Performance Cars: Are We Going Too Far?

Whether it’s the high performance cars being built by automakers all over the world, or the vast aftermarket that allows us to make our vehicles perform in ways that their original designers could only dream of, there’s absolutely no doubt that automobiles today are faster and more capable than they’ve ever been.

Take a modern performance car like the Nissan GT-R, Porsche 911 or Dodge Challenger Hellcat for example. All are capable of doing things that were strictly in the realm of racing cars not too long ago. And they can do it while surrounding the driver in creature comforts that Rolls-Royce owners used to be proud of. It sounds great, doesn’t it?

m4

But the more I think of it, I sometimes worry that cars have almost become too good. I’ve begun wondering if we are experiencing high performance overload? Don’t get me wrong, fast cars are cool and they always have been. But the fact is, today’s performance cars have limits that aren’t approachable anywhere but on a racing circuit, and usually a very large one at that. And what fun is that?

gtr1

The reality is, many of the people buying these cars have little idea how to handle their vehicles in the event they do reach their very high limits. It’s not that I worry about people hurting themselves, because I fully believe you have the right to drive whatever car you’d like. What concerns me more is the hyper-competitive numbers game that everyone is playing these days. If feels like we are losing a lot of the enjoyment, and that’s what cars should be about above all else.

amg1

Whether it’s car enthusiasts, auto journalists or the carmakers themselves, I feel like we are being made to live in a videogame-like fantasy world where performance figures rule all and hypothetical driving scenarios have taken precedence over many of the things that used to make us love cars.

rcf

Cars get faster and faster while roads only seem to be filled with more traffic and more police officers looking to hand out tickets. Try to explore the power and grip that today’s high performance cars have on public roads and you could be looking at jail time or worse. Sometimes you have to wonder what the point is…

jag

You could say, ‘It’s not about the street, it’s about the track,’ but I feel that’s just as bogus. Watch any car review video these days and you’ll see a professional driver ripping around a race track or skid pad talking about steering feel, behavior at the edge of grip, and brake balance etc. It’s valid input, but are we buying too much into it?

CTS

Then they’ll do a comparison race, and Car A will run the track a few tenths of a second faster than Car B. And thus Car A is proclaimed the better car because Mr. Professional was able to get it around the track just a bit faster, or he felt better feedback while ripping through some S-corners. People on the internet will then argue about it. Those same car reviews will show scenes of guys driving balls-out sideways and doing other stuff that looks fun, but again, how many people are actually going to go out and do that in their brand new and likely financed car?

9112

Car enthusiasts have always been bench racers, and I know there will always be those people that need to have ‘the best’ machine even if it’s just going to sit in their garage. But it seems worse than ever now. People will argue endlessly about which car is faster, even if they haven’t driven either one. And even if they did, what are the chances they could come close to driving it like the aforementioned professional driver? Doesn’t that make the minuscule performance differences between the two irrelevant?

gtr2

And on top of that, we’ve got the limited production, even higher performance versions of these cars that are designed specifically for track use. But if often feels like they are as much fodder for online forums and garage ornaments than they are viable track day cars.

c7

Now, I don’t have a ton of experience driving cars on race tracks, but the times I’ve have it’s been awesome. Even in a crappy car with super narrow tires and no power, it’s ridiculously fun. In fact, it’s a blast to throw damn near any vehicle around a race track. And the challenge usually comes more from improving your technique as a driver than stepping up to a more capable machine. So how concerned should I really be if one fast new car is marginally quicker on paper than another? When will that ever benefit me or make things more fun?

m3

Most of the track days I’ve been to are about people trying to hone their skills and learn their cars; there is very little passing and no real competition to speak of. But we like to imagine non-existent scenarios where two drivers are racing flat out and Car A overtakes Car B because it’s just that much better. If you are interested in actual competitive driving, I’d think there are far better ways to scratch the itch.

