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Do We Really Need Cars That Can Go 130mph?

06/15/2011 6:28 PM

I have noticed from a list of cars in Road and Track, that most normal size cars can reach 120-130mph, excluding exotics and muscle cars. No one drives this fast on the highway unless they are trying to escape a police chase. So why do they make cars that can go that fast? While we complain about fuel efficiency, wouldn't lowering the top speed of cars to a reasonable speed of say 100mph, through the use of smaller engines and re-gearing get fuel consumption up into the 40's and 50's?

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#1

Re: Do We Really Need Cars That Can Go 130mph?

06/15/2011 7:08 PM

Perhaps, but who'd want to drive one? "They" build what sells.

The other problem I see is that a vehicle large enough to haul a family of 5 safely, has to be big and heavy. It takes 150 HP to get one of these up to freeway speed in a timely manner, then as long as the power's there, why not use it.

But then, I drive a 6000# 4 door, full size pickup. It's never been over 80 since I've owned it.

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#2

Re: Do We Really Need Cars That Can Go 130mph?

06/15/2011 7:12 PM

130? I wouldn't look at anything that couldn't zip past 150!

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#3
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Re: Do We Really Need Cars That Can Go 130mph?

06/15/2011 7:24 PM

We used to have photo radar on some freeways here. More than once some guy in a little sedan of some kind would be clocked at over 140. They interviewed a tech who worked on them and he said, "yes they can go that fast. They could go faster, but the 'chip' shuts them down at that speed".

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#10
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Re: Do We Really Need Cars That Can Go 130mph?

06/16/2011 9:37 AM

The first time I pushed my 2005 Bonneville up to the shutdown (115, I think) it scared the hell out of me. I was thinking that I blew the engine. The computer just killed the spark and engine braking commenced. It picked up again around 85.

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#32
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Re: Do We Really Need Cars That Can Go 130mph?

06/17/2011 8:34 AM

We do it, because we can.

Yeah..............150 gotta love it.

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#4

Re: Do We Really Need Cars That Can Go 130mph?

06/15/2011 8:14 PM

It's not necessarily the top speed that's important, it's the ability to accelerate quickly to merge into heavy traffic, to quickly pass long trucks on the freeway, to move against a stiff headwind, haul a loaded trailer uphill -- these things require power, and that same power just 'happens' to yield a high speed in top gear. I've got an SUV that can do 140 mph. I never plan to drive that fast, but the power is very handy at times. By driving carefully I can get nearly 30 mpg; not spectacular, but not shabby either.

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#36
In reply to #4

Re: Do We Really Need Cars That Can Go 130mph?

06/17/2011 9:09 AM

Would you mind telling me what kind of SUV you have? I'm in the market for a new one, and it sounds like what you have would fit my needs, also. Thanks.

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#5

Re: Do We Really Need Cars That Can Go 130mph?

06/15/2011 10:04 PM

You only say that because you have never seriously driven a performance car nor driven on a track.

Drive what you like; drive a Smart Car if that is what makes you happy, just stay out of the left lane, please.

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#8
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Re: Do We Really Need Cars That Can Go 130mph?

06/16/2011 3:52 AM

Unless you're in UK, Oz, Singapore, etc in which case stay in it!

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#11
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Re: Do We Really Need Cars That Can Go 130mph?

06/16/2011 9:38 AM

That's a bold statement. Do you know this guy? Oh, btw, the left lane is for passing people, not pissing them off.

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#14
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Re: Do We Really Need Cars That Can Go 130mph?

06/16/2011 3:42 PM

While I don't know Ron personally, I probably know him better than you know me. I feel he is an upstanding guy on this forum.

As I said, if you knew me better you would better recognize tongue-in-cheek when you read it. ;-)

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#21
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Re: Do We Really Need Cars That Can Go 130mph?

06/16/2011 4:20 PM

Sorry...didn't mean to impose myself in your discussion.

I do think your posts are some of the best, btw.

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#89
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Re: Do We Really Need Cars That Can Go 130mph?

06/17/2011 8:22 PM

Your avatar is too small to see the tongue in cheek without extra strong glasses.

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#94
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Re: Do We Really Need Cars That Can Go 130mph?

06/17/2011 9:13 PM

Consider it an eye test. ;-)

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#30
In reply to #11

Re: Do We Really Need Cars That Can Go 130mph?

06/17/2011 5:16 AM

Not in the UK we drive on the proper side of the road (left) so the right lane is for passing people.

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#82
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Re: Do We Really Need Cars That Can Go 130mph?

06/17/2011 5:49 PM

So if you only drive on the proper "left" side of the road, what happens when you drive the same road going in the other direction. Syntax is tricky eh? Using your syntax, for defining travel would be only half correct. Sundog

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#85
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Re: Do We Really Need Cars That Can Go 130mph?

06/17/2011 6:37 PM

No, the side you drive on is defined by which way you are facing. Andy K is syntactically correct. Not so tricky really.

As a matter of historical interest, we have been driving on the left (or to be more accurate "passing on the left") for thousands of years, The reason for passing on the left was to have your right hand available either to shake hands, or to wield the sword, to the person coming the other way. You would all still be driving on the left were it not for Napoleon (you can check historical references if you wish). To pass on the right, and thus use the left hand for handshakes or fisticuffs would have been considered very sinister (check derivation of sinister).

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#28
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Re: Do We Really Need Cars That Can Go 130mph?

06/17/2011 3:41 AM

Thanks good for speed, live would be so boring, and thanks for the German and Japanese technology that makes this possible and safely. It is this speed that made cars so light and economical. Love doing 220 km/h and know that I am sipping only about 6 liter per 100 km. It is this need that made engineers think.

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#6

Re: Do We Really Need Cars That Can Go 130mph?

06/15/2011 11:17 PM

I fully agree with USBport on this one. In many applications the power is there for different reasons and the speed capacity is secondary to the intended design not primary.

I had a 1985 Ford F150 4WD that I put a built up 460 with a E4OD overdrive behind it that I set up specifically for heavy towing. In theory the engine could have pushed that pickup well past the 140+ MPH range which is way the design limits for the tires it had and the pickup in general.

Just because it can do it doesn't mean it has too or was ever intended too!

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#7

Re: Do We Really Need Cars That Can Go 130mph?

