42,971
    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 Manson, WAPosts: 7,238
    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.

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

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