S6

I believe all of this might be a byproduct of cars becoming too good. These days no one really makes a bad car; they are all comfy, reliable, get good fuel economy and perform better than the ones that came before them. But they are also more isolated and much less dramatic in the way they carry out their business.

amg2

So instead of falling in love with the way they make us feel just firing them up or cruising down the street, we judge them based on situations that almost never happen. Competitiveness has been part of car culture since the beginning, but in today’s world of short attention spans are we going too far to stimulate our automotive minds? Should the fact that one car will go 0-60mph in 4.2 seconds and another does it in 4.1 seconds influence which one we buy?

nsx

I think this can also be tied into the decline of the manual transmission. Yes, I know today’s automatics and dual-clutch gearboxes are much faster and more efficient than a stick shift, but is that the way we want it? An old fashioned clutch and shift lever are things that makes a car fun and exciting, even when you are just driving around town. It might not be the best choice to set track lap records or squeeze out an extra couple MPG, but do we really care that much?

e30

If you take a look at some of the most beloved and sought after cars of the past – think BMW E30 M3s, Honda S2000s and so on – you’ll find that they usually had qualities that went beyond how many numbers they could put down on a dyno, or how fast they could get around a race track. The thing that many of those classics have in common is that they were never really improved upon – at least in terms of how they made us feel.

s2000

Sure, it’s fun to watch carmakers constantly try to one-up each other by lapping the Nürburgring a little faster each year, but part of me hopes things get reeled in a bit. If we continue down this path, performance cars will be like computers and rendered obsolete the moment the next, slightly faster model comes out.

fiestast

Of course, there are new models out there which are about fun and character as much as they are about going fast. The Mazda MX-5 comes to mind, as does the Ford Fiesta ST. Even the Mustang GT350 for all its capability is a car with an appeal that goes far beyond lap times and dyno numbers.

mx5

Obviously there’ll never be a return to the raw, visceral, but slower and more dangerous cars of yesterday, but I don’t think that means automakers can’t build cars for enjoyment and longevity. Why not step back from the rat race a bit and remember what makes cars so great in the first place?

Speed is fleeting, but fun is forever – at least that’s the way I’m starting to see it. I’m interested to hear if any of you guys are starting to feel the same way.

Mike Garrett
Instagram: japanifornia_media
mike@speedhunters.com

Tags: , , , ,



145 comments
AndyRosete
AndyRosete

Good read, and I definitely loved this line: "Speed is fleeting, but fun is forever". Another factor that I think gets lost in the "fastest car" discussion is: who's behind the wheel? Sure, we all think we are the best and fastest drivers, but we are also human. 






BoyBalastog
BoyBalastog

This article brought a tear to my eye, dammit! I've felt exactly this way about cars for years now, while having my opinion (and many others of the same mind) being buried under auto journalism that just blindly lops up every new techno-overload brought out by OEM's, and pretentious kids and fanboys arguing in comment sections (arguing over which car they've never driven is the FASTEST AND BEST THING EVAAAAA) telling us that we're just bitter traditionalists who hate progress. Practically all of them just blindly swallowing a big load from our corporate overlord's trouser snakes over how automation and sterile performance is the future.


Most people these days just don't understand how important the experience is, how cars can make us feel when we drive them. I'm all for the pursuit of speed, but it becomes pointless when you take the element of human improvement and skill out of it. What's the point in being the fastest if your input as a driver hardly mattered in what made the car go faster? And so I've always just shook my head seeing developments in the car world turn cars, just as Mike aptly described, into computers that become obsolete once the next faster more spec-sheet-tacular generation comes out that's got just that bit more power and faster shifting dual clutch flappy paddles, and could go around the Nurburging a second faster than the last one. Not one bit of soul, and not one bit of it that actually encourages drivers to bond with their cars and improve themselves as drivers.


I've always at least felt that the openness of the aftermarket scene to maintaining that sense of appreciation in cars that goes beyond sheer performance numbers has always safeguarded opinions like ours, whereas big auto companies continue to appeal to least common denominators and to armchair enthusiasts who're easily swayed by meaningless abstract data. So it's not surprising for me that this article was posted on SpeedHunters. Thanks a million for writing this. This needed to be said at one point or another, and needs to be said more often.

Kirk_B
Kirk_B

I'm in agreement that the 5% of cars that are made for people who love to look at cars, drive cars and are excited by them, but of that 5%, only 10% of those are affordable.That is 0.5% of the cars made world wide are attainable by the "average" person.


