Hello, My Name Is (insert) and I'm a Horsepower-Holic

Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
This is my sad story. I guess if you're here, you have one, too.

I....I....don't know what comes over me. :cry: You put a herd of ponies under my foot and this...this...*demon* takes over, :mad: robbing me of all common sense, eradicating my fears, narrowing my vision, making my palms sweaty...

Oh, I've tried to kick the habit, lord knows I've tried.

Yes, yes, I took competition driver training courses to "get it out of my system"...TWICE in fact, at Laguna Seca....did it help? HA! Made it *worse*. :sick: I feel resentment now. I feel they WANTED me to be a horsepower addict. "Hey kid, the first lap's free".

I've done some despicable things to feed my addiction, I'll admit it. One day I was frolicking in my Porsche 928 (as one tends to do in a Porsche 928), and as I fandangoed around a high speed bender, lo and behold this M3 is also frolicking in the opposite direction....only I am frolicking just a little tighter than he does and he slightly crosses the yellow line.....BLING...our rear view mirrors touch at about 60 miles per hour, in an instant, without warning.

(pant) (pant) That was startling. That's when I knew I needed more help than I was getting. :D

So track time wasn't the answer, I knew that now. There was only one way out. It was time to do something *drastic*. :surprise:

Yeah, you guessed it. Trade in the Porsche for a 108 HP Scion.

Oh, it wasn't too bad at first. I did get a stickshift, and I put on some sway bars, big exhaust system, intake, shock tower brace, and, well...I played this sham for a while....but being used to stronger stuff, I had to have MORE horsepower, and all the time. The poor Scion was being flogged. 20000 miles and the tires and brakes are *shot*, done, finito.

The other day I really got the horsepower "jitters". I was driving by a used car lot and saw....yes...temptation....a used yellow EVO....

zoom zoom? I thought....hmmmm.....let's take it for a spin. I can handle it. I won't buy it.

Ohhhhhh, that car was fun. I got that old feeling back. My right foot couldn't control itself. It just couldn't. Finally I overpowered my foot with both hands and limped back to the car lot, (this isn't easy to do) and tossed the keys in the basket and ran over here and fast as I could.

I need group therapy. If I get another 300 HP car, I'm gonna do bad things....isn't there some institute, some doctor in Vienna, who can help me before I race again? I have a credit card in my pocket and I'll use it if I have to.....

Nigel X


  • british_roverbritish_rover Member Posts: 8,502

    Maybe you need the low speed cure for horsepower addiction.

    Have you tried driving off-road?
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaMember Posts: 31,450
    I have a wife that protects me from myself. I got over it when I was young. Six speeding tickets when I was 18. Went to work for the phone company and was given defensive driving. I guess that calmed my right foot down. Losing my job if I lost my license was enough incentive.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Well yes, severe consequences is generally a good behavior inhibitor (ask any laboratory white rat).

    Hmmm...off-roading...that is a plausible solution, in that it requires a different approach entirely to driving.

    $3.50 a gallon is somewhat of a deterrent to horsepower, but not quite enough...there are cars out there that can deliver great performance (more than enough to get you into trouble) and quite reasonable fuel mileage. Like a Corvette for instance.

    Thanks guys...I still got the jitters but you did talk me down from test driving a Mini Cooper S this morning. It's really $5K more than I can afford.

    Visiting Host
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    Become a hypermiler. :shades:
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Just kill me NOW Steve! :sick: LOL!

    This is supposed to be group therapy, not suicide-assistance!

    Visiting Host
  • british_roverbritish_rover Member Posts: 8,502
    Off-roading is expensive though. You will always break stuff and the more you get into it the more expensive the things are that you break.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Yes but my life is at stake here....money should be no object!

    At least if you are an off-roader and you say "I hit a tree" everyone says "well, sure..."

    Just Visiting the Group
  • oldfarmer50oldfarmer50 Member Posts: 20,113
    A Porsche 928? That's a heck of a monkey on your back. I don't think you can beat an addiction like that. You have to hit rock bottom before you can recover. I figure you'll be sitting in a dark alley reving up a Yugo before too long.

    You might try something I've found useful in limiting my horsepower habit. Poverty. If you ain't got it you can't buy it.

