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Old 11-21-2018, 05:30 AM
 
9,762 posts, read 8,096,872 times
Reputation: 13188

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Talking with a younger coworker about the slow era of cars. I agreed with him that todayís cars are much faster and better cornering than majority of the cars of the mid 70s to mid 80s. What he couldnít understand was my explanation about driving excitement. The driver could feel the car and road through the steering wheel, he could feel accurately the pressure on the pedals; gas, brake, & clutch. Though low on power, we could use every one of those horses to push the car to the limits of the suspension. Thatís one of the reasons why cars like GTI, Si, Corolla GT-S, and other similar cars were considered to be so fun even though their early models were less than 100 hp. Todayís cars are built to meet fuel economy regulations. Instead of direct shaft steering or hydraulic power steering we have electric steering. Suspension tech is made to isolate the cabin from the road thus reducing the feedback further. Iíve heard and read that engineers are getting better at re-establishing driver feedback through these electric controls.

I had a 1984 Buick Skyhawk coupe with 2.0L 4 cylinder with OHV and about 80something horsepower and a 4 speed manual transmission. Sure it was slow in straightline acceleration but it was a fun car to push to the limits of the car and my limited driving skills. My 2015 Hyundai Elantra has 145 HP 1.8L and 6 speed auto transmission. Tires are larger and thicker than what was on that Buick. Itís faster in a straightline than the Buick. But it doesnít feel as fun to push it hard.

Have any of you experienced such intangibles? Any of todayís economy level cars reaching this level of driver feedback?
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Old 11-21-2018, 05:51 AM
 
Location: NY
9,070 posts, read 14,962,185 times
Reputation: 11498
I miss my 88 Fiero Formula. No power assist to the rack and pinion steering to dilute the experience. The steering feel was terrific. It too was not going to win any drag races, but it's 140 HP in that era was not really comparatively slow either.


Closest I have driven in recent times was a 2014 BRZ I owned a couple years. It really has scalpel like steering, although the feel still was not as good as that Fiero. IMO it was better than a Miata, although I am sure a raging debate could go on between those two. It too is considered underpowered but probably equivalent in acceleration to my Fiero.


I have always loved steering feel and dynamic handling over pure power/acceleration. Outside of a few specific sports cars, that level of steering feel is gone.
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Old 11-21-2018, 08:25 AM
 
Location: Phoenix,Arizona
4,107 posts, read 4,771,335 times
Reputation: 4249
Quote:
Originally Posted by victimofGM View Post
I agreed with him that todayís cars are much faster and better cornering than majority of the cars of the mid 70s to mid 80s. What he couldnít understand was my explanation about driving excitement.



My driving excitement







Replaced by this





Hard to compare Apples to Oranges


Daily Driver '17 VW Jetta SEL
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Old 11-21-2018, 09:14 AM
 
5,311 posts, read 2,757,146 times
Reputation: 9830
Americans so like to isolate themselves from any hint of physical harshness that many cars feel like cushioned soundbooths, just sort of floating along.

People btch about firm suspensions, wind noise, engine noise, anything less than a nondetectable gear shift, seats that are actually supportive instead of just cushy...on and on.

Then the manufacturers cut costs by offering only what the mushy masses demand. Not much choice except colors, and even that is disappearing what with only-black interiors.

Physical feedback matters to me. I was rollering some polyurethane clearcoat on raw wood, then switched to a bristle brush even though the brush was less than a fourth of the roller width (more work). I LOVED the feedback that the brush sent through my hands. Such a small thing, yet such a huge difference in enjoyment AND quality of the results.
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Old 11-21-2018, 09:30 AM
 
Location: NH
2,228 posts, read 2,281,639 times
Reputation: 2920
Kind of like when I was buying new tires for my SUV. I picked out a set that I liked and was told by the place that my selection wasn't rated the best for a quiet ride and they suggested an alternative. I told them it was a truck, it should drive and ride like a truck and as long as they looked good, that was all I cared about. He was surprised and said a quiet ride is what most people care about these days when buying new tires.


I agree though, feedback makes driving so much more exciting. I like driving the car instead of it driving me.
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Old 11-21-2018, 09:44 AM
 
11,027 posts, read 8,447,177 times
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I've never understood driving excitement or fun.
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Old 11-21-2018, 10:58 AM
 
5,353 posts, read 5,572,078 times
Reputation: 5467
My 1976 Chevrolet Chevette @ $2,656.00 new delivered.
With 4 speed manual transmission.

Was a real fun car to drive.
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Old 11-21-2018, 03:45 PM
 
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
10,489 posts, read 8,696,094 times
Reputation: 12142
Ummm, I have a tiny 1.3L turbo-charged Renault Clio, a sedan. It doesn't go all that fast, but has tremendous acceleration in 2nd and 3rd gear, and works great in urban traffic in Copenhagen.
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Old 11-21-2018, 03:50 PM
 
Location: Brawndo-Thirst-Mutilator-Nation
16,332 posts, read 16,440,473 times
Reputation: 12367
I prefer newer technology. The "feel" of older vehicles was many times just crummy and sometimes unsafe design.......and they were dirty and got poor gas-mileage.
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Old 11-21-2018, 03:59 PM
 
Location: Podunk, IA
3,888 posts, read 1,755,302 times
Reputation: 4188
Quote:
Originally Posted by victimofGM View Post
Have any of you experienced such intangibles? Any of today’s economy level cars reaching this level of driver feedback?
I don't think a car with hydraulic or electric power steering will ever provide the feedback of a car with armstrong power steering.
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