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Dreadnought
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Jeremy Clarkson: Finally Getting Old

Fri Apr 22, 2011 11:57 am

Clarkson has always been the the perpetually immature "yobbo" who can't seem to grow up - that's part of his appeal on Top Gear.

Now's he's complaining that cars are getting just too powerful. I don't disagree, but am surprised to see him say so.

Quote:
Let's stop telling the carmakers we want more power. We have enough already. Instead, let's tell them we want to pay less money.
http://www.topgear.com/uk/jeremy-cla...son/clarkson-horsepower-2011-04-20
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Klaus
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RE: Jeremy Clarkson: Finally Getting Old

Fri Apr 22, 2011 12:53 pm

He's got a few points and as usual he's not shy about making them. 
 
LGWflyer
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RE: Jeremy Clarkson: Finally Getting Old

Fri Apr 22, 2011 1:02 pm

Wow this is quite surprising coming from him! I would of thought easyJet getting an A380 would come before he said something like that.
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planewasted
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RE: Jeremy Clarkson: Finally Getting Old

Fri Apr 22, 2011 4:06 pm

"Decibels? I think not. We'll leave that to the homotorcyclists."   
 
MD-90
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RE: Jeremy Clarkson: Finally Getting Old

Fri Apr 22, 2011 4:13 pm

Quoting Jeremy Clarkson:
It was like driving a turbocharged whale.

I mean, c'mon, the man's only being reasonable. Who has a car with 599hp and genuinely thinks he needs more power?
 
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GrahamHill
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RE: Jeremy Clarkson: Finally Getting Old

Fri Apr 22, 2011 4:19 pm

I think he's got a point. To be honest, I never understood the race for more horsepower, apart from the satisfaction of having more than your direct competitor (you might as well do a "who's got a bigger penis" contest...).

I'd prefer manufacturers to find a way to decrease the weight of their cars instead of constantly adding more and more hp.

I'm also sure he wrote this article because he was annoyed that he could not drive the 250 GTO 
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DAL767400ER
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RE: Jeremy Clarkson: Finally Getting Old

Fri Apr 22, 2011 6:43 pm

As surprising as it is to see Clarkson of all guys to say that "Power" is getting too much, he does indeed raise a good point. I mean, outside of Germany I can't think of other places where you can still legally max your car, and even here our reactionary politicians are bound to kill that as well. So, no use in getting high triple-digit, if not 4-digit hp numbers out of a car if you can't max it anyway, not to mention if the car can safely put the HP on the road (and I remember that AMG SL Black segment very well, didn't handle worth sh!t and had the turning circle of the Queen Mary).

And while lowering prices is always a good idea, here's another one: Lower the weight of the cars and stop making it bigger with every new generation. Now, I realise that all the security features add weight, as do some of the now-standard luxuries like climate control, but still, the growth needs to stop somewhere. Just take VW as the clearest example. Aside from the fact that ALL models are significantly heavier than their predecessors, look at the overall size:
The Lupo is now as big as the Polo, the current Polo is larger than the first Golfs, the Golf Variant is now as big as the old Passat Variant, etc. And that is not limited to VW, it's the case for pretty much every car company.

Now, with all of that said, Top Gear will probably still be all about power, because quite frankly, Top Gear without ridiculously overpowered cars and instead only sensible cars? That's not gonna happen now, is it?
 
nqyguy
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RE: Jeremy Clarkson: Finally Getting Old

Fri Apr 22, 2011 10:52 pm

Quoting DAL767400ER (Reply 6):
That's not gonna happen now, is it?

True.

There is nothing particularly exciting about driving a family car around a test track.. that's for sure. Unless of course they are using it to tow a 747 (anyone remember that?) or crashing it.
 
goblin211
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RE: Jeremy Clarkson: Finally Getting Old

Fri Apr 22, 2011 11:59 pm

Well, a good example is the Bugatti Veyron. The most powerful car in the world and very few have it. there are just certain cars that are sexy to look at but are pointless to buy unless you're going to race them and max the power. as much as I like the Veyron and I even have the T-shirt, I wouldn't buy it if I had the money b/c I know I couldn't drive it anywhere in the US.
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ltbewr
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RE: Jeremy Clarkson: Finally Getting Old

Sat Apr 23, 2011 12:27 am

I think he makes a good point I agree with. We seem to be in this 'horsepower' war, even for compact and family cars to have 'performance' some think they need. One other factor is the demands of more convenience goodies, more comfort and greater safety that adds significant weight penalties using conventional materials and thus higher fuel use. All those airbags? they add I bet with all their wiring, ect. of 200 pounds. Fancy sound system? another 20 pounds. Air Conditioning? 30 pounds more. Nice cushy interior? Another 30-40 pounds. Weight means more HP to keep up performance which usually means higher fuel usage.

Do most of use really need a car that can go 0-60 MPH in less than 9.0 seconds? No. Do any of us need a car that can go more than 85 MPH? No, not in the USA. I noted in a recent test in 'Car and Driver' of 'small' cars (Ford Focus, Mazda 3 and like cars) in their 400 Mile loop, they got 18-21 MPG. They should be doing at least 25 MPG. In 2000, a NA Focus had a 100 HP engine with a 130 HP engine optional. The 2011 models of the group in the article have engines from 138 to 170 HP.

