1 2
Toyman!
Toyman! MegaDork
11/30/22 9:51 a.m.

In reply to bobzilla :

The Touareg has all of those conveniences, gets 22+ mpg in stop-and-go traffic, and has 490 lb-ft of torque and 305 hp on tap when needed. It is a pleasure to drive and the power is there when it's needed. 

I also have an 80 hp Samurai that will almost run 75, gets 28 mpg, and will do 0-60 in 18-20 seconds if you flog it. I can tell you which one I'd rather drive to work in stop-and-go traffic and it's not the Samurai. I don't particularly like being a moving chicane.  

bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
11/30/22 9:59 a.m.

In reply to Toyman! :

138hp, 128q. 2500lbs.0-60 8 seconds, 1/4in 16.5. No fast, but not slow. Handing makes that toureg feel like a cruise ship in a hurricane. I'll take light and fun all day every day over large and boring. 

slefain
slefain UltimaDork
11/30/22 10:11 a.m.
Loweguy5 said:

In reply to slefain :

Mustangs Unlimited??  Many years ago I worked there as managing director (live in CT).  

Crazy times...

Georgia location yo! Speaking of hooning slow cars one day I decided to take a car from the collection out to lunch. Hoverman was in CT so it was a relaxed day. I grabbed the keys to the '73 Cougar Convertible. Leaving the parking lot I romped on it.....and was met with the most disappointing forward movement. The car was a slug at best. I didn't expect much from the car and it still disappointed me.

I should have taken one of the Galaxie 4-speed convertibles, or the Sunbeam Tiger, but the Cougar was easiest to get out so I made my decision based on laziness.

Toyman!
Toyman! MegaDork
11/30/22 10:45 a.m.

In reply to bobzilla :

Yea, but then I'd have to drive a small car and I lost interest in doing that on a daily basis in the 80s. I don't think I've ever enjoyed driving one enough to actually buy another one as a DD. I'm glad you like yours, but they aren't for me. 

The Touareg might be twice the weight of your econo car but it has 2.2 times the HP and almost 4 times the torque. Max torque is at 2000 rpm which also happens to be right at cruise RPM. It also has 10" wide tires. I'd be willing to bet that the Touareg will pull almost as many Gs as most econoboxes on a skid pad, out-accelerate most of them. As much as I dislike German cars, this one is as close to the perfect vehicle as any I've ever owned. As a plus, it will tow anything I need it to. 

Last night, for instance, picking up my son's XJ after the starter died:

20221129_200113.jpg

Mr_Asa
Mr_Asa UltimaDork
11/30/22 12:35 p.m.
Toyman! said:

In traffic, on a day-to-day basis, I'll pass. A slow car is just slow. Give me torque and Hp. The power to make the pass safely, merge with traffic effortlessly and get to an opening before it closes up. 

This statement is always interesting to me.

Until the Miata, I had been mostly driving my wife's CX5.  Before that, I was driving my truck.  A 1993, only-options-on-it-are-AC-and-automatic-trans turtle that could hit 90 if I had about half a mile or more of flat level road with no headwind.

I get that my ND is probably one of the slowest "fast" cars out there, but I've yet to not have room to pass.  Most of my lack of passing in the Miata is being preconditioned to the truck's glacial acceleration abilities.

Kinda makes me wonder when/how you're* passing people.

 

 

*you being a general "you" of people that I have heard say something similar to this, not you=Toyman. 

rslifkin
rslifkin UberDork
11/30/22 12:39 p.m.

Need for power on the street really depends on where you live, I think.  Some areas have far more passing on 2 lane roads than others (which for safety should be done as quickly as possible to minimize distance covered during the pass) and some areas have far shorter, more challenging highway on ramps than others. 

In some areas a 10 second 0-60 is no problem.  But I've definitely encountered times where it would either be frustrating or a bit scary.  Get on a highway from an on ramp with a stop sign at the end where you've got at best a 1/2 mile of visibility, 70 mph traffic and you're merging from a dead stop (yes, this exists).  There's no such thing as too much power in that scenario. 