06/16/2011 3:47 AM

If you live in Germany then yes you need it, otherwise you need the power to go to the next red light

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#9

Re: Do We Really Need Cars That Can Go 130mph?

06/16/2011 5:13 AM

No, not with the UK's current road congestion levels. Well, not south of Perth, anyway.

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#12

Re: Do We Really Need Cars That Can Go 130mph?

06/16/2011 2:58 PM

The point I was trying to make and everyone failed to pick up on was fuel consumption. I agree with everyone that having a fast car and being able to go fast is an exhilarating feeling, but fuel economy is at the top of everyone's agenda. How much longer can we keep giving the Saudis our money for the privilege to drive fast. While we make them richer, we make ourselves poorer. I know it's a question of selfishness; "It's my money and I'm willing to spend whatever it takes to do what I want" without regard for anyone or anything else. It's me first. You have that right, but we will all pay for it in the end. I drove fast cars back in the 50's when gas was 25¢ a gallon. I finally grew up and didn't want to drive that fast or aggressively any more. High speeds whether you use it or not still costs in terms of fuel economy. Jack rabbit starts and pedal to the metal all cost. Horsepower costs money. How many are willing to accept even higher fuel costs People in other countries have been paying over $6 a gallon. Their solution has been smaller and less powerful cars. I know we tried it in this country back in the 50's with the Crosley, "hotshot" and others. We even tried it by importing cars from the UK (Morris Minor), France (Renault), Germany (VW), Italy (Fiat) and Japan and it didn't go anywhere. We had been weaned on large, fast cars and cheap gas after WWII and it is tough to go backwards. Federal regulations wiped out the import market through EPA regulations. Only those imports that conformed to EPA survived. Those EPA regs cost us in terms of fuel economy.

Cars don't have to go 130mph to have good acceleration. The proper gearing can get us 0-60 in the same time it does now by limiting top speed. It's just a matter of selecting the right gear for each power band. We now have 6 speed transmissions in muscle cars. Those transmissions can be expanded to suit a narrower band. I don't know how ro do it, but maybe you know. If I could find a family car that could reach 100mph and accelerate 0-60 in 7 seconds and get 40+ mpg, I would consider that ideal and reasonable and dooable.

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#13
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Re: Do We Really Need Cars That Can Go 130mph?

06/16/2011 3:21 PM

So basically, you want speed limited cars? You want 0-60 in 7 seconds but still want good mileage. That's pretty quick, but pure electrics do it faster with no gas. You need a hybrid, like the Honda civic. I think they are ugly, but they meet your specs. Just have the dealership lower the speed limiter. Now, it may set you back a bit, but it's what you're specifying.

A lot of those mfrs. you mentioned are the ones who have higher speed limits (or none) in their country of manufacture. Federal regs shut down domestics, not imports. Japan, Korea, Germany, etc. kicked our ass all over the place in the 70's and 80's and continue to do so on a lesser scale today. Except, Korea, they're still kicking our ass.

Now, all of your Chryslers are Fiats by ownership. Maybe you can see a return to those good 'ole days, eh?

Why do you want a family car that can reach 100? In the U.S., that is purely useless as far as the laws go, unless you live in Montana. I don't think Montanans buy enough cars in that state to warrant manufacturers changing their production runs.

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#15
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Re: Do We Really Need Cars That Can Go 130mph?

06/16/2011 3:51 PM

100 mph was just an arbitrary number so as not to turn too many away. I didn't have Chrysler in mind. Fiat makes small efficient cars like the 500 series. Of course cost is a major factor. It seems quite reasonable to make a car to sell for under 25K.

I wonder what would happen if the gov mandated domestic cars to under 100mph, fuel economy better than 40mpg. Would all the speed freaks (no insult intended) go buy foreign cars that met their requirements if no longer available in the U.S. of A.?

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#23
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Re: Do We Really Need Cars That Can Go 130mph?

06/16/2011 4:30 PM

Lord almighty, we'd be in a fine mess then, wouldn't we? People don't seem to understand (in this country, anyway) that driving is a privilege. The gov't can do anything they want, they run the show and we pay them to do it.

Interestingly enough, the fastest new car I had was my Hyundai Tiburon(my best was 133). My Bonneville had the speed limiter, but was much worse on gas and required hi-test to boot (Northstar V-8).

If the gov't mandated it, mfrs would make them. I saw the commercial for the new Civic hybrid yesterday. It's advertised at 44 mpg. Of course, Japan wants to sell cars...they are having financial woes themselves, who cares where the money comes from (your poor trade partner who owes you big time in investment bonds). China is going to start selling cars here en masse soon. Watch the mileage skyrocket then.

Interesting comparison, though, is the sub-minis from the 60's and 70's to today's cars. The Beetle is flippin' huge compared to an old Bug. The Mini isn't so mini anymore either. We don't get the A class European cars here due to impact standards and emissions (!?).

We just don't get it in America.

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#92
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Re: Do We Really Need Cars That Can Go 130mph?

06/17/2011 8:46 PM

If the gov't mandated it, mfrs would make them.

So if the govt mandated that all cars sold in US must get 400 MPG, the manufacturers would know how to build them? Well why doesn' t the govt just mandate 200 mile charge range on electrics?

Why do you think that Detroit Diesel stopped building engines for fire equipment for a year? Unrealistic emission standards.

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#91
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Re: Do We Really Need Cars That Can Go 130mph?

06/17/2011 8:34 PM

0-60 in 7 flat, 100mph, and 40 mpg.

How about the engine out of any of today's 30 plus MPG compacts installed in an old MG? Almost half the weight of today's cars. For that matter, an early Toyota, or Datsun (Nissan) would probably do it as well.

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#96
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Re: Do We Really Need Cars That Can Go 130mph?

06/17/2011 9:26 PM

Yeah, vehicle weight has really jumped up. I personally like the feel of a light and responsive car. However, you are competing with 50% of todays vehicles weighing 5,000 to 7,000 lbs (read that as SUVs) the < 2,000 lb roadster of yesterday is nothing more than a trashcan on wheels.

Maybe a better description is a tin coffin on wheels.

Look at passenger cars that are 20+ years old and compare them to today's compact cars. Notice how much taller the trunks are and bigger in size. It is very had to find a car under 3,000 lbs today.

Even a Prius is 2,971 lbs!