    2019 Kia Soul+, 2015 Mustang GT, 2004 Chevy Van, 2000 Chrysler Sebring convertible

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Well I TRIED poverty by buying a Porsche 928 in the first place. Worked pretty well cleaning out my bank account, but then I started selling old clothes on eBay to pay for the 928 clutch job (don't EVER....EVERRRRRR....burn out a dual-disk 928 clutch).

    Poverty kept me up at night but didn't cure the heavy foot....I kept that "boot into the Boschware" as we say in Porsche-land.

    You guys have been great...gimme a hug.....

    er....nevermind..... :)
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaMember Posts: 12,555
    This thread is funny! While I have never had more than 200 horsepower under my right foot (I guess 210 to be exact), a long line of Supras, Celicas, 280Zs, and a few other fun ones along the way led to my last fast car: my RSX.

    Yes, it was only 4-cylinder, but I used all 4 to maximum advantage. Boy was it fun threading through freeway traffic at 85 mph (something that car was soooooo good at doing), running at 120 mph on the open road (something it did without even breaking a sweat), and racing stupid kids off the line in their souped-up Civics and Mustangs (I am no expert at track racing, so the Mustang kids usually won! :blush: The Civic kids I could usually beat. :surprise: )

    And the tickets kept rolling in, and funnily enough they kept getting more and more expensive, and closer and closer together, until I managed to get my insurance jacked up by about 20% for points on my record. And that's when I got religion.........
    ...........and traded in my speedy ways for hypermiling ways, so how funny that steve mentioned that! I also had a 4WD 4Runner to while away my weekends off-road, so I tried both things that have been mentioned here as palliatives!
    But the truck eventually got old, and I was really sick of the gas costs at $3.50/gallon, so it's gone too, and I now have two cars under 130 hp, with my daily driver pulling 40+ mpg as a running average. And I haven't had a ticket now in more than 3 years, and my driving record is clear. :-)

    I'm not really a hypermiler by the way, but I do keep a close eye on the Echo's fuel economy, and try to drive in a way that boosts mileage.

    I just think it's hilarious that there is someone out there in Edmunds-land that went through the same evolution (no pun intended! :-P) of vehicle types for the same reasons. :-)

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

  • bumpybumpy Member Posts: 4,425
    Hmmm. The only ticket I ever got was for doing 40 in a 25, and that was in the 80-something hp Sentra.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaMember Posts: 31,450
    I think cops were much more aggressive in the late 1950s and 60s than they are now. You would never get away with the lowered cars and loud exhaust when I first started driving here in San Diego. Cops would come through the drive-in restaurants with a long stick to measure under the cars while they were parked. If anything hung lower than 6 inches they would ticket you. Of course the horrible music of today would get you a disturbing the peace ticket so fast you would not know what hit you.

    The good thing is gas was 19 cents a gallon most of the time. You could buy 6.5 gallons for an hours minimum wage of $1.25. Minimum wage would have to be $21 per hour to be equal to 1961.
  • john_324john_324 Member Posts: 974
    ...based on something you said a few years ago, Shifty:

    Buy a convertible.

    In an old discussion (on "what constitutes a sports car" IIRC), you offered a view on the driving experience that really captured (for me, anyway) what it's all about: Immediacy.

    You opined that for some enthusiasts, it's not about pure power, or handling ability, or anything performance related, but rather about the connection to and immersion with the experience of driving.

    Accordingly, you recommended a small, open car for the most visceral connection to everything around you. And the more open, the better, and the more even slow speeds *feel* fast...

    So why not get one?

    Maybe a Z4, a Boxster, etc. (I assume you'd never get a Miata... ;) ) Maybe lower the gearing to provide more umph from 0-50, so you get more of that "kick in the chest" feeling when you light her up...

    As MG used to say, "Safety Fast." You get all the feel, but at lower speeds/with less risk to life and limb...
  • oldfarmer50oldfarmer50 Member Posts: 20,113
    "...And the more open the better..."

    I know the feeling brother. My 22 year old pick-up has rust holes big enough to roll cannon balls through. That "open" feeling is quite exciting. Kinda like going down a steep hill in a run-away buckboard. Never knowing what part is going to come off in your hand next just adds to the thrill.

