By on September 8, 2014

2012-ford-mustang-boss-302-engine-2

The minute that the Challenger and Charger Hellcats were announced, we all knew they were coming, right? All of the “NOBODY NEEDS THAT MUCH POWER” people that invade any and all automotive websites on the intarwebz. They couldn’t wait to ridicule anybody who indicated that 707 horsepower in a warrantied, street-legal car just might be a kinda awesome thing.

They come in a few different flavors, the power haters do. Let us identify them, shall we?

The “Less is More” crowd—These guys are sweet. Really, they are. They frequently say things like “It’s more fun to drive a slow car fast than to drive a fast car slow.” It must have never occurred to them how awesome it might be to, gee, I don’t know DRIVE A FAST CAR EVEN FASTER. When Jalopnik’s Travis Okulski asked What Car Would Be Better If It Had Less Power? the resounding answer from over 500 commenters was “NONE OF THEM, YOU PANSY (which, by the way, was the right response)!” Yet, amazingly, we are somehow fools for wanting to drive fast cars—it must mean that we lack the necessary skills to make a 1996 Infiniti G20 really dance.

The root of all this silliness is nothing more than raw jealousy. The definition of “rich” to most people can be summed up as “somebody who has more money than I do.” We can apply the same logic here, sadly. “Too much power” equals “more power than my NA Miata.”

The “You’re Overcompensating” crowd—Another personal favorite of mine. These guys hate me with a passion. Not only does my car have over four hundred horsepower, it’s yellow. To this particular group of internet commenters, I may as well have a target placed on my size 38 chest. According to them, my dong is actually so small that it’s inverted.

I would suggest that, in this day and age, that line of thought is outdated as the stereotype that only women of a certain persuasion drive Subarus. The only thing my car is an extension of is of my personality. In fact, I’d suggest that perhaps the opposite might be true—that men who drive underpowered cars do so because they think it supplements their identities as hipsters or intellectuals. Also, your girl just drooled over that Viper that drove by.

That leads me to the most self-righteous group of them all…

The Environmentalists/Hipsters—Remember this dear lady? These are the lovely people who want to tell you what you’re permitted to drive. You don’t need that much power because you’re killing a baby seal every time you use the accelerator. Never mind, of course, that the new C7 Vette returns about 30 MPG highway. It’s all about perception—and to these people driving a Prius, Leaf, or any hybrid/EV makes them better than you. In modern day society, appearing to be conscious about fuel consumption is viewed much like attending church on Sundays used to be in the 80s. It’s a sign of being a Good Person.

Fine. Let’s remind these hipsters of some things that they don’t need either:

Kale—it’s really just fancy lettuce, and you’re being wasteful with your money. Selfish jerk.
Quinoa—buy rice, you hippy, and support the paddy farmers in Asia.
Moustaches—that wax you need for your Rollie Fingers look is probably going to end up polluting the ocean someday.
Birkenstocks—why don’t you buy some cheaper sandals and donate that money to children in Africa?
Coffee Shops—who needs to spend that much money on coffee?
Brooklyn—you EFFING RUINED IT.
Craft Beer—what, you’re too good for Budweiser? Why do you hate America?

They love excessive things, too…they just love different excessive things. So screw ’em. Do an extra smokey burnout in the Whole Foods parking lot.

When it comes right down to it, it has nothing to do with need, does it? “To each according to his need…” THAT’S STRAIGHT UP COMMUNIST TALK. And this ain’t Soviet Russia, bro. It’s America. And in America, I don’t have to need something in order to buy it. America was once great because of its opulence, its love of the aesthetic, and, most importantly, its strength. You know who liked cheap, low power cars? East Germany. They also weren’t too hot on things like Air Conditioning. Or Paint. Or Food.

So, no, I don’t need 707 horsepower. Or 444. Or 361. Or even 238. Those last three numbers are the horsepower ratings of my last three daily driver cars. My little Subaru has 135 horsepower, and with the possible exception of steep hills, it has enough power to do just about anything.

Anything, that is, but excite me. And isn’t that why we buy cars, we few, foolish enthusiasts? Because we like them?

So, despite my earlier teasing, if low horsepower cars are your bag, that’s cool. Just don’t try to make them mine.

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278 Comments on “Bark’s Bites: Nobody Needs That Much Power, Which is Exactly Why I Want It...”


  • avatar
    Kaosaur

    Just a sticking point about Brooklyn from a New Yorker and non-hipster.

    Hipsters ruined Williamsburg/Bushwick. There’s way more of Brooklyn out there and most of it went from “shithole” to “awesome”. If anything, hispters ruined Manhattan, but that’s a long explanation required…

    • 0 avatar
      jetcal1

      Kaosaur,
      Couldn’t respond on earlier thread. I assume you are in NYC. My coffee exception is Porto Rico there in NYC. 25 year customer. Go try them if you haven’t yet.

  • avatar
    PonchoIndian

    I love you. No, I really mean it. If you were a woman I would marry you.

    I have never seen my own thoughts written down on a public forum so perfectly.

    • 0 avatar
      ezeolla

      “I have never seen my own thoughts written down on a public forum so perfectly.”

      Yep, here too

      • 0 avatar
        zamoti

        I know I’m going to regret saying this, but WTF is BigTruck? It seems like he’d be frothing at the mouth and waving a flag around while setting off a 55 gallon drum of diesel fuel with a hand grenade while doing smoky figure eights in celebration.

        • 0 avatar
          sproc

          He’s relishing the afterglow, drenched in 30 weight-scented sweat, pulling from the neck of a bottle of Wild Turkey 101 and taking drags off an unfiltered Camel.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            This sounds like an introduction to an interesting “Last Rides” story.

          • 0 avatar
            zamoti

            Thought maybe he had an incident with his Cessna, but he’s busy making charming comments on Robot Chicken videos.
            Not sure how this guy has the time to comment on anything else, it’s like he’s made of comments. Hell, he posted a review for an Oster 16 quart roaster, he’s going to review cats and haircuts probably shower curtains and maybe comment on the quality of sunlight.
            I don’t know that he’s a man, just a once disembodied opinion that has somehow manifested into some form of being.

      • 0 avatar
        bachewy

        Thrice. It’s alot of those same naysayers who take pictures of my Shelby’s engine at the car shows.

    • 0 avatar
      thelaine

      Agreed and Agreed. Thank you Bark. I saved for 10 years to get my 2004 Dodge Ram Hemi Long Bed Crew Cab 4×4 and I’m about to give it to my daughter, who loves it. Big comfortable sedan interior. Wyoming for hunting. Camping in the Sierras. Home Depot. 2nd car for work. Furniture hauling and much, much more. And yes, big smooth V-8 which still runs like brand new. God bless what is left of America.

