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Old 21st February 2010, 20:05   #1
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Default Speed: the be all and end all?

Power, speed and acceleration. That's what we all think we want from our next car, right?

I disagree. Let me explain.

Most modern cars that have powerful engines are also supremely luxurious. They strive to keep out the engine noise, filter out the vibrations & in general isolate the driver from the sensation of speed. That's why travelling at silly speeds feels safe.

But is that what I'm looking for when I want to have some fun? No sir, getting to my destination at insane speeds that I can boast about later to my friends is not what I want. What I really want is to experience the visceral sensation of speed, to really feel at the edge of control, and to arrive at the destination feeling relieved on having made it at all!

You may be wondering what prompted me to pen down these feelings in the first place. Well recently I went go karting for the first time. With my bum inches off the floor, a rock hard suspension, an incredibly direct steering & no power assisted brakes, it was a different experience altogether. The little thing showed me how much fun you could have with a 7bhp motor and a rudimentary chassis! Let me put it this way: You will have way more fun in a puny little gokart at 50kph than any regular car at 150. Simply because excitement is not felt by watching a little needle dance around on the instrument panel ; it's about what you feel on the inside, it's what makes your spine tingle & what makes you want to do it all over again.

I am used to driving a Swift DDiS. I'd heard a lot about the verna crdi being a rocketship. So I finally decided to take a TD and find out what the hoopla was all about. Went into the TD with high expectations, and came out disappointed. That's because while the performance was all right, the excitement was what was missing from the equation. The soft suspension & the better noise insulation as compared to a swift meant that the numbers on the speedo were just that:numbers. I'll take my swift any day, thank you very much.

Bottom line: Talking about 0-100 timings & top speeds and all are all fine, but if you really want to have some fun, you have to look beyond the numbers.
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Old 21st February 2010, 21:41   #2
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Very Nice write up. I cannot comment on why we dont have Powerful cars with the pure sensation of speed. But I can say this, The cars are made for an 'everyday' being. Not everyone is an Enthusiast like us. They would like to have silent and luxurious cars, basically for most people the numbers are mere status symbols. We Enthusiasts know the cars in and out, want to enjoy driving may it be at any speeds. So we Mod it. FFE, Filters, Tighter suspenion, Wider Rubber etc. Though some of the mods get us luxury too, but it just does not appeal to the general crowd. I went a bit off topic there. Getting back, awareness is a problem here. If a person has been only exposed to silent and comfy cars and he is not aware of the enjoyment you get by driving a say swift in your case. I hope you get my point.

I totally agree on your conclusion. Theres nothing like getting the thrill, may it be 50kmph in a Go Kart Rather than in a Luxurious Verna
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Old 21st February 2010, 22:03   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by d3mon View Post
Went into the TD with high expectations, and came out disappointed. That's because while the performance was all right, the excitement was what was missing from the equation. The soft suspension & the better noise insulation as compared to a swift meant that the numbers on the speedo were just that:numbers.
But then thats what it is designed for. Good speed and acceleration and lux interiors.
For people travelling from say bombay to surat or bombay to say aurangabad etc on regular basis (self or chauffer driven - whatever...), it is not expected that the car gives thrill. These guys have enough thrill minting money.
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Old 21st February 2010, 22:50   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bumble Beast View Post
Very Nice write up. I cannot comment on why we dont have Powerful cars with the pure sensation of speed. But I can say this, The cars are made for an 'everyday' being. Not everyone is an Enthusiast like us. They would like to have silent and luxurious cars, basically for most people the numbers are mere status symbols. We Enthusiasts know the cars in and out, want to enjoy driving may it be at any speeds. So we Mod it. FFE, Filters, Tighter suspenion, Wider Rubber etc. Though some of the mods get us luxury too, but it just does not appeal to the general crowd. I went a bit off topic there. Getting back, awareness is a problem here. If a person has been only exposed to silent and comfy cars and he is not aware of the enjoyment you get by driving a say swift in your case. I hope you get my point.

I totally agree on your conclusion. Theres nothing like getting the thrill, may it be 50kmph in a Go Kart Rather than in a Luxurious Verna
Thanks BumbleBeast

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But then thats what it is designed for. Good speed and acceleration and lux interiors.
For people travelling from say bombay to surat or bombay to say aurangabad etc on regular basis (self or chauffer driven - whatever...), it is not expected that the car gives thrill. These guys have enough thrill minting money.
I said I was disappointed by the verna. That's because my expectations as an enthusiast are different from the rest of the general car buying public. Sure, for someone who prefers a comfortable mile muncher, the verna is a good option. I was not trying to berate the verna here, just trying to make a point. Hope you understand
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Old 22nd February 2010, 03:46   #5
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I would agree with what you say d3mon. However it is based on ones choice. Its good to know that you are satisfied with what you have, so I can say about myself with the Swift VDI. But we are humans. As humans we would always want something better and nice. I dont think there is anything wrong with that.
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Old 22nd February 2010, 09:44   #6
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Stock vs stock..........the Swift VDI is also very boring to drive. You dont hear a high revving engine under the hood, there is no audible turbo whine or wastegate whosssh, the suspension setup is still on the softer side, comes with ultra skinny 165mm tyres which limit the cornering capabilities drastically, the car also has a high seating position which doesn't give you the sensation of sitting in a sporty car.

The only thing you can look forward to in a stock VDi is that silent bump in torque at 1900rpm.

So no matter how good a stock car is, there is always loads of room for improvment. A VDI tuned for outright performance will be a completely different beast compared to what the company gives.

Shan2nu

Last edited by Shan2nu : 22nd February 2010 at 09:45.
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Old 22nd February 2010, 11:48   #7
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Well, I've a different thought on this thread, IMO, it all depends on what you're looking for & how much your expectation meets with the car.

Quote:
Originally Posted by d3mon View Post
You will have way more fun in a puny little gokart at 50kph than any regular car at 150. Simply because excitement is not felt by watching a little needle dance around on the instrument panel ;
I can clearly see you're so much fascinated by the gokart & that's the reason you were able to enjoy the ride.

Quote:
Originally Posted by d3mon View Post
it's about what you feel on the inside, it's what makes your spine tingle & what makes you want to do it all over again.
Yes, I agree with you. So what is that makes you feel inside? For someone it could be Verna, for someone it could be M800; I've heard some filthy rich still love to drive M800 by themselves while their A/B/C classes & 3/4/5 series are parked mint in the garage. Like you said, "what makes your spine tingle" is something that M800 gives more to the mind than the classes & series for them.

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Originally Posted by d3mon View Post
Bottom line: Talking about 0-100 timings & top speeds and all are all fine, but if you really want to have some fun, you have to look beyond the numbers.
Very well said. Numbers are only a quick facts to get to know about a vehicle (be it car or bike). But remember, mind is still a mind, the fun factor is also decided by the mind; what is fun for A may not be fun for B & that's the reason why we see so many cars, so many specs, so many features, so many prices.
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Old 22nd February 2010, 17:25   #8
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Well a car's primary focus is transportation, not fun. The enthusiast's sense of excitement comes about because a car is nearly at its limit. At its limit, a car is also dangerous. A car that does the job with less drama is a more capable machine i.e. you're not at its limit yet. No manufacturer will make cars that reach their limits at speeds of 50 odd kph because that would probably equate to the most unsafe vehicle of them all.
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