Utility of fast cars?

Spike Spiegel

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Every now and then, I’m tempted to get something faster and more exciting than the Si.

Then I remember driving 120 MPH on public streets is reckless, dangerous and illegal!

So I kinda wonder if owning an over powered, hyper-fast car is just a bad idea? Yes, I know if you autocross or go to the racetrack it’s different- but I’m talking about a 100% commuter car. Do we really need 600HP? Heck do we even need 300?

Bottom line is that concern for my life, other people’s lives and losing my license validates my decision that the Si is plenty fast enough for public roads… but damn if I still don’t lust after more powerful cars! :hmm:



 

MarkR171

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Do we need it? No. Is it more fun? Sometimes, but generally no.

I've owned and driven many fast cars. I owned a modded SLK55 AMG for 5 years and a modded (320whp, 2250lbs) Alfa 4C for 18 months. Both a lot of fun and the on-ramp squirts on throttle definitely put a huge grin on my face... but otherwise you're driving around at the bottom of the revs and can't really use the power.

My 2001 Miata on the other hand, with it's (maybe) 115-125whp, is a riot on the daily commute because I can drive it fairly closely to how it's driven on track without really breaking any laws. It's small and light and handles really well, makes a decent noise (with the mods) and I can rev the thing out almost anywhere.

It really depends on what you enjoy in a car. Straight line acceleration gets boring over time for me. The enjoyment I get is from actually driving, not just pressing the go pedal harder and watching the speedometer climb. The really high end sports cars aren't that much fun for me on the road because the limits are so high. The Miata is a ton of fun because I can use all of the car all of the time.
 

alexrawdriguez

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Every now and then, I’m tempted to get something faster and more exciting than the Si.

Then I remember driving 120 MPH on public streets is reckless, dangerous and illegal!

So I kinda wonder if owning an over powered, hyper-fast car is just a bad idea? Yes, I know if you autocross or go to the racetrack it’s different- but I’m talking about a 100% commuter car. Do we really need 600HP? Heck do we even need 300?

Bottom line is that concern for my life, other people’s lives and losing my license validates my decision that the Si is plenty fast enough for public roads… but damn if I still don’t lust after more powerful cars! :hmm:
What about just modding the Si? K tuner PRL cobra PRl downpipe / front pipe im sure the Si will be alot more fun then and if you still want more just get a tsp flex fuel tune and the flex fuel kit.
 

NoelPR

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Here is the thing. You don't need lots of hp to get over 100mph. Even a lame toyota corolla can get there.

My current car is around 320hp and I want more.
What I enjoy the most is getting pushed back into the seat and there are many ways of doing this without going over the speed limit.
Just don't drive like an asshole. Avoid doing stupid stuff on crowded roads and you will be fine.
 

amirza786

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No need in my opinion. As long as you have enough power to do the occasional pull for mergers, passing and lane changes. I see people on the road with 1000 hp Dodge Demons going about as fast as me because they really can't go any faster because of traffic or because it's just to dangerous. All you have to do is go thru Youtube to watch the idiots with their high powered 0-60 in 3 seconds cars wrapping them around poles
 

racer

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Ego, bragging rights, keeping up with the joneses etc.

NEED? = no

WANT? = Depends.

In the end, manufacturers build what sells. No one wants an 80hp tin can econo car anymore (for the most part) Most want cars with crazy capabilities, even if left unused. Massive SUV's with 350-400hp? Crazy competent these days. Makes it easier to have "1" car, vs a stable of cars to satisfy each need (wagon, sedan, coupe, sportscar - so many attributes of each can be found melded together in just one car)
 
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Snoopyslr

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Didn't you know that HP and Truck height are directly related to the size of your johnson? :D

I agree with @MarkR171, there is a cap on how much power is usable on the street. My WRX is 300whp and it's perfect. I've got decent suspension on it and I have fun in it whenever I want. If I threw a gigantic turbo made 800hp, but didn't spool until 5k... well that's not very fun on the street.