      Every pickup truck article brings out the Sourpuss Church Ladies decrying “waste” and telling you what you “need”, creepy Genitalia Examiners, and Eco-Jihadists. I know exactly what you mean.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        @thelaine – True. The same counter-arguments get brought up for pickups. My brother is a Forester for a large company and he has had problems due to his work trucks and occupation. A big CanFor sticker on the door didn’t help either.

        Oddly enough I never had that problem riding litre class sport bikes. I had a red and white YZF1000 that was as subtle as a yellow Boss 302. I used to get asked, ” how fast she’d do? My reply, “260”. That was always followed by, “How fast have you gone?”………..”260”.

        • 0 avatar
          thelaine

          Good Lord Lou BC, you are my hero! 200!!! I would love to hear that story.

          I swear I never go faster than 90 even in a car. I like to fk off in the mountains where speeds are lower and cops are fewer.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @thelaine
            Well maybe you should move to the NT, where I’m currently at. The last Western bastion where you can not be disturbed by anyone for what you do or own in the Western world.

            The general populace up here is young, with families to make big bucks and party. Great place, I love it. Darwin would be the best city I’ve been to overall for living.

            Every bar has strippers, lap dancers anything that’s not politically correct. Language is basic, but expressive.

            Political correctness is frowned upon. If you fart people don’t look down at you. The ask if you feel better for the effort.

            Driving, every Monday morning the guys discuss how and what they have done on the weekend, of course speeds are mentioned on their frequent drives to Darwin.

            Some of the guys on their bikes actually hit 300kph. The record for a Darwin to where I work is 1 hour and 20 minutes, that’s a 350km haul.

            The best I’ve done it in was 2 hour and 10 minutes back in 2006. That was in of all things a 4 cylinder Camry. When I dropped the car off at Hertz on of my workmates wife was managing it, she looked at me as the car tinkled with all of the alloys contracting. What a great sound all of that metallic tinkling.

            I frequently hit 114mph in my truck and often will have the cruise set at 150kph.

            This isn’t dangerous as there is nothing, very, very few side roads.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @thelaine – 260 kph = 163 mph according to the speedometer. All of the magazine tests I read clocked the same bike at 163-165 mph.

            I spent a week in Montana back in 1997 when the US national 55 mph was repealed. Montana’s daytime speed limit was “reasonable and prudent”. That was a fun place to be.

            My buddies with Harleys used to give me a hard time. They’d say, “Isn’t it hard holding your head up hunched over like that?”
            I’d tell them, “you get this puppy close to its top speed and holding your head up isn’t the problem, keeping it down is!”

            Some of them didn’t understand.

          • 0 avatar
            thelaine

            Lou BC. 260 then. (It’s the eyes Lou). My friend’s motorcycle license plate frame read “There are no atheists at 150mph”

          • 0 avatar
            thelaine

            @BAFO

            Thanks for the story. Yeah, that sounds about right. I could be very, very happy in those open spaces and have seen a considerable amount of video of the NT. Bucket list, without a doubt. Just a big wander through the NT. No agenda.

            Keep the infested strippers and their meth pipes. I’ll get a mute Aussie bush dog for conversation. Still, I believe I favor Alaska as a fantasy residence.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @thelaine – I had a sticker on the back of my helmet that said, : At 200 mph you have no friends”.

          • 0 avatar
            thelaine

            LouBC

            S’truth!

  • avatar
    dougjp

    Beautiful article! Its high time somebody took on “these people”.

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      I’ll bite. Exactly how many of “these people” are there claiming to know how much power you need? More than three?

      It feels like an invented phenomenon. I have never run into someone who told me how much hp I should have. I run into people all the time telling me how much food to eat, and which kind. I run into people who try to control how much others drink. My mother-in-law is all over her husband to prevent him from eating salt. But hp? Not so much.

      I read a lot more comments on TTAC about how CAFE and the EPA are forcing automakers to make weenie-mobiles. When the truth is that Hellcats and Z28s and Bark’s own hot Mustang are more capable and common than ever.

      It’s lots of fun to create stereotypes and whine about how they are attacking us. But is it rooted in reality? Not mine.

  • avatar
    Chris FOM

    Great piece, and I agree with all of it. Except the craft beer part. Life’s too short to drink crappy beer.

    • 0 avatar
      Maymar

      Also, Budweiser? They’re Brazilian/Belgian owned now. Plenty of great craft brews made by companies that might be owned by your neighbor. Does Bark hate America?

    • 0 avatar
      George B

      Chris FOM I agree that wanting the option of more power doesn’t mean you can’t want the option to more beer variety. Craft beer is sort of like the many small volume builders of custom cars. Most will eventually go out of business and many of the creations are not well balanced, but they come up with some cool stuff. Sometimes the creations go mainstream.

  • avatar
    hgrunt

    “if low horsepower cars are your bag, that’s cool. Just don’t try to make them mine.”

    Likewise, if high horsepower cars are your bag, that’s cool, but if someone’s not into it, no need to ostracize them for it.

    I say that because I get an incredible amount of crap from my car friends when I express interest in unacceptably low-powered vehicles like the Fiesta ST and FRS/BRZ.

    • 0 avatar
      Kaosaur

      Have you test driven them? I was singing the Fiesta ST’s praises until I found out that I really did not like driving them.

      • 0 avatar
        Felis Concolor

        And as a converse to Kao’s comment, I loved my brief time spent with the Fiesta SFE’s engine – although I really would prefer it in the B-Max wrapper to slake my overpowering practical streak.

      • 0 avatar
        Ryoku75

        Whats wrong with the ST?

        Never driven one myself but they’re some of the few modern hot hatches that aren’t too big.

        • 0 avatar
          Kaosaur

          I don`t think there’s anything wrong with it by modern car standards and what it’s going for.

          Just coming from what I’m daily driving (a Turbo FC) I didn’t find it the slightest bit fun and found it to be even more cramped than my current ride. I couldn’t find any position in that car that I was both comfortable sitting and comfortable shifting it.

          NB: I’m a bit on the large side at 6′ & 265lbs, but I can quite comfortably fit in the RX-7.

          • 0 avatar
            Ryoku75

            Theres so many driving aids in even basic Fiestas I can see why you didn’t find the ST all that fun, I doubt its nearly as “chuck-able” as an FC.

    • 0 avatar
      Sgt Beavis

      No where in here is he ostracizing someone that is not into it. He is ostracizing those that are not into it AND trying to ostracize those that are.

    • 0 avatar
      ...m...

      …don’t get me wrong, i think the hellcat is cool as hell, but we have a C6, an elise, an NC, and a mazda 2 in our stable, and i honestly think the 2 might be the most fun to wring out on public streets: the more power a car has on tap, the less opportunity to push its limits in traffic…

    • 0 avatar
      Felis Concolor

      Real Americans Buy What They Want; if that’s what you want, I commend you for it. Cars are fun!