Why is that? To keep you from being squashed by someone's Sport Utility Vehicle that probably never sees anything rougher than the shoulder of the road.

I just saw an article that claims that most Americans are simply too "fat" to comfortably fit into a compact (let alone sub-compact) car.

Sorry Dell, but it seems that Americans are a lot like cats. They fill the volume of whatever vessel you put them in.

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#135
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Re: Do We Really Need Cars That Can Go 130mph?

06/20/2011 3:21 PM

I would bet that the required crash safety test requirements by regulation have had a large say in the increased weight!

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#17
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Re: Do We Really Need Cars That Can Go 130mph?

06/16/2011 4:03 PM

I hope you never run for political office. This is still the land of the free. If you want a fast car and can afford it who is to say you can't? And for the record the Saudi's don't get near as much oil money as Canada

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#18
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Re: Do We Really Need Cars That Can Go 130mph?

06/16/2011 4:04 PM

You wrote, "...but fuel economy is at the top of everyone's agenda."

How can you make that claim? People still buy big trucks and SUVs. If you were serious about putting economy first Prius would dominate the roadways.

While I think there is plenty of evidence that people are more economy conscious today, there clearly hasn't been a religious conversion to high mileage vehicles.

You wrote, "How much longer can we keep giving the Saudis our money for the privilege to drive fast."

The problem is really a political one, not a geological one. We import about 15% of our oil from the Mid East. That is not a whole lot, but it sure gets more attention than the fact we import most of our oil from Canada.

We could have easily cut off all Mid East imports if we had so desired a long time ago. It has been our own government and the environmentalists that refuse to utilize our own resources. We probably have more energy locked up in our country than the whole Mid East. We just are not allowed to harvest it.

You wrote, "Cars don't have to go 130mph to have good acceleration. The proper gearing can get us 0-60 in the same time it does now by limiting top speed."

Just because my car will do 190 mph does not in any way mean that I drive that fast. I don't drive any faster than you or the next guy (and I have no tickets to prove it). Sure, most cars can easily exceed the speed limit, but virtually no one drives 130 mph, so it makes no difference if you had a speed governor on the car or not. People just drive the way they drive and that is a whole lot less than the car is capable of.

The auto industry has something for everyone. If a Smart Car floats your boat, then you should get one and drive happy. If you want a large SUV, make yourself happy, too.

People drive what they want. When resources to fuel those cars gets scarce, prices will go up. When prices go up, people will change their driving style and possibly what they drive, too.

It's a self correcting problem. It's called the free market. Well, in the US it is mostly free.

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#19
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Re: Do We Really Need Cars That Can Go 130mph?

06/16/2011 4:08 PM

I mentioned Canada first, did you miss my "plagiarism" post? jk

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#20
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Re: Do We Really Need Cars That Can Go 130mph?

06/16/2011 4:17 PM

Yeah, I was still typing all those extra letters and arrived late to the party. Brevity is the soul of wit. ;-)

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#56
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Re: Do We Really Need Cars That Can Go 130mph?

06/17/2011 11:38 AM

People buy large trucks because they need a big truck. If you have a lot of stuff to haul, there is no other option. People buy SUV's because they have the money to do so. For the rest of us who are not as affluent, fuel consumption is a major factor.With hybrid and electric technology, we are not there yet. Top speed would be determined by transmission gearing, not engine limiters. With the proper gears, you can have your cake and eat it too. Smaller wheels give better acceleration than the 17 and 18 inch wheels on today's new cars. In this country, it always seems to be too little, too late. We wait until the price of gas hits $5 before screaming. Then it's now too late. Anything done to fix the problem will also have a high price tag passed on to the consumer. Those who have the money are not affected; they can always afford any increase.If they want to drive muscle cars, that's fine. For the rest of us, we are at the mercy of government and corporate America. I have a 2001 Chevy pickup truck. I can't afford to buy a new, more fuel efficient vehicle so I have to make do with what I got. There may come a time when I will not be able to afford to drive at all. I'm too old to take up bike riding.

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#25
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Re: Do We Really Need Cars That Can Go 130mph?

06/17/2011 2:33 AM

Hi Ronseto... I do agree with your point of view.. I'm in Australia. (woohoo).. with the automotive technology the way it is today. it would not be too hard to program a vehicle to have the acceleration performance to overtake in traffic but still limit it's top speed. Given curtain inputs from the engine controller, transmission controller etc; once the unit has hit max power output the vehicle will not go over an 'arbitrary' limit... Honda for one make can shut down cylinders when the power is not needed which is a great idea.. unfortunately.. It all comes down to politics & money... time & time again...

over time there has been some great fuel saving inventions put out buy some brilliant designers.. not all engineers, but still making head way into alternative fuels... these get brought by fuel companies.. locked up in a safe place out of harms way..

Fuel companies do show support with new technologies... but they are dragging the chain for a good reason.. Stock holders, heehee ... oh dear starting to drift now.. :) Just think of the number fewer number of speed related fatalities we would have if speed limiting devices were made compulsory... You most likely would not need that air-bag system... If the crash doesn't kill you... the air-bag most likely would.. :)

A Topic that we could go on for a long time...

cheers for now

A-J

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#40
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Re: Do We Really Need Cars That Can Go 130mph?

06/17/2011 9:58 AM

Thanks for the GTO, too bad we couldn't just keep it as a Holden but the marketing wizards had their way with that.

I wish muscle was more affordable here.

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#48
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Re: Do We Really Need Cars That Can Go 130mph?

06/17/2011 10:28 AM

I know I like my 500 hp at rear wheel!!! 2003 Cobra Terminator.

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#52
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Re: Do We Really Need Cars That Can Go 130mph?

06/17/2011 10:53 AM

Yah, nice. I like the sport bars in the Mustangs.

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#29
In reply to #12

Re: Do We Really Need Cars That Can Go 130mph?

06/17/2011 3:42 AM

Ronseto, I hear you loud and clear and unfortunately the cars that you can get in the US don't match the cars available in Europe for performance and economy. Over 50% of the cars sold in Europe are diesel and the new generation of diesel engines are amazing in terms of performance and economy. Ever seen a diesel BMW, Volvo, Ford sedan? They are quite popular here! I have a 1.9 liter TDI with a 6 speed in my car and I get 40+ mpg unless I get a bad case of lead foot...but then again even with that it still gets above 30. Acceleration onto the freeway, passing a long truck or running 125 MPH is not a problem.

