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View Poll Results: What matters more?
Horsepower 0 0%
Driving Skill 18 100.00%
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Old 2nd March 2012, 20:34   #1
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Default Power or skills! What matters more?

We live in a remote area close to Sakleshpur. The terrains we traverse on are far from good roads that most people are used to or talk about. We own a 2005 model Getz and off late we've had many people ask us how we use such an under powered and small car. I politely answer their curious questions but it seriously sets me thinking on whether the power in a car is more important or is it the skills of the driver that fair better. I would like to mention here that we have practically moved our entire house (except the big things) in this car and have also driven to Ladakh and back two years ago in this so called "underpowered and small car".!!And the minute we mention Ladakh, people don't ask us any further questions... So! Car Power or Driver Skills!!! What is it???
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Old 3rd March 2012, 11:27   #2
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Default Re: Power or skills! What matters more?

Driver skills matters the most, but to enjoy a bit or make use of your driver skills you should have a bit of more power.
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Old 3rd March 2012, 11:31   #3
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Default Re: Power or skills! What matters more?

Driver skills, hands down.
I have seen quite skillful driving in an M800 that would put to shame any 100BHP+ car in the hands of an ordinary driver.
And i have also seen some quite skillful driving in an i10 too @brraj
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Old 3rd March 2012, 11:41   #4
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Default Re: Power or skills! What matters more?

I don't think there is a conflict or trade-off between these two things (i.e. driver skills and engine power). It is not about choosing one over the other. They would both complement each other.

Driver skill is necessary but not sufficient. It is a must. But not of much use by itself. A good car (not just with good power, but good road-handling and in your case, good off-roading capability) will add so much more to the driver skills.

In summary, a good driver can still manage to drive a bad car, but this is not ideal anyway. A good driver and a good car (i.e. good for the course in question) is the ideal combination.

In fact, we could list the possibilities in descending order of preference as:

1. Good driver and good car
2. Good driver and bad car
3. Bad driver and good car
4. Bad driver and bad car

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-AD
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Old 3rd March 2012, 11:46   #5
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Default Re: Power or skills! What matters more?

I agree that power is important, but I believe skill is more important. Skill teaches you how to make best use of the power.

Case in point, consider a typical city-slicker like me driving my Palio MJD 75 HP engine on the hills. I habitually have to give way to M&M Pickup drivers. Now the M&M diesel engine for these vehicle has similar power and a far worse power-to-weight ratio than my car. It is just that their drivers use their skills better to derive the best out of the engine / powertrain they have with them.
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Old 3rd March 2012, 11:48   #6
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Default Re: Power or skills! What matters more?

With due respect to all the posts above, i think both are important. A not so powerful vehicle in good hands will always beat a powerful vehicle in an immature hands, but there is a limit to which it can take. A good driver understands the limitations of the vehicle and takes corrective actions.

Long time ago we were in a convoy and i was driving our Fiat, the jeep driver following me later told me i was driving well, as my under body never touched anything in the jungle whereas his jeep's underbody touched many times. Later when i was talking to my dad i explained him, that i understood the limitations of my car and ensured the wheels went into right places avoiding under body scraping (and this is not rocket science), but his jeep driver is bad as he does not understand this basic principal.

In comparison if he was any better he would have easily managed even worse roads then the ones we drove on, and i surely would have had difficult time matching up (mostly because of limitations of my car).

Last edited by mayankjha1806 : 3rd March 2012 at 11:49.
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Old 3rd March 2012, 11:56   #7
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Default Re: Power or skills! What matters more?

Skills for sure.

Gap between cars is not very much in real world conditions (not race conditions).

I was in a friendly mountain run from Ooty to Madumalai with a newly minted Esteem back in the 90s when the Zen was the only hot hatch, the Zen was not easy to pass nor to leave behind (though I eventually did). The seemingly huge gulf between the 50 and 85 HP engines was not as much in those roads. On a straight highway it would have probably been a bit different.

Similarly, I have managed four-wheel terrain in a 2WD MM540 with minimal issues (and no one pushing), and kept pace with very quick cars in a puny little Opel 1.4 Corsa on highways and mountains - with old people in my car, so it's not that I was being reckless either.

