flexo
Posts: 344
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Owning Fast Cars In Speed Restricted Countries

Thu Jul 31, 2008 4:38 pm

Ok, first of all: This thread is not about CO2 emissions or anything like that. There are numerous threads about that! I am also not trying to bash anyone, merely curious here!

Since I grew up in Germany I am used to the Autobahn with the possibility of going fast legally. That is also the sole reason I went through the expense of getting a V6 Audi - to go fast when I get the chance.

I have also lived in the US for a while and noticed that cars in general have much more horsepower, larger engines and higher top speeds than the average car in Germany. The smallest engine for the A4 I'm driving is 150hp, whereas in Germany they start at 100hp!
Also Porsche is very large in the US, which also seems odd when the highest speed limit is 75mph which could be reached in a smart car.

I am aware of the cheap gasoline in the US which is the reason why people don't care about the worse gas mileage, but also the car itself is more expensive with a larger engine.

So, here's my question:
What is the point of having a fast car in a country where everything is speed restricted? Would you buy a larger engine for a sedan, and what are your reasons to do so?
 
wilco737
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RE: Owning Fast Cars In Speed Restricted Countries

Thu Jul 31, 2008 4:50 pm



Quoting Flexo (Thread starter):
What is the point of having a fast car in a country where everything is speed restricted? Would you buy a larger engine for a sedan, and what are your reasons to do so?

I am german too and used to driving fast. but even if there would be a speed limit, I really do like a nice acceleration! And you get that only with a poweful engine. And when I overtake I want some power as well  Wink

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desertjets
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RE: Owning Fast Cars In Speed Restricted Countries

Thu Jul 31, 2008 5:17 pm



Quoting Flexo (Thread starter):
So, here's my question:
What is the point of having a fast car in a country where everything is speed restricted? Would you buy a larger engine for a sedan, and what are your reasons to do so?

FWIW I drive a car with 125hp so my answer may be skewed.

Short answer: because we can.

Long answer: Speed restrictions don't matter much. In the US there are no taxes based on engine displacement or emission levels. As a result the market was artificially restricted to lower displacement engines. Had that tax structure never been in place in Europe I would wager that you would see more powerful standard engines being offered across most product.... the tax structure on gas/diesel in Europe is also a consideration. Obviously fuel economy becomes a bigger concern when gas is more expensive.

Secondly many of those who buy, and enjoy high performance cars take them to the track to play with them and avoid doing high speed antics on public roads.
Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
 
flexo
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RE: Owning Fast Cars In Speed Restricted Countries

Thu Jul 31, 2008 7:04 pm



Quoting DesertJets (Reply 2):
Had that tax structure never been in place in Europe I would wager that you would see more powerful standard engines being offered across most product

I'm sure you're right. I always thought it's funny the way in Germany there are so many small, underpowered cars, while you could really use the hp here.

Quoting DesertJets (Reply 2):
FWIW I drive a car with 125hp so my answer may be skewed.

Over here that would count as "pretty fast", you could most likely easily exceed 200 kph.


Another reason I'm asking this is that I was wondering what I would do if they ever issued a speed limit here. I'd probably sell my car and go for a < 100hp car.
 
Analog
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RE: Owning Fast Cars In Speed Restricted Countries

Thu Jul 31, 2008 7:17 pm

One thing about driving in Germany and many nearby countries (and Scandinavia & the UK) is that people actually know how to drive.

When I drove on the Autobahn I could look ahead and I would know what the other drivers were going to do. That's far more difficult to do in the US; people are not as disciplined in their driving.

Quoting DesertJets (Reply 2):
Secondly many of those who buy, and enjoy high performance cars take them to the track to play with them and avoid doing high speed antics on public roads.

How many people actually take their cars to "the track"? I can't imagine the percentage is very high, even among people that buy high performance cars.
 
fbgdavidson
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RE: Owning Fast Cars In Speed Restricted Countries

Thu Jul 31, 2008 7:20 pm



Quoting Flexo (Thread starter):
What is the point of having a fast car in a country where everything is speed restricted? Would you buy a larger engine for a sedan, and what are your reasons to do so?

I'm not quite sure...My brother lives on Jersey in the Channel Islands. The highest speed limit on the island is 40mph and there is only one two lane each way road down by the seafront in St Helier. Most of the roads have very tight corners and are rather narrow.

However since it is pretty monied you get a lot of very fast and expensive cars about. I was there last week and saw a Mercedes CLS63 AMG. What's wrong with the 55 AMG? Or perhaps the Bentley Continental GT Speed his girlfriend's father just bought...or his work colleague that's just bought an Audi R8...

My brother can't really talk though, he's just bought a Golf GTi Edition 30. Since he brought up the above examples when we were driving I asked why a standard GTi wasn't good enough for him. He said the Edition 30 was better...so that's your answer  Wink
"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
 
bristolflyer
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RE: Owning Fast Cars In Speed Restricted Countries

Thu Jul 31, 2008 7:33 pm

What the speed limit is and what people drive at can be different, if you see what I mean  wink 

Oh, and stop showing off that the Autobahns have no limit!
Fortune favours the brave
 
MCOflyer
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RE: Owning Fast Cars In Speed Restricted Countries

Thu Jul 31, 2008 7:50 pm

Well in some parts of the US, one can get away with going 70+mph. My dad has owned nothing but high end luxury imports that have this acceleration Flexo describes. Cars my dad has owned:

Lexus LS430
Lexus SC430
Lexus ES 350
Porche 911 Turbo
BMW 745I
Volvo S60

Hunter
Never be afraid to stand up for who you are.
 
lincoln
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RE: Owning Fast Cars In Speed Restricted Countries

Thu Jul 31, 2008 8:28 pm



Quoting Flexo (Thread starter):
Also Porsche is very large in the US, which also seems odd when the highest speed limit is 75mph which could be reached in a smart car.