Some of the new models here are getting upwards of 70 MPG (but then again, they are using 1.0 or 1.2 liter turbocharged diesels and I can't speak to performance) so the technology does exist, it will just take a while to catch on elsewhere.

Too bad cars like this are not readily available in the States but with "cheap" gas prices (fuel is $8 to 10 a gal. here) in the states 15 or 20 MPG is not too much of a hit in the old pocketbook and until prices rise significantly you will not see much improvement in fuel economy. As was stated earlier, the car manufacturers "make what sells" so big, powerful, thirsty cars are in.

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#43
In reply to #29

Re: Do We Really Need Cars That Can Go 130mph?

06/17/2011 10:02 AM

Diesel is somewhat out of place here for some odd reason. I strived to find a TDI Jetta a few years ago when prices were going up and up. At the time I lived in Virginia. Then over the following years and prices fluctuated diesel became more expensive than the hi-octane unleaded. What the hell!?! On the west coast where I now reside, it's even worse.

I don't think you are going to see Americans flocking to diesel anytime soon...especially if it only comes in the upper class imports (and monster pickups) and the fuel is so damned expensive.

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#16

Re: Do We Really Need Cars That Can Go 130mph?

06/16/2011 4:01 PM

I don't see that electrics or hybrids are the answer. We have too much technology invested in internal combustion engines to drop it now. Electrics and hybrids work, but they are far from ic engines in technology. There was an argument going around that said "if steam locomotive technology had been allowed to go on instead of switching to diesel locomotives, steam today would be the main means of power". That we will never know. We have too much invested in certain technologies to just abandon them in favor of something new. It's almost like starting with a clean slate and reinventing everything.

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#39
In reply to #16

Re: Do We Really Need Cars That Can Go 130mph?

06/17/2011 9:48 AM

to what clean slate are you referring. Most of the world has a pretty full slate of technology that can provide very high mpg. We don't buy it yet, because it is still too cheap to operate large fun cars.

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#51
In reply to #16

Re: Do We Really Need Cars That Can Go 130mph?

06/17/2011 10:34 AM

I don't know that the "too much techology invested..." argument holds water.

What about the technology investments in:

Cassette Tapes/VHS tapes

Floppy Disks

Analog Television Broadcasts

Tube Televisions

Land-line telephones

<insert your own dead or dying technology here>

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#22

Re: Do We Really Need Cars That Can Go 130mph?

06/16/2011 4:22 PM

Yes. What we need even more is a general public that has some idea of how to keep their personal opinions to themselves. Thus the advent of a question that has only one practical protocol, which is to insight those with little more than a personal opinion to freely give it up.

Man and his foolish opinions are easily separated.

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#24

Re: Do We Really Need Cars That Can Go 130mph?

06/17/2011 12:25 AM

I've driven 130+, and yeah it's fun; but no... we definately don't need them, unless the vehicle has a number on it, has a sponsor, and is used for the sport of competitive auto racing. I think the country can take a hit to a few thousand bruised machismo ego's, and still survive. The practical benefits (i.e. SAFETY of my FAMILY on the roads, fuel economy, etc.) outweigh the downside, IMHO. Never should the needs of a few outweigh the needs of the many. Of course it'll never happen. Big business will always win, regardless of anyone's needs.

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#26

Re: Do We Really Need Cars That Can Go 130mph?

06/17/2011 3:06 AM

Do these guys who drive gas guzzlers, also have solar panels on their home, solar water heating and "green" houses? If yes, then thats a classic contradiction - drive fast, burn more fuel and then go solar!!!

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#65
In reply to #26

Re: Do We Really Need Cars That Can Go 130mph?

06/17/2011 3:05 PM

Yes we do otherwise I would have no need for dual chutes, 17" 6 piston brakes, or 2200 hp.

If my car could only achieve 130 mph:
A) I would not have a 250k/Year sponsor
B) I would have no job
C) I would have no hobby
D) My Lady would leave me
E) Most Important I would feel like my life was mired in mud

6.27 256mph 4 times a day for 3 days is my prescription for a happy life. I know that at 12GPM I am using lots of fuel, and as an automotive systems eng. I understand the polluting angle, sound pollution, and general rejection of the green's.

I also am the patent holder of several A/C Delco emissions and mileage related devises, that were used on all GM cars, so am I even? I doubt it.

I say my addiction to acceleration is the reason I do what I do,
and anyone who watches 1 pass and sees a 55 Chevy go 250+in 1/4 mile that doesn't get that tummy thrill, has no soul. We need that release to keep that sense of relevance and to quell a high speed wanderlust that we all have. Any way It works for me.

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#66
In reply to #65

Re: Do We Really Need Cars That Can Go 130mph?

06/17/2011 3:10 PM

You've made a good point, but it doesn't really apply. I may be wrong, but I don't think the original question was meant to apply to race cars. I believe we're discussing vehicles on the highways. Nobody is calling for a ban on professional motorsports; at least not as far as this thread is concerned.

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#75
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Re: Do We Really Need Cars That Can Go 130mph?

06/17/2011 4:32 PM

At the Motocraft NHRA nationals last year we had our trailer tires flattened and the side of our trailer painted with a saying that I can't repeat here, but I'm still trying to figure out how to **** racing??? Your right about the thread relevance. I do caution against limiting the focus of threads, as ignoring the peripheral tends to limit ones knowledge of what happens around ya. Thanks for your comment, and I will try to be more focused

Sundog

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#68
In reply to #65

Re: Do We Really Need Cars That Can Go 130mph?

06/17/2011 3:16 PM

I hear you brother.

I'm not a drag fan, but I ride 45 mile hare scramble enduro's on my 250, frequently traveling 200 miles, pulling a trailer, for a whole weekend of time commitment. That's a lot of fuel. It's fun to go fast, huh?

I don't even get paid, and I'm not that good at it. But I'm getting my thrill. Maybe our grandkids won't get to do what I do. But there will be cowboys buying old F-16's and raising hell to get their thrill, just like the people buying Bugatti Veyron's, your chevy screamer, and my Husqvarna 250. I'm pretty sure I'd enjoy a beer with you.

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#74
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Re: Do We Really Need Cars That Can Go 130mph?

