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One of the reason American carmakers are in trouble: engines - Page 2

post #16 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by tiger02
Not necessarily tougher, but different. One of the difficulties in importing my German spec BMW is going to be emissions--there seem to be differences in which pollutants are filtered.

Tom


Yeah, I could see that. You have the experience with it, I don't. The tables I was looking at did indeed have only a couple pollutants in common--as an example, it looked like the EU regulates PM but the US. Although, on a side note, I find that baffling as the pollutants we are all concerned with are the same. Anyway....


bob
post #17 of 46
Couldn't agree more. You'd be doubly baffled by the rest of the things on the list--door beams are plastic, need to be replaced by metal (nothing about performance), windows need to be rewired so they can't function when the car is off (can't let that kid whose dumbass mom left him locked in the car have a way out!) and a half dozen little things that are going to add up to be pretty pricey.

Tom
post #18 of 46
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rdawson808
Just one quick point (or estimation maybe) regarding an above comment on emissions levels. A quick search confirmed what I thought and that is that the EU seems to have tougher emissions standards than the US for passenger vehicles.

A second thing I would like to say is that after driving a Honda Civic for the last six or so years, this week I am driving a Ford 500 (a rental). It sucks. I have no idea if it is faster or gets better gas mileage or anything--but the syling is horrible, it's not as comfortable as my Civic, and the operation isn't as intuitive--but that could just be because I am used to my Civic. But it can't be just that. It physically rides higher than my Civic and is harder to see around. That makes it a little hard to parallel park.

I just left it and the dumb dome light was on and I could not figure out how to turn it off. When I lock up the car, everything ought to damn well be turned off. Oh, and that reminds me, when you turn the car off the radio stays on. Why? Can someone explain that to me? Why leave the stereo on except to kill the battery? Stupid stupid stupid.

bob (who is clearly a little frustrated).

In defense of Ford (I can't believe I'm doing this), the 500 is a bigger car than the Civic, and frankly was designed in a completely different way to conform with more "˜American' tastes, thus it rides a bit higher. My A4 seemed quite a bit larger when I first got it for the sheer fact that it is at least 1/4 a car bigger than my old Protégé and also it rides higher as well (I guess this is why Audi offers sports suspension, which lowers the car by 20mm for only $250).

I can leave the radio on in my car even if the engine is off, BUT I first have to turn off the car and then turn the radio on. The radio will not stay on by itself.

Jon.
post #19 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by imageWIS
One or two turbo’s?

Oh, and there is no way in hell the car can handle anywhere close to a 5-series. Its engine is mounted in front of the wheels, which makes it nose heavy and leads to uneven f/r weight distribution. Same problem I have with my Audi. Indeed, the only Audi model (4-door sedan) that is truly balanced is the RS4, and the reason is that all the heavy components of the engine and the transmission are facing the rear of the car, and they distributed more weight from the rear to the out corners of the car. Of, course you pay over $75K for this type of balance.

Jon.

One turbo.

Despite the weight distribution, I am convinced the 9-5 Aero handles quite a bit better than a last-gen base 5-series (530). This is largely due to more expensive suspension components and tires in the high end Aero model versus the base 530. I haven't driven the new fiver so I can't compare that one. Obviously the BMW will outhandle the Saab if it has an equivalent sport suspension.

And oh yeah, by the way, it's a lot better in the snow and ice and it costs about $10k less than the BMW.
post #20 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian SD
bob, I see most American cars in the same way I see Windows vs. Mac.

Everything is counter-intuitive and under-designed. It's really that simple to me.

American cars are counter-intuititive and under-designed like Mac! Yes!
post #21 of 46
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tokyo Slim
American cars are counter-intuititive and under-designed like Mac! Yes!

LMAO: James attacking Mac...yet another sign that SF is back!

Jon.
post #22 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by briancl

regarding what was said upthread about saab and GM and whatever else... saab's are not aimed at the market of the m5, or porsche 911... i've driven the 9-2, 9-3, and 9-5.. and the only one that performs like a performance car is the 9-2, which is a subaru impreza wrx wagon with a prettier front fascia.

as for the 40-70 numbers.. all of the 911's on this list are faster than all of the saabs (including a porsche from 1973)

http://www.car-videos.net/performanc...1=40&Speed2=70

saab makes a fine sedan, but they don't challenge the m5 or 911 on any worthwhile performance metrics. although, if GM did a better job marketing the car, im sure it could be more successful.. just not as a luxo-sports car (m5) or sports car (911).. maybe as a midsized sedan.