Toyman!
Toyman! MegaDork
11/30/22 1:23 p.m.

In reply to Mr_Asa :

Passing zones are frequently short due to turns and bridges around here. Tourist traffic is frequently fairly constant leaving short stretches where passing is possible. Having the power to scoot around someone is important unless you want to follow a tourist at 10 under the speed limit for 20 miles because they think the marsh and trees on the way out to the beach are pretty.

Tom1200
Tom1200 UberDork
11/30/22 4:23 p.m.

So for the purposes of this thread I don't think we are talking about merging in traffic; while a fast car will make merging in heavy traffic less stressful and or terrifying.............driving in these conditions is never fun.

My take is we are talking about a twisty two lane road, autocross and on track.

For me fun involves a certain sense of freedom; getting a Miata out of shape isn't a big deal, doing the same thing in a 911 GT3-RS or something like a Stohr P2 car is going to be a much different experience. 

The lower running costs of a slow car make it more appealing for me. Slow cars are also cheap to buy for the most part; I like the freedom of being able to walk away from the car if it came to that.

  

  

rslifkin
rslifkin UberDork
11/30/22 4:29 p.m.

In reply to Tom1200 :

I think what's come up here is that the things that make a car fun to beat on (regardless of environment) don't necessarily translate to the car being practical to drive on the street (save for empty back roads).  So it's somewhat challenging to come up with a car that's both fun to beat on (and has reasonable limits) and is practical as a daily. 

AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter)
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) UberDork
11/30/22 6:24 p.m.

In reply to rslifkin :

I could see a newer Civic Si doing all of these fairly well or the newer Hyundai N offerings, or the twins, and an ND.  
 

My only gripe would be the view from an SUV or CUV could be more advantageous in traffic

rslifkin
rslifkin UberDork
11/30/22 7:55 p.m.

In reply to AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) :

Yup, there are definitely cars that fit the bill well enough.  It's just a tough compromise because they'll be fast enough that you can't flog them mercilessly on the street without being irresponsible.  I have that problem in the E38.  It's fun in the snow, but on dry pavement with the summers on, you get irresponsible long before the car runs out of grip. 

ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter)
ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter) Dork
12/1/22 2:14 p.m.

After however many years of reading this forum and several dozen similar threads, I still don't know how we define fast cars and slow cars but it seems to be mostly about power.  By that definition, I have learned that if you're willing to consider non-production race cars, a whole world of really fast "slow" cars opens up.

Also, Miatas are very fun and not necessarily slow when prepared properly.

Tom1200
Tom1200 UberDork
12/1/22 3:54 p.m.
ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter) said:

After how ever many years of reading this forum and several dozen similar threads, I still don't know how we define fast cars and slow cars but it seems to be mostly about power.  By that definition, I have learned that if you're willing to consider non-production race cars, a whole world of really fast "slow" cars opens up.

Also, Miatas are very fun and not necessarily slow when prepared properly.

This is an excellent point:

My Formula 500 will isn't a truly fast car but you can turn a pretty respectable lap time in one. Same goes for your Spec Racer Ford. I'd call them both fast slow cars.

I think you have to account for power but also cornering speed. Case in point our old D-sports Racer; it would slightly out accelerate a stock Viper but the cornering speeds were very high and the fact that it would pull 3Gs on the brakes meant your brake markers were impossibly late. For reference the car was 1052lbs with me in it and sporting a 175hp motor. It was generating about 300lbs at 100 mph. 

Even with double the horsepower the Datsun would still be a slow car because of the narrow track and  the 50 year old technology means it lacks the cornering speed of even a modern Miata.

My definition for fast would be power to weight around .125hp per pound or higher and downforce of say 300-500lbs at 90-100mph.

My definition of slow would  power to weight around .075hp per pound or less and 0lbs downforce.

 

racerfink
racerfink UberDork
12/1/22 11:31 p.m.

I've raced Spec Miata, ITS, ITB, ITC, Formula V, and countless number of cars in Champcar, only one having over 300hp, an '84 Corvette with an LT swap.  The most fun I've ever had on track was the McLaren 720S my student handed me the keys to and said go have fun during a McLaren track day.

