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Old 26th January 2010, 11:29   #16
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Originally Posted by suhaas307 View Post
IMO most modern Ferraris lack that certain special 'character' and 'flavour' that people boast about.

But it just takes away the true essence and character of a Ferrari and makes it more of a track focused race car for the road, rather than something with emotion and passion.
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IF we talking about character I think the Veyron has more character then any recent Ferrari. The F430 , 599, california and the 458 italia are all absolutely amazing pieces of engineering but i think they all lack character.
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Originally Posted by Amartya View Post
I was having a discussion with Shan2nu in the shifting gears section about whether or not Italian cars have a "soul" and are mostly very nice to look at.

He pointed out (and I agreed) that Ferrari's are not exactly good to look at. This car too looks like an over-styled piece of kit; others too are making fast cars that have to conform more to the windtunnel's verdict than just about any other thing, but all of them look better than the cars Ferrari are churning out.
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Completely agree Amartya and bigron.
Ferrari slowly but almost surely following the Mercedes way to downhill drive.
Very romantic armchair discussions. Modern supercars lack "character", are too technically perfect etc etc.

For a moment, drop the romantic and wear the thinking man's scarf. You, me and motoring scribes are not the people these cars are made for. The kind of people who buy them and actually keep the cash registers rolling are people who demand perfection. They want their cars to be perfect in all technical aspects, be it luxury, speed or handling. They don't sit at bars and boast how their 1970 911's tail stepped out at 100mph. If it did, the next day they'd replace it with a competitor car. Read NOS Power's first paragraph, I think it echoes my sentiments.

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To be clear with one thing, todays generation cars (be it of any type, sports or daily use) are made with the best possible technology so as to achieve perfection in all departments.

The very reason the cars of yesteryears had a "character" was due to the manufacturers not having the knowhow to counter the problems that eventually became part of the character.

For e.g. turbo lag was a massive issue in those days, so the effect was profound in the F40, WRC cars as well as the Turbo F1 cars. Today things like Anti Lag or VGT have helped manufacturers reduce the lag to negligible levels.

In those days owners loved the character which these cars had, but ask yourself today would you like to drive a supercar which whacks its tail on every prod of the throttle or have a much more driveable car? Well its these needs that has made the cars more perfect, hence loss of character.

We as enthusiasts adore cars which had character, but in the real world scenario one would want all the Traction Control's, ABS', Anti Yaw control's, PSM's etc. in their cars.

Car manufacturers make cars to earn profits, so they will make cars as per customer requirements, and todays customer demands perfection. For e.g. recently everyone wanted to enter the horsepower, so cars like the Veyron emerged, but people understood that ultimately that car's power and speed is of no use, as it is slower around a track than a lighter car with less power (read Aero TT), Jenson Button said in the recent Top Gear show that the fastest he has driven the Veyron is 77mph and plus the car is not everyday driveable as compared to a Porsche 911 or a Gallardo or a 458 Italia.

So ultimately we won't be seeing cars with character in the near future atleast.
Very well said Joseph, a practical viewpoint. Ultimately, our discussing "character" or the lack of it is like pimpled school children discussing matinee idols. We have no idea what is expected of the idols once the limelight goes off.
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Old 26th January 2010, 11:52   #17
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Originally Posted by predatorwheelz View Post
Very romantic armchair discussions. Modern supercars lack "character", are too technically perfect etc etc.

For a moment, drop the romantic and wear the thinking man's scarf. You, me and motoring scribes are not the people these cars are made for. The kind of people who buy them and actually keep the cash registers rolling are people who demand perfection. They want their cars to be perfect in all technical aspects, be it luxury, speed or handling. They don't sit at bars and boast how their 1970 911's tail stepped out at 100mph. If it did, the next day they'd replace it with a competitor car. Read NOS Power's first paragraph, I think it echoes my sentiments.

Very well said Joseph, a practical viewpoint. Ultimately, our discussing "character" or the lack of it is like pimpled school children discussing matinee idols. We have no idea what is expected of the idols once the limelight goes off.
Well.. someone has to talk about it right? Aren't we entitled to discuss it? We are after all mere mortals who can't really afford these cars. So is it wrong on our part to talk about 'character' of a sports car? You like sports cars right? So do I! And so do a lot of other people on this forum. And last I checked, this is a public forum where everyone is entitled to discuss anything automotive.

