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Postby ToRmEnToR » Thu Sep 01, 2005 8:51 am

ReflectingGod wrote:The problem with the argument on ratios is that there are a limited number of gears in a car (typically 5/6 in a modern manual, and 4/5 in an automatic). First gear has to be tall enough to launch easily, and you don't want huge gaps between ratios, so you can't neccesarily put in a gear as high as you want.


The intersting thing about automatic transmissions is that the ratios can also be controlled by the amount of liquid in the turbines. The liquid which gets a spin directly from the turbine which is connected to the engine output shaft than rotates a turbine which is connected to all the gear stuff. If you have little liquid that spins the turbine you get the same effect as a small wheel that rotates a large wheel. The result is extra trouqe but this realy puts the strain on the turbine system... So while the loss of power in automatic transmissions is a weakness, the flexability of gears is a great feature. This is exactly why modern cars can have only 4 gears that'll get them all the way to over 100mph while still having very reasonable accelerations.
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Postby Calimar » Thu Sep 01, 2005 12:49 pm

Most highways in the US top off at 55-65mph, and most overdrive gears seem to be tuned to work well at those speeds (though it will kick in as soon as 35 mph to save gas while prowling around off the highway). Keep in mind that if you make the gear ratio too small you wouldn't be able to accelerate (as you stated), go up steep hills, and you have the possibility of the engine stalling if it upshifts early.


I've got a 1.6L 16V Peugeot. Pretty sporty car, expensive for european standards. My car is not a low-consumption fiat multijet... still it does 8L per 100 km in a city, and 6.4L on highways. Roughly 30miles in a town and 40miles outside with a gallon. Top speed is over 190km, I never run faster than that (declared 202 IIRC), drives 130km (80miles) which is our speed limit on highways at 2800 RPM, when the max torque is at 5600. You can have it drive that fast for 2 years no problem, providing you can fill your tank at that speed. Oh, and I seriously doubt I'll reach 6.8L per 100km at that speed anyway.
With a much sportier car (Peugeot 205 GTI) I did 260.000 km and it was still working fine when I sold it. This has 60k and I expect to drive it for another 5-6 years before selling it - in 6 years I'll have 240k on it (I get an average of 30k km a year). A friend of mine drove his 2L V4 mercedes for 1 MILLION km. Took him about 25 years IIRC. Mercedes bought it back and offered a new model in exchange.

Don't tell me you need a 6L engine to have it work fine for long.
Don't tell me only americans drive long distances at high speed.
Take just about any Common Rail diesel engine and it'll drag your SUV up a wall if you need to. With torques like 200 Nm you won't have to worry. For how long? Dunno. I seriously doubt you can drive more than 40-50k km a year, unless you're a cab or truck driver.

For a modern car in the world, 65mph is not highspeed, is medium regime - unless your transmission is the same as a truck, that is.
IMNERHO.
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Postby Stewsburntmonkey » Thu Sep 01, 2005 4:10 pm

While you can use gear ratios to allow lower powered engines to run at lower RPMs at higherspeed this will generally put too much stress on the engine.

Some non-Americans certainly drive long distances, however nearly every American drives long distances on a regular basis. I am not talking about thousands of miles in a stretch, but it is not unheard of for people to drive 100,000 miles a year. The average is something like 12,000 miles per vehicle per year. In the UK the average is more like 5,000 miles per vehicle per year (possibly less). The European average is similar to the UKs it appears. These numbers are not entirely comparible considering the per capita vehicle figure is higher in the US. This means the per capita miles driven per year is even higher for the US than Europe than these figures suggest.
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Postby Calimar » Thu Sep 01, 2005 8:31 pm

Stews are you sure about your figures?
100k miles per year means 160k km per year, which means about 450 km each day, including saturdays, sundays, christmas, new year's eve and so on. Truck drivers can do that, in europe as well, but... normal drivers? 3000km every week is a LOT.

In Italy the average is about 20k km per year (12.5k miles) for a normal driver (haven't seen a per vehicle average). Dunno about the rest of Europe, sure the average is getting lower as time passes - gas costs just too much - but considering the cost of train transportation I would be surprised if - say - german drivers drove less than italian ones.

Anyway, the average car for the american market is not sold on any other market in the world. You can spot an american car on sight, in europe. When I went to pay visit to some friends in washington DC, they were like "sorry, we got a small car" - it was about the size of an italian flagship. Wider though.

I don't think this is a problem "per se", but I do think that it's more a matter of habit than real *necessity*. I mean, we've got TRUCKS with an engine the size of an american family car (chevy suburban anyone!?). Technology has improved so much that you don't need an oversized engine anymore - just an efficient one. Even for high-stress use.

Again, just my not even remotely humble opinion.1
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Postby doormat » Thu Sep 01, 2005 8:51 pm

You obviously have no idea what kind of abuse the Chevy Cavalier (ESPECIALLY the older ones) can live through


Yes. But it's a car, not a tank. Old chevy V8's will run on coal dust (they realy will!), but don't do very good gas mileage. This makes them badly built, because they don't do what cars should do.

