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Old 11-02-2014, 06:29 PM
 
8,866 posts, read 7,347,410 times
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Back a few decades it seemed virtually all compact coupe/sedans had a performance version. Sentra had SE-R, Civic had Si, Corolla had GT-S, Cavalier had Z24, Sunbird had GT, Escort had GT, and Dodge/Plymouth had their models as well. Today the Civic Si is still around but not much else. Dodge Dart is still under powered for its weight while Corolla, Cruze, and Sentra have given up on any pretense of performance. Do you think this is due to changing CAFE standards, changing taste, or a combination of the two? Today Toyota reserves it's 2.5L for the Scion tC instead of a Corola S. Buick Verano shares it's platform with the Cruze but gets better horsepower engines like the 2.4L & 2.0L turbo. Being a Buick puts it above the traditional pocket rocket price range. Ford still has their rockets with the Focus and Fiesta ST. Chevy put an RS on the Cruze as an appearance package while on the Sonic the RS results in some suspension tweaks.
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Old 11-02-2014, 06:35 PM
 
Location: Prosper
6,268 posts, read 12,118,539 times
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With all the manufacturers competing against each other, those pocket rocket engines that were normally reserved just for one model and option package are now a standard engine for the entire range.

You can still find some examples where the "sport" version gets upgraded suspension, brakes, etc, but in a lot of cases the engines are the same, because manufacturers want to be able to offer it on all models. I'd say it's still pretty popular among Japanese/Asian makes.
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Old 11-02-2014, 06:42 PM
 
Location: 4222'55.2"N 7124'46.8"W
4,837 posts, read 9,240,590 times
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They still exist, but they seem to be mostly hatchbacks now instead of sedans. These all have bigger engines than their "base" counterparts or at least a turbo instead of their N/A base counterpart: Mazdaspeed 3, Focus/Fiesta ST, Veloster Turbo, GTI, Civic Si, WRX, Elantra GT to name a few.
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Old 11-02-2014, 07:37 PM
 
528 posts, read 577,158 times
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I think it has something to do with the fact that in this country cars like the ones that have been mentioned are marketed as entry level or strictly economy cars. It's the same thinking that keep us from getting manual transmissions and two door coupes. Plus gas prices have stabilized a bit over the past few years, it wasn't long ago we were threatened with 5 or 6 dollar a gallon gas by now. We have been teased with an SRT Dart for a couple years now and Mazda is suppose to be working on a new Mazdaspeed 3. Another thing to keep in mind is that there are fewer makes now than there were back then. If you want performance they expect you to drop 40-70 g's on a Mustang, Challenger or Camaro.
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Old 11-02-2014, 09:11 PM
 
Location: Montgomery County, PA
13,661 posts, read 8,675,178 times
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It is more serious than you think. The whole car culture is dying. I know very few young men who are passionate about cars. They buy a Corolla and are happy with it. What was the last time you saw street racing? We used to do it at every red light. Who do you know who speaks with passion of 302, 455 or small block. Edelbrock anyone? They have no idea what you are talking about. I am not surprised there are few "pocket rockets" made anymore.
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Old 11-02-2014, 10:26 PM
 
1,097 posts, read 1,406,451 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyRider View Post
It is more serious than you think. The whole car culture is dying. I know very few young men who are passionate about cars. They buy a Corolla and are happy with it. What was the last time you saw street racing? We used to do it at every red light.
Consequences and costs.

Street racing - That'll get you nailed for reckless driving even if you don't break the speed limit. Hell, in CA that'll get your car taken and crushed, and plenty of other states will do similar things. (usually taken and sold at auction).

While not that extreme, even your general speeding ticket now is probably going to be $200+, followed by a significant bump in insurance costs that'll amount to even more than that.

And most young people simply can't afford to own or operate a particularly fun car. Modern cars are also far more difficult to work on, which limits alterations, as well as the ability to keep them running cheaply.


Quote:
Who do you know who speaks with passion of 302, 455 or small block. Edelbrock anyone? They have no idea what you are talking about. I am not surprised there are few "pocket rockets" made anymore.
This part of your post is more a generational thing. Muscle cars basically weren't topped in (non-supercar) performance until the imports in the 90s (and late 80s).

However, now they've been topped in all areas by far cheaper vehicles than buying a 60s muscle car (that isn't a wreck needing extensive work) is. They're a completely impractical choice. Young people today will get something more recent that's Japanese or German.

With the choice in cars having changed for people who DO like cars, the debates have changed with them. People talked about 302's and 455's, because they were either what they had or wanted to have in their car. Now they'll talk about the kinds of engines that are used today for the same thing. Look up some forum threads/debates on engines like the RB30, 2JZ, LS1/2/3, etc.
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Old 11-02-2014, 11:18 PM
 
Location: Honolulu
485 posts, read 505,655 times
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Cities need to be friendlier to drag racing tracks and legalized 1/4 mile races.

KCMO used to have a local drag strip but the home owners around the land complained about noise (which the track has been there since the 50s-60s I believe) so the city bought out the land and won the legal fight in court. Now young kids are forced to race on the streets.

I too hope for a resurrection but because of economy/fuel costs/practicality/etc. they will be limited. But as another poster said there are still plenty of options out there available!

Big one is the Toyobaru FR-S/BRZ.
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Old 11-03-2014, 10:42 AM
 
Location: NY
9,002 posts, read 14,207,263 times
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They are out there, but they are not as common since there is not a huge market anymore. Buyer preferences change, as do market conditions. However, they are still around and they perform far better than ever! (Better than any old V6 Cavalier ever did).
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Old 11-03-2014, 11:33 AM
 
5,445 posts, read 4,402,948 times
Reputation: 14992
Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyRider View Post
It is more serious than you think. The whole car culture is dying. I know very few young men who are passionate about cars. They buy a Corolla and are happy with it. What was the last time you saw street racing? We used to do it at every red light. Who do you know who speaks with passion of 302, 455 or small block. Edelbrock anyone? They have no idea what you are talking about. I am not surprised there are few "pocket rockets" made anymore.
What's funny about your comment is that those who used to street race back in the day, are now the same people who are wanting to throw the book at anybody street racing today.
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Old 11-03-2014, 05:21 PM
 
Location: Southwest Michigan/Miami Beach Miami
1,834 posts, read 2,630,781 times
Reputation: 946
DART SRT is coming....
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