This is the lower cost advertising to sell more of the boring cars the other 95% want.Without the statitstics handy, saying the FCA have sold more Charger and Challengers because of the hellcat engine, than they would have if the 707hp option didn't exist isn't a stretch. This "skunk-works" system sold cars for companies like Subaru, Nissan, Mitsubishi and Mercedes, so it's not surprising that they are all getting in on it.


When watching the annual beauty pageant of cars, the stats portion of the show gets them invited, the skills competition allows some to shine, and others eliminated. It's the judges who determine who is the winner and who are the runners up. 

Every auto manufacturer is just trying to make cars to be invited to the pageant. The ones that are at the top are made of unobtainium, and will either sit in some showcase, or be converted to a Dubai cop car. The lower class winners will sell the lesser models of the brand, and are held up as examples of how good everyone's Engineering has become.


As great as the GT86, or MX-5 are for driving, not enough of us buy them to change the direction of the auto juggernaughts marketing and engineering teams for those 5% of the cars to be attainable fun variety.



Totski75
Totski75

This article is so spot on,and this comes from a former R35 GT-R owner. Great, super fast car, but as I was never able to afford binning it on the track the only driving I did was on regular roads, and there the car was simply boring. It never made me smile because the way it felt - it felt numb, it felt not very special because it only operated at 60-70% of its capacity. Even pushing it really hard the artificial feel and all the computers just didn't make it fun. Now, I have removed the shackles of this ultra performance, number chasing game, and I am having SO MUCH FUN driving a Toyota 86, manual, bare bones - the only mods I think about is how to make it handle better and how to make it lighter. This little 86 made me fall in love with cars again, something that R35 never did. Fun forever, purist forever.

Papamoeziz
Papamoeziz

I have a Mazda 1200 Ute which I have put a 12a bridgeport in and people tell me it is fast. It is not fast. It is SCARY. This is not due to it being fast though, it is due to the fact that if you crash it, you're dead. 


You don't get that in today's vehicles, unless you are doing properly dumb stuff, and as a result, you need more power. If you increase the safety or comfort, you need to increase its power for the same amount of excitement.


POWER x SAFETY/COMFORT = EXCITEMENT.

bluestreaksti
bluestreaksti

@Papamoeziz Exactly! reminds of a ride in an old fiat. I don't remember it being slow! The kid had no fear. 

John Key NZ
John Key NZ

I love my MR2. It really is a car that doesn't get any props, despite being awesome to drive. It is so tail happy that you have to learn how to drive mid-engined. 

GC8 man
GC8 man

@John Key NZ Love the MR2 as well. I envy you my friend.


To SH,

Toyota/Subaru is smiling at your article.  That was exactly what they concluded years ago then they designed the 86.  A little surprised that car isn't in the article.

Kirk_B
Kirk_B

@John Key NZ It is a great car, and always was. I agree that it's odd it never seems to grace blogs like this one, but it was a wonderful drivers car.

Oompa
Oompa

Yep we have lost our way a little bit. Remember when 400hp was considered insane? It really wasn't that long ago. Now with Ecu tunes and turbo technology improved, achievable easily. I build Fraser sports cars here in New Zealand and while yes we have built cars with higher horse power figures, the ones that are the most fun are around 160hp to 200hp. We have a demonstrator car that car that customers can hire, the engine in that? 20 valve 4age toyota, 8000rpm all day, every gear change and nothing but big smiles from everybody. Fun is NOT dependant on power. I have had just as much fun in my old 626 wagon with good tyres at a max of 120kph as I have in cars with a lot higher capabilities and higher speeds. Sure the better car is better but in what context?

safety mats
safety mats

I want them to say, " Here's our new car, it's got an engine to make power, some seats and stuff for you to sit in, and we threw in a suspension for some handling.

Onecton
Onecton

Amen Mike, that was a nice read and i get your point. I never driven on a track, im happy with fast driving on my back roads here in germany.