And I don't even rate my own driving skill at anything more than 'above average'. I've seen far more skilful drivers even in my own family, let alone in the outside world. Now I do have a nicer car, my pace and skill seems to have taken a massive tumble. Either advancing age, or just being lazy. Or both.
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Old 3rd March 2012, 12:19   #8
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Default Re: Power or skills! What matters more?

Good driver in a good car is the perfect combo. With good driving skills you can drive any car in all road conditions.
As others mentioned in expressways and race conditions better car will win over skill of the driver. In all other conditions skilled driver knowing the limitations of the car will win hands down.
A great driver has confidence but not over confidence, knows his and the car's limitation , respects the road condition , follows the rules, and does not show off his skills by racing.
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Old 3rd March 2012, 12:31   #9
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Default Re: Power or skills! What matters more?

What is a car without a driver??

An assembly of metal and plastics.
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Old 3rd March 2012, 12:31   #10
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Default Re: Power or skills! What matters more?

Short answer: Skill.
Like any skill, where you get good at. You need a car that would compliment your driving skill or push your skill to the next level.

It always starts with the skill but without power there is no way that your skill is going to grow.

If you dont see the need for more power or improvements in handling in your ride (realizing the need is a different tangent), you can assume that your skills have plateaued

Last edited by raajks : 3rd March 2012 at 12:37.
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Old 3rd March 2012, 12:31   #11
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Default Re: Power or skills! What matters more?

@Sapna, there was an interesting signature of a fellow-BHPian which said "It's more fun do drive a slow car fast, than a fast car slow".

What's the use of having 500 horses under the hood and go tottering at 20 ? Instead, give a driver a car and ask him to do the best he can - the best driver is the one who can extract the most out of the car. It's quite obvious that it is the driver's skill that is going to of importance.

And it's something that you would have seen around you too. There are enough jeeps around there. Or on the OTRs. But not everyone fares the same. It's the skill of the driver is what differentiates one driver from the others.

But that's not to take away credit from a good vehicle. A little more always helps. It's a lot about suitability for the purpose, and how best to use what one has with him.

It's like camera's & photographers. Many of us have much better equipment & tools than the cameras with the greatest photographers ew have heard of. Yet, they are leagues ahead of us when it comes to skill and the pics they took.

I do remember your travelogue of the Getz in Ladakh . And you both have proven that it's the driver, not the car. And the people who ask you havent been able to question you either. So where's the doubt ?

Last edited by condor : 3rd March 2012 at 12:41.
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Old 3rd March 2012, 12:46   #12
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Default Re: Power or skills! What matters more?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sapna gurukar View Post
We live in a remote area close to Sakleshpur. The terrains we traverse on are far from good roads that most people are used to or talk about. We own a 2005 model Getz and off late we've had many people ask us how we use such an under powered and small car. I politely answer their curious questions but it seriously sets me thinking on whether the power in a car is more important or is it the skills of the driver that fair better. I would like to mention here that we have practically moved our entire house (except the big things) in this car and have also driven to Ladakh and back two years ago in this so called "underpowered and small car".!!And the minute we mention Ladakh, people don't ask us any further questions... So! Car Power or Driver Skills!!! What is it???
Why would anybody call the Getz an underpowered car? 2005 model had the 1.3 litre engine right? That Getz engine is good enough for most tasks.

Anyway, one can more than make up for the lack of power in almost any car by just working the gearbox. Rev hard in every gear and you make good progress as against a "fast car" driven by a person who doesn't downshift too often on a highway.
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Old 3rd March 2012, 13:17   #13
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Default Re: Power or skills! What matters more?

I think usable power would be the best way to put. It's not about all out power alone. Raw power may come into play in the smooth straights, where as in the twisties the gearing, suspension set up and brakes will dictate how much power you can carry into a corner confidently and come out either smiling or with a bead of sweat on your brow. Being a decent enough driver, goes without saying. A good user friendly car can make a decent driver appear great, whereas a bad handling car can make a good driver appear bad.

Last edited by Durango Dude : 3rd March 2012 at 13:34.
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Old 3rd March 2012, 13:29   #14
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Default Re: Power or skills! What matters more?

Skill and Power are a perfect combination to have.

But skill is more important as a skilled driver would know how to make best use of the power.

Cheers!
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Old 3rd March 2012, 13:34   #15
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Default Re: Power or skills! What matters more?

Skill is more important however more power can somewhat cover lack of/ lesser skills
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