Tom1200
Tom1200 UberDork
12/1/22 11:44 p.m.

In reply to racerfink :

I bet that was fun.

mr2peak
mr2peak Dork
12/1/22 11:49 p.m.

Fast is fun. Control is fun. Being out of control is not fun.

If a slow car is more fun, than something is wrong with fast car or driver.

Tom1200
Tom1200 UberDork
12/2/22 12:18 a.m.
mr2peak said:

Fast is fun. Control is fun. Being out of control is not fun.

If a slow car is more fun, than something is wrong with fast car or driver.

So I'm going to be a bit contrary on this.

In my Datsun or my friend's stock motored Exocet you can get it completely out of control and gather the car back up in an instant. It's really fun when you know even if you get it wrong in a big way you can fix it.........it's akin to hooning around on a frozen lake.

The fastest cars I've driven don't have that luxury; you are traveling at such a rate that you are going to eat up more real estate before you bring it back......if you do manage bring it back.

My favorite spot on my home track is 45 degree over a crest. In the Datsun you're doing 83mph at the apex and the car 4 wheels drifts all the way to the bottom. By contrast in a single seat car with downforce that is a 100mph corner.

The tire wall is about 125 feet from the track edge; at 83 mph if you put it in the dirt it's just enough room to gather it up. At 100mph you're going 20ft per second faster likely going to bounce it off the tire wall.

Nockenwelle
Nockenwelle New Reader
12/2/22 12:26 a.m.

This is why I love my e30 so much. Same idea, different feel than the Miata. I've driven a few bone stock Miatas just over the limit and it was a riot, but I prefer the precision of the Bimmer. It has taught me so much over the years and is so damn much fun to drive hard that I plan to keep it for life. Packing up tonite for a TT weekend. 

SKJSS (formerly Klayfish)
SKJSS (formerly Klayfish) PowerDork
12/2/22 6:11 a.m.
Tom1200 said:

So for the purposes of this thread I don't think we are talking about merging in traffic; while a fast car will make merging in heavy traffic less stressful and or terrifying.............driving in these conditions is never fun.

My take is we are talking about a twisty two lane road, autocross and on track.

For me fun involves a certain sense of freedom; getting a Miata out of shape isn't a big deal, doing the same thing in a 911 GT3-RS or something like a Stohr P2 car is going to be a much different experience. 

The lower running costs of a slow car make it more appealing for me. Slow cars are also cheap to buy for the most part; I like the freedom of being able to walk away from the car if it came to that.

  

  

Those are some outstanding points and I agree with each and every one of them.  Give me an open stretch of two lane twisty road and I'll have the time of my life in an NA.  They seem purpose built for stuff like that.  When set up properly, they're also damn fast in endurance racing...all about momentum.

What frustrates me is just getting walked by nearly everything.  On public roads, it's not just highway merging.  Suburban driving can get annoying too.  My DD is a 2014 Prius C.  It had 99hp when new...at 326,000 miles who knows what it has now.  Just trying to keep the pace and flow of a suburban artery feels like I'm beating on it.  However, 50mpg, so I absolutely love the car from that perspective.  In endurance racing, my car is a 1986 Toyota Cressida.  190ish hp and 2800lbs.  We continually finish top 10 or even top 5, because we're smart drivers.  However getting walked on the straight by a Neon or Lumina sucks.

mr2peak
mr2peak Dork
12/2/22 6:34 a.m.
Tom1200 said:
mr2peak said:

Fast is fun. Control is fun. Being out of control is not fun.

If a slow car is more fun, than something is wrong with fast car or driver.

So I'm going to be a bit contrary on this.

In my Datsun or my friend's stock motored Exocet you can get it completely out of control and gather the car back up in an instant. It's really fun when you know even if you get it wrong in a big way you can fix it.........it's akin to hooning around on a frozen lake.

The fastest cars I've driven don't have that luxury; you are traveling at such a rate that you are going to eat up more real estate before you bring it back......if you do manage bring it back.