    • 0 avatar
      Ryoku75

      Whats silly is that just 10 years ago 150hp 200hp was perfectly tolerable for light sporty cars.

    • 0 avatar
      superchan7

      You can’t really be a “car guy” if you judge cars by horsepower.

      I have a few friends who own hi-po automatic BMWs, and the only way they know how to enjoy them is to floor it at the traffic light or the highway entrance. I don’t consider them “car guys.”

      Fiesta ST, 86/BRZ, MX-5 all have 200 or less HP. All are great driver’s cars, and none of them really need much more for the street.

  • avatar
    Lythandra

    Yes I am to good for Budweiser. Total crap tasting beer. Nothing wrong with good coffee also. WTF is Kale or that Q word? Birkenstocks are out, Tevas are in.

    • 0 avatar

      I wear Tevas, so I couldn’t mock them. :)

      • 0 avatar
        Kaosaur

        Most of the fashion-forward hipster crowd is wearing Toms, actually.

        Those shoes are effing terrible.

        The Birkenstock/Coffee/Craft beer thing is really more of a 90s leftie college kid thing than hipster IMO.

        • 0 avatar

          Agreed. I feel bad for all those kids in Africa who have to wear those ugly ass shoes.

        • 0 avatar

          That, and don’t hipsters go for PBR, or did drinking super-cheap beer circle back around to being passé among the hipper set?

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            Last summer I was in one of those bars in Nashville that is too hip for itself. It was lunch time and the “recession special” was “PBR and fried bologna sandwich”. Yes “music city hipster” is a thing.

          • 0 avatar
            05lgt

            Here in the NW hipster Capitol (PDX) they drink PBR and when they don’t think their friends are watching they take long envious glances at the thick malty color of this old mans craft brewed imperial IPA.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          “The Birkenstock/Coffee/Craft beer thing is really more of a 90s leftie college kid thing than hipster IMO”

          I have witnessed this precise combination as recent as last week. However I’d like to point out craft beer in and of itself is not necessarily a “hipster” thing.

          • 0 avatar
            Kaosaur

            Yeah, I’ve just been seeing that type since long before “hipster” started getting used again in the late 90s.

            In the early 90s, folks I knew who went to places like Dartmouth and Strathmore were exactly this type as well as anyone I knew who was into frisbee or was white and enjoyed smoking green plants.

        • 0 avatar
          Ryoku75

          I thought they wore battered old thrift store clothing, and fedoras, you GOTTA have a fedora to be intellectual.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I haven’t seen this recently, however many years back (pre-hipster as-it-were) there was a subset of neo-beatniks who sported those short brim fedoras with small colored feathers. Winning!

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            Trilbies! Trilbies! Those are trilbies! Stingy brim, triangular crown. Google “trilby vs. fedora” if you’re not sure.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            You are correct Drzhivago, thanks for the clarification. I didn’t think it would be possible but I now have even less respect for these folks.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I wish there was some sort of hat that would shield my bald head and ears from the sun’s rays while not making me look like a fool. I guess my go to will continue to be baseball cap + sunscreen on my ears.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @bball

            I think you could still pull off a real fedora if you were wearing a suit everyday, which for most is not practical.

            http://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/brand-thats-not-a-fedora-and-stop-wearing-it/

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I have a “winter hat” that I wear with my suit and wool overcoat in the winter. It seems to do a decent job keeping my head warm. I even bought it from a hatter. I’d like a more casual hat for summer weekends on the beach, but I haven’t found the right one.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            @bball: If you don’t wanna go the straw-hat route, which is understandable since straw hats tend to be either 1. expensive, and worth the money, but not good to take to the beach and get tossed around, or 2. cheap, might I suggest something like the Solarweave Mesh Trekker hat from Dorfman Pacific?

          • 0 avatar
            Felis Concolor

            Get yourself a decent pinch-front; they work very well for casual, daily use.

            I still wish I had the one I bought a decade ago; I forgot I had left it on the back seat of a car I sold and it had been tossed out by the new owner by the time I called.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @bball40dtw – get a camo boonie hat and run it through the wash a ton of times.. Not very fashionable but the benefit is it will cover the ears and people aren’t sure whether or not they should mess with you ;)

        • 0 avatar
          jetcal1

          Kaosaur,
          I’ve been brewing my own beer and roasting my own coffee on and off for over 30 years now. Why? better, fresher, cheaper. Inspiration? A cup of coffee when I was 21 in Kenya and some local brews in England/Europe when I was 22. (Not too many lefties in the Navy.)
          Give the micros a try. Start with a nice benign pilsner and work your way up.

          I drove the smaller ST and seriously considered for my 80 mile a day commute. The Focus ST priced too close for any serious consideration. Just goes to show “horses for courses”. As a daily commuter in DFW, it works.

          Although, I have admit, the lefties really screwed up the coffee about 20 years ago with these dark roasts. Lets them get away with cr*ppy beans too!

          • 0 avatar
            Kaosaur

            jetcal1: right on! I agree both can be cheaper/better. I would be roasting my own coffee if I didn’t have local fresh roasters that I could purchase from and brewing beer is a hobby that I avoid just because of how much I know I’d obsess over it. I’m not knocking either of those and I agree with you about dark roast coffee.

            I would have to admit that I might make the label I described. I wear clarks sandals, am deeply obsessed with old-fashioned cocktail-making, and purposefully make my life more difficult by making my own tonics, grinding my own grains, making mustard and sauces from scratch and using basic hand tools & kitchen knives doing my own sharpening with whetstones. Hell, I even filter my water with binchotan… I’d also probably be safely labeled as a fringe lefty, though I don’t think it’s a good label.

            I guess I’m pretty hipster.

      • 0 avatar
        turboprius

        Chacos are the trend. My sister wears Tevas to be different.

        Me? Sandals are stupid. My size 13 green Crocs with yellow straps that are covered in dirt are where it’s at. But I wear Vans like everyone else, so I fit in. Need to get some 14s soon, maybe for Christmas.

  • avatar
    forzablu

    I like Kale, Quinoa and smokey burn outs. Life isn’t black and white.

    • 0 avatar
      olddavid

      Amen. Bemoaning a stereotype while emphasizing one is counter-intuitive. I have recently gone through a journey to gain 50 horsepower in my car. My wife, neighbors, even fellow gearheads said it is nuts to do this. That is the fun, to me. Not the destination but the journey. Now I get to upgrade everything to cope with 340 horses. Hard to believe that 4.6L can produce over 500 warranteed hp. If I could flash the computer and get 500, I’d be out there doing it right now.In my lifetime we have gone from a performance standard of 1/hp per cubic inch to 100+ per liter. That is progress everyone can get their head around. No such thing as too much.

    • 0 avatar
      05lgt

      And bacon. Kale, quinoa, smokey bacon and tire roasting burn outs.