Now with $4.00/gallon and up prices in the USA and going much higher in a few years, we need to reduce the need for fuel and as they do in the UK and some other countries, annual 'car taxes' with part of it based on the horsepower they put out over a certain HP to weight ratio or pollution output.
 
PlymSpotter
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RE: Jeremy Clarkson: Finally Getting Old

Sat Apr 23, 2011 12:54 am

I'm don't think this stance is completely new; when he test drove on of the new Range Rovers a while back he commented that the size of it's engine made no sense in today's Britain - and with that I agree as well. Bigger is not necessarily better, sure it's fun occasionally, but there comes a point when someone steps so far over the line (think Veyron) that it causes others to reassess the merit behind pursuing certain goals.


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greaser
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RE: Jeremy Clarkson: Finally Getting Old

Sat Apr 23, 2011 1:35 am

Quoting GrahamHill (Reply 5):
I think he's got a point. To be honest, I never understood the race for more horsepower, apart from the satisfaction of having more than your direct competitor (you might as well do a "who's got a bigger penis" contest...).

This brings back the good old 70's, right before the Iranian oil crisis. Mustangs, Camaros, etc were engaged in a horsepower race. I believe they maxed out above 300 bhp 40 years ago? Unfortunately for them reality set in with oil prices and the iconic ponycars disappeared. Only recently have they reestablished themselves and yet again are under assault in these hard economic times and high fuel prices.

It's so strange that most car manufacturers are always 1-3 years behind the market reality, and suffer because of it. Usually only one or two companies (often never the same ones) are the trendsetters in the market. The rest lose marketshare/profits while trying to catch up. Examples: Ford (the leader) and the explorer fueling the SUV revolution in the 1990s, and GM/euro cars following behind. But then as 2006/7 hit, Ford/GM/MB suffered as fuel prices increased, while Toyota and Honda became the new market leaders. While also investing in SUVs, both companies were committed to the small car/fuel efficient market, and thus with the Prius/Camry/Accord/Civic they gained on the Americans. To this day, the general public views the Prius synonymously to fuel efficiency.

Looking at the current market, it really appears that the European car makers are going to be left in the dust because of the persistent high fuel prices and economic instability. Just look at the mx/fuel costs of any BMW, MB, Audi, Jag. While some of us may consider them to be "luxury" carmakers, they are not, not really. Owners of these cars are still susceptible to increased fuel prices, as most owners use these vehicles as daily commuters. It seems as though only VW, Fiat, Citroen, and Renault are in any way competitive when it comes to fuel efficiency (Among Euro cars).

Quoting DAL767400ER (Reply 6):
The Lupo is now as big as the Polo, the current Polo is larger than the first Golfs, the Golf Variant is now as big as the old Passat Variant, etc. And that is not limited to VW, it's the case for pretty much every car company.

I can't imagine this trend continuing forever. One, the roads are not getting wider. Two, parking will only get worse. However, more surprising things have already happened in the auto world (Pontiac Aztec). I totally agree with you on this though, it's surprising how each model update adds 3 inches in every direction.
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cpd
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RE: Jeremy Clarkson: Finally Getting Old

Sat Apr 23, 2011 3:57 am

His example of a 250 GTO with 295hp is missing the point. Because in its day, it was very powerful and fast compared to other cars on the road. After all, who needed more than a small engine found in say a Citroen DS21 or DS23?

Or even the tiny engines in a Citroen 2CV or a Fiat Nuova-500 (as its badge on the back said).

It's the same thing these days, just that the normal cars have much more power, and the fast cars have even more power still.

So a 5 door sedan, let's say a 3.6L direct-injection V6 Holden Commodore has some 286hp - not far off that of a Ferrari 250 GTO. But a fast car, let's say the W427 version of the Commodore has at least 500hp by the manufacturers claims, and often produces much more than that. And then we have the really quick sedans from others having more than 600hp, and the serious sports cars pushing between 700 and 1000hp even.

It's the natural evolution, that's just the way it is.

But we also have this extra power with better fuel economy too. We have powerful engined cars now delivering excellent fuel economy for their power and performance. Look at modern Ferrari V8 cars for instance, or maybe even an earlier example being the McLaren F1 and its GTR racing version, or the BMW V12 LMR prototype racers. They were not only powerful, but they had good fuel economy too - it's how they managed to win many races. Spend more time on the track, less time in the pits.

It's always been the way in endurance racing. And in road-cars, we'll continue to see the innovative manufacturers try to find ways to improve fuel efficiency without penalty on performance and driving enjoyment.

Quoting Greaser (Reply 11):
It seems as though only VW, Fiat, Citroen, and Renault are in any way competitive when it comes to fuel efficiency

What about economical BMW cars like 320d, or even others like Mini diesel? Or maybe even powerful cars like the new diesel Jaguar XF 2.2L? 4.5L/100km fuel economy with plenty of power and torque too.

