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My thoughts on the horsepower war


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Ya know… I’m not a big fan of Chrysler. Or Dodge. Or Plymouth. Or whatever the “F” they’re called or who owns them these days. It seems they’re always owned by somebody new. As if nobody wants to own them for too long. I’ve only owned one – and there’s a reason – it was an unreliable car (brand new Chrysler 300C) and the service was utter F’n unbelievable GARBAGE. Worst service I’d ever experienced. Even worse than Honda. And that’s saying something because Honda service is what you deserve if you’ve lived a life of sin and gone to Hell for it.

All that being said, I have to say – I have a lot of respect for Dodge (I don’t know who owns them anymore because they keep changing owners and I don’t care enough to do the research. Fiat or something?!) for bringing us the Hellcat and Demon cars.

One of the things that’s “irked” me for a long time is the horsepower wars. Mercedes-Benz. BMW. Audi. Cadillac. Anyone else? Did I forget somebody? Jaguar? “F” Jaguar. They suck.

So, back to the horsepower wars… The top brands are always giving me, him, her – “us” – a little more. A tiny little more horsepower with every generation. Oh! Gee! Thank you! 25 more horsepower for the next six or seven years! Wow! Awesome! What am I going to do with ALL this extra horsepower?!

No. That’s B.S. Especially now that everything is either turbocharged or supercharged. It’s as easy as typing a few lines of code into a computer to boost performance significantly – making an actual difference. Oh! Wow! The new Cadillac CTS-V does 0-60 in 3.6 seconds! Wow! Wow! Wow-WEEEEEE! What am I going to do with all that POWA?!?!?!?!?!?! .3 seconds faster than the previous generation!

I hope it comes with special driving lessons! Read more...

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But, it’s like all the automobile manufactuers have some sort of secret handshake agreement that states they won’t lay it all out on the table because what then?! What will we have to sell after we’ve given the customer everything?! I guess NOTHING.

Pavlov & classical conditioning.

It's how OEMs sell brand new vehicles.... and every fraction of a terrible investment they are.
HP is no different- create the desire, feed the addiction.

There's also a strong element of diminishing returns.
Envy the Chrysler consumer of the 1950s :: '50: 135 HP, '60: 400 HP.
Contrast that to more modern times ala the Corvette :: '75: 165 HP, '17: 650... but that spans 42 years.

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^ Yeah, I don't think that's remotely the case. IE; 'tossable driving' is still at it's peak AFA product offerings go.
What's 'again waking up' is straight line performance (tho there's basically nothing available that is that singular in ability- Demon aside).

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The Hellcat LX cars = white knuckle, hold on so you don't spin into a tree level of performance.

The Chevy SS = Fast, balanced, and most of all fun because you feel far more in control.  You're part of the car rather than a rider on a bucking horse. 

The CTS-V you mention is the same way... sure it's only 0.3 seconds faster than the previous one... but the handling is substantially better. The prior one, while not a brutish Hellcat in it's manner, was more of a handful than the current generation. 

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15 hours ago, balthazar said:

^ Yeah, I don't think that's remotely the case. IE; 'tossable driving' is still at it's peak AFA product offerings go.
What's 'again waking up' is straight line performance (tho there's basically nothing available that is that singular in ability- Demon aside).

I think the slow car fast nimble crowd is very small...BRZ and Miata sell in extremely small numbers...I have to agree with Balthazar here.

14 hours ago, Drew Dowdell said:

The Hellcat LX cars = white knuckle, hold on so you don't spin into a tree level of performance.

The Chevy SS = Fast, balanced, and most of all fun because you feel far more in control.  You're part of the car rather than a rider on a bucking horse. 

The CTS-V you mention is the same way... sure it's only 0.3 seconds faster than the previous one... but the handling is substantially better. The prior one, while not a brutish Hellcat in it's manner, was more of a handful than the current generation. 

It is a damned shame the SS went away....much better overall package than the cross town competition from Chryco IMHO.  and I like the Chryco Muscle cars.

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About this chat of slow tossability and today younglings discovering it...

1. I don't think today's cars have this slow fun tossability quality to them, therefore I don't think this phenomenon exists!

Why?

Today's cars are sooooooo in tune with safety in mind (electronic and computer controlled safety nannies), with traction control and electronic hand brakes and the like...that how CAN  one toss and turn and break the tail end loose? One has to have  wet pavement or snow to do that, or reach speeds that are too dangerous to achieve all that in the first place requiring insane horsepower levels JUST to achieve that in a short amount of time and space!

 

2. Today's cars are soooooo good in balancing weight and driving dynamics and the brakes are soooo good and the tires are wide and the tires have sooooo much more grip and the handling of MOST cars is so taut that the limits of even the most mundane car is pretty damned high requiring any type of shenanigans to be made at high enough speeds that are too dangerous to achieve all that in the first place requiring insane horsepower levels JUST to achieve that in a short amount of time and space!

Edited by oldshurst442
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15 minutes ago, oldshurst442 said:

About this chat of slow tossability and today younglings discovering it...

1. I don't think today's cars have this slow fun tossability quality to them, therefore I don't think this phenomenon exists!

Why?

Today's cars are sooooooo in tune with safety in mind (electronic and computer controlled safety nannies), with traction control and electronic hand brakes and the like...that how CAN  one toss and turn and break the tail end loose? One has to have  wet pavement or snow to do that, or reach speeds that are too dangerous to achieve all that in the first place requiring insane horsepower levels JUST to achieve that in a short amount of time and space!

 

2. Today's cars are soooooo good in balancing weight and driving dynamics and the brakes are soooo good and the tires are wide and the tires have sooooo much more grip and the handling of MOST cars is so taut that the limits of even the most mundane car is pretty damned high requiring any type of shenanigans to be made at high enough speeds that are too dangerous to achieve all that in the first place requiring insane horsepower levels JUST to achieve that in a short amount of time and space!