  • avatar
    PonchoIndian

    And now enters all the people who are going to wine about the article, and how it isn’t PC, and how life isn’t that simple…
    No sense of humor.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      You beat them to it and you’re just as insufferable sometimes.

      • 0 avatar
        PonchoIndian

        Hmm, I don’t even know you and have never talked to you. Nice to see you have some kind of attitude problem on this fine Monday morning :)

        • 0 avatar
          30-mile fetch

          “I don’t even know you and have never talked to you”

          I’ve read enough of your posts to feel okey dokey about that one. Funny thing about the internet, lots of people listening even if they don’t always respond.

          I spent the weekend screaming down dirt roads and two tracks in a modified ATV at speeds and decibels that I would usually find unseemly. Still have a giant smile on my face. So my attitude is just peachy for a monday morning, thanks :)

          • 0 avatar
            PonchoIndian

            Glad you had a good weekend.

            Sorry you had to be an ass in your first post of the day to someone you don’t know and have never had any discussion with.

            If you really did pay attention when you lurk you’d see that I remain pretty civilized and open to friendly back and forth until the name calling and arrogant BS start.

          • 0 avatar
            30-mile fetch

            Meh, pot meet kettle. Name calling and arrogant BS are your hallmarks and you didn’t even need to be provoked on this one.

            BTW, reading the comments sections often enough to notice someone’s MO is not “lurking”. In case you wanted a pertinent example of “arrogant BS”, you know.

          • 0 avatar
            PonchoIndian

            Sorry sir, don’t think I’ve ever called anyone any kind of name on here. You might have me mistaken with Ponchoman49. We are not the same person.

            Not sure how I pissed in your cereal, but you aren’t coming off as a very nice person today.

          • 0 avatar
            30-mile fetch

            I was wondering why my raisin bran gave me such a wicked case of heartburn. Tums ain’t quenching it.

            But really, you bait us with a comment about the coming onslaught of humorless PC whiners and you expected only applause?

          • 0 avatar
            PonchoIndian

            We’ve gone from my supposed MO to you taking my tongue in cheek comment about the PC comments to follow, completely seriously.

            Was I not right?

            Did people not misread the article and jump all over Bark because he is calling out the people who are also doing the stereotyping, only against people who own such things as a yellow Boss?

            Bark wasn’t bashing anyone, but I knew there would be a bunch of people saying exactly what they’ve said.

            Unlike you, I didn’t go out of my way to find someone I have zero history with and tell them they are insufferable.

            So why is it again you decided to jump on my case because I made a joking (and true) remark about what was to follow?

  • avatar
    VoGo

    Bark,
    This is a fun editorial. I am sure I am “one of those people”, probably from the first category. Here’s the thing: the argument in favor of driving a fast car fast is pushing it. The only place you should drive a Hellcat or similar car quickly is on a track.

    Which I am 100% in favor of. But if people read your editorial and think that driving a fast car fast in a residential neighborhood with kids playing outside is OK, then, yeah, I am “one of those people” who thinks that driver can’t handle a fast car.

    I know you get it, Bark, but you are read by a lot of smart people, and also by a lot of knuckleheads. I just hope none of them read your editorial as an excuse to drive stupid on public roads.

    Finally, I don’t know if you were kidding about craft beer thing, but I don’t see how avoiding foreign beer companies like Budweiser means you hate America.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      +1

      On the track, I am all for excess. But I don’t drive on tracks. I live four hours from the closest road course, and I lack even the talents (and frankly balls) of even the lesser Baruth. Autocross is enough for me, and that much hp at an autocross is about as useful as Viagra in a nunnery.

      I don’t see the fun in pussyfooting around in even a 400hp car in a place where the fastest I can legally go in the thing is 75mph, and I would have to drive 2hrs to even get to where I can drive that fast. Clandestine full throttle romps to triple digits while sweating whether I will lose my cheap insurance and pay a nice speed tax to the state (or get cuffed and stuffed) are just not that interesting to me. I would rather have a car that I can beat on a bit while staying reasonably legal. I actually have 725hp in my garage, just split among four interesting vehicles. And I can guarantee that it is more fun to drive my Spitfire at 7/10ths on the street than a Hellcat at 1/10th.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        @krhodes1 – I tend to agree. We have a local drag strip but I’m not into that sort of thing any more. In BC the law is 40 kph over the posted speed limit and it is an automatic impound and huge fines. I have more fun in my 20 ft long pickup exploring the back country where it takes a day to cover 365 klicks.

    • 0 avatar
      Kaosaur

      +1 again.

      I was driving down a road that all the apartment complexes feed into here and while there’s a 45mph limit, there’s constant jaywalkers and you usually can’t go down the road any time of day or night without having to stop dead for people crossing.

      Admittedly, I was doing some light speeding (10 over) but cue the brand new lime green Mustang flying by me at 90. With Disabled Veteran plates and an Army sticker. Imagine that guy driving a Hellcat.

    • 0 avatar
      paanta

      +1.

      I’ve got a nicely dialed in E36 M3 in the garage, parked next to a Honda Fit (stock motor, but on all the suspension/brake/tire upgrades you could want). My M3 runs quarter miles around 3 seconds faster than the Fit, but I drive the Fit about 90% of the time.

      I love the M3 to pieces. It’s a flawless car, feels lively and happy, makes amazing noises. But it just needs too much road to give it real exercise. You just don’t get to appreciate the handling balance or that power band that comes into its own singing up to redline in 3rd or 4th.

      The Fit has what I want in a street car. Accurate steering, free revving, light weight, handling that’s at it’s best being thrown around tight corners, and power levels that require some forethought. It’s a modern CRX or A1/A2 GTI.

      Horses for courses.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        @Paanta

        Straight line performance wise I feel the same way about my e91 328i wagon. It has WAY more engine than is necessary for comfort on the street. I would have been perfectly happy with a 320i or less. The 328i is capable of “go directly to jail” speed in *3rd* gear. What can you even DO with nearly 3x that much power on the street other than turn very expensive tires into very expensive smoke?

    • 0 avatar

      Well, people have to take their own responsibility for things. I like smaller cars. Surely I enjoy what many here think are woefully underpowered cars. I also tend to think there is a limit somewhere where too much horsepower exists, though I don’t think there should be a law about it, and it depends on the car. It seems a Veyron does pretty well with its 1001 hp while the Hellcat, in the end, is overcome by too much.

      The ancient Romans had it right, those who abuse their freedoms will see them taken away.

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      I think I fall into a fourth category, which is the “Holy **** you ******* ******, you nearly killed me!” crowd. I completely support less horsepower for those who can’t (or won’t) control it and thus put my in danger. For those who can control it, and do so responsibly and not annoyingly, I don’t really care too much.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    It’s similar to the small d!ck remarks over fullsize pickups. Same guys.

    Yes I can get by with the Rabbit truckster of pickups, if I had to. But where’s your Yugo???