This is why cars like the Miata and S2000 are such great cars. They put a smile on your face every time you go around a sharp corner.

You may want to go test drive a Type-R, Focus RS, or a STI. Those cars are perfect daily drivers that will put a smile on your face on demand.
 

charleswrivers

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My Z has, I'd guess between it's raised boost and extensive mods... something around... 400 whp possibly a bit more, especially when it's cold out. Certainly well under 500. I've never had it dynoed... but I'm so far beyond the mods required for ~400 flywheel horsepower and the engine isn't tired... I figure 400+ is a safe bet. For driver aids... that '94 has antilock brakes and, well... is all wheel steering a drivers aid?

It's a very fast car. In the age of modern 400+ hp muscle cars being the standard... it's not as impressive as it was through the 90's and 00's... but it's what I consider fast. The little ~240 whp Civic, while peppy and very good handling, is nowhere near the Z so far as raw speed.

All of that being said... there are many times the Civic is honestly more fun to drive. One is a ~3300 lb monster, but older, more visceral, harder... almost punishing to drive hard because everything takes a lot of effort. It is fast though. But with all that power though... and the ability to hit well over 100 mph just letting the car wind out 3rd gear, I mostly just putt along in it. If I floor it, especially on a cold day, it'll break traction in 3rd gear at highway speeds as the turbos spool.

The Civic is newer, more comfortable, more precise and... well... slower. By a lot. I can floor it and shift a few times and have fun. It feels good and makes the right sounds. If I floor it and shift a couple times I'm at triple digit speeds in the Z. The saying, "It's more fun to drive a slow car fast than a fast car slow" starts to apply.

Folks that want a car with a lot of power are welcome to have it. But just putting around in a fast car sometimes isn't as fun as thrashing a much slower car... and making it give you all it's got.

So far as power is concerned... I challenge you to find many factory FWD cars that exceed 300 hp by a notable amount. Of those... how many weight under 3000 lbs like our Sis? Our stock ~200 whp number is more than adequate, though I find the stock tune not all that fun for a variety of reasons. ~300 whp is quite a lot and, given the platform is going to meet or beat most any other similar stock offerings out there. No, it won't beat many other muscle/sports cars in a straight line... but it's an awful lot of power given the platform and more than I'm be interested in having at that point because, IMO, you'd be back to being forced to drive a fast car slow 99% of the time.
 



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My Z has, I'd guess between it's raised boost and extensive mods... something around... 400 whp possibly a bit more, especially when it's cold out. Certainly well under 500. I've never had it dynoed... but I'm so far beyond the mods required for ~400 flywheel horsepower and the engine isn't tired... I figure 400+ is a safe bet. For driver aids... that '94 has antilock brakes and, well... is all wheel steering a drivers aid?

It's a very fast car. In the age of modern 400+ hp muscle cars being the standard... it's not as impressive as it was through the 90's and 00's... but it's what I consider fast. The little ~240 whp Civic, while peppy and very good handling, is nowhere near the Z so far as raw speed.

All of that being said... there are many times the Civic is honestly more fun to drive. One is a ~3300 lb monster, but older, more visceral, harder... almost punishing to drive hard because everything takes a lot of effort. It is fast though. But with all that power though... and the ability to hit well over 100 mph just letting the car wind out 3rd gear, I mostly just putt along in it. If I floor it, especially on a cold day, it'll break traction in 3rd gear at highway speeds as the turbos spool.

The Civic is newer, more comfortable, more precise and... well... slower. By a lot. I can floor it and shift a few times and have fun. It feels good and makes the right sounds. If I floor it and shift a couple times I'm at triple digit speeds in the Z. The saying, "It's more fun to drive a slow car fast than a fast car slow" starts to apply.

Folks that want a car with a lot of power are welcome to have it. But just putting around in a fast car sometimes isn't as fun as thrashing a much slower car... and making it give you all it's got.