Just because we talk about the character of a car or the lack of it, doesn't make us 'pimpled children who discuss matinee idols'.

There are several supercar owners who might demand perfection. But people who can afford to spend so much money might look for the character as well! Why do you think so many people own classic sedans and classic sports? Some swear by them and refuse to drive modern sports cars because they enjoy the essence of the cars from the golden era.
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Old 26th January 2010, 12:11   #18
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@suhaas, no one's stopping anyone from talking about car "character" here. All i wanted to say is that none of the present generation cars have the character which cars from good old times had.

There's no point raging a battle to prove which car is the best, as we all know each car is different. Its just that the difference is too less to be bothered off.

Plus the owners of present generation supercars do also have the money to buy and drive the Dino's and the GTB's, but will they buy a brand new supercar if it had the imperfections of the Dino (no pun intended), i don't think so, as there is technology to counter those imperfections or character.

To quote an e.g. why is the Corvette still struggling to get enough European buyers like the other supercars, even though the price vs power of that car is among the best, its because the quality of the Corvette is still not upto the mark which can be compared to the other mainstream supercars from Europe, plus it still wags its tail out of corners (character of a proper muscle car).
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Old 26th January 2010, 13:08   #19
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@suhaas, no one's stopping anyone from talking about car "character" here. All i wanted to say is that none of the present generation cars have the character which cars from good old times had.

There's no point raging a battle to prove which car is the best, as we all know each car is different. Its just that the difference is too less to be bothered off.

Plus the owners of present generation supercars do also have the money to buy and drive the Dino's and the GTB's, but will they buy a brand new supercar if it had the imperfections of the Dino (no pun intended), i don't think so, as there is technology to counter those imperfections or character.

To quote an e.g. why is the Corvette still struggling to get enough European buyers like the other supercars, even though the price vs power of that car is among the best, its because the quality of the Corvette is still not upto the mark which can be compared to the other mainstream supercars from Europe, plus it still wags its tail out of corners (character of a proper muscle car).
NOS,

You had made your point in your earlier post! And I agree with you! Technology has changed the way cars work to a great extent! And it's definitely a boon. The imperfections have been ironed out rather well and it's a good thing that sports cars like the F430 and the Gallardo are tech laden.

But I was referring to an entirely different niche of exotic car buyers! Plenty of enthusiasts would still go in for an old classic over a lap-top on wheels that can corner 1/10th of a second quicker than last year's computer on wheels!

These people don't care about how much faster it can go than its predecessor. They're driven by raw passion and would rather enjoy the true essence and a classic sports car. A sports car with a sweet V12 mated to a 5-speed, H-gate 'box and no interference from the vast electronic bits and driver aids. There are plenty, plenty of people like this! The only difference between them and some of us is that they have the money and some of us don't!

These people would merely glance at this 'new' Enzo and head to the Auction hall instead!
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Old 26th January 2010, 19:09   #20
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Very romantic armchair discussions. Modern supercars lack "character", are too technically perfect etc etc.
.............. They don't sit at bars and boast how their 1970 911's tail stepped out at 100mph. If it did, the next day they'd replace it with a competitor car. Read NOS Power's first paragraph, I think it echoes my sentiments.

Very well said Joseph, a practical viewpoint. Ultimately, our discussing "character" or the lack of it is like pimpled school children discussing matinee idols. We have no idea what is expected of the idols once the limelight goes off.

Metaphors apart, if you had read through my post, you would have seen that I wasn't espousing "character" in terms of unreliability. I also clearly mentioned that the newer Lamborghini's appeal more to my senses these days (and this comes from an erstwhile Ferrari fan).
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Old 26th January 2010, 19:55   #21
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predatorwheelz: The manufacturers we talking about and the products we are discussing are not what you and me would buy for our 18th birthday. They operate at a level where you and me can merely comment nothing more.So putting a thinking man;s scarf for a product that is beyond the scope of most is a fruitless exercise. Its a hypothetical discussion of whether current Ferraris have character or not. Me saying that they lack character will not stop from people who can afford them from buying them and you saying it is full of character or they are technological marvel will not help them increase their sales. Having said that , there are more then enough cars that can do 0 to 100 in sub 3 seconds or can reach a top whack of more then 220mph easily. But what differentiates them is purely character.