    Just @ssholes is all.

    • 0 avatar
      IHateCars

      THANK YOU! I was just going to post that the same thinking that is accused of in Bark’s article, always rears its ugly head in any article about pick up trucks…and typically by the same group of posters.

      Some people like pick ups as their daily drivers *gasp*…we’re not all poseurs.

      • 0 avatar
        Kaosaur

        With how dominant pickups are here on the roads, I feel like I’ll need to convert to driving one just so I’m not constantly being blinded by their bright lights shining directly in all my mirrors and into my face.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          Limo tint is a must for normal cars, or you’ll be blinded by the headlights behind you. Even from CUVs, if stopped within a few feet behind. I’ve gone the cheap/easy route and limo tinted all my mirrors. Works excellent

          • 0 avatar
            Kaosaur

            Sadly not an option. My car has a special factory bronze tint that’s exceedingly rare these days (If I need a new windshield I have to a) find someone willing to sell and b) fork over $800-1000). I’ll just deal with it.

    • 0 avatar
      87 Morgan

      I was going to post the same thoughts regarding pick up trucks. Some of us just like to drive a truck, nothing more nothing less. I am not compensating for anything or anyone.

      In regards to some of the other comments. Prior to my trading off if my Chevelle I would routinely drive it Sprouts just to get dirty looks in the parking lot. Again, routinely when I was gassing it up, which would be often if I had driven the car often someone would ask about it and usually I would get some snide comment from the Toyota driver about the MPG. My answer to them was ‘ Yes it is awful, I can’t bring myself to give up yet and drive a Camry for fun though’.

      I think what Bark is attempting to get at is why the vitriol about what someone wants to drive? Some guy likes a jacked up diesel, great. Another likes a Hellcat, good for him/her too. And yes, some think their Prius is the neatest car ever and well yippee for them as well.

      • 0 avatar
        thelaine

        Agreed 87 Morgan. Funny thing is, I have almost never seen a car I could not appreciate for some reason. Having spent many years taking the bus because I could not afford any car at all, I damn near love me any car that runs. Almost every car or motorcycle is cool in some way or another.

        • 0 avatar
          87 Morgan

          I am a sucker for a car with a story behind it. I can appreciate any persons ride who has gone through the effort to maintain it, love it, and use it for its intended purpose. Even if they loved it rolling around on 44 inch swampers, or lowered to an inch of the ground, or with a fat pipe out the back to make it sound like a weed eater ala Honda civic/subie/neon. Oddly, I appreciate these cars a bit more as at least the owner has attempted to personalize there ride in some way.

          Maybe that is crux of the issue; Some of us take it personal if another personalizes there ride in a fashion that we don’t appreciate. Who knows.

          I find the trucks to be the most fascinating, as they are like HD motorcycles. Very rare do you find one that looks exactly as it did when it rolled off the assembly line.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @87 Morgan – exactly. Best post of the day.

            I went to a “father’s day” car show and there where tons of perfectly restored cars and they were cool but I lost all interest if it was a case of ” I paid so and so 100K to do it for me”.
            Same with a guy with a bunch of supercars. So what… you dribbled out the dick of a wealthy parent.

            There was a guy with a couple of Datsun 2 seater sports cars. His dad gave him one for his 16th and they fixed it up together back in the early 80’s.. He always kept it and tinkered with it and bought another to go more wild on.
            That meant something because that car was no longer a machine, it had become a symbol of something special. As far as I was concerned, it was the best car there, it had somehow gained a soul.

  • avatar
    tjh8402

    Hey now, this may not be the sort of car I would (or can afford to) run out and buy right away, but even if I became instantly wealthy overnight:

    -I’d still shop at whole foods
    -I’d still love kale and quinoa (they really are good)
    -I’d still have a Miata
    -I’d still think the first generation Acura NSX was absolutely perfectly with “only” 290 hp and any more is excessive
    -I’d be putting a Challenger Hellcat on order right away. it is ludicrous. It is bonkers. It is pointless. it’s probably not socially responsible. that’s what makes it wonderful. Bless you SRT, bless you.

  • avatar
    Superdessucke

    They hit your schlong too huh? That’s cold man.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    Bang on. I never really understood the “need” folks. I mean, I understand them as Bark describes them, I just don’t understand why they need to make their feelings known to the world with regards to what other people drive. I imagine these are the same people who peek at other peoples grocery carts at the supermarket and criticize their choices based on their preconceived ideas of what’s appropriate. Get a life.

  • avatar
    petezeiss

    ALL POWER TO FAST CARS!

    They can blow on by me and be out of my world faster than slow cars.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    Reminds me of the quote attributed to Churchill, where he asked the lady if “she was an abstainer or for the abolition of alcohol”. The difference being she confined the suffering to herself or wished to impose it on everyone.

    Personally I see the logic in both arguments. Too many accidents are caused by excess speed. If you drive a ‘supercar’ you are eventually going to give in to temptation and try to push it to its limits on a public road. Maybe not the 1st or 2nd owner but the 3rd or beyond. Someone who bought it relatively cheap, doesn’t maintain it and is probably young and an inexperienced driver.

    However, these cars do appeal to the emotions of many males. We like to ‘push the envelope’. Somehow on an instinctive level we find these to be ‘cool’. Driving one is fun and developing one can lead to some important breakthroughs.

    As for the young female drooling over them. Forget it. That is in your dreams. In the past 2.5 decades the vast majority of women have evolved far beyond finding a ‘muscle car’ sexy and are aroused or interested in far different material possessions.

    • 0 avatar
      S2k Chris

      “Too many accidents are caused by excess speed.”

      Very few accidents are caused by excess speed. Far more by booze, inattentiveness, or general inability to drive.

      • 0 avatar
        Arthur Dailey

        Chris, either talk to some traffic cops or review your physics lessons. Although I do agree that what you mentioned are dangerous practices, a collision equals not enough time or space to stop, and therefore is largely dependent upon the travel speed (velocity).

    • 0 avatar
      hybridkiller

      “As for the young female drooling over them. Forget it. That is in your dreams. In the past 2.5 decades the vast majority of women have evolved far beyond finding a ‘muscle car’ sexy and are aroused or interested in far different material possessions.”

      She won’t be drooling over the “muscle” car because of its horsepower – she’ll be drooling over it because of its price tag. Women who know nothing about cars can smell an expensive one coming around the corner before they even see it – it’s in their DNA. And the “muscle” car still conveys a strong sense of masculine power – something women also tend to be attracted to.

      There’s nothing unnatural about this btw – most women are, on some primal level, attracted to a guy with visible evidence that he is higher up in the food chain. It took some years and experience for me to understand this, and not see it as a sign of shallowness or gold-digging (which it sometimes nonetheless IS, just not always).

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    “It’s more fun to drive a slow car fast than to drive a fast car slow.”