So far as power is concerned... I challenge you to find many factory FWD cars that exceed 300 hp by a notable amount. Of those... how many weight under 3000 lbs like our Sis? Our stock ~200 whp number is more than adequate, though I find the stock tune not all that fun for a variety of reasons. ~300 whp is quite a lot and, given the platform is going to meet or beat most any other similar stock offerings out there. No, it won't beat many other muscle/sports cars in a straight line... but it's an awful lot of power given the platform and more than I'm be interested in having at that point because, IMO, you'd be back to being forced to drive a fast car slow 99% of the time.
Couldn't agree more. One reason I've never traded my WRX for a newer one is I LOVE the mechanical roughness of the 2003. Newer cars just feel like a video game controller... They don't have the steering, throttle, and braking feedback older cars have, and I love all that!
 

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needed? no
do i want it? yes.

my Z and CTR has the perfect amount of power as a commuter imo. Not too slow, not too fast.
 

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Every now and then, I’m tempted to get something faster and more exciting than the Si.

Then I remember driving 120 MPH on public streets is reckless, dangerous and illegal!

So I kinda wonder if owning an over powered, hyper-fast car is just a bad idea? Yes, I know if you autocross or go to the racetrack it’s different- but I’m talking about a 100% commuter car. Do we really need 600HP? Heck do we even need 300?

Bottom line is that concern for my life, other people’s lives and losing my license validates my decision that the Si is plenty fast enough for public roads… but damn if I still don’t lust after more powerful cars! :hmm:
Hmm, I have come across the same dilemma. I had the SI but found that I wanted RWD and a good exhaust note. Therefore, I traded it in for a 19' manual Mustang GT. lol 460HP not as practical as the SI but so much fun and pleasing to the ears.

One thing I immediately noticed and missed was actual take off power. No more boost lag is a huge plus for me and my driving style. Going to stick with NA or superchargers. Turbo's for economy
 
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kg4fxg

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For what it is worth...

I drove a Mini Cooper S Coupe. Very fast. Faster than my BMW. Now, I drive the Hatch Touring. I think of it as a Cadillac. Rides like one to me. And I have not had it out of Econ mode. It is fast enough. Truth be told, I drove the Mini much harder because it was small and fast. Do I need it - no! I enjoy the ride and the gas mileage 38 MPG. And no trouble with expressways and acceleration. I think it is a mind set. How much power do you really need? I have had it in Sport Mode once. And out of Econ mode as well. Plenty of power. It can feel similar in pickup to my Mini. I am sure heaver and will not corner at high speeds as well. So what. If I need to tap into power it is there. Such as fast acceleration getting onto freeway. Can't speak as to top speed. I try to keep speed down so as to prevent windshield chips. And others issues.
 

JNRS

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Hmm, I have come across the same dilemma. I had the SI but found that I wanted RWD and a good exhaust note. Therefore, I traded it in for a 19' manual Mustang GT. lol 460HP not as practical as the SI but so much fun and pleasing to the ears.
The thing with horsepower is it becomes addicting. You have to convince yourself that you don't need more. That 460HP will soon feel slow to you lol.
 

d1zguy

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The thing with horsepower is it becomes addicting. You have to convince yourself that you don't need more. That 460HP will soon feel slow to you lol.
Hmm, not sure I will have that issue. I found my TSP stage 1 SI plenty fast. Just got bored of the turbo lag on take off and quick throttle applications, Slow to rev down engine, FWD, and terrible exhaust note.

The mustang makes415HP and 397tq at 6k RPM to the wheels.

with rising tq from 300 to 397 from 3500 rpm to 6100rpm. Under 3k I get 300ft lbs of tq all available on tap and no lag.
 
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JNRS

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Hmm, not sure I will have that issue. I found my TSP stage 1 SI plenty fast. Just got bored of the turbo lag on take off and quick throttle applications, Slow to rev down engine, FWD, and terrible exhaust note.
That list pretty much sums up my feelings as well. It's more of you will get use to the power and it won't feel as fast. That is what I meant.
 

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