The Cavalier has pannel gaps that can be seen from space. It turns like a truck, and rides like one. NOT a good car: you could hardly have picked a worse example.

This is exactly why the americans use so much gas, which is why it is such a big deal when the price goes up, even though you pay so much less per gallon than we do. The american domestic car market does not value high technolgy, is not prepared to pay for it, and considers effiency to be something you moan about after buying the car, not something you demand when you buy it.

Oh, and the 20mpg for the Vanquish is combined, but I wasn't trying to do a US vs Europe/Japan/rest-of-civilised-world thing. I want a new Cobra realy badly! I just would never buy one because I couldn't live with the fuel cost and my friends would take one look at the quality of the plastics and the gaps between the trim and the bodywork and laugh at me. If I lived in the US, I would totaly drive a mustang. Because the gas is cheap there, and no-one cares about micro-fine shut lines, and I would want the comfort of a car that large.

After all, when in rome...
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Postby Stewsburntmonkey » Thu Sep 01, 2005 9:04 pm

doormat: You are simply making stuff up now.

All that junk about American cars is generally crap.

As for the mpg figure for the Vanquish you are simply incorrect. The Aston Martin website lists the Vanquish's fuel consumption to be:

Litres/100 km (mpg)
Urban: 28.2 (10.0)
Extra urban: 13.4 (21.0)
Combined: 18.9 (14.9)


I just checked on the 2007 Shelby Cobra GT500 and it has better milage than the Vanquish (13/21 mpg).

I have said it before and I will say it again, please don't make such statements if you don't know what you are talking about.



Calimar:

I have known people who commute 100-150 miles a day to work (one way). They drive 200-300 miles per day just to get to work and back. In some cases the nearest store is 30 miles or more away, etc. Heaven knows I would never drive 100,000 miles a year, but some Americans do.

The average speed on most American Interstates is 75-85 mph. I consider that highspeed driving. It is not F1 speed or anything, but that is racing not simply driving. I would consider highways to be medium speed (45-65 mph) and surface roads to be low speed (25-40 mph). I did not mean to imply that Americans drive faster than the rest of the world. Anyone who has been to Europe knows how fast Europeans drive. My point was that Americans drive on high speed roads far more frequently than Europeans (in general). European driving tends to be on the low and medium speed roads and over shorter distances.
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Postby Calimar » Fri Sep 02, 2005 10:39 am

Well, I don't know enough to make any statements about this... basically I know the average speed on italian highways for most high-mileage drivers is 160km (=100miles)... but that's beyond the speed limit.

I was answering a post mentioning US people drive on 45-65 mph roads and considering that highspeed, to which I object :) 85 is definitely highspeed driving.

Commuting 150miles and by car is crazy. It's 4 hours a day of driving, if you're lucky, then there's 8 hours of work... too much. But if they are ready to do it... It STILL doesn't convince me that you need a 12 mpg car.
They do because cars AND fuel are cheap... if they weren't they'd find alternatives. Like, find a home nearer to your work or find a job nearer to your house.
I'd spend my whole income in car maintenance if I did that - just tires, gas, oil and brakes make.... laugh. More than 10 thousand euro?! Will tires, oil change and brakes are about 3 thousand. So it'd cost me about 15 thousand euro a year.

The fact our habits bring us to some excesses does not mean those excesses are a *need*.
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Postby AgentFade » Fri Sep 02, 2005 12:09 pm

Didn't we already agree that the average was 12,000 mi? Where'd we come up with 100,000?

Anyway, to get back on topic, gas prices SPIKED over the past couple days. Up here in Massachusetts (famous for all its Revolutionary War things,) gas prices are around $3.29/US Gallon of regular.

In Georgia, one gas station reported that 1 US Gallon = $5.89; premium was $6.07/US Gallon.

Welcome to the free market. This WILL make people conserve, whether you like it or not.
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Postby Flamekebab » Fri Sep 02, 2005 12:23 pm

Good.

I'm fed up with the big boys being selfish and not playing nice at all.

I suppose GWB would say that global warming is a myth, if he was capable of understanding abstract concepts..
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Postby Punisher Bass » Fri Sep 02, 2005 12:52 pm

I figured I might as well chime in on the subject.

I drive a 98 Buick Park Avenue Ultra. It's a full sized luxury sedan. Under the hood it has a large V-6 with a supercharger that makes 250 HP. I normally get around 18 to 20 mpg on regular gas. It can also hold its own next to most of what's on the road today. This car was the top of the line made by Buick that year.

With gas prices the way they are, I'm currently looking into some aftermarket parts to help use less gas and up the power a bit.

My sister drives a new 04 Chevy Cavalier with a little 4 banger. I do love to tease her about it though. She hates it when I call it "The Hamster". "Maybe if you tie some cheese to the tip of the hood you can supercharge it"

But she gets good mpg so I can't knock it too hard.

However it's tiny and I hate being a passenger in it and I refuse to drive it at all. The reason being is that I'm 6 foot 6 which makes all compact and most mid size cars a hassle to be in. This is also why I'm forced to drive a full size car.

