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Thread: Can a car be too secure for normal driving and have therefore no fun.

  1. #16
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    Old mini's are great fun, Cooper S or a stage 3 1275 mini clubman, great fun. Second hand mrk1 or 2Lotus Elise, you can buy a decent mrk1 Elise for 10k, they may be expencive to run though.
    Speed has never killed anyone. Suddenly becoming stationary, that's what gets you."
    Jeremy Clarkson

  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeonOfTheDead View Post
    In all honesty, I fail to see how most "normal" cars can't help you getting out of some dangerous situations,
    The thinking goes this way ...

    Modern cars are required to pass safety tests and to be "safe" in difficult maneouvres.
    So the car is designed to be less aggressive turn-in.
    To not have significant weight shift possible.
    and worst of all to UNDERSTEER by design.

    This makes it on average safer for everyone.
    It's like ABS ... a great safety device ... BUT somethign that a good driver can stop a car in a shorter distance

    SO as long as braking is what is needed, then it is "as safe".
    BUT, if a fast turn away from the problem is what's needed then it wont do it.
    NOW, the flip side is a car built to be able to have aggresive turn-in, to hav "controllable" weigh transfer and to be "neutral" to allow for inital throttle induced underseer or brake induced oversteer and subsequent brake/throttle controled slip ... now THAT is a car that can get out of / avoid trouble better. Equally tho' it is now a car that can get IN to trouble if the driver drops their guard.

    Short wheelbase GroupB rally cars epitomised this approach - and it's inherent difficulties

    Street cars are nowhere near the extreme of those, but some are there when needed.

    Certainly for me that's how I see the difficulty in modern car designs and "fun" Closest example to heart is the stock RX8 versus the ProDrive version. They both have the same weight balance and power/drive. The ProDrive however sacrifices comfort and a little stability on rough surfaces to deliver a much sharper turn in and if you turn off the smarts you can point the car mid corner with throttle and left foot braking. NOT in the style of drifters who want lots of wheelspin, but in throttle induced steer which is a compeltely different capabiltiy and skill in the driver.
    "A woman without curves is like a road without bends, you might get to your destination quicker but the ride is boring as hell'

  3. #18
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    We do agree, but I still think most modern cars aren't as butter-made to drive you directly into an obstacle as soon as you try to recover the situation.
    There are of course some exceptions.

    At the same time most car can be improved and tuned according to our style/taste. They are obviously designed to be generally safe in the hand of a generally capable (actually, less than that) driver.

    With that in mind, as you race your Mazda frequently, you're not entitled to talk about Joe A.'s capabilities

    Even this understeering by default thing is a bit overvalued. Yes it's true an everyday car will be more prone to under than oversteer. Truth is in most cases it's the wrong maneuver by the driver to trigger the understeer, and that would be the same in a sportier car, just with the tail playing the main character.

    ABS is a tricky field, if properly designed on a road car it's likely it will have an edge over the driver for sensibility (also considering the nature of modern cars) and accuracy. Of course race cars are bit of a different field AND racing a road car doesn't count (you're out again ).

    I think ESP is a much better example, something that yes can save your ass but at the same time makes your car a deriving brick waiting for the next obstacle. A decently advised driver could do just about the same or even better.

    On a final note, I don't think any situation when you require a "better" car to save the day is happening within the road limits (not only speed)
    KFL Racing Enterprises - Kicking your ass since 2008

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  4. #19
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    he he he. ESP is a prime example as it's main "control" is brakes and cutting the engine power. So if it gets "squirrelly" then the only option left is to go slower and pray that is the safest option.
    These "safer" cars limit the options. A driver can chose to brake, slew, slow down or speed up.
    THe smarts only do one thing

    Good point on the "requirements" as daily you'd not want to have to drive so much on edge you could do better than an ESP/ABS/DSC car. BUT, once you are then on a road with more "scope" and you want to explore the last 10% then it comes to be a barrier.
    As already said, thankfully most of the cars can turn it all off and THEN it matters who well the underlying car is for the driver to use. eg 300hp at the front wheels WITHOUT the torque smarts is plain dangerous
    "A woman without curves is like a road without bends, you might get to your destination quicker but the ride is boring as hell'

  5. #20
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    I'm not sure the delicious version of the RX-8 as described is available in kiwiland, but point [should be] well taken. It can be hard to know which version of what you might want is in reallty that which will deliver the goods.

    Remember, 'safe' nowadays isn't what those who know what they are doing can do, it's what those who are panicking might do. Hence ABS that can slow a car yet steer around the drongo that ran the red light. In many cases, it really is something that benefits the greater good. I agree that more technical stuff/physics should be taught to new drivers, but there are many pervasive safety aides that are very much benificial to the greater populace that should made available where applicable.

    Not sure why I took that tangent, but I'm sure that empty bottle of wine has a good idea why. Damn evaporation...
    Life's too short to drive bad cars.