And my weapon of choice, a V50 T5 Wagon! And still its so riddicolously fast and fun. I think i would have lesser fun in a more powerful vehicle, because lets be honest, not everyone of us is born a racedriver. And thinking about ripping a back road witha 500hp rearwheel drive wagon. well lets be honest, few people have the skill to do that.

(for my part i dont think i have the skills for that power figure)

still all argue which car is best, since on the autobahn they can go at it, in a straight line, with speed limited to 250km/h a speed which is achievable by medium powered diesel wagons. But yeah. 

I love AMG or M-Division Cars or RS Models from Audi, but sometimes i wonder if you need that "look at my mansausage" lingo. 

If one can afford a car, one can drive it hard, doesn't matter if its an old 55hp Ford Fiesta or a 350hp Mustang or whatever. My point is, where is the limit, does one need a wagon or a saloon with 600hp?

anyway im ranting, and missing my point.

Short, yes the horsepower race is awesome, but my two cents is that we are getting to a point where it is somewhat riddicolous

Kirk_B
Kirk_B

@Onecton My friend has spend ridiculous amounts of money on making his Mustang have 600hp / 580 lb-ft tourque. The verdict: he doesn't enjoy the car as much as when it made 400hp. The tires never get traction unless he shoes it with R-comp rubber, he has to slow excessively to corner without powersliding, and is always worried about crashing.


Less is more sometimes.

modell3000
modell3000

Cars companies put a lot of effort into market research, so if they are making these kind of cars, it's because people are buying them. Fast, sporty cars with huge horsepower numbers are primarily status symbols for the well-off people who can afford to buy them new.

Levels of performance that would have been lethal in the 80's can be controlled relatively easily using modern electronics, brakes and tyres. These flatter the driver and keep them safe, but the trade off is raw thrills. High end sports car makers didn't deliberately build wild-handling cars (e.g. 911 Turbo) in the past, they were just limited by the technology of the time. If you want a fast-enough, well balanced, skinny-tyred car, you can still buy them (e.g. BRZ, MX-5), but the prestige end of the market has other priorities.

TarmacTerrorist
TarmacTerrorist

I won't bore you with it now but when I went from motorcycle to car I had a massive realisation: safety makes you complacent. on a bike your being and maintaining control is the only thing between you and having Tarmac for lunch. The Numbers war we see currently is a by-product of safety features imo.

I dont think you can appreciate the speed or capabilities of what you have built unless it's dangerous. You shouldn't be able to exceed your actual abilities due to having a computer doing half the work for you while managing TC/ABS/yougetmypoint and knowing that the cars got more airbags then the speedhunters comment section if you have a failure.

In short You shouldn't ever really feel safe. Safety breeds a cavalier attitude and an inability to deal with the situation when you do finally push it too far one day or something fails. You don't have the skills needed to drive out of the situation as you never developed the basics and this is compounded by.... All the safety features you've become accustomed to.

TLDR:

You should be aware if you really fuck up its going to mean death.

Speed and safety features are a great partnership.... While those features are actually working.

So yeah, I blame safety features for the rise in massive numbers in regards to power and actual safety.

Dingus
Dingus

@TarmacTerrorist yup, that's why at 500whp and no safety aides I keep the windows down and the suspension hard. Makes it feel terrifying to corner at 70, which it should be. Meanwhile land barge luxury M/AMGs dive into the same turns without a care in the world, only traction control keeping them on the road

Pre64slider
Pre64slider

Couldn't agree more. Today's cars are all about performance figures, not the enjoyment that comes from driving them. The limits get raised higher and with that comes the inability for most people to handle them. To combat this, they add more driver aids. This makes the driving easier, so they up the performance again. The end result is a car that goes so fast that when everyday joe tries to have a bit of fun on their favourite piece of road, they need to push so ridiculously hard that when they come unstuck it occurs at a significantly higher speed, and they've got no chance to react. Basically we're setting ourselves up for cars that need full computer control, because we insist on pushing harder than we can actually handle.

