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93EXCivic
93EXCivic MegaDork
9/15/21 12:35 p.m.

In reply to alfadriver :

Does that include world wide though? Cause car ownership in many other countries is trending upward.

alfadriver
alfadriver GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/15/21 12:41 p.m.

In reply to 93EXCivic :

Given the development of the emissions rules around the world, yea, I would expect so.  China, in particular, is cracking down really hard and fast.  Thanks to VW, the EU has taken a very strong development change, too.  Most of the cars in the world are made to US, EU, or China rules....

(a quick check on sales- in 2019, there were 77M new cars, and I know the US, EU, and China are each in the 16-20M area- so probably about 50-60M are just 3 markets)

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/15/21 12:47 p.m.
John Welsh said:

The current crop of performance cars are impressive but I mourn the death of the manual transmission.  

Manual steering, for me.

Specifically, cars light enough to have good performance with narrow tires, so you could have really good steering feel while still having light effort.

jharry3
jharry3 GRM+ Memberand Dork
9/15/21 1:30 p.m.

I took my dad for a ride in my WRX. 

I told him it was faster and handled better than the '65 Mustang with a built up engine I had in the '70's.  Headers, Thrush mufflers in the dual exhaust for the 11:1 compression, "3/4 race" cam, 4bbl holly on Edelbrock manifold.  

His only comment about the WRX was "And its quieter too."  

350z247
350z247 Reader
9/16/21 1:59 p.m.

I'd say it peaked in about 2018 with the number of naturally aspirated engines dwindling. At this point, the only car on the horizon I care about is the C8 Z06; after that, I doubt I'll care about another new car again. Cars will continue to get quicker and faster, but considerably less interesting to me.

Cedricn
Cedricn New Reader
12/21/21 2:20 p.m.

I wished we where, the affordable sporty car market ia very soon extinct here in Europe. CO2 taxes is murdering the whole segment. 

For the fun and feel factor it feels like the last 2 decades have had a pretty rough time, with refinement and numbers being the focus, with some noteworthy exceptions. 

But it also looks very different from my euro point of view compared to the us of course :) 

QuikMcshifterson
QuikMcshifterson New Reader
12/21/21 3:29 p.m.

Yeah, been thinking about this a bit lately. Most of the cars I see being raced are 10-20 years old (with some exceptions).  Spec Miatas, older BRZs, E36s and E46s, C5 Vettes, 350Zs that sort of thing.

It really got me thinking that whatever the new current new gen cars (i.e. ND2, GT86 Gen2, etc.) are coming out now are probably the last cars I'll be racing. 

I also think that while some of the new "tech" is neat, it just makes it harder and harder take street cars and turn them into dedicated track / race cars.

Who knows though, maybe crate electric motors / controllers will actually make a whole new generation of track / race cars available that will be more reliable. Creating a spec class with an electric retrofit might be easier, especially if you can just enforce output through a mandated ECU map and then have a weight minimum. 

 

hybridmomentspass
hybridmomentspass HalfDork
12/22/21 8:06 a.m.

Funny this should be bumped today/last night, as I JUST read this article last night...sorry, the mag got put in my car and just got busy with life and books!

That part about taking the well sorted bimmer to a trackday and being blown away by newer cars...I smiled bright at that, and felt your pain. Not well sorted, but I was shocked by how much faster almost all other cars were at the track days Ive been to. Im speaking mostly about straight-line speed, cars just walking away on a straight. Or running 100mph+ and a car blasting by. It's wild.

And it's been said on here before, someone was talking about his 80s era 911 and how it gets left behind at stoplights by minivans, again, I get it.

 

But with some of these newer cars, and Im speaking of the mundane things like an Altima or Town and Country etc, they sport quite powerful engines, compared to where they were 20 years ago, of course, but there is no FEEL to them. Even my fiance's Audi Allroad, it has quite a bit of HP, but it doesnt feel fun at all to me when I drive it. 

And there's something to be said for that, feelings DO matter. 

ddavidv
ddavidv UltimaDork
12/23/21 7:17 a.m.

Golden age of performance, yes, I'd say probably so. Provided you don't mind piloting bland or ugly looking cars.

jh36
jh36 GRM+ Memberand Dork
12/23/21 8:20 a.m.

In reply to Driven5 :

Well said.

ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter)
ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter) HalfDork
12/23/21 10:20 a.m.

People in this thread talk about "bland or ugly" cars but IMO those two states are at opposite ends of the seesaw.  Add in functional requirements (aerodynamics, passenger/cargo volume, ride comfort, etc.) and the margin between the two is razor thin.  Ultimately you can't please everyone, and manufacturers have to choose whether to lean towards bland or ugly for their target audience.

My own out-of-step opinion on this: in addition to performance (which is unquestionably better), modern manufacturing techniques have let designers make more interesting and dare I say beautiful cars than ever before, and history will prove that as our eyes and minds adjust.

Tim Suddard
Tim Suddard Publisher
12/23/21 11:46 a.m.

Thanks for all the great feedback. I haven't bought anything yet. I need to remedy some storage issues and get rid of a few cars first. The more I look at the previous generation Cayman GT4, the more this looks like the best deal. 911 turbos in 996, 997 and 991 iterations have great appeal as well. If the latest Shelbys weren't so fat, that would be a no-brainer. And of course there is the C8, which I have not personally driven.

There were a lot of comments on the death of manual transmissions. Spend a day in a PDK equipped Porsche GT3 and you will never want a manual transmisson again. And this is coming from a die hard manual trans fan.

docwyte
docwyte PowerDork
12/23/21 12:10 p.m.

A PDK is just a really well built automatic transmission.  Sorry but they don't do anything for me, I'm really not all that interested in the fact it'll shave xx seconds off my lap time, I want the engagement from the car more than the lower lap time.

996 Turbo's are awesome, there's a reason I have one and there's nothing out there short of a 997 GT3 (RS) that I'd want to replace it with.  GT4's are cool but the super tall gearing kills the fun of that car, I'd rather have a Lotus Evora GT for the same amount of money instead.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
12/23/21 12:11 p.m.

In reply to Tim Suddard :

I don't mind non-manual, and I embrace them a lot of times.

The biggest lament here is the death of the 2000lb hatchback.

Most of the really fun cars were not "performance" cars, they were econoboxes that we'd throw better dampers and springs and tires on and go have some fun.  Modern cars are fast, ridiculously fast, but they are not fun.  You can do 10 second quarters and corner at 1.3g and brake hard enough to fold your ears over your eyes and they manage to feel antiseptic and boring.

ddavidv
ddavidv UltimaDork
12/23/21 4:32 p.m.
ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter) said:

People in this thread talk about "bland or ugly" cars but IMO those two states are at opposite ends of the seesaw.  Add in functional requirements (aerodynamics, passenger/cargo volume, ride comfort, etc.) and the margin between the two is razor thin.  Ultimately you can't please everyone, and manufacturers have to choose whether to lean towards bland or ugly for their target audience.

My own out-of-step opinion on this: in addition to performance (which is unquestionably better), modern manufacturing techniques have let designers make more interesting and dare I say beautiful cars than ever before, and history will prove that as our eyes and minds adjust.

I'd like a short list of modern cars you think are truly look-over-your-shoulder attractive. I realize beauty is subjective, but there simply isn't anything I find really compelling in a styling sense being made today.

MrFancypants
MrFancypants HalfDork
12/23/21 5:44 p.m.
QuikMcshifterson said:

Yeah, been thinking about this a bit lately. Most of the cars I see being raced are 10-20 years old (with some exceptions).  Spec Miatas, older BRZs, E36s and E46s, C5 Vettes, 350Zs that sort of thing.

It really got me thinking that whatever the new current new gen cars (i.e. ND2, GT86 Gen2, etc.) are coming out now are probably the last cars I'll be racing. 

I also think that while some of the new "tech" is neat, it just makes it harder and harder take street cars and turn them into dedicated track / race cars.

Who knows though, maybe crate electric motors / controllers will actually make a whole new generation of track / race cars available that will be more reliable. Creating a spec class with an electric retrofit might be easier, especially if you can just enforce output through a mandated ECU map and then have a weight minimum. 

People are already installing cages in Teslas and racing them. Randy Pobst drove one off a cliff at a Pikes Peak hill climb. Personally I'm looking forward to electrification for performance driving.

MrFancypants
MrFancypants HalfDork
12/23/21 5:53 p.m.