Just because the sign says 75 doesn't mean you can't go faster  Wink

I've hit 85-90 in parts of California signed at between 65 and 70. I've hit 75 on a two lane highway in Michigan signed at 55 (I don't think I would ever do that again, I just got a little too excited by the wide-open road and wasn't paying attention to where the speedometer was going)

Quoting Flexo (Thread starter):
hat is the point of having a fast car in a country where everything is speed restricted? Would you buy a larger engine for a sedan, and what are your reasons to do so?

I realize I may be the exception, but the only car I've ever been interested in owning (but with the current state of affairs feel like it's slipping away) happens to be a fast(er) car; I don't want to own it because it's fast, but rather I love it's looks and there's not a "slow" version (The BMW Z4 Convertable is the vehicle to which I am referring, however, I could be persuaded to take a Boxter or TT, again based on looks and not performance)

Lincoln
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mainMAN
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RE: Owning Fast Cars In Speed Restricted Countries

Thu Jul 31, 2008 8:40 pm

In the UK, people often drive at far higher speed than the speed limit. It's knowing when and where to do it. It's alleged that speeds in excess of 100mph/160kph involve an automatic disqualification (which may or may not be strictly true) so speeds on uncongested motorways hover at between 80 and 99.9 mph!

I noticed that in Victoria, Australia, people have to drive at bang on the speed limit, which is infuriating when you're used to UK roads.

Quoting Analog (Reply 4):
When I drove on the Autobahn I could look ahead and I would know what the other drivers were going to do. That's far more difficult to do in the US; people are not as disciplined in their driving.

American drivers seems a lot calmer and forgiving than UK drivers.
 
flexo
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RE: Owning Fast Cars In Speed Restricted Countries

Thu Jul 31, 2008 8:41 pm



Quoting MCOflyer (Reply 7):
Well in some parts of the US, one can get away with going 70+mph

What do you mean? There are highways that are unrestricted or there are parts where the police don't care?

While I lived in the states I got pulled over twice before I decided to stop speeding, I didn't know there were areas where it is ok to do so!
 
Flighty
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RE: Owning Fast Cars In Speed Restricted Countries

Thu Jul 31, 2008 8:47 pm

When I was a 12 year old boy, I found the idea of a 150 mph car to be just wonderful. Of course, driving at 150 mph is so amazing and great, or so I thought as a little boy.


But of course, here in the USA we drive very slowly. I have no idea why people here buy such horsepower!!!!! We have a BMW 3series with 3 motors... 230, 300, and 400 hp... for what?????

A 230hp BMW can easily go 140+ mph, which is 50+mph beyond anything you can get away with on American roads. Speeds beyond 90mph just aren't acceptable in the USA. I have driven all over the USA. Going over 90 is illegal everywhere. It is usually not very safe either.

My point is, a Honda Civic can easily cruise at 90 mph, because it has good enough performance. Why people buy cars with over 200hp is just madness to me.

It is well and good to have a sharp steering BMW or porsche here in the USA. Just great! But the horsepower is what I don't understand. Who are we fooling? You want to buy a 505hp Corvette Z06 and race me? You can't use ANY of that horsepower in real life. It's not legal and it won't get you anywhere any faster. A Toyota Prius can probably beat that car in real life. Humiliating, IMO.
 
TheSonntag
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RE: Owning Fast Cars In Speed Restricted Countries

Thu Jul 31, 2008 8:48 pm



Quoting MainMAN (Reply 9):
I noticed that in Victoria, Australia, people have to drive at bang on the speed limit, which is infuriating when you're used to UK roads.

I hate the same in the netherlands. In Germany, even where there are speed limits (which, contrary to popular belief, are indeed quite common), one can easily drive a little more. Some people use to say Speed limit + VAT in km/h (which is 19% in germany).

In the netherlands, 80 means 80, and 100 means 100. One can say that is the point of limits, but I still hate it.
 
bristolflyer
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RE: Owning Fast Cars In Speed Restricted Countries

Thu Jul 31, 2008 9:15 pm



Quoting MainMAN (Reply 9):
American drivers seems a lot calmer and forgiving than UK drivers

Sure about that? Here in Phx the drivers are so flippin discourteous, they never let you change lanes on teh freeway (even speeding up to not let you in). And if you're towing a trailer, they'll do anything not to let you get in front of them.

You may well have been to a differnet place, and there are so many differnet cultures in the US there must be a lot of differences in driving habits.
Fortune favours the brave
 
lincoln
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RE: Owning Fast Cars In Speed Restricted Countries

Thu Jul 31, 2008 9:32 pm



Quoting BristolFlyer (Reply 13):
Sure about that?

Every state's drivers are a little different. Californians are agressive, fast, and (for me at least) predictable -- I can tell what a California driver is going to do 10-15 seconds before they actually do it, even if they don't officially signal. The speed limit on the sign is generally 10-20 MPH lower than the actual speed, unless there's an accident

Michiganders are fast, courteous (except for Detroit), and occssionally unpredictable and understand left-lane ettiquite. The speed limit on the sign is virtually always 15-25 MPH lower than the actual speed. Period.

