New cars: 1/3 more KG, need 1/3 more PS

gaul

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Many discussions on why the older cars often outperform newer ones on sensations if not performances.

A fewpoints there:

- For a same model, Size has consistently gone up and up during the last 10 years

- Height of cars has consistently gone up

- Security features and installations have been added on big but also small cars (more impact on sensations in small cars)

- Electronic regulators have been added on big but also small cars (more impact on sensations in small cars)

- Fat tyres that add more resistance to the transformation of energy into speed

- Most models have taken up to 1/3 in weight compared to 10 years ago.

With the same power, a 10 years old car is much more fun than a 21st century car.

I have driven or been passenger in quite a few Peugeot. I remember the Peugeot 205 GTI 1.9 130 PS, 309 GTI 16s 1.9 160 PS not so long ago, both weighing less than a tonne (850 and 950 kg I think).

The recent Peugeot were not hot hatches as were these 2 above. The last one was the Peugeot 306 16s 167 PS

I think this trend is particularly true for Peugeot but also for many other manufacturers.

Renault and Honda have managed to keep alive the sensations with their newest sport versions of the Clio and Civic.

 

Geordie

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gaul wrote:

Many discussions on why the older cars often outperform newer ones on sensations if not performances.A fewpoints there:

- For a same model, size has consistently gone up and up during the last 10 years

- Height of cars has consistently gone up

- Security features and installations have been added on big but also small cars (more impact on sensations in small cars)

- Electronic regulators have been added on big but also small cars (more impact on sensations in small cars)

- Most models have taken up to 1/3 in weight compared to 10 years ago.

With the same power, a 10 years old car is much more fun than a 21st century car.

I have driven or been passenger in quite a few Peugeot. I remember the Peugeot 205 GTI 1.9 130 PS, 309 GTI 16s 1.9 160 PS not so long ago, both weighing less than a tonne (850 and 950 kg I think).

The recent Peugeot were not hot hatches as were these 2 above. The last one was the Peugeot 306 16s 167 PS

I think this trend is particularly true for Peugeot but also for many other manufacturers.

Renault and Honda have managed to keep alive the sensations with their newest sport versions of the Clio and Civic.
To address your points:-

For a same model, size has consistently gone up and up during the last 10 years - indeed it has. A VW Golf Mk1 for example is actually slightly smaller than the latest VW Polo, a car which sits below the Golf in size terms.

Height of cars has consistently gone up - Again you are right, and this has the effect of ruining driving dynamics, increasing body roll and drag, and reducing fuel efficiency. Also reduces visibility for those of us who travel around in normal sized cars and not buses... sorry MPV's etc...

Security features,Electronic regulators and installations have been added on big but also small cars (more impact on sensations in small cars) - Agreed, but a neccesary evil for many people since they cant drive without help. However, there is no doubt for me that the increased insulation of modern cars with the multitude of safety features in some ways makes people drive worse because they feel safer in their cars, and hence take more risks. Replace that airbag with a spike and see if they continue to drive 2 feet from someones bumpers. The advent of power steering has made it lighter to steer a car, but has robbed away the feel and handling somewhat. Electric everything means that driving a modern car is, in some cases, as detached from the real thing as playing a playstation. For me, this makes it less fun too, and the sensation of speed is gone in a lot of modern cars too. Modern GTI's are faster and safer than before, but more clinical, and despite being faster, rarely *feel* it.

Most models have taken up to 1/3 in weight compared to 10 years ago. With the same power, a 10 years old car is much more fun than a 21st century car. - Pretty much true yes, a Mk2 Golf GTI weighs 907 kg, a Mk5 Golf GTI weighs about 1,384 kg. In terms of outright speed, the Mk5 needs every one of its 197 bhp to be as quick in real terms as a 139 bhp Mk2. The old Mk4 1.8T GTI (with a 150 bhp engine) is slower from 0-60 than a 110 bhp Mk1 or Mk2. Given that the older ones are lighter, so feel faster, have more nimble handling, need less power so lighter engines, and give better fuel economy too, its not hard to see that the hot hatch breeds are dying out.

You even cite the Clio 182 (with 179 bhp) and Civic Type R (with 197 bhp) as proper fun hot hatches, and they are, but the Clio 182 requires nearly 180 bhp to deliver similar performance to the old 120 bhp 5 GTT. The Civic Type R needs nearly 200 bhp to achieve under 7 seconds 0-60. An old Escort Cosworth only has 220 bhp and that does it in under 6......