    You can’t mock this, your own brother says it!

  • avatar
    npaladin2000

    Give me an STI or a Speed3, and I’ll STILL smoke your 500 HP boat anchor. It’s not just about power, it’s about power to weight ratio. Some horse(power)s are just heavier than others.

  • avatar
    Kendahl

    I rate automobile horsepower in five categories — inadequate, adequate, excessive, grossly excessive, the amount I want. Porsche engineers once asked Mark Donohue how much power would be enough for his CanAm car. He replied that he wanted enough to burn rubber all the way down the longest straight. That works for me, too. The Hellcat is a neat car and I’m glad Dodge is building it.

    The battle between materialism and spiritualism has been going on for thousands of years. Probably hundreds of thousands of years, but cave men didn’t leave written records of their philosophical debates. I’m sure it will continue indefinitely.

    You are wrong about one detail. Communism is a political system that exists only in theory, never in practice, because it is completely antithetical to human nature. All communist revolutions have ever accomplished is to replace one tiny, privileged aristocracy with another.

    • 0 avatar
      FormerFF

      Mark Donohue was referring to the racetrack. On the track, way too much power is still not quite enough. On the street, way too much power is mostly frustrating since you can’t use it. A few weeks ago, someone driving a late model Corvette pulled out onto a main road from a sidestreet and got down on the throttle. I doubt he was able to get it sixty percent open before he had to close it again, by that time he was going 15 over the speed limit and was rapidly closing on the car in front of him.

      Honestly, stuff like that is sort of like going to the store in workout clothes and a weightlifting belt because you intend to buy a 20 pound bag of cat food. It just seems kind of pointless.

      • 0 avatar
        Kendahl

        My Infiniti G37S has 330 hp. One of the cars I test drove before buying it was a ten-year-old Porsche 911 Turbo which, I think, had 400 hp and weighed less than the Infiniti. I didn’t buy the Porsche because I dislike turbo lag and was afraid of Porsche maintenance costs.

        I thought seriously about moving to Montana for retirement before they wimped out and instituted a 75 mph interstate speed limit. Even so, there are opportunities where I still live to make use of outrageous power just like there are clover leaves to make use of sticky tires.

  • avatar
    Zykotec

    I’ll go as far as to claim you don’t need 707 horses, unless your car weighs 2 tons. Power to weight ratio is where it’s at. On the other hand, owning a ‘police cruiser’ in a civilian colour, with 5 times more horsepower than most Norwegian daily drivers would be frikking awesome :P

  • avatar
    OneAlpha

    The fundamental premise behind the question, “Why would anyone NEED so much power?” seems to be the assumption that human beings should exist only in pure Paleolithic hunter-gatherer survival mode, and that anything more than the absolute baseline is a wasteful luxury.

    • 0 avatar
      kosmo

      “the assumption that human beings should exist only in pure Paleolithic hunter-gatherer survival mode, and that anything more than the absolute baseline is a wasteful luxury.”

      That’s the root of the whole thing, right there.

      Honestly, for daily drivers, I get the “maybe too much power” concept. Mine is 325 HP/350 Ft.Lbs., and the rub is that if I wind it out a bit in first through third to enjoy the feel and sound, I’m already pretty far into Big Trouble territory with John Law.

      Nevertheless, Bark, when you come to your senses and lease a Leaf, I’ll take that beautiful Boss 302 off your hands.

      • 0 avatar

        I hit triple digits in my Legacy Wagon last night, just to see if I could. I was honestly surprised that it would go that fast. I think the danger lies within.

        • 0 avatar
          FormerFF

          I think the real danger lies with the cops catching you. A triple digit ticket is going to be costly, and in some places will get you an afternoon or evening in jail

          • 0 avatar

            My point was that neither 707 HP or 135 HP will get you in trouble if you’re not inclined, nor will it stop you from getting in trouble if you are.

        • 0 avatar
          Zykotec

          I have owned quote a few really crappy cheap underpowered cars, but I don’t think I’ve ever owned one that couldn’t do triple digits ?(not that I’ve really tried with all of them)
          Edit: come to think of it, the only v8 I’ve owned (a ’78 Century wagon with a ’76 Malibu 350) could possibly struggle a bit to do 100 mph :P…

          • 0 avatar
            FormerFF

            My sister had a VW Beetle with the semiautomatic transmission, I think it topped our around 70 mph. I don’t think any of us ever got much past 60 with it, it was a bit of a wanderer, especially when a tractor-trailer passed.

          • 0 avatar
            Monty

            “My point was that neither 707 HP or 135 HP will get you in trouble if you’re not inclined, nor will it stop you from getting in trouble if you are.”

            This.

            Sometimes I try to rally drive in traffic in my Ranger with it’s 119 angry horses. Just to see if I can.

            If I had those Hellcat’s 707 horses, I would do the same thing, only faster, and on a racetrack.

            Sometimes 119 horses are too many, and sometimes 707 horses aren’t enough.

            Buy what you f’ing like and want – life is too short to put up with the haters.

          • 0 avatar
            redav

            Zykotec,

            Engines have two requirements: acceleration/gradability & steady state power. For normal gasoline engines, the acceleration/gradability requirement means the steady state power requirement (cruising at steady speed) will be exceeded by ~3x. Hence, even piddly little engines can still propel a car well over the speed limit.

            Diesels with their higher torque/hp ratio aren’t so out-of-whack, which is one reason they can get such good efficiency–they don’t have to over-deliver on the design requirements. (They will accelerate/pull up a hill quite well, but don’t have outrageous top speeds.)

            Hybrids reduce the acceleration/gradability requirement using an electric motor to supplement the engine at those times, thus allowing the engine to be sized for the steady-state requirement.

        • 0 avatar
          olddavid

          100 mph in a $600 car? You have more balls than I, sir.

          • 0 avatar

            As I watched the speedometer click past 100, I thought to myself, “This is a really, really terrible idea.”

            DISCLAIMER FOR THE NERVOUS: I did it on an empty road at 10:30 at night. Nobody other than me would have been injured if something bad had occurred.

          • 0 avatar
            Monty

            Nobody other than the cows in the field as you launched the Legacy over the fence at them.

          • 0 avatar
            Zykotec

            Not to mention the mental health of whatever poor ambulance crew that has to find and sort out what is left of the Legacy and it’s driver ;)

        • 0 avatar
          kuman

          My dad, me, some of our friends used to drive (weave over traffic) at around 200kph ( 124mph ) in our hondas, bmw, peugeot and audis… sometimes interstate too. some 150kph on twisty rural roads ( rough roads ). No cops no nothing, we would be more likely to drove of a cliff than hitting another car.

          But those days are over now, the traffic condition is just unbearable, these days we’ll call it a good day if we can hold 80kph for a good 5 minutes.