Ohio drivers are slow (though they get a little faster in the southern parts of the state), passive-agressive, and frequently unpredictable, and don't understand that if they're the slowest car on the road they should not be in the left lane. If the speed limit on the sign is 60 or lower, that 's generally the actual speed. If the sign is 65, the actual speed is somewhere between 60 and 70.

Pennsylvania (at least the Eastern half of the state) drivers are an odd lot... I don't do enough driving in PA to get an accurate feel, but generally they'll stay out of the left lane, usually they're a little bit faster than Ohio drivers, but nowhere near as fast as California or Michigan drivers.

I've never driven in New York state, but the New Yorkers that pass through ohio are agressive, left lane hogs, but they're slow as molasses. By far my least favorite of the "types" I've identified.

Lincoln
CO Is My Airline of Choice || Baggage Claim is an airline's last chance to disappoint a customer || Next flts in profile
 
greggarious
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RE: Owning Fast Cars In Speed Restricted Countries

Thu Jul 31, 2008 9:33 pm



Quoting MainMAN (Reply 9):
I noticed that in Victoria, Australia, people have to drive at bang on the speed limit, which is infuriating when you're used to UK roads.



Quoting TheSonntag (Reply 12):
In the netherlands, 80 means 80, and 100 means 100.

Oy, are the speed limits really enforced that strictly? Or is it simply culturally unacceptable to speed?

Quoting MainMAN (Reply 9):
American drivers seems a lot calmer and forgiving than UK drivers.

 Silly Depends. Try driving in Miami!

Quoting Flexo (Reply 10):
While I lived in the states I got pulled over twice before I decided to stop speeding, I didn't know there were areas where it is ok to do so!

I guess it's matter of selectively gunning it. I have to drive on the same causeway (a six lane road with a horrifically low 45 MPH speed limit) every single day and I know by this time exactly where the Miami PD tends to hide out with its radar guns. So I ease off the gas a few times during my drive, bring the car down to 45, and then shoot back up to 60 or so when I'm in the clear... things like that.

I guess it's a sense of proactive speeding.  Wink

Quoting Flighty (Reply 11):
You want to buy a 505hp Corvette Z06 and race me? You can't use ANY of that horsepower in real life.

I totally see where you're coming from. A Z06 on American streets is just wasted horsepower. But I'm not at all in favor of sluggish, underpowered cars either (your example of a Toyota Prius is probably the most anemic driving experience I've had).

How exactly does taxation on engines work in Europe? Is it the size of the engine? Perhaps we could start taxing cars here in the US based on power-to-weight ratio or something thereabouts.
 
TheSonntag
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RE: Owning Fast Cars In Speed Restricted Countries

Thu Jul 31, 2008 9:55 pm



Quoting Greggarious (Reply 15):
Oy, are the speed limits really enforced that strictly? Or is it simply culturally unacceptable to speed?

They are. Driving in the netherlands is no fun, although it might be that going slightly faster can be tolerated, but generally, the netherlands are full of speed traps, red signal traps, and the like. It might be that they tolerate 5 km/h faster, but we really did not want to try that.

Quoting Greggarious (Reply 15):
How exactly does taxation on engines work in Europe? Is it the size of the engine? Perhaps we could start taxing cars here in the US based on power-to-weight ratio or something thereabouts.

There is no European taxation, as taxation is in the competence of every member state, therefore, each state has its own system.

In germany, taxation is (still, a reform is planned) based on emission class and engine size. For trucks, taxation is based on the allowed maximum weight. There are different tax values for Diesel and Petrol cars, Diesel have a higher car tax, because Diesel fuel on the other hand is cheaper because of lower taxation due to the fact that all trucks in Europe use Diesel engines.

The taxation goes per 100 cubic centimetres. My old VW bug had no catalytic converters and was thus in the worst possible class for petrol driven cars. It cost 25,xx EUR per 100 ccm. I had a 1,2 litre engine = 1200 ccm = 12 x 25,xx EUR = 304 EUR

Modern cars with modern converters are much cheaper per 100 ccm, so a VW Passat with a 2 litre engine would cost something like 20 x 6 = 120 EUR per year.

A diesel is, as I have said, more expensive, so you would pay around 300 EUR for a Passat TDI (I really do not know the current numbers, but it is in that region.

The system will change soon for new cars, which will get a taxation based on their CO-2 emissions.
 
SlamClick
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RE: Owning Fast Cars In Speed Restricted Countries

Thu Jul 31, 2008 10:00 pm



Quoting Flexo (Reply 10):
What do you mean? There are highways that are unrestricted or there are parts where the police don't care?

Have you ever been to the US, especially the western US? I've driven the equivalent of all the way across France and never even seen the highway patrol. I can get up to 100mph and back down to the speed limit and no one, not another person will see me do it. It is just wide open out here. When I first moved to Nevada it had no speed limit outside of city limits and there were only 17 highway patrol in the whole state. (nearly the size of Germany) There are highways where I can see ten miles in front of me and ten miles behind me and not see a single car, much less a state trooper.

I have a car capable of 145-150 mph, 168 if it has the torque to redline in top gear, which I doubt. I've never taken it above 105 because, unlike most drivers on the road, I understand the role of ailerons, elevator and rudder at such speeds. And BTW, I get 24-28 miles per gallon if I can keep my foot out of it.