In reply to ddavidv :

Mustang since 2005, Cayman/Boxster, 911, Audi sedans, Alfa Romeo Giulia, 2022 GR-86, Lotus Evora, Honda Accord (best it's ever looked right now)... there's more, I'm sure.

ddavidv
ddavidv UltimaDork
12/24/21 8:00 a.m.

Well, I own a 2006 Mustang. Which is a copy of a 1960s Mustang, so I don't really count that as 'modern' styling. The S550 is okay, and I'd buy one, but it doesn't make me want to stare at it like the S197.

The Audis suffer from Gaping Grille Syndrome which has ruined a lot of cars. I do agree the current Accord looks pretty good. Alfa...yeah, okay. Lotus, Porsche, etc aren't ever going to be in my price range so don't pay attention.

Toyota, Lexus, Nissan are all pretty hideous. The rest are just interchangeable jellybeans or crossovers.

RyanGreener (Forum Supporter)
RyanGreener (Forum Supporter) Reader
12/24/21 8:37 a.m.

Cars are fast, have great fuel efficiency, great ergonomics/practicality but ultimately they are too complicated to service/repair and somewhat appliancey/disposable after X amount of years based on all the technology that is packed in them. Also they have horrible "engagement"/feeling. Everything is electric (steering etc) and all and there are too many driver assists even for cars that are supposed to be "driver oriented". Oh well, I guess I'm a luddite but I definitely appreciate the fact that cars that ARE engaging are getting cheaper (except the nostalgia 90s cars).

I had a 2017 JCW Mini that I enjoyed but it didn't have the same feeling as my old Supra, etc. and to me, pure performance reaches a certain point. I drive to be engaged and have fun. If I were forced to buy a new car though, I'd say right now the GR86 and the Civic Si have my attention.

ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter)
ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter) HalfDork
12/24/21 8:44 a.m.
MrFancypants said:

In reply to ddavidv :

Mustang since 2005, Cayman/Boxster, 911, Audi sedans, Alfa Romeo Giulia, 2022 GR-86, Lotus Evora, Honda Accord (best it's ever looked right now)... there's more, I'm sure.

^ what he said.  I would also add the new Supra, the CTS-V and ATS-V, the 1LE Camaros, the C8 Corvette, and a few others I can't think of right now.  Even the Civic Type R- there, I said it.

BlueInGreen - Jon
BlueInGreen - Jon UltraDork
12/24/21 10:32 a.m.

For me the "golden age" was NB Miatas, Integra GSRs, R/T Neons, SVT Foci, supercharged Mustang Cobras, EK Civic Si,  BMW E46 and E49 M5, LS1 Camaros, and the list goes on.

There was some really good stuff in the late 90s and early 2000s. Maybe that's just because it's what I grew up with, but I think after that is when "better" started to become "less engaging to drive."

Rodan
Rodan SuperDork
12/24/21 11:13 a.m.

Cars are better, and faster than they have ever been.  That doesn't always equate to "fun", or push our emotional buttons...  In 20 years, we'll likely be talking about this as the last roaring gasp of generally available ICE cars.  Golden age... ?  Yes.

racerfink
racerfink UltraDork
12/25/21 7:00 p.m.
Pete. (l33t FS) said:

In reply to Tim Suddard :

I don't mind non-manual, and I embrace them a lot of times.

The biggest lament here is the death of the 2000lb hatchback.

Most of the really fun cars were not "performance" cars, they were econoboxes that we'd throw better dampers and springs and tires on and go have some fun.  Modern cars are fast, ridiculously fast, but they are not fun.  You can do 10 second quarters and corner at 1.3g and brake hard enough to fold your ears over your eyes and they manage to feel antiseptic and boring.

I guarantee you, when I'm taking students around Sebring in a McLaren 720S, it's far from anti-septic and boring

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
12/25/21 8:58 p.m.

In reply to racerfink :

Unfortunately, I don't get to drive around Sebring to get to work and back smiley

If there isn't significant body roll and slip angles involved, it's rather dull.  Even the FIA recognized this and has cut the amount of suspension travel in WRC cars almost in half to eliminate the way they look like slot cars, to keep them interesting as a spectacle.

ProDarwin
ProDarwin MegaDork
12/25/21 11:00 p.m.

How do you define golden age?

Lots of race-worthy choices available in the market, especially on the cheap?  That's not right now.

Lots of performance (and overall quality) for your $?  That's definitely right now.

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