          Traffic jams are everywehere and my car average speed is now only 30kmh anywhere i go… what a sad future im living in.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        This is basically how you refute that argument, Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs.
        “1. Biological and Physiological needs – air, food, drink, shelter, warmth, sex, sleep.
        2. Safety needs – protection from elements, security, order, law, stability, freedom from fear.
        3. Love and belongingness needs – friendship, intimacy, affection and love, – from work group, family, friends, romantic relationships.
        4. Esteem needs – achievement, mastery, independence, status, dominance, prestige, self-respect, respect from others.
        5. Self-Actualization needs – realizing personal potential, self-fulfillment, seeking personal growth and peak experiences.

        Buying a kick-ass machine can be argued as part of one’s self-actualization.

        But then again – right down at the bottom is food, drink, and sex( Paleolithic hunter-gatherer survival mode).

        That Boss 302 can be argued as meeting basic Paleolithic needs ….the need for food, drink, and sex ;)

    • 0 avatar

      I agree with your point, especially as I think those who would regulate it come at that from, very roughly, that viewpoint. Others, like me, think excessive horsepower is dependent on the car. Some cars can handle it, others can’t. There is fun in too much engine for a car (whole muscle, pony car segment, specially in the 70s), but there is also a lot of fun in the cars that are “just right”.

    • 0 avatar
      fincar1

      I would modify your statement to say “the assumption that other human beings should exist only in pure Paleolithic hunter-gatherer survival mode…”

  • avatar

    The only reason anyone does anthing is to get noticed or be “better” thsn someone else… hipsters just don’t measure these things in hp, skipdad numbers or nurburgring times.

    Rather, they play the game with the following:

    Food: Whoever can brag about the most obscure restaurant with the weirdest combo of ingredients wins. Have you tried Armpit? That place has the best ridicchio and pork belly waffles.

    Excercise: Warrior dash, tough mudder, let me post pictures mfyself doing these things to show how impressive I am

    Beer: “Dude, I just tried a limited edition almond, pumpkin, tuna ale, they only made 10 bottles of it!

    Music: “I saw that band way before anyone else had heard of them, I mean they were practically a garage band still.

    Pets: Look at my pot belly pig, great dane or whatever other weird pet/breed there is that generates attention wherever they go.

    • 0 avatar
      OneAlpha

      Hey, if it were possible to tame a Malaysian Flying Fox, I’d soooo get one of those. They’re adorable!

    • 0 avatar
      Toad

      “The only reason anyone does anthing is to get noticed or be “better” thsn someone else… ”

      Um, not true. I don’t car if anybody knows what I am doing, and am not looking to get noticed. Many (Most?) people fly happily under the radar. Some people live to get noticed by others but beyond a certain age it comes off as narcissism, insecurity, vanity, general boorishness or some combination of all of the above.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @idriveaneon – not necessarily. I used to ride with a bunch of younger guys and most of them would go ride around and collect their buddies and park their bikes in a neat row and pose with their colour matched helmets and leathers. No different than most Harley riders I know. Basically the crowd you describe.

      I’d get bored and leave and go wail down some back country road. My favorite was one of the worst tar stripped, cracked, potholed and heaved roads around. The reason why I loved it was the posers were to afraid to ride it and you had to bring your A game to go fast. Your bike also had to be perfectly set up to keep you sticky side down.

      I went solo on a 10K bike trip, the same guys asked me what I did. I was puzzled and replied, “I rode”. I nearly punched the idiot that said, “that would be boring”.
      I used the age old saying, “If you gotta ask why I ride, you won’t understand the answer.”

      There are those that buy performance vehicles, superbikes, and supercars for the image, the whole “look at me” angle.

      There are those who buy performance vehicles, superbikes, and supercars because they touch something Paleolithic inside and if you gotta ask why, you won’t understand the answer.

      I like to think that car guys get it, and so do bike guys.

  • avatar
    Master Baiter

    I could care less how many HP someone has, but what bugs me is the “hey, look at me” attitude that I see on the roads. It could be an overly jacked up pickup truck or a Harley with open pipes driving through a town where people are trying to have a quiet meal outside. These people annoy me. When I hear someone speeding down my street, invariably it’s someone in an F350 Super Duty. I hardly ever see guys in Porsches or Ferraris speeding, and there are a lot of those around here.

  • avatar
    mkirk

    Agreed. However half the dudes throwing their support to this article are the first to jump in with the “Who needs an F-250” crowd. Yes, some cars have more power than you need and yes, some trucks can pull more than I’ll ever pull, but you know what? Most brown manual diesel wagons spend their lives hauling just a driver around with nothing in the cargo area.

    • 0 avatar
      burgersandbeer

      I think the venom directed at pickup trucks (and large SUVs) is largely because even driven responsibly, they impact other road users much more than other automotive “excesses.”

      Their lights shine in your mirrors/eyes, and their bumpers are frightening high compared to cars. And that’s at stock ride heights. They occupy to much space in parking spaces. Even if you fit next to them, the visibility problems created are likely the reason cross traffic alert systems exist. They are also a pita to see around in traffic.

      Contrast this with a mustang boss or hellcat, which when driven responsibly, is just another car on the road.

      • 0 avatar

        Good point. That is even more the case here, where pickups have lots less space to navigate. About 2 months ago I was stuck trying to get out of a supermarket lot but couldn’t ’cause the cars backed up behind me and the idiot in the double cab trying to get into a space, obviously not big enough for him, and then getting stuck trying to get out. It was not the first time. Also, on the road seeing them barelling down the road, pushing other aside, then getting stuck and moving slowly when the inevitable curves come. And yes, on more than one occassion have seen pickup driver falling down the mountain when they tried but failed to keep up with cars, even the “woefully underpowered” small ones, in the twisties.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        @burgersandbeer – and who would you love to see in a snow storm with your car buried 3 feet into a snow drift?

        A little newsflash for ya, that road lane you are driving in is the same width whether or not a pickup is beside you.

        Situational awareness, look that one up.

        If pickups freak you out, do you pee yourself next to an 18 wheeler?

  • avatar
    Maymar

    I’m not bothered by high-horsepower as long as fuel economy keeps progressing as well (I’m not about to judge a low-volume car with 707hp that’s still capable of 20+mpg, but will likely accumulate all of 1000 miles a year, basically idling to and from the Dairy Queen every other Saturday night in the summer).

    That said, I’m not a fan of the normalization of high horsepower. I want 700+hp to be a Big Deal. Hell, I’d rather 300+hp be a Big Deal. The previously mentioned FRS/BRZ twins are a perfectly good example – for every one “well, if you look at its speed through this section of the track and compare it to this section, the chassis can very well handle more power,” there were about a dozen “the V6 Mustang has 300hp, so you’re a pussy if you buy 200hp.”