Still, every once in a while it is fun to start up a freeway onramp at 35, hit a hundred before the top and coast out into traffic at 75 or so like everyone else is doing. A mountain road I like to drive has a short straight where most cars can usually hit fifty or so. I can exit the turn at about 45 and hit seventy by the time I have to brake for the next corner. It's called fun. It's called being alive and it doesn't involve triple-digit speeds.
Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
 
greggarious
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RE: Owning Fast Cars In Speed Restricted Countries

Thu Jul 31, 2008 10:04 pm



Quoting TheSonntag (Reply 16):
There is no European taxation, as taxation is in the competence of every member state, therefore, each state has its own system.

Wow, my "EU as a Political System" course a couple of semesters did me a lot of good!  Big grin I can't believe I let that one slip...

Thanks for the info!
 
mainMAN
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RE: Owning Fast Cars In Speed Restricted Countries

Thu Jul 31, 2008 10:09 pm



Quoting TheSonntag (Reply 12):
Some people use to say Speed limit + VAT in km/h

 Smile

Quoting BristolFlyer (Reply 13):
Sure about that? Here in Phx the drivers are so flippin discourteous, they never let you change lanes on teh freeway (even speeding up to not let you in).



Quoting Lincoln (Reply 14):
Californians are agressive, fast, and (for me at least) predictable

Only state I've driven in so far was California and my experience was the opposite. I was struck by how easy it was to change lanes in comparison with the UK, and how you weren't automatically deemed a 'twat' if you ever showed a moments hesitation!

Quoting Greggarious (Reply 15):
Oy, are the speed limits really enforced that strictly? Or is it simply culturally unacceptable to speed?

In Victoria, speed limits are enforced. In Britain, they're enforced primarily by 6000 cameras, defouling the landscape and making it look like a police state. Having said that, they work.

We also have 'time-over-distance' cameras which measure speed over a distance of road, and are a particularly crafty way of screwing motorists.
 
TheSonntag
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RE: Owning Fast Cars In Speed Restricted Countries

Thu Jul 31, 2008 10:10 pm

Quoting Greggarious (Reply 18):

Wow, my "EU as a Political System" course a couple of semesters did me a lot of good! Big grin I can't believe I let that one slip...

No problem, and naturally, the taxation must not discriminate against products from other member states, as this would infringe EC-legislation. Whether this isn't the case can be debated, as Germany certainly would not adopt any legislation which harms its own car industry with big cars, while a taxation which benefits smaller cars would be of no surprise in Italy or France. There is nothing better than discrimination hidden in taxation laws, which at first look seems to be neutral...

[Edited 2008-07-31 15:18:47]
 
planesarecool
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RE: Owning Fast Cars In Speed Restricted Countries

Thu Jul 31, 2008 10:14 pm

It's the acceleration, rather than the top speed, that I'd buy a fast car for. Even if I'm going to stick to 60mph on an A road, getting there in 5 seconds is far more thrilling than getting there in 14.

In the UK, relatively few people actually stick to the speed limit. I was doing 76mph on a 70mph dual carriageway today, and was still being overtaken at some speed. Most speed cameras won't even flash you upto around 85-90mph.
 
greggarious
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RE: Owning Fast Cars In Speed Restricted Countries

Thu Jul 31, 2008 10:15 pm



Quoting MainMAN (Reply 19):
We also have 'time-over-distance' cameras which measure speed over a distance of road, and are a particularly crafty way of screwing motorists.

 
TheSonntag
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RE: Owning Fast Cars In Speed Restricted Countries

Thu Jul 31, 2008 10:17 pm

I just want to add that there are huge regional difference in the way people are driving both between the different European states and inside those states.

If you see someone in Germany with the number plate AIC, there is only one way to save your life: RUN, FLEE, AS FAST AS POSSIBLE!!! Those people simply cannot drive at all.

But to be a little bit more serious, in Germany you still can see where a car is registered, as every district has its own number plate, and you even have to change it if you move around from one district to another one. Very anachronistic, but it does have its good sides. You can see where people come from, and it is really true that people from rural areas like Aichach-Friedberg (with AIC on it) simply cannot drive (I love generalisations when they are true).

In Denmark, people in Jutland cannot drive at all. I lived there for several years, and found it astonishing how you can drive 40 km/h on a public road that allows 80 without realising that this is kind of stupid. They also always seemed to start from traffic signals in 3rd gear, because they needed 20 seconds to get up to 50 km/h. My mum always found that relaxing, I did not.

Did I mention Italy already, btw?  Wink
 
fbgdavidson
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RE: Owning Fast Cars In Speed Restricted Countries

Fri Aug 01, 2008 6:09 pm

Maybe I misunderstood the question. I didn't think you meant limited by a speed limit as limited by how fast you could go. On the island my brother lives that I mentioned before, with the exception of one road you'd struggle to do more than about 60mph anywhere on the island as the roads are so small...yet you get a lot of faster cars there.

Quoting MCOflyer (Reply 7):
Well in some parts of the US, one can get away with going 70+mph.

A whole 70mph?? I, like anyone else, rarely drive at less than 70mph on the interstate. Usually around 80-85mph.

Quoting MCOflyer (Reply 7):
My dad has owned nothing but high end luxury imports

Volvo isn't a high end luxury brand!!

Quoting MainMAN (Reply 9):
American drivers seems a lot calmer and forgiving than UK drivers.