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Old 26th January 2010, 20:03   #22
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A few things...

1) Please stop comparisons with the Veyron! The Veyron was designed to be the fastest car the world had ever seen, and the most technically advanced specimen out there!
It did just that! Now that we have cars that might perhaps outshine the veyron is irrelevant! They did it first, now everyone's just following trying to dethrone the benchmark.
It's like someone harping about how the XJ220 is the fastest in the world, yes it was, it was revolutionary, and now has been sent to the history books by progress!

2) The much argued about character of Ferraris. Well I think that's a big farce. Somehow when I sit in the newer F cars, I don't get that feeling that my world's being rocked. My senses aren't tickled as much. Don't get me wrong, Ferraris of yore did this brilliantly, but the last car that really caught my fancy from that stable was the 575, there after has been the downturn of this once glorious company.

3) Character the thing that has made Lamborghini so successful. I'd like to think that if these supercars were not in limited production, that Lamborghini would outsell all others. Why, quite simply the way the car behaves. Trust me on one thing, people who can afford multiple supercars don't care about the spec sheet. They care about how the cars talk to them, how they relate. Lambos have shown tremendous understanding of the buyer here. They can be superflashy for the rich teenager or the guy who just won the lottery. But for the aristocracy they can be equally tame and sober (given the right colour choice). But in either case, the cars speak volumes.

4) Whoever said that the new age supercar buyer was looking for reliability and would hate on their cars for stepping out at the limit.
Well buddy you couldn't be more wrong. The number of people taking their supercars to the limit these days are more than yesteryears. The simple reason for people buying these cars is thrill! Most owners couldn't care if the car would brake down while on the highway, what they want is that split second when the car has been taken to the limit, and they can now say they tamed it!

Another argument would be the fact that most of the older dated supercars out there are finding homes amongst collectors and owners of newer more modern supercars.
Whilst they are not their daily drives, they do go out to play every once in a while, and for those owners, that bare bones no electronic gimickery is worth more than 10 F70s.

A testiment to this is Jay Leno!

Cheers
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Old 27th January 2010, 09:02   #23
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Originally Posted by DocG View Post
A few things...

1) Please stop comparisons with the Veyron! The Veyron was designed to be the fastest car the world had ever seen, and the most technically advanced specimen out there!
It did just that! Now that we have cars that might perhaps outshine the veyron is irrelevant! They did it first, now everyone's just following trying to dethrone the benchmark.
It's like someone harping about how the XJ220 is the fastest in the world, yes it was, it was revolutionary, and now has been sent to the history books by progress!

2) The much argued about character of Ferraris. Well I think that's a big farce. Somehow when I sit in the newer F cars, I don't get that feeling that my world's being rocked. My senses aren't tickled as much. Don't get me wrong, Ferraris of yore did this brilliantly, but the last car that really caught my fancy from that stable was the 575, there after has been the downturn of this once glorious company.

3) Character the thing that has made Lamborghini so successful. I'd like to think that if these supercars were not in limited production, that Lamborghini would outsell all others. Why, quite simply the way the car behaves. Trust me on one thing, people who can afford multiple supercars don't care about the spec sheet. They care about how the cars talk to them, how they relate. Lambos have shown tremendous understanding of the buyer here. They can be superflashy for the rich teenager or the guy who just won the lottery. But for the aristocracy they can be equally tame and sober (given the right colour choice). But in either case, the cars speak volumes.

4) Whoever said that the new age supercar buyer was looking for reliability and would hate on their cars for stepping out at the limit.
Well buddy you couldn't be more wrong. The number of people taking their supercars to the limit these days are more than yesteryears. The simple reason for people buying these cars is thrill! Most owners couldn't care if the car would brake down while on the highway, what they want is that split second when the car has been taken to the limit, and they can now say they tamed it!