For the last several months I've seen a great number of the new Hemi Dodge trucks out on the road along with countless full sized SUV's and other giant 4x4 Ford and Chevy trucks. Here in the Midwest (aka The Great Plains as in zero mountains) it's really pointless to own a huge truck like that. Unless you have a business where you need to haul and pull heavy loads day in and day out, you don't need a huge Hemi or V-10. You’re simply pissing away money.

Now lets detour slightly.

I'm a classic muscle car guy. I love stuff from the 60's and early 70's before regulations cut the balls off of them. 3 of my favs off the top of my head would be the 66 Pontiac GTO (more on that in a little bit), 68 Dodge Charger, and the 68 Shelby Mustang GT500 KR. That was a time when cars were cars. Back then you could instantly tell what make and model of car was coming down the other side of the road. I hate that it’s not like that today. Nearly all cars look the same, they have zero personality to them.

There is one company looking to change that. ASC (American Specialty Cars) debuted some incredible concept cars at the beginning of the year. One was the ASC Heilos. They took a stock Chrysler 300C and basically lopped the roof off and made it into a convertible. It’s quite a sight, it looks like nothing else out on the road right now.

The other is the ASC GTO Stinger. The 05 GTO is the car I wish I owned right now. With it’s LS2 V-8 pumping out 400 hp stock, 6 speed manual tranny, and fully independent rear suspension it makes me want to drool. It’s a great performance car that lives up to its namesake, but it was lacking big time in the style department. ASC changed that.

Just google for either of these cars and you will see what I mean.

Now back to the topic at hand.

To this American car bashing, I say (as you brits would say) bollocks. I hate it when someone acts as if a car is automatically superior because it’s from a certain manufacturer. Each company (and their divisions) in each country are producing cars for different groups.

I hate to use a cliché, but it’s like comparing apples to oranges.
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Postby Calimar » Fri Sep 02, 2005 1:46 pm

To this American car bashing, I say (as you brits would say) bollocks. I hate it when someone acts as if a car is automatically superior because it’s from a certain manufacturer. Each company (and their divisions) in each country are producing cars for different groups.
I hate to use a cliché, but it’s like comparing apples to oranges.


Uhm can't follow you. It's not like we (or, at least I) am bashing american-made cars. Or any other, for that sake. (BTW, I love muscle cars myself, and would love a mustang... or a viper, or a toyota supra...)
What me and some others are saying is that the problem with prices is demand vs availability. Demand keeps increasing, availability doesn't - in fact it'll decrease. The sensible thing to do is reduce consumption (it reduces pollution, too). That is where every country in the world points - are the US going in the same direction? If they are not, then it's basically a joke to whine about gas prices. If they are, then your cars are going to get smaller and more modern, defeating your objections to our arguments.

IMNERHO.

On a side note - FlameKebab: I thought he DID say global warming was a myth, back in Kyoto. Didn't he?
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Postby Stewsburntmonkey » Fri Sep 02, 2005 3:18 pm

I think the American bashing comment was aimed at doormat.

The current gas spike is due to Katrina knocking out a good deal of the US oil refineries. Once they get back online prices will fall back down. For most Americans gas milage is important but only to a point. The average yearly gas cost for America is $1500 - $2000. Most people keep there cars about 5 years. Therefore it doesn't make economic sense to spend a few thousand dollars more on a car that is more fuel efficient, because it will not actually save you any money.
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Postby doormat » Fri Sep 02, 2005 7:22 pm

yep, I'm the yank basher :lol:

Actualy, I'm just into cars. It is "apples and oranges", but the oranges use much more gas (or the apples... whatever.) Which is the point of this thread.

American cars are huge, brutal and durable. The're cheap, and no-one but detroit makes realy good muscle cars. I want a 69 hemi 'cuda!

But that's not the point of this thread.


(oh, and pardon me for rounding up, stews. Shesh. And how you got reliable consumption figures for a car that doesn't exist yet, I swear I'll never know...)
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Postby Stewsburntmonkey » Fri Sep 02, 2005 9:15 pm

You rounded from 14.9 to 20. . . That's a 34% rounding error. . . When dealing with numbers of this magnatude it makes no sense to round to the next multiple of 10. I actually don't believe you did round. I think it is far more likely you were simply wrong (whether you knew you were wrong I cannot say).

The 2007 car exists, it is just not for sale yet. Being "into cars" you must know that cars are built and developed well ahead of their production date (because they have to go through extensive testing both internally and for the government). And you would also know that cars are released a year ahead of their dates (so a 2007 car is released in 2006).


The latest Cavalier actually has the best gas mileage of any of the cars in its class (36 mpg hwy). Again, learn what you are talking about, otherwise you simply look silly.
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Postby doormat » Sat Sep 03, 2005 10:17 pm

18.9 to 20, stews.

Cars in it's class!? So the mondeo isn't in that class, huh? 50.5 combined/ 60.1 hwy? Get real.

(And yeah, I know the cars exist: but ford won't release anything but "approximate" figures untill it's on the forecourts. Manufacturers tinker (and... exagerate...) their figures right up to the last moment. Or maybe the Ferrari Testorossa realy did go 250mph?)
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