Top Gear did a segment on the 9-5 Aero where they raced it versus a Harrier -- yes the jet airplane. It was hilarious (the Harrier won). Here's what they said about the Aero's performance from 40-70:

"And then there's the midrange clout. The rate this thing (the 9-5 Aero) goes in second gear from 40-70 MPH is just (laughing as he drives the car) sensational. For overtaking a lorry, not to mention a 5-series BMW, this will do it quicker than a Porsche 911 turbo. Stepping on the throttle in second gear gives you some idea of what it would be like to tread on a land mine."

-- Top Gear
post #23 of 46
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by montecristo#4
Top Gear did a segment on the 9-5 Aero where they raced it versus a Harrier -- yes the jet airplane. It was hilarious (the Harrier won). Here's what they said about the Aero's performance from 40-70:

"And then there's the midrange clout. The rate this thing (the 9-5 Aero) goes in second gear from 40-70 MPH is just (laughing as he drives the car) sensational. For overtaking a lorry, not to mention a 5-series BMW, this will do it quicker than a Porsche 911 turbo. Stepping on the throttle in second gear gives you some idea of what it would be like to tread on a land mine."

-- Top Gear

I rather have the 911 turbo, thanks.

Or better yet, an Audi S4 (hell, for the price of a 911 Turbo you can have an RS4, pay for the insurance and gas for 4 years, and still have money leftover).

Jon.
post #24 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by imageWIS
I rather have the 911 turbo, thanks.

Or better yet, an Audi S4 (hell, for the price of a 911 Turbo you can have an RS4, pay for the insurance and gas for 4 years, and still have money leftover).

Jon.

Or instead of the S4 you can get the 9-5, plus five bespoke suits from the Row. Hmmmm.
post #25 of 46
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by montecristo#4
Or instead of the S4 you can get the 9-5, plus five bespoke suits from the Row. Hmmmm.

I rather have the S4.

Jon.
post #26 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by montecristo#4
Despite the weight distribution, I am convinced the 9-5 Aero handles quite a bit better than a last-gen base 5-series (530). This is largely due to more expensive suspension components and tires in the high end Aero model versus the base 530.

Tires have a lot to do with it, then, but thinking your 9-5 handles better than a 5er* indicates more of a preference for the characteristics of FWD than anything else. Most car nut purists prefer RWD on everything, though I don't. I like RWD on sports cars, and FWD on sedans. I that is a product of the kinds of cars I grew up around, which were Triumph sports cars and Citroën GTs/sedans with the occasional Mercedes or Volvo estate thrown in. (The Cits were always way cooler than the Mercs or Volvos to me, though now I have an appreciation for the solidity of the W124 that I didn't at age 12.)

Then again, I have a very dim view of so-called sports sedans anyway. Anyone who thinks a giant, 3000+ lb behemoth is supposed to have any handling characteristics beyond mush is simply deluding themselves or has not driven a car with truly great handling. (By "handling" I am referring to feel rather than raw numbers, because almost any type of car can have high skidpad and even slalom numbers. Great numbers without great communication is the worst kind of car.) The only truly good-handling sedans ever were the smallest ones, like the Alfa 1750GTV, Lotus Cortina, and BMW 2000/2002/320i. Because of the obesity of modern autos, few examples of great-handling moderns exist. Even BMW has left the building recently, at least with their eponymous cars. Cars such as the Elise, Mini, MX-5, S2000, and RX-8 are all that's left.