Another argument would be the fact that most of the older dated supercars out there are finding homes amongst collectors and owners of newer more modern supercars.
Whilst they are not their daily drives, they do go out to play every once in a while, and for those owners, that bare bones no electronic gimickery is worth more than 10 F70s.

A testiment to this is Jay Leno!

Cheers
Definitely and totally agree with you. Very well said.
I think ferrari last did their magic in their f40 and have lost it after that, I know that easy to say for me be am a big lambo fan.
Anyways comparisons with the veyron must stop. Both have come into this world to achieve 2 different things and they have achieved it well remarkably.
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Old 27th January 2010, 10:58   #24
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Firstly i would kindly request everyone to not take anything personal, after all we are dicussing about stuff we love a lot.

Secondly the Veyron has not been compared with the Ferrari's or the Lambo's, it was just mentioned that it started a revolution of building the fastest car, but the present demands of the supercar market is not for 250 mph cars, but cars which can be driven fast with control.

@DocG, i agree with you that Ferrari's have lost that character, and so has the Lambo's and the Porsche's and the Aston's and the etc. etc. compared to their own models of yore.

I know its difficult for us who will dream our whole lives to own one of those marvels of engineering, so our comments will be based on what is read and heard.

Now the only way we can hear is through the twin British motoring shows, Top Gear and Fifth Gear. Now, if one has observed, every car that has been tested by the two shows has been driven their guts out. Top Gear testers power slide them through corners all the time and then comment on their handling, whereas Fifth Gear tests the cars over a short and twisty circuit and then comment. All in all they ultimately look for some character from those cars. No wonder they keep saying that Lambo's are the most easiest of the lot to drive, and that the Ferrari's don't have the character they once possesed by nature. Well how many of those supercar owners will power slide their cars through corners all the time, or drive the wheels off over twisty bits of tarmac.

If you read German road tests, they have a different approach to testing. They will test every car with a very technical approach. For e.g. in one road test comparo in Auto Bild magazine between the Ferrari 430 Scuderia, Porsche 911 Turbo and the Lambo Gallardo, their verdict said that "If a person gets up in the morning on weekends and wants to charge up some roads to get an adrenaline rush, they would go for the Ferrari and the Lambo, but if someone wants to drive his/her supercar to work 300 days a year then he would go with the comfortable seating ergonomics of the Porsche."

We in India do not even have an affordably rear wheel drive car to power slide or a road (not highways) to enjoy the handling of a car. So all comments are based on what we read or watch or listen.

All i'm saying is that even if present generation supercars have become more civilised or tame, they do have their own differences between themselves, and the difference is defined by the customers. If one thinks about it, Ferrari interacts with their customers much more than any other company does, and so Ferrari makes the cars as per the customers needs. Whereas Lamborghini has made its cars to sell to a broader market, hence making it more humble and tame (as per British journalists).
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Old 27th January 2010, 13:54   #25
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Wait for ten years and the present generation of sports cars will be said to have oozed with character. It might be interesting to note that the Jaguar E-Type was rather poorly regarded when it was sold but today its the most beautiful, classy and amazing car according to experts and amateurs alike.
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Old 27th January 2010, 16:40   #26
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@Mclaren, very rightly said.

Even we call the (mundane by present car standards) Contessa an awesome car now, but in those days people loathed its length and cost, which resulted in low volume sales then, but now there is demand for it from enthusiasts.
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Old 27th January 2010, 17:36   #27
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@DocG, i agree with you that Ferrari's have lost that character, and so has the Lambo's and the Porsche's and the Aston's and the etc. etc. compared to their own models of yore.

I know its difficult for us who will dream our whole lives to own one of those marvels of engineering, so our comments will be based on what is read and heard.

Now the only way we can hear is through the twin British motoring shows, Top Gear and Fifth Gear.
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Wait for ten years and the present generation of sports cars will be said to have oozed with character. It might be interesting to note that the Jaguar E-Type was rather poorly regarded when it was sold but today its the most beautiful, classy and amazing car according to experts and amateurs alike.
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@Mclaren, very rightly said.

Even we call the (mundane by present car standards) Contessa an awesome car now, but in those days people loathed its length and cost, which resulted in low volume sales then, but now there is demand for it from enthusiasts.

