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Thread: Making Drivers Cars?

  1. #1
    TiG
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    Making Drivers Cars?

    I'm trying to understand the whole concept of making a drivers car in the modern day system, I kinda figure that a fast responsive car that feels like a dream to drive must be almost impossible in the current economic climate.

    I'll begin to list why i think this in a moment, but this has all come about after reading an article on the Ford Focus and how much of a pleasure this car is to drive, "a real drivers car", now that I agree that when i was looking at new cars i really didn't want a focus, its a ford for a start, and its boring run of the mill and loads of them about. It said nothing about me as a person.

    But the ST170's i test drove where very very nice, quick and very responsive, although the clutch was stiff as hell, which was why i didn't buy it.

    But is it really a dream to drive, well i don't think so, and i quite frankly think that no main stream manufacturer can produce a drivers car.

    Mainly due to the following
    "SAFETY" - NCAP tests etc, so many things that people need to meet nowadays or get slated, all drivers cars are probably designed to just have 2 models if that.

    Economics - you cut of huge swathes of market just making a drivers car, which is why i feel MG rover are doomed with there branding.

    Speed concious drive - speed will become as socially unacceptable as drink driving given a few more years (decades possibly)

    The other factor is that people seem to split into two groups, making things like the caterham 7 which is stunning, but its unpratical as hell.

    So can anyone really make a drivers car nowadays?,

    Personally I don't think so?. Views??

    TiG
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  2. #2
    Oh no!I've re-dorkalated! Jiff Lemon's Avatar
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    It's a VERY limited market, and not one that you can make swaths of money in.

    A drivers car these days is a track car - As you say, it's socially unacceptable to be seen to be having "fun" whilst driving.

    What's practical in a road car, is added weight in a track car.
    What's complient suspension in a road car is soggy on a track.

    The Elise was the nearest recent thing - Yet even that, when put on the track, fell sort of being a true track car.

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    Now with added sobriety Rave's Avatar
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    To me a driver's car doesn't have to be light, or fast, or even RWD (although that is preferable). What it does have to do is communicate to you what it is doing. I learnt to drive in a 2CV; but I had a few lessons in a Corsa to polish up for the test. The Corsa was faster, smoother, more comforatble and much much safer, but it was also utterly tedious to drive, whereas a 2CV is a total hoot on the right roads. My second car was an old Nissan Praerie, which by virtue of it's knackered suspension, had a rock hard ride, very little body roll, and excellent feedback. One time a git in a 318i compact tried to overtake me going into a roundabout on the A31 in Hampshire. Both of us were doing 60. He was assuming that I'd slow down and let him round the roundabout first, so he must have had the fright of his life when I kept it pinned*, bombed round the outside lane of the roundabout alongside him without lifting off, and proceeded on my merry way. I was on the limit but I was confident doing it because I knew exactly what the car was going to do.

    The problem as I see it is that in the 80s (and earlier) power steering (and weight adding extras like air-con) were luxuries that you wouldn't expect to find on an average car, so most people did without them and as a consequence most cars felt reasonably direct to drive. Nowadays so many people expect to get all the trimming on even the most basic car that most cars have the response of a soggy sponge. I worry that today's teenagers will grow up thinking that driving is only about sitting there and working a few controls.

    Rich :¬)

    *it was safe to do that; you had a great view of the other roads feeding the roundabout, so if no-one was coming there was no need to lift off. I used to drive the road a lot.

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    HEXUS.timelord. Zak33's Avatar
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    oooooooooooooooooooooh good thread

    First thing we MUST do...is SHED A FEW POUNDS IN WEIGHT!

    Even if we get safety from Kevlaror Carbon fibre...the weight MUST drop.

    Then we need AGILITY.....not handling......cos anycar with competition tyres goes round corners fast...we want AGILITY.....even if it slides like a bugger SO LONG AS YOU KNOW ITS GONNA DO IT>....HAPPY

    Next...brakes....that you can apply mid corner and use the above AGILITY to tweak it....to adjust it.....

    and for that to work....the weight must GO

    I'm gonna kill Jiffs ideas before he types them...it does NOT need to be RWD!

    Quote Originally Posted by Advice Trinity by Knoxville
    "The second you aren't paying attention to the tool you're using, it will take your fingers from you. It does not know sympathy." |
    "If you don't gaffer it, it will gaffer you" | "Belt and braces"

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    Oh no!I've re-dorkalated! Jiff Lemon's Avatar
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    RWD depends on power!!

    FWD not bad, but once you go above 200 BHP it's all getting a bit too much.

    Light weight yes; The Cappo weighs around 15 kilos more than a MK1 elise and manages quite nicely with a paltry 63BHP. Even like this it'll embarress the majority of hot hatches around the twisty stuff.

    Power is nothing without control.

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    HEXUS.timelord. Zak33's Avatar
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    Next.....no equipment....none.