06/17/2011 4:19 PM

A beer sounds great. I toast you with a Longboard ale and wish you well with your Husky. My Lady likes the travel part, we use a Alumalite 45ft hauler/camper and always stay at the track with friends. To me that is most of the fun..

Cheers Sundog

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#69
In reply to #65

Re: Do We Really Need Cars That Can Go 130mph?

06/17/2011 3:21 PM

Most in this post are referring to street cars, but you have a point - if the track fulfills your need for speed & acceleration, you wouldn't need your street car to go 130 MPH!

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#73
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Re: Do We Really Need Cars That Can Go 130mph?

06/17/2011 4:12 PM

What if they are both a street car and a track car? Many people do that.

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#76
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Re: Do We Really Need Cars That Can Go 130mph?

06/17/2011 4:37 PM

Change the limiter chip when you go the the track? Will it still be street or modified?

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#83
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Re: Do We Really Need Cars That Can Go 130mph?

06/17/2011 5:51 PM

Why bother?

It's not like I have a problem with my driving. My car is bone stock, has a factory top speed of over 190 mph, but I have zero tickets with this car in spite of putting nearly 60,000 miles on the street in over 4 years.

So, why do I need a limiter? Why should anyone tell me how or what I should drive? Phooey!

Also, if such a chip could easily be changed out for track use would you really expect people to go through the trouble to swap chips every track day? I think people would swap it out only once in the first week of ownership, whether they ever go to the track or not.

You should listen to the scanner some time. I hear, every single day, multiple people being stopped by law enforcement and they either do not have a valid license or it has been revoked. However, that doesn't stop them from driving. Anything you try to do to prevent people from doing will enviably result in some entrepreneur creating some cheat to circumnavigate.

It offends me that I must surrender my rights and privileges just because there are a small percentage of immature people who abuse those rights and privileges. That is always the first line of attack that government seems to take and I feel it is wrong.

Okay, off my soap box. ;-)

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#84
In reply to #83

Re: Do We Really Need Cars That Can Go 130mph?

06/17/2011 6:32 PM

Mine only reads to 180 and is made for the autobahn (no tickets either) but I didn't buy it for the top end speed (it has never been much over 100), I bought it for the acceleration and handling. Your tires rated to 190?

The % of people who put their street car on the track is minuscule, so as long as they had the chip option (few others would buy it) it would not be limiting their freedom. Of course they would only change it once. Drag racers (like my son) who know how to handle a car at >>130 (more like 160 through the traps) also know that there is no public street in the USA where you can safely go that fast (not for long anyway).

I find it curious it seems I am defending a restriction of sorts. I am on your side when it comes to personal freedom (from NH - "Live Free or Die") and abhor most government restrictions, but in answering the question "do we really need cars that can go 130mph" I still would have to answer.........no.

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#86
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Re: Do We Really Need Cars That Can Go 130mph?

06/17/2011 6:40 PM

Yes, the tires are rated for it.

You wrote, "...but in answering the question "do we really need cars that can go 130mph" I still would have to answer.........no."

It doesn't matter what we need. If the consumer wants it and does not break the law, who's business is it to dictate someone else's needs?

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#131
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Re: Do We Really Need Cars That Can Go 130mph?

06/20/2011 2:52 PM

Generally I would agree with you regarding personal freedom, but somewhere a line is crossed when the purpose is to break the law and to threaten & take other peoples lives. I'm not referring to race tracks or autobahns, but government provided, maintained & monitored roads/streets. I would not complain (and it would affect my vehicle choice) if I was told from the start that my car could only legally be driven on the race track (or at least not on public roads).

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#133
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Re: Do We Really Need Cars That Can Go 130mph?

06/20/2011 3:09 PM

I agree 100%. As I said before, my family is on those same roads. I'll be damned if the highly ambiguous and subjective ideal of "individual freedom" is going to take precedence over the lives of my family and their level of safety. And you all know as well as I do, that if a car "can" go 130 mph on public roads... there will be those that will make it go 130 mph on public roads.

Frankly, given the argument that I just presented, I'm quite surprised at the number of contradictory arguments that are being put forth here. If you kill my daughter because you were going 65 mph in a 65 mph zone, but your tire blew out... I will mourn with you. But if you kill my daughter because you were going 130 mph in a 65 mph zone, and you rear-ended her when she pulled into the passing lane... I might just have to take vengeance.

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#123
In reply to #83

Re: Do We Really Need Cars That Can Go 130mph?

06/19/2011 9:22 PM

You feel correctly:

It is even more infuriating that once that level of intrusion is reached, it never goes back. This subjective approach is the shotgun used to thin the butterfly. It places us all in the vacuum of of the blast and seldom actually hits the target. Their are levels of driver competence, why not levels of driver rights. Speed limits are arbitrary and usually established by some "Civil engineer", that followed some vague formula derived by some cynical moron, that got a ticket for speeding, then sold the who unsafe issue to some politician that has a chauffeur and immunity from such laws.

Is this a great country, or what.....

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#77
In reply to #69

Re: Do We Really Need Cars That Can Go 130mph?

06/17/2011 4:46 PM

Uh my street car is a GT500. I do ride my scooter (50cc roughhouse) around town, for errands and at the track but I know that hardly makes up for my transgressions on the track and open highway. My old boss at GM said that my Block learn/integrator circuits gained an average of 1.45 mpg for the whole fleet for 8 years 11.6 million gallons or so. I still have a ways to go to break even, eh.

Thanks for your message and I really am concerned about the mileage issues but perhaps from a different angle.

Sundog

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#80
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Re: Do We Really Need Cars That Can Go 130mph?

06/17/2011 5:17 PM

I'm envious, you have my dream car! Hope to restore one or build a kit when I retire.

I can't say I'm too serious about mileage driving an E63 AMG.

My son's '68 Camaro (not "street-able") breaks 8 seconds - can't compare to your machine, but not too shabby.

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#112
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Re: Do We Really Need Cars That Can Go 130mph?

06/18/2011 2:32 PM

Thanks U NO WHO

The 500 is more than I expected. Every time I boo boo while driving it's like uncle Shel is there say nope, this way. I love just about everything that AMG has ever done, in the 80's my older brother had a 6.9 AMG sedan that would cruise (and I do mean cruise) at 160 mph all day long. We got our speed legs solidly planted with that car, great memories. Any 7 second Camaro is a dear friend of mine. It takes lots of time and money to field any car that runs sub10's. The math always amazed me. Why does the next 1/10th of a second cost twice as much as the last and 1/3rd as much as the next.