My favorite spot on my home track is 45 degree over a crest. In the Datsun you're doing 83mph at the apex and the car 4 wheels drifts all the way to the bottom. By contrast in a single seat car with downforce that is a 100mph corner.

The tire wall is about 125 feet from the track edge; at 83 mph if you put it in the dirt it's just enough room to gather it up. At 100mph you're going 20ft per second faster likely going to bounce it off the tire wall.

Buuuut. If a pro were in the single seat car, they might have the skills to accomplish the moves you can do in the Datsun?

At the end of the day, it's about what makes you smile more.  I just did a single day 350km ride on a CRF300 motard instead of a superbike. I knew I would be tired and didn't want to be tied to a twitchy throttle late in the day. I still think the superbike would have been more fun, but the Motard allowed me to enjoy myself more overall... If I had the skills and stamina, I would have taken a larger bike..

Perhaps I'm confusing Exhilaration with Fun? Maybe we all are?

AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter)
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) UberDork
12/2/22 8:28 a.m.
Tom1200 said:
mr2peak said:

Fast is fun. Control is fun. Being out of control is not fun.

If a slow car is more fun, than something is wrong with fast car or driver.

So I'm going to be a bit contrary on this.

In my Datsun or my friend's stock motored Exocet you can get it completely out of control and gather the car back up in an instant. It's really fun when you know even if you get it wrong in a big way you can fix it.........it's akin to hooning around on a frozen lake.

The fastest cars I've driven don't have that luxury; you are traveling at such a rate that you are going to eat up more real estate before you bring it back......if you do manage bring it back.

I get the same joy driving a Subaru on dirt.  You can do silly things and still have complete control.  That is fun.  

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
12/2/22 10:47 a.m.

The biggest complaint here seems to be what happens when you want a slow car, driven fast, to go faster. People want a fast car fast in some situations. Or at least faster than the slow car can manage.

Eking everything out of a slow car can be fun for sure. Especially when the limit is grip and not power, because the driver is more involved. Eking (almost) everything out of a fast car is the same challenge but with added difficulty - and yes, risk. And having a lot of performance in reserve occasionally allows us to have momentary bits of fun but also allows us to become lazy.

Sitting in traffic in a Corvette vs a Miata is irrelevant to the slow car discussion, that's just creature comforts.

Tom1200
Tom1200 UberDork
12/2/22 5:31 p.m.
mr2peak said:

Buuuut. If a pro were in the single seat car, they might have the skills to accomplish the moves you can do in the Datsun?

At the end of the day, it's about what makes you smile more.  I just did a single day 350km ride on a CRF300 motard instead of a superbike. I knew I would be tired and didn't want to be tied to a twitchy throttle late in the day. I still think the superbike would have been more fun, but the Motard allowed me to enjoy myself more overall... If I had the skills and stamina, I would have taken a larger bike..

Perhaps I'm confusing Exhilaration with Fun? Maybe we all are?

Yes this is exactly it; there is a talent level involved for sure. Back in the 80s I watched Claude Bourbonnais chucking a Formula Atlantic around Long Beach like a Formula Ford on treaded tires.  I've driven a Ralt Formula Super Vee, which is a slightly slower car, and there is no way I possess the experience let alone the skill to try that. 

I did a silly thing at Buttonwillow in the Formula 500; I turned into Riverside flat at about 120-125 or so, the car did this 4 wheel drift on entrance and then final turned down into the apex.  There was this millisecond moment where I thought it might go in the dirt. When I got back to the pits I told my buddy he said "you did what?" "what the f%#k were you thinking?" To which I replied "it was so close to flat I just had to try".  It was just inside my skill set.

To your point about fun; it was exhilarating but not what I'd call fun as it was a serious moment.  I find driving fast cars exhilarating but not hysterical kind of fun. For me they level of seriousness required takes the hysterical levels of fun out of it.  

1 2
Our Preferred Partners
eKXQeGeiCecFOE51YzCLAeWgteXkUi8MSgGb5kX7vikxx2tOwmidz8UbCkQrXfVQ