    Shifty, forget about horsepower, try junker power for the real rush. ;)

    2019 Kia Soul+, 2015 Mustang GT, 2004 Chevy Van, 2000 Chrysler Sebring convertible

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Good thoughts and still an option! I suppose a smaller-engined convertible is like drinking non-alcoholic beer! LOL!
  • john_324john_324 Member Posts: 974
    Well, maybe light beer anyway... ;)

    My girlfriend owns a first-gen Miata, and that thing is a blast to drive. Sure, it doesn't have the power of my Mustang, but with that top down, it feels a lot faster than it really is.

    Conversely, I've been in Mercedes AMGs where you can steadily cruise at 95 mph with the windows up and you'd never even know it.
  • bumpybumpy Member Posts: 4,425
    Unless it's an S2000. :surprise: :shades:
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganMember Posts: 14,014
    I use to drive pretty darn fast from the age of 16-23. I slowed down quite a bit when I moved to Texas, because they are overly strict there and having a kid really made meslow down. My 92' Bonneville SSEi was the car I had in High School, and I drove the wheels off that car and hit triple digits often. I also owned a 95' Cutlass Convertible with the 3.4 DOHC V6 that I topped out more than once.

    The 02' Cadillac Seville STS I had up to 155 mph and the 05' Acura TL, I had up to about 147 Mph. :) So it's been a few years since I've driven fast.

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    That's another car in which I'd probably do very bad things.
  • bumpybumpy Member Posts: 4,425
    I dunno; speedometers are notoriously optimistic once you get up above 100 or so, and I doubt a FWD Seville has the tires or suspension to handle anything near 150 without careening off the road at the slightest crossbreeze. The TL has the suspension, but not enough ponies.
  • british_roverbritish_rover Member Posts: 8,502
    A MINI Cooper S has a top speed of nearly 140 mph with much less hp and worse aerodynamics.

    I had mine up close to 130 mph on a couple of occasions. The front end feels really light at those speeds so I hate to think what it does at 140 mph.
  • fintailfintail Member Posts: 54,979
    I'll admit I love the big lazy engine of the E55, which can burble quietly around town and silently cruise at 70...but will wake up and roar if you want it to. The linear acceleration makes the mileage worth it. I won't say how I know this, but it will pull up to about 120 without any delay, and will bump up to the 155 governed limit with little fanfare, like it is barely trying - no drama, not much more noise, only more speed. I think it would do a good 175 with a long enough stretch of road, and no governor.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    You'd be dead trying to drive a Seville that fast...it would be near uncontrollable at 100, much less 150. I think for $30,000 or so, you could MAKE a Seville go 150 and live to tell about it.
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganMember Posts: 14,014
    I dunno; speedometers are notoriously optimistic once you get up above 100 or so, and I doubt a FWD Seville has the tires or suspension to handle anything near 150 without careening off the road at the slightest crossbreeze. The TL has the suspension, but not enough ponies.

    Well the 02' Seville STS had Delphi's Magnetic Ride Control aka "Magneride"(MRC) ;) The tires on mine were the optional Z-rated rubber which automatically moved the govenor up from 130 mph to 155 mph. ;) The Acura TL, was a 6-speed and had the optional "summer tires" and Brembo brakes thus it was pretty solid at 147 but I backed off before pushing for 150 mph. I've read in a car magazine that somebody got one up to 152 mph. I did this in Texas, thus I had plenty of empty straight F&M road to accomplish these feats.

    I will tell you one thing bumpy, I felt more secure running the Seville STS up to 155 mph than I did driving the TL, up to 147 mph. As far as cross breeze goes it is the Texas Panhandle, and if you've been their it's rarely not windy. ;)

  • bumpybumpy Member Posts: 4,425
    Just because the speedometer says 150 doesn't mean you're actually doing 150. It was probably more like 125. :P
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Sounds optimistic yes. As speed increases, the horsepower requires increases but not uniformly; rather exponentially. This is why many cars that claim say 200 mph will take 50 seconds to get there. Even with 500-600 HP, it's not enough to overcome the aero barrier.

