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Car guys have blind spots

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10/14/2009 10:00 PM EDT

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Ocelot0
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re: Car guys have blind spots
Ocelot0   10/20/2009 7:53:14 PM
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Well, I actually own a 1952 MG TD, and a 1968 MG Midget. While they are both "fun to drive", they are also NOT road cars, at least not today's roads... The gearing is way too low for freeway speeds. They are noisy & uncomfortable for long trips. I also own a 1998 BMW Z3, which I actually take to the race track, where I *do* use the capabilities that it has. There are places for high-performance cars other than the street, and there will be people who actually make use of it.

AlexKovnat
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re: Car guys have blind spots
AlexKovnat   10/20/2009 2:45:47 PM
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Morrie: Your article raises some important points. The majority of us who drive, don't need 150+ miles per hour speed capability, nor do we need to accelerate from 0 to 60 in only 4 seconds. The question is, what level of performance are YOU comfortable with? In late 1978 I bought my first transverse-engine, front wheel drive car. Its performance would be considered mediocre by car guys: 0 to 60 miles per hour took something like 15 seconds. Many car enthusiasts would be more comfortable with 0 to 60 in, let's say, 9 or 10 seconds. Some folks might settle for a car that takes 12 seconds to reach 60 miles per hour. How many seconds from 0 to 60 are you willing to accept? You mention that the 1945 MG's engine was rated at 55 HP. We must remember however, that at that time we didn't have people like Ralph Nader screaming for ever more stringent safety requirements for other people's cars. Today, not only are people like Nader screaming for ever more stringent safety requirements, like doubled roof crush strength, but also (especially in nutty states like California) for 40+ MPG fuel economy requirements. So its important for all of us to ask ourselves, if we don't need to accelerate from 0 to 60 in only 4.5 seconds, what performance level are we comfortable with? I have been concerned for 30 years, and am more concerned than ever, that if car-haters continue to demand ever more stringent safety standards AND extreme fuel economy requirements, my 1979 Plymouth Horizon (which I drove from late 1978 to early 1987), with its 0-60 time of 15 seconds, will be a hot rod by comparison with what we may have to settle for. Today, we are accustomed to travel on highways at a sustained speed of 60 if not 70 miles per hour. When I hit the road to visit the family I left behind in Chicago when I moved to southeastern Michigan, I'm willing to settle for 100 kilometers per hour (~62 miles per hour). But again, if auto-hating intellectuals keep on hammering the auto industry with ever-higher safety and fuel economy demands, we might end up having to settle for sustained speeds no more than 45 miles per hour. So if we don't need cars that can sustain 120 miles per hour, what sustained speed are we willing to settle for? We may not need supercars like those made by Ferrari, but we do need to ask ourselves what the purpose of the automobile industry is. Is it to meet the practical wants and needs of everyday people like you and me for our own cars? Or the emotional and ego needs of intellectuals for more and more safety features and extreme fuel economy requirements for other people's cars?

anon9303122
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re: Car guys have blind spots
anon9303122   10/20/2009 2:25:09 PM
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That's what the market is all about. When gas gets too expensive, the 600+ HP muscle cars won't sell enough anymore. I believe it is important to have these high end vehicles as they drive a lot of technology that benefits the rest of the fleet. When it's cost effective to implement fuel efficient solutions, it will happen.

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