Sorry for the large multiquote, but:

1)Nos power I understand what you say from your perspective, but I've been fortunate enough to have either been in or driven a few cars that are revered today. I had an opportunity to drive a few 911s in Australia a few years back. The owner who works for my dad is an avid 911 collector and is the kind of guy who will rather spend on his cars and starve than have one of those beauties die on him.

Anyway bottom line, amongst all the Porsches I drove, and they were about 7 generations, don't remember all, but the one that struck me as the best was undoubtedly the 1986 911 turbo. And the only reason that it made such a huge impact on me was that I felt scared whilst behind the wheel, I didn't know how to tame the beast being so inexperienced, and the lack of all the electronic gizmos made it worse. But damn that was the most fun I had had in a long, long time! That razor thin line between being in control and loosing it is what most of the uber rich desire, and hence this has to drive the limits further away.

There is a thread on TBhp of wrecked exotics. Now do you really think these wrecks would be remotely possible under the confines of the law? NO the owners have pushed their cars to their limits (The owners or the cars, either or) and it's resulted badly. How about all those who've not wrecked?

2) WRT the E-type and the contessa. I think you're highly mistaken. Both cars had a huge fan following.

E-type - the car was in production for sooo long. Simple truth was that people were buying the car, the difference is today it has that classic element to it, and most are extremely affordable in the used market. Hence now being in reach of most, it's become one of the pinnacles of design.

Even the contessa. The fact that there are so many for sale in the used market is indicative of sales! If people didn't like the car then, they wouldn't have bought it.

Classic value is undeniable, but as it stands, the electronics that exist today are what kill that character.

Case in point who here doesn't want to own a 300SL gullwing. It was also nicknamed the widowmaker due to the number of people who died behind the wheel. That adds to its value! The fact that it's dangerous.

At the end of the day, it's all about either showing off your money or the adrenaline rush. Those who choose the rush buy the fastest cars, and then push them hard. Just like bungee jumpers, paragliders, speed boaters etc etc...It's all about the supra-renal gland!

Cheers

PS: It's not personal, it's just a debate...
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Old 27th January 2010, 18:44   #28
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Well DocG, I remember pretty clearly that Jeremy Clarkson once was talking about the E-Type and said that the initial sales weren't anywhere near as impressive as Jaguar expected. Anyway, the point is that many a car will not be recognized for their character now but will be after they're relegated to the history books.

By the way, no one's taking it personally. After all, its not like we're Ferrari owners, are we?
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Old 27th January 2010, 20:13   #29
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Well McLaren that all depends...I quickly wikipediaed the E-type and quote:

"On its release Enzo Ferrari called it "The most beautiful car ever made".:

So the appreciation for the E-type was always there. It might not have translated into large sales figures. But it sold reasonably well for the time I believe.

Reportedly Jaguar sold 72,500- 72,600 units of the E-Type not including limited editions during it's 14 year history. Considering this was the 60s and early 70s, I think that's pretty decent for a GT.

and remember that not every car in the history books is remembered and revered by all.

And WRT the personal thing, that was due to NOS power's opening line in his previous post. I'm enjoying this discussion
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Old 27th January 2010, 20:49   #30
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+1 to that!



It's not always about the acceleration figures and top speed. But what's this character that you're talking about? IMO most modern Ferraris lack that certain special 'character' and 'flavour' that people boast about.

The classic Fezzas like the 365GT4 Berlinetta Boxer, the 328 GTS/GTB, the Testarossa, the Ferrari 248 Dino, the F40, the Daytona and the 355 are Ferraris with character. They look great and have Ferrari written all over them. And from what I've read, they feel more Ferrari than the newer 'Tech-laden' Fezzas.

Agreed. The Manettino dial, the launch control and the superfast F1 'box is great! But it just takes away the true essence and character of a Ferrari and makes it more of a track focused race car for the road, rather than something with emotion and passion.

No offense meant to anyone! I come in peace!
exactly sir !!!! couldnt agree more than this . so true . ferraris have lost their zeal and looks long way back . F355 was the last one of real good emotional ferrari. after that its just a gizmo game , nothing to write home about .
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