Having driven on both sides of the Atlantic a lot I'd have to say driving in Britain is a hell of a lot more civilised than the US. Admittedly I haven't done much of the middle states but I've driven enough on the East and West coasts...I have too many gripes to list here about driving in the US: too many people on the phone, left/middle lane hangers, no use of indicators, rare use of lights in inclement weather, abysmal lane discipline etc etc.
"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
 
A342
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RE: Owning Fast Cars In Speed Restricted Countries

Fri Aug 01, 2008 6:31 pm



Quoting TheSonntag (Reply 23):
and it is really true that people from rural areas like Aichach-Friedberg (with AIC on it) simply cannot drive (I love generalisations when they are true)

I happen to live near that area (not in it!) and I wonder how you can come to this conclusion.
Exceptions confirm the rule.
 
ScarletHarlot
Posts: 4251
Joined: Tue Jul 22, 2003 12:15 pm

RE: Owning Fast Cars In Speed Restricted Countries

Fri Aug 01, 2008 7:09 pm



Quoting SlamClick (Reply 17):
Still, every once in a while it is fun to start up a freeway onramp at 35, hit a hundred before the top and coast out into traffic at 75 or so like everyone else is doing. A mountain road I like to drive has a short straight where most cars can usually hit fifty or so. I can exit the turn at about 45 and hit seventy by the time I have to brake for the next corner. It's called fun. It's called being alive and it doesn't involve triple-digit speeds.

The Slammer has it just right.

We have a road just south of my house that is a beautiful twisty two-lane country road. The posted speed limit is 35 mph but it is much more fun at 45 or 55. I followed an Audi up it one day at 70...only for about 15-20 seconds though, that was too fast. But very fun while it lasted. That speed is fun if you have a car that performs well on the road.

Last night I took the 911 Turbo into town for yoga class. (Hee hee, that's fun to write.) On the way home, there is an onramp that has very little merge room and reduced visibility - you cannot see the cars on the freeway until you're 2/3 of the way down the ramp. Then it's decision time - back off or speed up. I was at 55 mph 2/3 of the way down the ramp and saw that there was a Camry to my left. I put my foot down (some), and by the end of the ramp I was doing 75. It was great fun.

So, Slammer, is waiting for a turbocharger to spool up something like waiting for a jet engine to do the same? It only took a second for the turbo to kick in on the 911, but it was a long second.  Smile
But that was when I ruled the world
 
SlamClick
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RE: Owning Fast Cars In Speed Restricted Countries

Fri Aug 01, 2008 7:50 pm



Quoting ScarletHarlot (Reply 26):
So, Slammer, is waiting for a turbocharger to spool up something like waiting for a jet engine to do the same? It only took a second for the turbo to kick in on the 911, but it was a long second.

Hello lady. Yes it is and there are some very similar considerations. Chief among these is intelligent anticipation.

A friend of mine who checks people out on a couple of straight-pipe ex military jets says the key concept, the make-or-break ability for his students is the throttle lag and their getting how a little bit of loud-handle two seconds ago is better than a whole quadrant full two seconds too late. With the turbo I will sometimes get on the loud-pedal just enough to see the manifold pressure gauge indicate that the turbo is starting to spool up - and I'll try to time that to the go - no go decision. If I elect not to go ahead I can back off without actually having gained any speed. If I elect to go, I can count on the boost as soon as I put my foot down.

Here's to the "that's fun to write" moments in life!!

Don't let people take them away from you just because some goons abuse them.
Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
 
MCOflyer
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RE: Owning Fast Cars In Speed Restricted Countries

Fri Aug 01, 2008 9:12 pm



Quoting Flexo (Reply 10):

What do you mean? There are highways that are unrestricted or there are parts where the police don't care?

In some parts of the US the speed limit is 75mph and if the cops are nice you can do 80-85 and not get pulled over.

Hunter
Never be afraid to stand up for who you are.
 
redflyer
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RE: Owning Fast Cars In Speed Restricted Countries

Sat Aug 02, 2008 4:30 am



Quoting Analog (Reply 4):
When I drove on the Autobahn I could look ahead and I would know what the other drivers were going to do. That's far more difficult to do in the US; people are not as disciplined in their driving.

Excellent point. I've always felt that police here should ticket people for bad driving habits (e.g., unsafe lane changes, etc.) more than they do for speeding. While the old adage "speed kills" is true, I think eliminating or reducing bad driving habits would save far more lives than simply monitoring speed.
My other home is a Piper Cherokee 180C
 
Flighty
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RE: Owning Fast Cars In Speed Restricted Countries

Mon Aug 04, 2008 2:23 am



Quoting MCOflyer (Reply 28):
In some parts of the US the speed limit is 75mph and if the cops are nice you can do 80-85 and not get pulled over.

Right, 90 MPH is the de facto USA speed limit right now. There seems to be no place where driving >90 is allowed. Meaning, tolerated by the local police. So, top speeds of 110+ MPH seem to have no purpose, for the most part. It's just an imaginary mind game, nothing real.
 
bok269
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RE: Owning Fast Cars In Speed Restricted Countries

Mon Aug 04, 2008 3:06 am



Quoting Flexo (Thread starter):
Also Porsche is very large in the US, which also seems odd when the highest speed limit is 75mph which could be reached in a smart car.

Small penises exist everywhere, regardless of the speed limit.

Quoting Flexo (Reply 10):
What do you mean? There are highways that are unrestricted or there are parts where the police don't care?