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#146
In reply to #112

Re: Do We Really Need Cars That Can Go 130mph?

06/20/2011 5:06 PM

The crossing of the laws of physics with the laws of economics yields the net math relationship we all know so well. Plus you have to be willing to live the "race it, break it, fix it, repeat" aspect without it ruining the rest of your life!

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#106
In reply to #65

Re: Do We Really Need Cars That Can Go 130mph?

06/18/2011 7:36 AM

Too true Sundog... but you do it on the track. which I also find thrilling..

but to have vehicles that have the capability to do this, & people who have no idea on how to handle the power is a dangerous mixture...

Especially when there are thousands of them on the road at the same time... It is bad enough as it is with out adding to the mixture ....

cheers for now

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#113
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Re: Do We Really Need Cars That Can Go 130mph?

06/18/2011 2:51 PM

AJ

100% agree and still at times I'm guilty of pushing the limits. I find that the limits have grown faster than my abilities. So I'm chasing dreams again ( I find that part challenging) I really do try to keep it under control. Here on Maui (surprisingly) there are a large number of high-performance cars, yet the Police will often u-turn and follow just to harass us. I pull over and turn on my flashers and pick up my cell phone. Can't be too safe with these guys around.

Sundog

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#143
In reply to #106

Re: Do We Really Need Cars That Can Go 130mph?

06/20/2011 4:47 PM

While it's not mentioned in Ronseto's original post, you have hit on a significant part of the whole "need" picture. A vehicle that does 130 (or faster) is a life threatening condition for most drivers. Few (like Sundog) know how to handle a vehicle safely at that speed.

If we have to have insurance for the "privilege" (not a right) of driving (in most states), why not a speed limiter for a vehicle registered for a public road? I would not want to give up the handling, performance (or mileage), but the top end speed on a public road does not seem like too much to give up. We accept rev limiters so save engines, why not speed limiters to save lives?

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#152
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Re: Do We Really Need Cars That Can Go 130mph?

06/20/2011 8:45 PM

A little creepier, perhaps... but a couple companies have developed devices that record your driving performance, and forward the data to your insurance company. Based on that data, (you drive slowly, don't generate a lot of G force, have no panic stops, etc) your insurance company can offer you a lower rate.

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#158
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Re: Do We Really Need Cars That Can Go 130mph?

06/21/2011 8:37 AM

A lot creepy! I can't see how the "Big Brother watching" will be accepted in any substantial way.

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#27

Re: Do We Really Need Cars That Can Go 130mph?

06/17/2011 3:31 AM

People don't seem to notice that even trucks that have 0-60 times in the minutes make it onto the freeway. I have just about the slowest car available, and it still out-performs the U-haul I came here in.

Thanks for mentioning Canadian Oil. The Tar Sands project is a blight on the whole planet, killing our northern population, again.

It is a lot more fun to drive a slow car fast, than to drive a fast car slow. I don't even get up to the speed limit unless I'm blocking a lot of traffic, and I'm quite used to the travel times. The true value of a gallon of gas is known by a guy who is trying scrounge one up for a rototiller.

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#31
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Re: Do We Really Need Cars That Can Go 130mph?

06/17/2011 6:02 AM

You bang on about fuel economy at lower speeds ,but here is the thing,

As a school, we entered into the Shell Eco Marathon, Youth Challenge and whilest we were running around the track (a 2K oval) we tried several methods of getting best fuel performance.

The Blast and coast method, accellerate up to V Max, then drop to about 10mph to average the speed and maximise the MPG.

The gentle accellerate to V Max, then cot to drop to 10mph.

The b@11s out flying lap to get best time.

Suprisingly, the best we got was over 400mpg (not huge in the event, but impressive none the less) and this was achieved on the final all out run.

The thing that needs to be addressed is not the overall V Max of the vehicle, but the correlation between aerodynamic drag and input power as the more power you need to get to V Max, the more fuel you use, so reduce the drag and you get a two fold benefit, better MPG, higher V Max.

If you streamline the vehicle, you reduce the drag and as such, you improve ecconomy.

Great with family cars and to a certain extent LGV vans, but bigger trucks you have a problem.

At the end of the day, you have the choice to buy and drive a huge car and pay through the nose to run it, or to have a small car and run it on peanuts.

For those of you who have the cash, you can have several vehicles for each purpose and keep everyone happy.

Just look at the Holywood celebs, who on chat shows tell everyone they have a Hybrid, but neglect to tell them that they run a '63 Mustang on baby seal oil at the weekend.

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#34
In reply to #31

Re: Do We Really Need Cars That Can Go 130mph?

06/17/2011 9:04 AM

Where can I get some Baby Seal Oil?

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#44
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Re: Do We Really Need Cars That Can Go 130mph?

06/17/2011 10:10 AM

Too bad those cars that run on peanuts cost so damn much up front, which keeps them out of reach of the hippies.

I optioned out a Civic NGV and a standard Civic. Nearly the same mileage but nearly twice the cost! You can feel smug about 0 tailpipe emissions, but that's not a short-term wallet issue. The same goes for just about every hybrid out there. A 10%-20% increase in mileage, yet twice the cost for the car.

I hope Ed Begley enjoys himself, but we all cannot afford the cars, solar panels and hydrogen cells in our garages to power us cleanly and efficiently. It just isn't economically feasible at my level...not yet anyway.

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#45
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Re: Do We Really Need Cars That Can Go 130mph?

06/17/2011 10:20 AM

Good point Pete. But if you look at the total energy life cycle of a car, you're actually better off buying a (gently) used Honda or similar compact, keeping it in good condition, and driving conservatively.

That hybrid may run on peanuts today, but it took fillet mignon with sushi appetizers to make it. More of the same to safely dispose of it.

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#47
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Re: Do We Really Need Cars That Can Go 130mph?

06/17/2011 10:24 AM

Correct, exactly the point that smart car guys (Click and Clack) make. That's why I ended up with a used Jetta wagon, with the tiny 4-banger.

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#118
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Re: Do We Really Need Cars That Can Go 130mph?