The solution? For me it was to simplify things. Each of my toys has relatively low limits, but each of them is fun to balance right on the edge of those limits. My current garage includes several old sub-600cc motorcycles with very basic chassis designs and below 60hp, a two-stroke 150cc road bike (this only spits out 40hp but is super light), a 1960 Ford Zephyr ute and a 2003 Subaru Legacy wagon (the extra weight over the rear makes it less balanced than its Impreza sibling). Each is tweaked to extract maximum fun, rather than record the fastest lap time.

The fun of speed is the adrenaline rush, and these machines are all capable of delivering that rush under the right conditions. You don't need 2000hp and race tuned suspension to have fun. People need to stop reading figures and just assess their rides on the ability to put a smile on their face. And before anyone says I need to go on a track to understand, I've got the trophies to back it up. Speed on track does not equate to fun on the street, and we not to stop thinking that it does.

antonyingram
antonyingram

@Pre64slider Agree and disagree here. I'll preface this by saying that I currently own a pretty-much stock Miata, and I've only ever owned one car that weighs more than 1000kg - I like light weight and nimble handling, rather than outright speed.

However, I disagree with the blanket assertion that today's cars are all about performance figures. Many are, and modern cars certainly offer higher performance than their older counterparts, but chassis and tyre technology has also improved alongside power. I don't just mean electronic safety nets either, but basic things like better geometry, greater structural rigidity, better tyres, much better damping etc.

While there's a degree of truth that a modern performance car will be travelling much faster before it lets go, the best performance cars also telegraph their intentions early and let go in a progressive way - so even though they're travelling faster, they're also easier to gather up much of the time. I've only driven a few modern high performance cars that actually felt "snappy", like you'd struggle to react if they suddenly relinquished grip. In some cases - hot hatchbacks, say - modern ones are much more progressive than their older counterparts despite having higher limits.

Electronics have undoubtedly made some seriously high performance cars easier to drive, and brought high performance within the reach of far more people, but I've driven dozens upon dozens of modern performance cars that are fun even when you're not absolutely flat out. Cars like the Porsche Cayman GT4 are a perfect example - great to drive fast, but also great to drive slow, thanks to fantastic feel and weight to the controls, a good driving position, a sense of low inertia - all the things that make lighter, simpler cars great to drive.

modell3000
modell3000

It seems to me the main issues are size, weight, and complexity, which ultimately result from a demand for safety and comfort. 


Stamping cars out of steel is still much cheaper than using aluminium or carbon fiber. A heavy shell also helps with ride quality and NVH. And if everyone else drives a heavy car, do you want to crash in a light one?


Complexity is an issue for those who want to fix or modify their car themselves. But safety systems are by their nature complex, loaded with sensors, actuators and so on. AC, infotainment, flappy paddle gearboxes etc. add to this.


There are still cars that are spartan, light weight and have few driver aids. But the market generally wants safety and comfort, which means heavy cars being pushed by powerful engines.

modell3000
modell3000

Also, enthusiasts may eye up the cars above as second hand purchases 5-10 years down the line, but manufacturers are aiming their designs at the rich people who can afford to buy them now. You might not care for a 911 with 4 wheel drive, automatic gearbox and a convertible roof, but the dentist who's buying it new might.

Ian Cormack
Ian Cormack

Definitely a lot of truth in that. Hard to enjoy modern performance cars on the road.




Cars can be a lot of fun if you stop worrying about what people think of you and your car and just do things for the right reasons.

Thats why I've built the RB in my S30 to be very responsive and have a great midrange instead of hunting huge hp figures, it makes a car which is hugely nicer on the road and its still got more than enough for a track. 






I think very light cars like the Atom or Caterham 620R would be epic fun at all speeds,

E30M3 Robb
E30M3 Robb

Great points but I don't know if I agree?  If it wasn't for these high HP car wars and technology battles between the car makers what would we aspire to want going forward?  I personally love reading about the next hypercar and what technology it uses to compete against the competitor to meet up to or surpass.  Similar to the race programs of each automaker, it fascinates me to see what they use in their Prototype/GT3/DTM/WorldChallenge car and then see it translate it to their road performance cars for purchase.  It builds such an inspiration to me to want to own one and experience it as a choice to drive every day.  That inspiration is the result of the competition and it works for me to want to work harder to attain one.  Instead of looking at it as too much that can't be used, are we sure it isn't a "grass is greener" issue with what we strive for but can't attain yet?  I may be on my own in my thought process, but as soon as I see an article on here or anywhere that talks about any new "RS" or "GTR" I am drawn to it right away so I can learn what the latest envelope pushing edge is....and I want one!  So I personally love it and hope the battles continue so my passion for cars keeps getting stronger!      