I wouldn't have expected the French cars to be the greatest example of efficiency. None of them on sale in this country from Renault, Peugeot or Citroen are particularly fantastic examples of efficiency. They are often out-done by the likes of VW on economy and performance at the same time.
 
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Francoflier
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RE: Jeremy Clarkson: Finally Getting Old

Sat Apr 23, 2011 10:12 am

Quoting DAL767400ER (Reply 6):
Lower the weight of the cars and stop making it bigger with every new generation.
Quoting GrahamHill (Reply 5):
I'd prefer manufacturers to find a way to decrease the weight of their cars instead of constantly adding more and more hp.
Quoting ltbewr (Reply 9):
Weight means more HP to keep up performance which usually means higher fuel usage.

      

Funny how cars from the 70s and 80s had half the horsepower we nowadays have and yet managed to be the greatest hoot to drive. Lke us, our cars have grown fat, full of mostly unnecessary gadgetry. How hard would it be to design a family car with all the safety features of today's cars, that would weigh only about 1200 kgs with a nice, modern and sober 150 hp 1.6L petrol engine. I don't need a quad zone auto aircon, wipers that regulates themselves, massaging electric seats and I still know how to parallel park and when to turn on my headlights thankyouverymcuh.

Quoting cpd (Reply 12):
They are often out-done by the likes of VW on economy and performance at the same time.

They seem to be quite on par on comparative sobriety tests here in Europe. I won't comment on the general quality or reliability of cars because I don't know, but engine-wise, French auto makers know their way around a fume sniffing gasoil engine. Of course, all engine manufacturers get the technology they use on their engines from the same component manufacturers anyhow (Bosch, Delphi, Valeo, etc...). They don't own much of the technology that goes in their engines.
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DAL767400ER
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RE: Jeremy Clarkson: Finally Getting Old

Sat Apr 23, 2011 10:38 am

Quoting Greaser (Reply 11):
One, the roads are not getting wider. Two, parking will only get worse.

About the roads, as long as cars don't get wider than trucks, they should be fine   . As for parking though, it already has become a major inconvenience. Now, I can't judge other countries, but here in Germany, the majority of our parking garages were either built in the 70's or at least incorporate the box dimensions from that time, and parking can be a real b!tch. Case in point I drive a 2004 Opel (Vauxhall) Corsa, and in some garages in Hamburg even that relatively compact can be damn near impossible to park. And anything way larger like a BMW 5 Series, Merc E-Class, Audi A6, etc., quite frankly, when I see some of those parked in the older parking garages I can't help but wonder the people driving them leave and enter the car through the trunk because there is no way in hell they could get out through the doors unless they were anorexic.
 
Kiwirob
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RE: Jeremy Clarkson: Finally Getting Old

Sat Apr 23, 2011 12:49 pm

Quoting Greaser (Reply 11):
Looking at the current market, it really appears that the European car makers are going to be left in the dust because of the persistent high fuel prices and economic instability. Just look at the mx/fuel costs of any BMW, MB, Audi, Jag.

You're forgetting that in Europe and lots of markets outside of the US Mercedes, BMW, Audi and Jag all offer small 4 cylinder diesel and petrol models, it's just US consumers won't buy them so they don't import them.
 
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Aesma
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RE: Jeremy Clarkson: Finally Getting Old

Sat Apr 23, 2011 1:40 pm

Quoting ltbewr (Reply 9):
In 2000, a NA Focus had a 100 HP engine with a 130 HP engine optional. The 2011 models of the group in the article have engines from 138 to 170 HP.

I believe it's mostly a US problem, linked with your low fuel prices. Here, cars are getting bigger just like everywhere else, but you still can get small engines. A 90HP diesel or 100HP petrol for the Focus as an example, and for French cars of the same size it's even lower, the Peugeot 308 has a 95HP 1.4VTi engine available.

Searching for this I even learned that the 308 HDi holds the Guinness world record of the most fuel-efficient mainstream car currently in production, having averaged 3.13 litres per 100 kilometres (90.2 mpg-imp; 75.1 mpg-US) over a distance of 14,580 km (9,060 mi) (copied from wiki).

Quoting ltbewr (Reply 9):
Now with $4.00/gallon and up prices in the USA and going much higher in a few years, we need to reduce the need for fuel and as they do in the UK and some other countries, annual 'car taxes' with part of it based on the horsepower they put out over a certain HP to weight ratio or pollution output.

Here we have a system of bonus when you buy an efficient car, and a tax if it's inefficient, but I disagree with it. It makes much more sense to tax fuel because in the end it's how much fuel is used that counts, not the car that burns it. With this system a Ferrari gets a 2600€ tax when in practice it makes probably less than 1000Km a year and thus burns almost nothing. But of course, here fuel is already very taxed, so they couldn't add to that. For the US it would be a no brainer, and no need to slap a green sticker on it, just make it a tax to pay for the the oil wars.

Back to what Clarkson says, well, the first image that comes to mind when I think about him is this :



That's an extreme and fun car to drive, with "only" 300HP.
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