i'm actually serious when i use the word "sabotage". if you've been
watching the debacle that used to be called "nokia", and its [former
micro$oft exec] c.e.o.'s decision to walk away from everything that made
that company successful and throwing in with the micro$oft "smart phone"
system nobody wants, you have to wonder where his loyalties lie.
they're certainly not with nokia.
i say the same thing is being done with honda by the former g.m. execs
it hired. pretty much all of their decisions have been to undermine the
honda brand, destroy the concept of repeat business and destroy customer
loyalty. are they genuinely well intentioned but simply incompetent?
or are they still working for g.m. with a mission to undermine g.m.'s
Well that they are, if Jerry Seinfeld and Jay Leno can be believed.
So it's newer safety regs that keep them from just re-issuing 1980s
frames with more modern engines?
I was actually just going to post about the late unlamented Accord V6
hybrid from a couple years back, how about just keeping up with the
Jones's with an Accord hybrid I4 - AND KNOCK 500 POUNDS OFF IT.
Hey, I actually saw two Volts on the road today, setting a new
That's exactly the point. Modern "safety" regulations -- especially the
newer side-impact regs -- make it difficult to impossible to build a light
car of any size.
Everything these days is 400-500 lbs heavier than the same size was 20
years ago, and all of that has gone into the structure, airbags, ABS, etc.
Take a look at the roof pillars, window sizes, and beltlines on a new car
and compare them against a 1992 model. The new cars have tree-trunks for
pillars, gun slits for windows, and beltlines up to your nose. Visibility
You can have "safety", and you can have lightness, but you can't have both
unless you start using materials and processes that would put the price out
of reach of the average consumer.
Well, but that's where the challenge is now for Honda or anybody.
I guess the question is to what degree the new standards make sense?
I've never heard that the old, ligher Hondas had any reputation as
I believe the air bags are a total waste of money and can really only
be counterproductive, I guess with all the side airbags and crap that
might be a hundred pounds - and more than a thousand dollars, right
there. So if that's a sign, then probably 95% of the new standards
the late 80's hondas were pretty much at the top of the game in that
regard. great crash resistant frames, no abs, no airbags - and
economical because of the weight savings.
they're good for a very limited percentage of the population - the
people that drive hunched up close to the wheel. but i think darwinian
natural selection of those people from the gene pool is a good thing -
and certainly not one worth the nation wasting billions of dollars to
oil despots for.
i couldn't agree more. all the time, money, weight and gasoline wasted
lugging about "side impact protection" that is not a significant
proportion of road impacts, and is pretty much impossible to /really/
protect since there is no room for an adequate crumple zone, is just
i'll say it again to be boring - if passenger safety was the /real/
objective, we'd all have tubular safety cages, 6-point harness and
helmets in our cars. then we could drive our 1600lb vehicles into the
barrier at 200mph and walk away. just like indy.
that's not true - there's nothing in the regulations regarding weight.
they just make it hardER to build /cheaply/.
which is of course, the whole point, politically speaking. the
manufacturers know the agenda is not really safety, it's to make cars
heavier to negate the fuel savings of their better engines. and they
know damn well that if they /did/ make a better lighter car that was
significantly more economical, there'd be a shake-down like there was
with toyota and the bogus throttle "problem". much easier to just
kow-tow to the political [read: "oil lobbying"] machine and build a
popular misconception. aluminum beer cans are much more high tech than
their steel counterparts, yet they're cheaper. aluminum framed
bicycles are often cheaper than comparable steel counterparts. aluminum
cars are not prohibitively more expensive than steel. and with volume
production, would be directly comparable since the material is easier to
work and form. and you can get stiffer frames more easily leading to
more design possibilities.
IIRC,Audi builds an aluminum car. a version of the A2,IIRC.
What bugs me is that side-impact regs have brought about taller cars,no
more low sporty cars. newer small cars are several inches taller than older
small cars. So they end up being tall and narrow,Ugh.
i don't think that's a result of regulation, i think it's typical mba
"focus group research" saying "people like to be up high", [i.e. the
same idiocy that shoved the suv down our throats for so long] and /that/
is driving a voluntary design decision.
and i know i don't like suv's not being /able/ to "low beam" me at night
because their lights are mounted so high. that's addressed by making
the car higher too.
blame it all on suv's.
That's part of it, yes.
Side-intrusion regs basically dictate that cowl- and belt-lines be really
high so as to reinforce the structure. This in addition to increased
pillar-thickness and floorpan-reinforcement.
Side-curtain airbags (part of the effort to meet intrusion regs) cause
pillars and rooflines to /really/ thicken. The B-pillars on all cars these
days are at least 4-times thicker than those on my '91 Integra.
In addition, pedestrian-protection regs result in bulbous front-ends, and
high cowls help with creating those bulbous fronts.
Like I said, you can have "safety", or you can have lightness. But you
can't have both unless you start using materials and processes that put
prices out of reach of most drivers.
Cars from 1990 were hardly death-traps. All we need to do is roll "safety"
regulations back to what they were in 1990, and you'd have your original
CRX back. But then a lot of activists would be unhappy, and a lot of
bureaucrats would be out of work, so that will never happen.
Honda V-6s have possibilities in a sportier car. They've increased
rated HP in the last couple years and could probably get more if they
tune them like Acura does.
A Honda V-8 would be an interesting motor, if they did it.
A number of years ago Honda officially stated that they would never made a
V8 becuase they didn't think V8s were "green" enough.
But then around the same time they also said they'd never make their V6 any
bigger thean 3.0 liters, so...
IMO,a sporty small car does not need a V-6 or V8.
4 cylinders ought to do it nicely. if your small car needs more than a 4-
banger can reliably develop,your car is too heavy.
Or are you discussing "supercars"? corvette-class? drag racers?
and then of course, you have the more readily available evo's and wrx's...
i'll go up to sears point on occasion and watch the weekend guys test.
it's a "real" windy circuit, not that oval crap, and it's fun when you
see a tricked prelude or integra wipe the floor with italian or german
The sorts of vehicles Toyota and Nissan produce with V8s. Honda made an
explicit decision not to participate in those market segments, and not to
produce a V8.
Honda's official reason was that they didn't think V8s were "green" enough,
and that they could achieve the same objectives using a "greener" V6. The
old press releases are out there somewhere, I'm sure.
When Honda finally did make a pickup, it used a V6.
And thus they never did give Acura a V8 to compete with Lexus models that
are so equipped. From a competitive perspective, that may have been a
mistake: A RWD V8-powered RL might have been a viable competitor to Lexus
instead of the slow-selling dud that was the V6 RL.
why? why are we absolutely fixated on v8's? i've lived in europe and
/everywhere/ you have small little 4-bangers, and sometimes 6's doing
everything we do in v8's. the only difference is that they don't seem
to have a problem with the concept of using more than one ratio in their
transmission. we seem to have the bizarre mentality that once the
vehicle is rolling, we should be able to climb mountains, with a trailer
and 6000lb boat attached, without ever shifting gear. it's completely
incomprehensible to me.
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