06/19/2011 3:06 PM

Dolly

63 Mustang?? I must have missed that one. When I worked for GM we also had a test track (several actually) and we did fuel economy testing. This car got the best fuel mileage of all

It got 35.5 mpg at 165mph it was not running on baby seal oil or magical fuel from planet Zedi Alpha 4 (or 5) It was an Aerotech built by Oldsmobile. As the name implies it was very aero. It went 276 mph on a 2.8 litre 4 cyl. Quad 4 engine. in 1987 or 88, can't remember...

I know (suspect actually) that most on this blog are younger adults that swear that Honda or some other hybrid this or that invented the technology to pull down good fuel numbers. Totally wrong. The Aerotech program was scrapped by GM because the GOV. saw no real reason to subsidize further reductions in fuel eco research as they had taken the "bull by the horns" and had the situation under control. We now know that the Bull was indeed "under control" and still is to this day. I wouldn't worry too much about Hollyweed or California for that matter, the real problem (in America) lies somewhat more northeast in a land that is wholly owned by the Fuel companies.

None the less thanks for your efforts and genuine concern. Perhaps you could convince those in DC to shut the hell up and get out of the way. It's not impossible...

thanks for you work in this matter

Sundog

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#126
In reply to #118

Re: Do We Really Need Cars That Can Go 130mph?

06/20/2011 4:04 AM

Hiya,

Was just using random numbers and car names to make a point, did not mean to imply that there was some hidden vehicular project somewhere.

Mike

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#127
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Re: Do We Really Need Cars That Can Go 130mph?

06/20/2011 12:24 PM

Yeah, I really preferred the '59 Mustang, anyway

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#154
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Re: Do We Really Need Cars That Can Go 130mph?

06/20/2011 9:00 PM

Classic old Mustang eh.

My favorite was the 47 RS and the 47 SS Camaro with the tube type electronic am radio and the moose hide upholstery.

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#128
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Re: Do We Really Need Cars That Can Go 130mph?

06/20/2011 1:59 PM

Hi Mike

You mean there was some hidden vehicular project. General Motors was for the most part very open about projects that required public support. The thing that drove the general research underground was the spying and theft of intellectual property ie. copyrights and patented materials. It was so bad that GM requested that the FAA put in place restrictions for overflight of the Desert Proving Grounds, and got it.

Two visitors from the company formally know as Datsun were caught leaving with several rolls of film from some miniature "spy" camera. A Honda ex employee filed a grievance with the USPA claiming that I stole his idea and got a patent for my efforts A lack of research on his part failed him in a very embarrassing way. He failed to see that my patent had been renewed from the initial posting. For him to have filed the patent at the ripe old age of 4 would have required legal representation or possibly time travel.

Sundog

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#70
In reply to #27

Re: Do We Really Need Cars That Can Go 130mph?

06/17/2011 3:23 PM

You are delusional. Have you ever driven a fast car? Slow or fast, they are a lot more fun. Maybe you are referring to ride on top rototillers, and I will admit that I have no experience in that arena.

But I support your view of killing the northern population (again). When exactly was the first time?

BTW, we notice.

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#71
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Re: Do We Really Need Cars That Can Go 130mph?

06/17/2011 3:41 PM

Slow cars make up time on the corners. Applying skill is more satisfying than just burning rubber. It is also fun timing the lights, to pass the same muscle car ten times with barely any acceleration.

The Lubicon Cree made National Geographic over some previous atrocity, around '85 or so. The First Nations have been under attack one way or another for centuries. The Residential Schools may have been the largest, most recent atrocity, but may eventually be overtaken by the pollution from Uranium mining. The Saskatchewan Boreal forest is dying from acid rain now, too, from the tar sands.

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#33

Re: Do We Really Need Cars That Can Go 130mph?

06/17/2011 9:01 AM

It is our greed and need. Having 150 MPH make me to have one which will go for 200 MPH. This is push to new technology. If the car is safe at 200 it will be safer at 100 MPH.

I have one of the heavy one which first time I rented in Germany and drove at 160 kilometerper hour on German belt way and loved so much changed my lexus for that

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#35

Re: Do We Really Need Cars That Can Go 130mph?

06/17/2011 9:07 AM

I think one of the other responses pointed out that top speed is a consequence of the drive train mechanics needed for reasonable performance at legal speeds, not necessarily the end goal. My 200 hp, 147 ft-lb torque Acura RSX usually gets me ~30 mpg while getting to traffic speeds in a reasonable time. Unless I'm at the track, where I've exceeded 120 mph. Other, more efficient cars can eventually top out at over 100mph.

Here's my point though: why, as a vehicle manufacturer would you spend resources to limit top speed, without sacrificing significant performance at legal speeds, when no one is really calling for it? The RPMs needed for most modern cars to get to legal speeds in lower gears will result in extra-legal speeds in higher (highway speed efficient) gears so a simple lower rpm rev-limiter would be impractical. Some cars with modern ECUs have a stepped limiter to limit top speed, but why not 130mph or more? It's just an arbitrary number that has little to do with normal driving efficiency.

What Ronseto seems to be questioning, it seems to me, is a marketing question. Top speed is a measurable indicator of performance, but why is it important to us? When chosing a car, with all other things being equal according to our individual taste, we'll chose the car with the biggest performance numbers. Even when searching for peak efficiency.

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#37
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Re: Do We Really Need Cars That Can Go 130mph?

06/17/2011 9:14 AM

Well, we can go back to the 1980s where the US DOT mandated all speedometers have a maximum speed indication of 85 mph.

Of course that only lasted 1 year before the public screamed about it.

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#42
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Re: Do We Really Need Cars That Can Go 130mph?

06/17/2011 9:59 AM

I couldn't afford a new car in the 80s, so my speedometer went to 120 (I think)! It was a Ford Pinto so I was making sure no other vehicle was close behind me!

Even so, most cars I've driven would never reach the limit of the speedo with me driving, but it's a nice fantasy. That's what sells expensive stuff like cars, the fantasy.

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#46
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Re: Do We Really Need Cars That Can Go 130mph?

06/17/2011 10:21 AM

You made an interesting statement there, getting to legal speeds. Legal speeds are anything under the speed limit. It's a limit, not a minimum.

I have been trying to explain this to my daughter, as she is getting her license soon. She makes comments on other drivers' habits now, and I try to impress upon her the rules of the road, not the rules that people are making up as they go. Only on interstates in the U.S., unless otherwise posted, are people required to maintain a certain speed. (Also with regard to limiting the flow of traffic, but that's a different "lane".)