The cops care, to an extent, but for the most part if you are on a highway or road without any kind of signal or stop sign, they don't seem to care as long as you keep up with traffic. A few weeks ago I was on a county road about a mile away from where I live. The stretch I was on has no lights or stop signs. Given that it is a surface street I occasionally see people get pulled over there. So anyway on this particular day I was heading back home, and was travelling in the left lane. I look down at my speedometer and realize I'm doing 50 in a 35, keeping up with traffic, but still speeding. Next thing you know I pass a side street and out of the corner of my eye I seea white Crown Vic (the quintessential American cop car for the foregn posters). I'm thinking, "oh shit here we go", He probably could have gotten anyone of us for speeding, but instead made a left tun and continued on as if nothing was wrong.

Quoting MCOflyer (Reply 28):

In some parts of the US the speed limit is 75mph and if the cops are nice you can do 80-85 and not get pulled over.

Hunter

Here in New York 55 is the speed limit but you won't find anyone doing less than 70 on the major highways, and that's on a slow day.

A couple of months ago my dad and I were heading west from DTW towards Ann Arbor. Upon noticing the 70 MPH sign my dad stated "the speed limit here is 70-that means you can do 85. That pretty much sums up the US attitude towards speed.

Quoting Flexo (Reply 3):
hp

I drive an Accord with 166 hp-for many that is as close to an economy car as they'll go (the 4 is more than sufficient-I can only imagine what the car is like with a V6). Hell, I think the closest we have to 100 hp is the Chevy Aveo at 103 and that is far beyond the second closest.
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lincoln
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RE: Owning Fast Cars In Speed Restricted Countries

Mon Aug 04, 2008 3:54 am



Quoting Bok269 (Reply 31):
The cops care, to an extent, but for the most part if you are on a highway or road without any kind of signal or stop sign, they don't seem to care as long as you keep up with traffic

Unless you're in Ohio  Sad

If there's one thing I could change about the state it would be to adopt a California or Michigan attitude twoards speed limits (and speed enforcement).
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asuflyer05
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RE: Owning Fast Cars In Speed Restricted Countries

Mon Aug 04, 2008 4:03 am

A lot of people who purchase performance vehicles (Porsche, Ferrari, etc.) are interested in owning a piece of the heritage. While the majority of them are used as date cars and to show off at the country club, you'd be surprised at the number of people who track their cars. Not to mention the fact that you're not just buying something that can do 200mph. These cars are hand-built works of art.

Quoting Bok269 (Reply 31):
Here in New York 55 is the speed limit but you won't find anyone doing less than 70 on the major highways, and that's on a slow day.

Unless said New York is in the left lane in NJ. Then they automatically drop to the speed limit or below.

Quoting Bok269 (Reply 31):
I drive an Accord with 166 hp-for many that is as close to an economy car as they'll go (the 4 is more than sufficient-I can only imagine what the car is like with a V6). Hell, I think the closest we have to 100 hp is the Chevy Aveo at 103 and that is far beyond the second closest.

Too much power for a front wheel drive car. But I loved my 6-cylinder Accord.
 
aerobalance
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RE: Owning Fast Cars In Speed Restricted Countries

Mon Aug 04, 2008 4:53 am



Quoting Flexo (Thread starter):
What is the point of having a fast car in a country where everything is speed restricted?

I need the low rpm/high torque and relatively high horsepower of my cars to move about with authority, I don't want to wait for a low torque/low horsepower engine to wind up to its torque peak or downshift 3 gears to make that happen. I want my power NOW!
"Sing a song, play guitar, make it snappy..."
 
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khelmDTW
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RE: Owning Fast Cars In Speed Restricted Countries

Mon Aug 04, 2008 5:02 am



Quoting Lincoln (Reply 14):
Michiganders are fast, courteous (except for Detroit), and occssionally unpredictable and understand left-lane ettiquite. The speed limit on the sign is virtually always 15-25 MPH lower than the actual speed. Period.

Ha, Don't forget Grand Rapids. You have to be VERY aggressive while driving, or you won't get anywhere. Also the speed limit is 20-30 over. It says 55 in downtown GR, but everyone is doing 80. Gotta love it!

As to why we buy high horsepower cars, well the answer is simple: Status and Chicks. But mostly chicks.
"Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration"
 
janmnastami
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RE: Owning Fast Cars In Speed Restricted Countries

Mon Aug 04, 2008 12:29 pm

Well, a man can buy fast cars because they have a good design, or because he's interested in fast cars, or maybe because it's a passion (maybe inherited from the family), or because he's a collector, there are many reasons. They're also a status symbol.

Here you are, Italian police with a Lamborghini:
http://www.tvoggisalerno.it/Upload/polizia_lamborghiniTT.jpg
 
TheSonntag
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RE: Owning Fast Cars In Speed Restricted Countries

Mon Aug 04, 2008 1:10 pm



Quoting A342 (Reply 25):
I happen to live near that area (not in it!) and I wonder how you can come to this conclusion.

I lived in Augsburg until yesterday, and that was the impression I got  Wink
 
bok269
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RE: Owning Fast Cars In Speed Restricted Countries

Mon Aug 04, 2008 1:40 pm



Quoting Asuflyer05 (Reply 33):
Too much power for a front wheel drive car

That may be true. My car will accelerate to around 15 mph in 10 seconds while idling.

Quoting Asuflyer05 (Reply 33):

Unless said New York is in the left lane in NJ. Then they automatically drop to the speed limit or below.