I think only the Miata/Fiata and FR-S/86/BRZ really qualify for slowish tossability. They're not fast straight line cars, but I'll be damned if I didn't have more fun in the BRZ than I did in a ZL-1 on the same day. The ZL-1 just had so much power that I couldn't use on unfamiliar back mountain roads where the BRZ I could push to its acceleration limit toss into a corner and not worry. 

57 minutes ago, A Horse With No Name said:

I think the slow car fast nimble crowd is very small...BRZ and Miata sell in extremely small numbers...I have to agree with Balthazar here.

It is a damned shame the SS went away....much better overall package than the cross town competition from Chryco IMHO.  and I like the Chryco Muscle cars.

Chrysler really needs to invest in the suspension of the Hellcats

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16 hours ago, FAPTurbo said:

the good news is that people, especially young people are again waking up to the joys of 'slow car fast,' rewarding spirited, tossable driving instead of pure straight line performance

Really? Where cause I have not seen it on the west coast yet. Especially in Seattle.

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2 minutes ago, dfelt said:

Really? Where cause I have not seen it on the west coast yet. Especially in Seattle.

That is because all of the tossable cars they are enjoying are in games like need for speed...

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We so need to REBOOT Marketing on Auto's and drop this HP is King crap. Without proper Torque, all the HP in the world will do NADA without torque to get cha moving! :metal: Torque is King!!! :metal: 

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1 minute ago, Frisky Dingo said:

HP and 0-60/1/4 stats win the marketing races.

True enthusiasts know that's nothing more print on paper.

Just my .02

Quoted for truth!

 

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Just now, A Horse With No Name said:

That is because all of the tossable cars they are enjoying are in games like need for speed...

Spoken for Truth! :roflmao: 

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Just now, dfelt said:

We so need to REBOOT Marketing on Auto's and drop this HP is King crap. Without proper Torque, all the HP in the world will do NADA without torque to get cha moving! :metal: Torque is King!!! :metal: 

Unless it is like the Civic Si, where you have a high reving motor with zero torque in the earlier cars and a low revving motor with no excitement in the current car...

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3 hours ago, Drew Dowdell said:

I think only the Miata/Fiata and FR-S/86/BRZ really qualify for slowish tossability. They're not fast straight line cars, but I'll be damned if I didn't have more fun in the BRZ than I did in a ZL-1 on the same day. The ZL-1 just had so much power that I couldn't use on unfamiliar back mountain roads where the BRZ I could push to its acceleration limit toss into a corner and not worry. 

Chrysler really needs to invest in the suspension of the Hellcats

Ill have to super agree with your comment on the Miata/Fiata and FR-S/86/BRZ .

Mazda has been doing this since 1989 or 1990 with the Miata and that is EXACTLY what Toyota and Subaru told us what those cars were gonna be all about.

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3 hours ago, dfelt said:

We so need to REBOOT Marketing on Auto's and drop this HP is King crap. Without proper Torque, all the HP in the world will do NADA without torque to get cha moving! :metal: Torque is King!!! :metal: 

 

3 hours ago, A Horse With No Name said:

Unless it is like the Civic Si, where you have a high reving motor with zero torque in the earlier cars and a low revving motor with no excitement in the current car...

Allot of this will change as more EVs enter the market. EVs will show people why Torque is King!

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1 hour ago, dfelt said:

 

Allot of this will change as more EVs enter the market. EVs will show people why Torque is King!

Ev's will make people forget all about Gasoline powered cars when they finally take over.  Think of how far ahead we would be right now if we had started the transition to electric in the 1970's...

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15 hours ago, balthazar said:

They can't 'take over then make people forget'- they have to 'make people forget, then take over'. ;)

Ohh the transition is inevitable I think.

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2 minutes ago, balthazar said:

EVs would probably be 15% of the market by now. ;)

Naw more like 5% due to the battery limits of the 70's, 80's and 90's. On after 2000 did we seem to make the breakthroughs that are getting us there.

But who knows maybe some smart guys would have figured out the battery issues sooner. ;) 

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Bullshyte!

The peeps would be discoing all night long to the wonderful buzz of electrics if we started electrics in the 70s

 

They'd be powered by the Energy Bunny....you know...its just keeps going and going and going and going dancing to MJ's disco beat!

Dont stop 'til you get enough!

 

The EVs in the 70s would be frightening....because they would be like thunder....LIGHNTING!

By the time the 1980s would come around....we'd all be driving on Electric Avenue

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

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Well, there actually were numerous electric car attempts in the '70s, GM had a program in the late '60s (along with a hard look at steam). The smart guys couldn't seem to make it work is one factor, but the Final Factor is always the consumer.

Naw more like 5% due to the battery limits of the 70's, 80's and 90's.

But to your response... are you saying that if OEMs had started seriously working on EVs in the 1970s, that we'd actually be BEHIND where we are today (5% vs. 6%)??

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1 hour ago, balthazar said:

Well, there actually were numerous electric car attempts in the '70s, GM had a program in the late '60s (along with a hard look at steam). The smart guys couldn't seem to make it work is one factor, but the Final Factor is always the consumer.

But to your response... are you saying that if OEMs had started seriously working on EVs in the 1970s, that we'd actually be BEHIND where we are today (5% vs. 6%)??

Yes, I look at the gains we made in technology in the 70's and 80's and from that standpoint it looks more like a 5% by now due to the slow ramp. Only in the 21st century have we seen rapid growth and change in battery tech. A wide variety of this is due to the tech industry having computers strong enough to help assess and virtually test ideas with results much faster than actual build and test, throw away and start over again methodes.

JMHO :) 

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