  6. #21
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    yeah pimento I agree on the reason the industry and officialdom does it BUT i do think that then we jsut end up with worse drivers.
    Personally I'd put a 6 inch spike pointing up from the steering wheel for the first year of everyone driving so they concentrate and realise there ARE consequence to driving around in a dream

    More electronics are fine if they continue to provide "settings" buttons so we can turn the nanny off and let the monster lose Especially on track !!
    "A woman without curves is like a road without bends, you might get to your destination quicker but the ride is boring as hell'

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by pimento View Post
    I'm not sure the delicious version of the RX-8 as described is available in kiwiland, but point [should be] well taken. It can be hard to know which version of what you might want is in reallty that which will deliver the goods.

    Remember, 'safe' nowadays isn't what those who know what they are doing can do, it's what those who are panicking might do. Hence ABS that can slow a car yet steer around the drongo that ran the red light. In many cases, it really is something that benefits the greater good. I agree that more technical stuff/physics should be taught to new drivers, but there are many pervasive safety aides that are very much benificial to the greater populace that should made available where applicable.

    Not sure why I took that tangent, but I'm sure that empty bottle of wine has a good idea why. Damn evaporation...
    HIck! I mean, "amen" to that
    KFL Racing Enterprises - Kicking your ass since 2008

    *cough* http://theitalianjunkyard.blogspot.com/ *cough*

  8. #23
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    So the end of the line is "make driving schools and not license schools mandatory", or something.

    Count me in.
    KFL Racing Enterprises - Kicking your ass since 2008

    *cough* http://theitalianjunkyard.blogspot.com/ *cough*

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matra et Alpine View Post
    yeah pimento I agree on the reason the industry and officialdom does it BUT i do think that then we jsut end up with worse drivers.
    Personally I'd put a 6 inch spike pointing up from the steering wheel for the first year of everyone driving so they concentrate and realise there ARE consequence to driving around in a dream

    More electronics are fine if they continue to provide "settings" buttons so we can turn the nanny off and let the monster lose Especially on track !!
    Mos def - my uncle's idea that all new drivers should have a year on bikes comes to mind. Proper defensive riding/driving techniques should be taught to all, but I reckon it's easier to drive the point home to a rider than a driver.
    Life's too short to drive bad cars.

  10. #25
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    Thirded on the MX-5. I'd also consider a mk 1 new Mini, preferably in Cooper S guise.
    Quote Originally Posted by LeonOfTheDead View Post
    So the end of the line is "make driving schools and not license schools mandatory", or something.

    Count me in.
    You hit the nail in the head. Forget about more (or less) electronic nannies. The point is learning to drive, not to just obey a set of rules.
    Lack of charisma can be fatal.
    Visca Catalunya!

  11. #26
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    i would get a lotus elise if I were you. If I were me I would spend a little bit more money and get the Lotus Exige S.

    Personally I cannot stand to drive a FWD car. so these are both good choces for a fun car with good handling and still get good gas mileage

  12. #27
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    Elises or Exiges aren't cheap, practical or economical to run...
    Lack of charisma can be fatal.
    Visca Catalunya!

  13. #28
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    I had considered the Integra as well ... I give this some thought ... and that is another car like the Celica ... which in 5 years time maybe very "rough". So todays cars are the only real option. So a 3-4 year-old version of today's cars. The RX-8 is a no goer as being a Rotary, it is not light on the fuel. The MX-5 is definitely returning to my view ... but ... "hairdresser" comments and all that ... plus being low it will be harder to get in and out of as I get older (be 50+ when I get it) ... and am not a real fan of convertibles, and the Hardtop may feel cramped inside.

    I know in the end I will be forced to make a compromise, but I do not want extra weight. This is why the lowly Mazda 2 got my interest, as it was designed lighter than the previous version and probably more power.

    Styling needs to be sharp / edgy, but it is secondary to what I feel inside and in control of the car. I had a previous generation Lancer for a few months while my car was being recalled and it was quite a bit of fun to have the front wheels spinning when you planted the gas. It never happens in my car.

    It had around 120kw and was light weight. The new one weighs almost as much as my car and has only slightly more. Future fuel consumption is very much on my mind now.
    We work to live, and to live is to drive a BMW 330i at speed.

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  14. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwitt View Post
    The MX-5 is definitely returning to my view ... but ... "hairdresser" comments and all that ... plus being low it will be harder to get in and out of as I get older (be 50+ when I get it) ... and am not a real fan of convertibles, and the Hardtop may feel cramped inside.
    Forget the hairdresser comments and enjoy the rear drive chasis and proper sportscar handling.

    The RC felt fine inside for me, but then again I'm just 1.73m tall.
    Lack of charisma can be fatal.
    Visca Catalunya!

  15. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ferrer View Post
    Elises or Exiges aren't cheap, practical or economical to run...
    You are right, they aren't cheap, but they are an affordable sports car. Affordability is subject to your income. I am not sure of what kind of price range he is looking at, but you can pick up a used elise for around $25,000 - $30,000.

    He said nothing about practicality. He said quote "I'm not into all these active safety features, like air-bags, crumple zones, etc., as I prefer accident avoidance as opposed to accident survival, given that more accidents are avoided then actually occur, I assume." which to me fits the elise perfectly. it has a very small crumple zone. and also very small amount of devices to distract you from driving, which will conform to his accident avoidence bit. It also handles very well, so there is another accident avoidence plus!

    I think I make a good argument. he wants good handling and not many safety features. And wants to avoid wrecks.

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