Mike Garrett
Mike Garrett moderator

@E30M3 Robb I agree it's fun to watch the technology advance, but I'm just not sure how much of it I want. If for some reason I had the funds to buy a hypercar, I'd probably be like 20 old cars and a cool daily driver instead haha.

RXTACY
RXTACY

1000 hp car step on the gas 3.5 sec 100km/h ...guy goes holly shit this is scary..

250 hp car steps on the gas 5.0 sec 100km/h .... guy goes holly shit that was fun...

1000 hp takes a corner not full throttle because it'll loose control.

250 hp car takes a turn floors it because it wont loose control.

simple

drive an automatic dual clutch like I do that on a play station. What's the difference the computer does it anyways. I push a clutch in my rx7 when I wanna drive a car, no matter how much technology gets advance u just cant replace a car that has a clutch.  

mistery
mistery

First comment on here... first article that I MUST comment on. THANK YOU!!!!!! You put my exact thoughts into words, I can reference this article to all car people raving about the newest this best that, that they will never own in the following 5-10 years. Judging a car by tracktimes and just numbers on their brochures is killing the magic and simple joy of getting behind the wheel of one and just go for a fun spirited drive or good hoon on the track. This is why I love new cars that seem not to care about numbers like the MX-5 or GT86. They are keeping in the old fun spirit which I think is a lot more important than 0-60 and 60-100 times.

Mike Garrett
Mike Garrett moderator

@mistery I agree. There's always something great about a car you can really push without scaring the crap out of yourself.

AceStarz
AceStarz

((In case you don't read to the bottom, future piece about drivers vs engineers/designers vs automakers??)) I agree and disagree, like had been said somewhere in the comments about guys with horses. I'm sure they could've swayed minds talking about the bond between a living breathing creature you feed, groom and feel between your legs (...now that just sounds a bit...), but efficiency as well as safety has always been an equally good way of increasing lap times as skill and speed. 8 litre engines making 120hp unreliably, versus today's 8 litre engines making 1200hp reliably. Altho I remember having the argument with non-car friends when the veyron came out that production cars are crap because it's such a waste of a 7 litre, quad turbo engine to make "only" 1000 horses when skylines and supras had that with around 3 litres and one turbo. High school logic! ( 😕 There was a time when guys who had more than 50 horses usually had crown, a flag and 50 men to ride them)

To be fair I have been about more of what I like (power) and less of what I don't (caring about anything else), but that may be because I grew up with games where I didn't have to learn how to wrench and adjust carb needles to gain, I just won races and bought faster vehicles. Using the pikes peak escudo in open races in gt2 comes to mind.

But comparing the automotive to say the aeromotive world and you see cars are still pretty old-school. Technology gives us different ways to master a vehicle. If combustion gives over to electric then clutch control becomes irrelevant and maybe the ability to hear your ti/yres becomes a thing, they are still the weakest link in the situation.

The reality is we all like a bit of inefficiency, we like to hear a bit of anti-lag but it's there because turbos are laggy.. We like it when the back end gets a bit loose because we reach the limit of grip, we like aero on cars but lets face it we ruin a cars shape by being in it! (future progress? Prone position with vr goggles?)

As for us enthusiasts, apart from the sleeper niche, we all appreciate the performance look, hence why some stick liveries and wrc spec spoilers on cars that wont see a rally stage and every car maker now sticks fake diffusers on rear bumpers. When silent electric fiestas have active spoilers kids will hack them to stay up and look fast all the time and adults will stick monster stickers on them and talk about hooning lol.