It must be something in the air.  Wink
"Reality is wrong, dreams are for real." -Tupac
 
JJJ
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RE: Owning Fast Cars In Speed Restricted Countries

Mon Aug 04, 2008 2:39 pm



Quoting Flexo (Thread starter):
So, here's my question:
What is the point of having a fast car in a country where everything is speed restricted? Would you buy a larger engine for a sedan, and what are your reasons to do so?

Top speed means nothing. Acceleration, handling, grip, etc. is what I'm looking for in a fast car (not that I own any particularly fast car, but that's my opinion anyway).

Driving on a motorway at 200 kph is every bit as boring as doing so at 120.
 
waterpolodan
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RE: Owning Fast Cars In Speed Restricted Countries

Mon Aug 04, 2008 3:27 pm

As others said, the main reason we have high horsepower, showy cars here in the US is because we can. Secondary to that, it's a mix of people that actually enjoy the performance through autocrosses, track days, and high speed illegal driving on public roads, and those that buy a car because it looks cool and will boost their image (ever seen the number of ferraris on south beach? I've talked to a few of their owners because I know a good deal about those cars, and hardly any know a single thing about what they have, they just know it's expensive, beautiful, and rare, so they buy them to show off and never, ever approach the car's limits). Also, speed limits aren't exactly perfectly enforced, there are no speed cameras anywhere near where I live and you can get away with alot, I used to have a 350Z and I'd take it over 140 mph on empty highways a couple times a month just for the thrill.

Quoting Analog (Reply 4):
How many people actually take their cars to "the track"? I can't imagine the percentage is very high, even among people that buy high performance cars.

It's a very expensive thing to do a track day, my friend has an '07 Subaru WRX STI and has put nearly 10 grand into modifying it into a 500 horsepower track monster, and he and I are going to take it up to Sebring for his bday and track it for a day, which will cost over 300 dollars for the track time alone, not to mention the tank full of gas we'll go through on the track and the 2 tanks we'll go through getting there and back. Very pricey, but for me it's worth it and it's a proper use of a fast car instead of just the usual 60-100 mph drag races on the highway with modified mustangs and such.

Quoting Greggarious (Reply 15):

Depends. Try driving in Miami!

Agreed.
 
SlamClick
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RE: Owning Fast Cars In Speed Restricted Countries

Mon Aug 04, 2008 4:50 pm

It's been so long since I bought a car that I've forgotten some of the things that impressed me but one of them is a very pertinent answer to the original question.

Brakes are matched to horsepower and my car, from 70 mph will stop 24 feet short of the "safe" Volvo of the same year. In other words, I can stop short of the wreckage of your Volvo. I won't even scuff your "Free Tibet" or "Save the Spotted Owl" bumper stickers.

My car also has a very strong rollcage designed into the cockpit area. I've seen one that ran off a very high cliff. The occupants were protected by the airbags and the fact that the seating area remained a habitable space despite crushing elsewhere on the car.
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pelican
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RE: Owning Fast Cars In Speed Restricted Countries

Mon Aug 04, 2008 5:04 pm



Quoting TheSonntag (Reply 23):
You can see where people come from, and it is really true that people from rural areas like Aichach-Friedberg (with AIC on it) simply cannot drive (I love generalisations when they are true).

Knowing how people from Berlin drive I doubt your generalisation. They are very often "Sonntagsfahrer" (I hope you don't mind  Wink and aren't used to driving in the countryside - hence many don't know how to drive on a countryroad (I mean if the limit is 80 km/h you drive 90 and not 70 - arghh).

pelican
 
LOT767-300ER
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RE: Owning Fast Cars In Speed Restricted Countries

Mon Aug 04, 2008 5:11 pm



Quoting Flighty (Reply 11):
My point is, a Honda Civic can easily cruise at 90 mph, because it has good enough performance. Why people buy cars with over 200hp is just madness to me.

Anyone that has a car in the USA under 200hp is an idiot. Unless youre poor as dirt and can only afford a Chevy Beretta. Period.

Quoting Waterpolodan (Reply 40):
It's a very expensive thing to do a track day, my friend has an '07 Subaru WRX STI and has put nearly 10 grand into modifying it into a 500 horsepower track monster, and he and I are going to take it up to Sebring for his bday and track it for a day, which will cost over 300 dollars for the track time alone, not to mention the tank full of gas we'll go through on the track and the 2 tanks we'll go through getting there and back. Very pricey, but for me it's worth it and it's a proper use of a fast car instead of just the usual 60-100 mph drag races on the highway with modified mustangs and such.

About the only place where a Subaru WRX makes sense in Florida is a track. One of the most idiotic cars to own in our fair state. All the roads are straight, there is no snow, there are no hills. There is no purpose for that car.

Quoting Bok269 (Reply 31):
Here in New York 55 is the speed limit but you won't find anyone doing less than 70 on the major highways, and that's on a slow day.

What the hell are you talking about, New York State max is 65mph. (max in urban areas is also 65mph)

Quoting Flexo (Thread starter):
Also Porsche is very large in the US, which also seems odd when the highest speed limit is 75mph which could be reached in a smart car.

Again, what the hell are you talking about, the highest posted speed limit in the USA is 80mph.
 
planespotting
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RE: Owning Fast Cars In Speed Restricted Countries

Mon Aug 04, 2008 5:29 pm



Quoting LOT767-300ER (Reply 43):
Again, what the hell are you talking about, the highest posted speed limit in the USA is 80mph.