If a driver wants to improve mileage and accelerate at a peak efficiency rate (which most dashboard computers will show) some jerk will be magnetically attracted to them and ride their ass and start cussing 'em out.

Heaven help you if you go at or just below the speed limit to try to eek out a few more mpg's. You're liable to be run off the road as some nut makes an illegal pass to show the rest of the world how stupid you are for driving so slowly.

What's the matter with you!?! You're speedometer goes to 120, doesn't it!?!

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#50
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Re: Do We Really Need Cars That Can Go 130mph?

06/17/2011 10:32 AM

That's part of learning to live with other humans I'm afraid. Unfortunate that it happens in such a dangerous place as public highways.

I've been through the same thing. I suggest you find a course like "Drivers Edge" or similar that gives your new driver some training with the car at its limits and beyond. At least then if there's an incident with one of those jackasses she may be prepared to drive through it.

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#57
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Re: Do We Really Need Cars That Can Go 130mph?

06/17/2011 11:47 AM

That is one of the most annoying things people do; tailgating. I would like to jam on my brakes, but I'm afraid the idiot would run right into me and I would come out the loser. I'm also giving instruction to my grand daughter as she will get her license next year. Like you, I try to instill in her the conservative way to drive; not too fast or too slow, but to suit the prevailing conditions and staying within the law. I have no control after she gets her license, but she is very mature and level headed and she will do OK.

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#59
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Re: Do We Really Need Cars That Can Go 130mph?

06/17/2011 12:06 PM

Ronseto,

Teaching a new driver to drive conservatively is a good thing. Please don't neglect instruction on emergency driving as early as possible. Some might consider this "High performance driving" or thrill chasing, but most young drivers crash because they have zero experience as a driver in a car that is not in control, so they do the exact wrong things when it does happen. There are free programs available, and not free as well, with professional drivers as instructors, that will teach your granddaughter how to handle a skid or other high speed avoidance maneuver. Your local drivers ed program (public or private) is not likely to provide this essential training unless you seek it out.

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#63
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Re: Do We Really Need Cars That Can Go 130mph?

06/17/2011 1:20 PM

For tailgating individuals the solution is simple; just get out of their way. I figure they don't need me to get where they are ultimately headed and I would be far more comfortable putting as much distance between me and them at the earliest opportunity. Let them have an accident somewhere else.

Jamming on the brakes is a recipe for getting in an accident or the victim of road rage. People have been killed over such stupidity.

Not too long ago near me a motorist lost his temper and attempted to physically beat up the offending driver who legally defended himself with a firearm. The hot head motorist died at the scene for his temper. That was stupid.

Conversely, innocent motorists have died in similar situations.

The point is to keep your own emotions in check, even when others are arrogant. You can't fix their problems.

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#95
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Re: Do We Really Need Cars That Can Go 130mph?

06/17/2011 9:19 PM

Good for you to teach her. Try to find an open paved area to teach her skid control. A wet parking lot is a great teacher's aid.

One day I am doing to buy a retired figure 8 car and take it on I95 and not move out of the way of the morons. I'll spend half the day filling out accident forms.

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#97
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Re: Do We Really Need Cars That Can Go 130mph?

06/17/2011 9:29 PM

Why go through all the trouble? All you need is a remote controlled armadillo zig zagging across the road. ;-)

Oh, wait, this is Florida. All you need is rain.

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#98
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Re: Do We Really Need Cars That Can Go 130mph?

06/17/2011 9:38 PM

Or snow birds.

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#38

Re: Do We Really Need Cars That Can Go 130mph?

06/17/2011 9:16 AM

Boy, you really hit a nerve, huh?

Just because what you propose makes enormous sense does not mean it will ever rule the day. Kind of like why I chose the signature below.

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#41

Re: Do We Really Need Cars That Can Go 130mph?

06/17/2011 9:59 AM

I would love to be able to drive at 120+ mph but unfortunatley neither the roads nor the laws allow it.

I agree that it would be more sensible to design cars for the speed laws in place, but with the ability to accelerate and manouver in case of need.

Since speed laws will not change in anytime in the future plus gas prices will stay fairly high, I believe designing sensible cars would be the best.

Myself I like muscle cars as much or more than many, but really see no use in them.

Everytime someone passes me like a bat out of hell I think of what he must spend in gas and howI could use that cash.

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#58
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Re: Do We Really Need Cars That Can Go 130mph?

06/17/2011 11:57 AM

I don't think gas prices will stay "fairly high; they will keep increasing until we can't afford to drive anymore. On gas prices, I'm a pessimist.

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#62
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Re: Do We Really Need Cars That Can Go 130mph?

06/17/2011 12:54 PM

You wrote, "Since speed laws will not change in anytime in the future..."

How can you say that? They change all the time. 1995 the national speed limit of 55 was lifted and states have been revising limits every year since.

Who would want to buy a car in 1995 that had a top speed of 55 mph and drive that on today's interstates where typical speed limits are 70 to 80 mph?

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#49

Re: Do We Really Need Cars That Can Go 130mph?

06/17/2011 10:28 AM

Why not even faster, we are heading to a future where everything turns around time. We are capable of building the machines that can drive that fast, with out a problem. Now let's build roads that can handle that speed (like the Autobahn). We got the technologies to do that but jet everyone thinks that speed kills. It is not the speed it's the environment the speed takes place in that makes it dangerous. And saying that the faster the car the more it uses is also not totally true. A good turbo charger and a decent cat and a smaller car are more economical at a higher speed, than a big and heavy car at slow speed. Lets change the environment and lets speed up a bit, time is ticking. Let's engineering work for us, we need it.

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#53
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Re: Do We Really Need Cars That Can Go 130mph?

06/17/2011 11:07 AM

Agreed, in UK there's a lot of fuss about speed and it's taken for granted (by the authorities) without justification that reducing speed is in itself a good thing. Even if it were proven that lower speed reduced accidents, it wouldn't follow that speed limits (and speeds) lower than current are appropriate. There would still need to be a compromise between speed and acceptable rate of accidents, otherwise following the logic the speed limit would be zero. Some people might think that's a good idea!

Other things being equal, better to get there as quickly as possible and do something useful, not waste time sitting in a car.

Cheers..........Codey

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