    No central locking, no electric windows, etc etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by Advice Trinity by Knoxville
    "The second you aren't paying attention to the tool you're using, it will take your fingers from you. It does not know sympathy." |
    "If you don't gaffer it, it will gaffer you" | "Belt and braces"

  7. #7
    TiG
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zak33
    SHED A FEW POUNDS IN WEIGHT... Kevlaror Carbon fibre...the weight MUST drop.
    Breaks and AGILITY to tweak it....to adjust it....and for that to work....the weight must GO
    Well this is what I don't understand then, as people view cars like the original Mk1 Golfs as great drivers cars right?, They were affordable, as soon as you do things like Carbon Fibre into cars the price goes through the roof.

    So was the MK1 golf miles lighter than current cars (rhetorical)

    So we now all drive lardy arse heavy cars that are just big fat and heavy. If i was to ask a Car manufacturer to build a Mk1 Golf in todays world, they would laugh at me?, probably wouldn't meet any of the regulations, but if they took that principle and just fixed what was necessary would you get a decent drivers car?.

    One other thing though, IS a Drivers car much more mechanical than all this electronically driven stuff we drive these days?.

    TiG
    -- Hexus Meets Rock! --

  8. #8
    HEXUS.timelord. Zak33's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TiG
    So was the MK1 golf miles lighter than current cars (rhetorical)
    yes....muchos

    Quote Originally Posted by Advice Trinity by Knoxville
    "The second you aren't paying attention to the tool you're using, it will take your fingers from you. It does not know sympathy." |
    "If you don't gaffer it, it will gaffer you" | "Belt and braces"

  9. #9
    www.5lab.co.uk
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    actually, appart from abs the mk1 would be sellable new - hense how katarams/morgans get thru..

    rwd is imo essential for over 150bhp, well that or 4wd. otherwise you spend your time trying not to ruin your front tyres pulling away from lights

    zak - interesting point with leccy windows - are you sure they actually weigh any more than a manual setup? i mean the lectrics could surely be fitted into a lighter weight package than a winder etc..

    my volvo's got horrible handleing - it'd loose to nearly everything on a modern twisty road, yet i believe i could argue its more of a drivers car - you can feel exactly what is going on, theres NO understeer EVER (hehe) and it feels like your going much quicker than you are (due to bodyroll), the only downside is that the steering could be more responsive, i believe the GLTs sorted that.. compare it to my dad's 440 - which was not really a drivers car i know - but has lots more power, and its on a more modern fwd chassis with minimal body roll - its faarrrr more fun to drive..
    hughlunnon@yahoo.com | I have sigs turned off..

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    www.5lab.co.uk
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    oh another thing, a long bonnet. theres something about seeing a bonnet stretch out in front of you when you drive along - my car does it but most modern cars - particularly higher fake mpv tat - fail dismally. trying to be too compact, long bonnets rule..
    hughlunnon@yahoo.com | I have sigs turned off..

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    HEXUS.timelord. Zak33's Avatar
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    why oh why does everybody have to have rear wheel drive? You dont need it....its not essential.

    OK with over 200 bhp....yeah....it works better....but even then.....with in excess of 300 it can be made to work....

    I LOVE RWD....it makes me smile.....but then so does a 106 GTi

    Electric windows dont weigh more......its the principle besides, this "dream fun car" would have such ickle side windows its not important

    Hey....lets talk wheels.

    I'm all for small rims, maybe 15" max.....smaller if possible.

    Lets get unsprung weight right down.....14" rims with sensible tyres (maybe 185 width)

    Now we're talking.

    Quote Originally Posted by Advice Trinity by Knoxville
    "The second you aren't paying attention to the tool you're using, it will take your fingers from you. It does not know sympathy." |
    "If you don't gaffer it, it will gaffer you" | "Belt and braces"

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    HEXUS.timelord. Zak33's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 5lab
    oh another thing, a long bonnet. ..
    True..but works best with RWD again....its a "sit on the rear axle " thing....you wanna feel every moment (I'm talking principle of moments as well as "moments" here) so when the rear axle moves sideways.....the front is still, and the sterring changes..and you're slung right out back.

    But thats not FWD.....

    Wanna know the finest fwd car of the 90's?



    Elan

    1.6 Turbo FWD.

    Quote Originally Posted by Advice Trinity by Knoxville
    "The second you aren't paying attention to the tool you're using, it will take your fingers from you. It does not know sympathy." |
    "If you don't gaffer it, it will gaffer you" | "Belt and braces"

  13. #13
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    Over 150bhp needs rwd my arse, just learn to feed the power in properly

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    HEXUS.timelord. Zak33's Avatar
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    /\ he knows...and so did John Cleland

    Quote Originally Posted by Advice Trinity by Knoxville
    "The second you aren't paying attention to the tool you're using, it will take your fingers from you. It does not know sympathy." |
    "If you don't gaffer it, it will gaffer you" | "Belt and braces"

  15. #15
    www.5lab.co.uk
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    but if car x is rwd and car y is fwd then car x can accelerate faster off a line.
    hughlunnon@yahoo.com | I have sigs turned off..

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    If they both were the same car apart from 1 being FWD and the other being RWD the FWD car would win off the line due to transmission losses....

    The RWD Cav GSi touring cars werent as good as the FWD ones...

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