*As an aside, the old 5 was better than the new one, with much more communicative steering, a nicer interior, and un-Bangled exterior styling. The new one has more advanced engines, which is a pity because everything else about them is a step back.
post #27 of 46
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SGladwell
Tires have a lot to do with it, then, but thinking your 9-5 handles better than a 5er* indicates more of a preference for the characteristics of FWD than anything else. Most car nut purists prefer RWD on everything, though I don't. I like RWD on sports cars, and FWD on sedans. I that is a product of the kinds of cars I grew up around, which were Triumph sports cars and Citroën GTs/sedans with the occasional Mercedes or Volvo estate thrown in. (The Cits were always way cooler than the Mercs or Volvos to me, though now I have an appreciation for the solidity of the W124 that I didn't at age 12.) Then again, I have a very dim view of so-called sports sedans anyway. Anyone who thinks a giant, 3000+ lb behemoth is supposed to have any handling characteristics beyond mush is simply deluding themselves or has not driven a car with truly great handling. (By "handling" I am referring to feel rather than raw numbers, because almost any type of car can have high skidpad and even slalom numbers. Great numbers without great communication is the worst kind of car.) The only truly good-handling sedans ever were the smallest ones, like the Alfa 1750GTV, Lotus Cortina, and BMW 2000/2002/320i. Because of the obesity of modern autos, few examples of great-handling moderns exist. Even BMW has left the building recently, at least with their eponymous cars. Cars such as the Elise, Mini, MX-5, S2000, and RX-8 are all that's left. *As an aside, the old 5 was better than the new one, with much more communicative steering, a nicer interior, and un-Bangled exterior styling. The new one has more advanced engines, which is a pity because everything else about them is a step back.
Yeah, the cockpits of the newer BMW’s (Bangle) suck monkey’s balls. Whereas the old ones were curved towards the driver, to facilitate the driver, the new ones are basically flush and have some less than easy to reach controls and accessories (flimsy cup holders, although a real German car shouldn’t have cup holders anyways!) also, the interior quality has gone down, even at the top end. Take a look at the interior of an A8 4.2 and see how vastly better made it is than the interior of a 750Li. I think the size limit for ‘sports sedans’ has to be around the size of the S4 / RS4 (and I guess the upcoming M3, if they decide to make it as a sedan / saloon), anything bigger is just too big, and you end up getting quotes from Jeremy Clarkson like: “this is what a Cathedral going sideways looks like” when describing the Bentley Arnage T going sideways after he turned the traction control off. The only thing that might truly bring redemption to BMW is the forthcoming 1-Series sedan / saloon, which in M or M-Sport mode (most likely a model-moniker reading: 130i or 135i). It should be small enough to actually become the true spiritual successor to the 3-Series. Jon.
post #28 of 46
The M Z4 Coupe will be a blast when that comes out. Hopefully it will hang around long enough for them to put the E90 M3's V8 in it. It's currently using the E46 M3's S54.

--Andre
post #29 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by imageWIS
think the size limit for "˜sports sedans' has to be around the size of the S4 / RS4

Size-wise, maybe. Bulk-wise, at around two tons they've both left the building long, long ago. My experience with the S4 (admittedly, the old biturbo one, not the new V8 one) is that it while it can cover ground as well as anything from anyone, it's too ponderous (especially on initial turn-in) to be any fun. I'd rather drive an Impreza, personally, though its steering leaves something to be desired as well. Or just give up on this silly fiction of the "sports sedan" entirely.

Quote:
Originally Posted by imageWIS
The only thing that might truly bring redemption to BMW is the forthcoming 1-Series sedan / saloon, which in M or M-Sport mode (most likely a model-moniker reading: 130i or 135i). It should be small enough to actually become the true spiritual successor to the 3-Series.

The 1er is in its way every bit as stupid as the Solstice. It's a four (or five!) door two seater, for God's sake! There is no possible way to fit 4 people sized 5'5" or greater into that thing. A Fiat Panda is a more practical car, and probably more fun to drive, too.
post #30 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by SGladwell
Size-wise, maybe. Bulk-wise, at around two tons they've both left the building long, long ago. My experience with the S4 (admittedly, the old biturbo one, not the new V8 one) is that it while it can cover ground as well as anything from anyone, it's too ponderous (especially on initial turn-in) to be any fun. I'd rather drive an Impreza, personally, though its steering leaves something to be desired as well. Or just give up on this silly fiction of the "sports sedan" entirely.
i agree to a large extent; however, in today's car market, there is a viable segment of "sports sedans" whereas there might not have been such a market 20-25 years ago. some people do want the creature comforts (AC, nice stereo, 4+ airbags, power steering, nav, dual climate control, etc) as well as performance. in all honesty, its hard to put all of these things in a car, build it to meet safety and environmental regulation, and be able to sell it... car mfgs do their best. the rs4 is a step in exactly the right direction. it might cost a lot, however, we are starting to see sedans with room for 4 (or 5) and 4 doors and a good sized truck with all of the features a 35k+ car should have (i realize the rs4 is upwards of 70 or 80), yet still be an absolute blast to drive on the track or on the way to the grocery store. if audi skimped on the luxury items, they would hurt their image as a luxury brand. if they wimped out on the performance, people would say its just another bloated s4 (what a shame that car has gotten so piggish). then there is the elise/exige side of things.. which is another good direction. of course, lotus intentionally left out a lot of luxury to keep weight down, but no one would ever buy one as their daily driver. they are weekend cars or track cars.. the sports sedan is a growing market and im glad to see it evolving. im on my second sports sedan, and this is the market for me for a very long time. i would be sad to think what i have now is as good as it gets...
Quote:
The 1er is in its way every bit as stupid as the Solstice. It's a four (or five!) door two seater, for God's sake! There is no possible way to fit 4 people sized 5'5" or greater into that thing. A Fiat Panda is a more practical car, and probably more fun to drive, too.
not that i like the solstice, but how is a 4 or 5 door car every bit as stupid as a 2 door roadster? and the sky redline is actually a pretty slick car. if i needed a second car, i wouldnt mind having that in the garage.
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