    And of course hitting a rock or pothole at 150 mph will send your car into outer space.

    I was reading about this guy in the UK who worked for a luxury car rental firm. Seems he decided to take the new Porsche out for a spin. Police clocked him at 172 mph (a new radar record for the UK on public roads).

    He lost his job and is serving 10 weeks in prison.

    Wonder how long it took him to get up to 172 mph?
  • british_roverbritish_rover Member Posts: 8,502
    Yup friction increases at the square of speed.

    Last gen F-bodies and C4 or C5 vettes need about 600-650 hp to reach 200 mph but it will take almost a full minute for them to hit 200.

    The extra slippery Z06 can hit 198 mph with only 505 hp but I am sure it takes a while. Even another 100 hp would probably only gain 10-15 mph of top speed.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    The 617 HP Mercedes SLR McLaren takes 47 seconds to hit 200. The 1000 HP (!!!) Bugatti Veyron 16.4 can do 200 in 24 seconds, and the 1100 HP Hennessey Venom Twin Turbo Viper can do 200 in 20 seconds.

    So really, 600 HP is chump change these days.

    So roughly, you need almost double the horsepower to half your time to 200 mph.

    The Bugatti stats are interesting because it weighs almost 1,000 lbs more than the Viper and has 100 fewer horses, yet accelerates almost as fast. That must be the aero at work. The Viper is awesome but it's an old design and rather clunky. Still, it's King of the Hill in Hennesey form.

    it's kind of scary that any incompetent can walk in and buy one of these cars and drive it away. I guess we have to trust to Darwin to work it all out, hopefully not at my expense.

    Road & Track polled professional drivers and asked them at what speed on public roads they put out the cigarette (figuratively) stop oogling the side action, and start REALLY paying attention to driving....the average answer was about 95 mph.
  • british_roverbritish_rover Member Posts: 8,502
    I doubt the extra 1,000 lbs of the Veryon really matters once you get past 100 mph. By that time the aero drag is much more of factor then mass.

    The Veryon has the active aero and suspension that obviously negates a lot of the viper's 100 hp advantage. What are the 0-60 times of the two cars? I bet the AWD on the Veryon eats into the 100 hp advantage of the viper for 0-60 and maybe 1/4 mile time as well.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    The Veyron does the mile in 25.9 seconds at 204.4

    The Viper does the mile in 26 flat, but at 220 mph.

    So according to R&T, the Veyron beats the Hennesey to both 100 mph at the quarter mile by more than a second but loses eventually to the Viper---probably because the Viper's boost is still kicking in up there. So I guess my aero theory doesn't really hold up.

    0-60? I doubt you could even time it---I mean, it takes great skill to launch these cars....they'll go sideways on you probably in 3 or 4 forward gears JUST LIKE THAT!

    I love the power to weight ratio of the Viper 1 to 3...wow!
  • british_roverbritish_rover Member Posts: 8,502
    Probably all the active aero on the Veryon makes so much down force that the drag catches up with it at around 200 mph.

    The Viper probably doesn't generate nearly the down force that the Veryon makes. Makes the Veryon a little more stable at speed bu ultimately slower then the Viper.

    The Veryon isn't going to go sideways though. With AWD all that weight and a 7 Speed DSG that I am sure has launch control. Just select sport mode or first gear and left foot brake a tiny bit before you give it full throttle.

    The viper would be a tad more challenging to launch. :surprise: :blush:
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Oh that's right...I forgot the Veyron was 21st century.

    Yeah, the Viper would be an animal to drive. I wonder if I could do it? I'd like to try heh heh...I have good clutch pedal instincts.

    I guess the trick on the Viper would be to never EVER mash it while accelerating, just modulate while the car tries to hook up.

    This thing can't use regular tires can it? You'd need a garage full.
  • bumpybumpy Member Posts: 4,425
    Yumping yeeminy, that thing is ugly. Someday, someone will build a supercar that doesn't look like a dog threw up an erector set.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Who said money and good taste always lived hand in hand?
  • bumpybumpy Member Posts: 4,425
    I think they're inversely proportional, myself.
  • british_roverbritish_rover Member Posts: 8,502
    They already did.

This discussion has been closed.