Settttttle - there aren't too many areas in the US that allow 80 ... mainly just areas in West Texas and Montana.
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greggarious
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RE: Owning Fast Cars In Speed Restricted Countries

Mon Aug 04, 2008 5:39 pm



Quoting LOT767-300ER (Reply 43):
Anyone that has a car in the USA under 200hp is an idiot. Unless youre poor as dirt and can only afford a Chevy Beretta. Period.

I'm sorry, but you're dead wrong. Anyone in the US with a car under 200 HP is probably patting themselves on the back right now for driving a car that sips gas instead of guzzling it. If that means that most of the American public is driving an Accord, Civic, Camry or Corolla, so be it (I used to drive a Civic myself, which clocks in at a somewhat low 140 HP, but got somewhere around 40 MPG).

Most Americans aren't "dirt poor"... they're just practical. Ease up.
 
flexo
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RE: Owning Fast Cars In Speed Restricted Countries

Mon Aug 04, 2008 6:23 pm



Quoting LOT767-300ER (Reply 43):
Again, what the hell are you talking about, the highest posted speed limit in the USA is 80mph.

I am sure you are right, but also 80mph is easily done in a Smart car.

Quoting Waterpolodan (Reply 40):
As others said, the main reason we have high horsepower, showy cars here in the US is because we can

Which is a rather weak argument though, as in a free country there are a lot of things you can do but choose not to do.

Thanks anyway for all your opinions, but if I ever move to the US I would definitely not buy a fast car - horsepower yes, but rather in an SUV than a Porsche! For me a car has to serve a practical reason.
 
bok269
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RE: Owning Fast Cars In Speed Restricted Countries

Mon Aug 04, 2008 6:46 pm



Quoting LOT767-300ER (Reply 43):
What the hell are you talking about, New York State max is 65mph. (max in urban areas is also 65mph)

That's one thing you are right about (although I could've sworn I've seen a sign that says State speed limit 55), but it in most places it is 55. And not a shot in hell you'll see 65 in an urban area (unless we are talking about an interstate cutting through a city).

Quoting LOT767-300ER (Reply 43):
Anyone that has a car in the USA under 200hp is an idiot. Unless youre poor as dirt and can only afford a Chevy Beretta. Period.

What an ignorant and stupid statement. First off, it is impossible to set an amount of power as a performance threshold. 200hp in a MINI will give you a far different acceleration curve than 200hp in a Silverado. Power to weight ratio is what matters. Second, the attitude that everyone needs 200+hp to do half mile jaunts around town in is the same attitude that has led us to be held hostage to the Middle East, has destroyed our air quality, and has made it so it costs me $70 every time I want to fill up my car. Just because some people are wiser than that doesn't make them an idiot and sure as hell doesn't mean they are poor.
"Reality is wrong, dreams are for real." -Tupac
 
waterpolodan
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RE: Owning Fast Cars In Speed Restricted Countries

Mon Aug 04, 2008 7:11 pm

Quoting LOT767-300ER (Reply 43):
Anyone that has a car in the USA under 200hp is an idiot. Unless youre poor as dirt and can only afford a Chevy Beretta. Period.

Do you think people driving around in these are idiots and/or dirt poor?

Stock engine has 189hp, and yet it still performs close to many of the gas guzzling supercharged sorts of lumps you love, and provides infinitely more thrills to drive because of its perfect handling.

Regardless of that, some people have different definitions of what "fun" driving is, and they buy cars accordingly. Some enjoy getting the best mileage they can, and that almost never goes hand in hand with more than 200 hp. Some enjoy driving a car hard but not breaking too many laws in something that is quick but still less than 200hp like a Civic Si. Are they idiots because they don't cruise around in modified V8s with plenty of compensation horsepower? No, I think it's the other way around perhaps.

Quoting LOT767-300ER (Reply 43):

About the only place where a Subaru WRX makes sense in Florida is a track. One of the most idiotic cars to own in our fair state. All the roads are straight, there is no snow, there are no hills. There is no purpose for that car.

Sure, the car has a rally heritage, but you don't need to be on a super special stage racing Marcus Gronholm to really enjoy the car. The AWD is useful when it rains and when he wants to get a great launch off the line at a stoplight, and the money he's put into the engine means that it is just as fast in a straight line as something like a GT500 'stang. If we're playing the strong opinions game, I think an impala with tons of horsepower and no way in hell to get around a corner without floundering off the road is an idiotic idea, even if there aren't many twisty roads in florida. The STI has all the power you'd want for those shots down the highways, and you can still take it to an autocross or track day and enjoy every second of the brakes and handling. Can you do the same in the chevy?

[Edited 2008-08-04 12:14:38]
 
lincoln
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RE: Owning Fast Cars In Speed Restricted Countries

Mon Aug 04, 2008 7:22 pm



Quoting Bok269 (Reply 47):
That's one thing you are right about (although I could've sworn I've seen a sign that says State speed limit 55), but it in most places it is 55

My understanding is that in general (never personally driven in NY state, so not sure) those types of signs are for roads where a different limit is not signed -- i.e. "Unless you see something that says otherwise, you'd best not drive faster than 55".

California's version of that is (was?) 65 -- even though there are freeways signed at 70, and I've never seen a surface street signed at > 55. There were a precious few 2-lane roads in the middle of nowhere where I pushed it up to 65 because there wasn't a sign (or a police officer  Wink to tell me otherwise)

But California also has the "Basic Speed Law" (Illegal to drive faster than conditions allow regardless of speed limit)

Lincoln
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