Cars on the road will always be a homage to card on the track. The same topic we discuss here about road cars being too fast for the road can be had about race cars on the track. Maybe just maybe... The road/track needs to change! Why is NASCAR not like NASCAR racers that came on cartoon network..? WE HAVE THE TECHNOLOGY 😜

Rotard
Rotard

mazda always has had that idea firmly in mind


mistery
mistery

@cooki_monsta


But some suppliers are creating demand via paid presentation events for media, viral social media campaigns etc. It is undermining the basic concept of economy we are taught. Call it hype, call it what you will but it's starting to feel like poison.

Mghost
Mghost

A couple points I'd like to make:


1) it's called progress, if you don't like it go buy something older and please yield on track

2) historic racing and various racing classes exist for this purpose and are a riot to drive by comparison

3) "enthusiasts" are not racers. If you associate with the former you will become very recognizable to the later. 

4) 125cc TaG karts

5) Formula cars

6) Miatas. 

Mike Garrett
Mike Garrett moderator

@Mghost Good points - especially about the historic racing. Are the old cars the fastest? Probably not. But who cares when they look and sound that cool and are that much fun to drive/watch?

ChuChu2
ChuChu2

Exactly from what i see In America , High Horsepower ... and use it for straights and nothing more generally speaking. 

T2k15

lms
lms

@ChuChu2  except tons of the highest hp US cars being produced today are also track beasts with nothing more than a tire swap.  Your comments would have held water 30 years ago, but nothing could be further from accurate today

B to the Ruce
B to the Ruce

Agree with you here Mike. Here in Australia around 8-10 Ferraris & Lamborghinis  have been crashed, mainly on city streets (where the speed limit is 50km/h (31mp/h)) due to drivers "losing control" -case of too much money, not enough skill.

Ymani
Ymani

@B to the Ruce the issue here is not understanding that you don't take high powered/ high performance cars and drive them dangerously on the street. i don't really think it's lack of skill causing these accidents, more just not being responsible enough to drive safely on public roads. 

modell3000
modell3000

@Ymani  @B to the Ruce But if your Ferrari spends 99.9% of it's time on public roads, being driven responsibly, what's the point of 600HP?

fabulous71
fabulous71

@B to the Ruce Therein lies the main problem. In the past, there were way fewer exotic cars to be bought and you had real enthusiasts for the most part driving them who knew how to drive them (I'm talking about the 70's and 80's where all supercars were still M/T). Today there are many more people with disposable income buying crazy horsepower cars. A majority of these people are not hardcore enthusiasts and have way too much car in their hands for them to know what to do with. 


I'm not complaining just pointing out what I've noticed from going to car shows, auto shows, the track, weekend driving over the past 30 years.

JeremieSunico
JeremieSunico

I actually wrote an article on Car Throttle around the same subject found here, https://www.carthrottle.com/post/a773m5m/ However, I compared how people perceive the cars based on their generation. The old cars we praised were looked at as technologically advanced and non engaging for their time. That ideal similar to how we perceive modern cars today. In the long run, I'm personally still going to modify a car new or old to the standard of the Midnight Club and hone the skills to control it, maybe even smash the rich folk on the streets that think they're entitled with their expensive super cars.

modell3000
modell3000

Completely agree. Horsepower has gone through the roof in the last 10 years; everything seems to have hundreds of horsepower now. At the same time, speed (and box junction, traffic light, bus lane) cameras are everywhere, along with packed roads. I think reality will hit at some point. Already, today's young people seem less interested in learning to drive than in my generation, when it was practically a right of passage. 


It seems like the next version of anything always has to have bigger stats than the version before (same with software, cameras etc.). The 3 series is now 5 series sized. Perhaps facts and figures are just the simplest way of judging the worth of something, like with Top Trumps? Or it's a 'value for money thing'? I think marketing departments are convinced you can't sell something with lower specs than the previous version.

Mike Garrett
Mike Garrett moderator

@modell3000 Yep. I love to see the progress, but if it's just for the sake of "replacing" the previous model it doesn't feel like we are getting anywhere.

RandyGHone
RandyGHone

Give me an old Jap car, old Detroit steel or even an old Kraut can, keep the hi tech stuff out of my garage. No thanks.

mlhz
mlhz

Very Good!

OFFICIAL SPEEDHUNTERS SUPPLIERS