 

subterranean-alien

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To purely balance the argument:

The brakes, stability, reliabilty, safety, build quality etc are all way ahead of their older versions. The Mk1 Golf GTi was a nice motor but brakes? Is there a genuine original 205 GTi left? they were extremely fond of taking their own line through a bend and Ive seen plenty in hedges. The Renault 5 Turbo! straight line quick but bloody unrealible and again, needed care through the twisties. Also I think a decent hot-hatch was few and far between, I need only mention the XR's, Vauxhall SR's and GT's, MG's and a shudder goes down my spine.

I am playing devils advo abit, but in seriousness Id rather my car be where I left it and if I do wrap it up have a good chance of actually coming off okay.

 

gaul

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Jul 22, 2005
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Agree with you Alien.

Just raised this point to underline this trend of added height, size, security features and weight in today's cars.

Certainly better than same models 15 years ago, but they need 1/3 extra power, no less:Coool:

 

subterranean-alien

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Sadly, to keep up with competitors manufacturers have to go wider, taller, heavier.......its all about 'interior packaging' as they say. Honda is a great example; in this country you get the Civic Tyre R, great car, looks like a bus :?in Japan you get the Integra, great car, same chassis, same engine, same performance as the Civic except it looks like a proper car. Honda GB wont import it coz its a civic in a nice frock. And thats the problem, the hot-hatch is based on a car designed entirely for the 2.4 kidz and the friday big shop.

 
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Yes they adding more toys and 'fruit' to modern cars, but I also notice that windows are getting smaller and smaller too on the basis I presume that thin pressed steel weighs less than glass.

Look at the latest generation of Vauxhalls and there is around 30% less glass than 5 years ago, while something like an Audi must beakin todriving around looking out through the slotsin a wartime pillbox.

 

subterranean-alien

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The glass thing is a fashion. High waistlines, thick rear pillars and the sort look more substantial, they also allow for a more 'enclosed' interior. Glass be a flippin fortune and expensive to repair might also have a part to play.

 

Hawk

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subterranean-alien wrote:

  Honda GB wont import it coz its a civic in a nice frock.  And thats the problem, the hot-hatch is based on a car designed entirely for the 2.4 kidz and the friday big shop.
Not strictly true.... There were many other factors involved in the decision, but i agree the integra is a much nicer looking car.

A big impact on car design is legislation, a short quote from the SMMT website...

'In 2001, the European Commission and the European vehicle manufacturers developed an agreement for the industry to meet stringent targets to improve further pedestrian protection in the next decade. The first phase of action will see pedestrian protection improvements from October 2005. A second phase was planned to be applied from 2010 following a feasibility review in 2004.'

This will particularly affect how cars look from the front, you will see cars designed to sweep peoples legs away rather than snap them on impact and nice comfy bonnets to cushion the blow!

also google on CAFE regulations...

Im not saying more safety, less polution etc etc is a bad thing but its going to and has already killed of some mighty fine cars in the process :Upset:

Hawk

 

meninblack

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GTI-Geordie wrote:

a Mk5 Golf GTI weighs about 1,384 kg.

Blimey! A series one XJ6 weighed 1,536 kg in 1968. This was not considered a small or light car! No wonder the Mk5 Golf with the 1.6 engine feels so dog slow.

 

Miller-8

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imo one of the most fun cars you can still buy is the MG ZS. Fantastic handling car, real fun to drive. Shame they wont be made anymore. Snap one up while you can.

 

gaul

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Jul 22, 2005
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We forgot to mention the fat tyres!

My car (Saloon VW Passat TDI 100 PS) having '205' tyres for only 100 PS. I know, it's nearly 1.5 tonne...

 

Geordie

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gaul wrote:

We forgot to mention the fat tyres!My car (Saloon VW Passat TDI 100 PS) having '205' tyres for only 100 PS. I know, it's nearly 1.5 tonne...
So true, and would you not agree that the current trend for the fattest tyres is not only an expensive one, but also robs of driving enjoyment. Example, my old Fabia vRS had 205 tyres as well, and had lots of grip. My current Golf GTI from 1990 has 185 tyres. Now the Fabia had more grip, that was easy to see, but the Golf can easily be put sideways in a controlled fashion and is in order of magnitude more fun....

 

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