    I get by just fine with 100hp – I’m not about to say that’s all anyone needs, but adequacy is a much lower bar than most car guys are willing to admit, especially if you don’t have the time and money for track days. With a seventh of a Hellcat, I am just as capable of losing my license and getting my car impounded, so I’d prefer something that’s fun within my surroundings.

  • avatar
    DevilsRotary86

    I am certainly in the first category of sorts. Except that I don’t quite adhere to the mantra of ““It’s more fun to drive a slow car fast than to drive a fast car slow.” But “It’s more fun to drive a quick car fast than to drive a fast car slow.” is confusing and doesn’t have the same ring.

    What I mean by that is that while I don’t really want a 440HP sports car I am not ready to get back in the 92hp 1991 Civic that I started with. This is 100% personal opinion, but for street use I think 200HP to 250HP is the sweet spot, or 300HP for heavy cars like the Mustang. It’s enough power to be fun but low enough power that I can push it a little around town without breaking too many laws. It’s not really jealousy; have your Boss and enjoy it. I have just have no desire for one; I am happy as a clam in my RSX-S.

    Also, “it must mean that we lack the necessary skills to make a 1996 Infiniti G20 really dance.”. To be fair, I suspect that 90% of the commentariat here indeed lack the necessary skills to make a G20 really dance. Myself included, I admit.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      I agree with this – you need enough hp for the car to be entertaining, and that amount is directly proportional to size and weight. 75hp in my Spitfire is plenty. For mid-size cars 250 is plenty of fun, and 300 should be considered something special. 700 is just silly, even in a tank like a Challenger.

      The thing with the Toyobaru is not that it does not have enough hp, it is that it just isn’t very interesting to drive. It corners great, by the numbers it isn’t slow, but it manages to be dull. It needs an engine like the one in my Abarth. An obnoxious snorting little rev monster that just wants to rev, rev, rev, rev, rev, even thought the redline is not particularly high. The boxer four just doesn’t want to play, and that takes the fun right out of it. The numbers are fine, but the delivery leaves a lot to be desired. The Abarth is the polar opposite, by the numbers it is not particularly fast, but if feels like a rocket. Feeling fast is waaay better than actually being fast.

      • 0 avatar

        Pretty good summation krhodes1 of why I’ve always felt the Toyota-Subaru twins are a let down. The Abarth does have that kind of engine that makes one want to just drive!

      • 0 avatar
        DevilsRotary86

        I suspect that what you describe is really that nasty torque dip from 3k to 5k RPM. Allegedly it’s fixable with a tune and headers but it’s still disappointing that it’s there at all.

        Every time I think that the FR-S would be a nice car to get I remember that torque dip.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        @krhodes1 – excellent point. In the days pre-traction control, I could go fast almost off the bat on a 600 cc sport bike but get onto a litre class monster and it would take me a while to feel comfortable.

  • avatar
    Felis Concolor

    There are a large number of people who honestly think they know what’s best for you – which underscores how little they know in general.

    I don’t need a 5K monitor driven by triply linked high power video cards and a maxed out motherboard to match, but it sure kicks the stuffing out of a low end netbook – and when you really need to crunch those vector points, it’s nice to know you can only blame your own incompetence when that kid on the other end of the network connection smokes your ass. Of course, that’s just one of the reasons I tend to favor rapid turn-based contests as opposed to the real time stuff.

    Likewise, I may not need a big power engine, but it’s a lot of fun knowing I have more horsepower in one cylinder than the deprived schmuck next to me has in his entire vehicle.

    The hypocrisy of the “compensation crowd” is hilarious; I’ve been pointing and laughing at them for decades. These skidmarks never once praised someone chugging by in a Festiva as being the pinnacle of reproductive prowess, which means I’ve already spent far too much time acknowledging their presence here.

    Seriously, @#$% the watermelons; they completely lost it in the 90s and now simply call out for everyone to die – but while you offenses to Gaia are still living, it would be best to adopt the “Green” brand of Neo-Puritanism, the better to ensure your remaining years are as pleasure-free as possible. Even James Lovelock has disavowed the movement he ushered in with his philosophy.

    Disclaimer: I do intend to take full advantage of federal, state and local assistance when I design the garage, the better to afford a 9.5KW PV power array and an oversized solar batch water heating system to give my home and garage the luxury of radiant floor heating and a seriously huge power offset to my utility bill. Anyone who wishes to subsidize PV panels to the tune of $2/watt is alright in my book.

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      Felis,
      You whine about people telling you what’s best for you, but if someone drives a car with less power than yours, you call him a “deprived schmuck”.

      So it’s OK for you to criticize the choices of others, but if they say anything about yours, they are “hypocrites”.

      Double standard? Why can’t we just drive what we like and let others do the same?

      • 0 avatar
        Felis Concolor

        I’d take your comment far more seriously if you hadn’t posted “Shouldn’t we wait until npaladin is old enough to drive?”

        One thing is certain; I am definitely not plaintive in my declarations. While I may pity the person next to me in traffic, I never condemn her or him for their choice of conveyance. There’s no hypocrisy to be found there.

        • 0 avatar
          VoGo

          1. You are correct – you didn’t take the comment seriously, as you completely missed the point.

          2. You called someone a ‘deprived schmuck’ for their choice of car, and then said you’d never condemn them for their choice of car.

          3. You papered over your words with the comment “There’s no hypocrisy to be found here.”

          • 0 avatar
            Kaosaur

            I don’t think it’s value judgement that he’s making. They’re deprived of the fun of driving a certain type of car vs their current ride.

            It’s like if someone said they’ve never been to Disneyworld or on a rollercoaster or traveled to a foreign country. It’s not devaluing the person as much as it’s “i wish you could see the world through my eyes”.

            It’s also totally a comment he makes to himself, which is entirely different than what I’ve frequently encountered from Prius drivers; intentionally getting in front of me and slowing down to 10mph below the limit because they don’t like my gas guzzler.

        • 0 avatar
          ajla

          I like my cars and I certainly do not require anyone’s pity.

          • 0 avatar
            hybridkiller

            “I don’t think it’s value judgement that he’s making. They’re deprived of the fun of driving a certain type of car vs their current ride.”

            He said deprived “schmuck” – a solidly pejorative term. He’s either ignorant of the linguistics, or disingenuous by trying to walk back the remark. Either way, I read no empathy in his remark.

    • 0 avatar
      FormerFF

      “Likewise, I may not need a big power engine, but it’s a lot of fun knowing I have more horsepower in one cylinder than the deprived schmuck next to me has in his entire vehicle.”

      I’m curious why it would be important to you to have more power than the person sitting next to you in traffic. Calling that person a “deprived schmuck” puts you in the same league as those who would call you out for having that much power.

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    Technically yes, no one “needs” that much power, no one “needs” cars either for that matter or clothes, or math, or anything besides food, water and to reproduce.

    Those people are full of it. Because of them, my next vehicle will be an F-350 and it will never tow or haul anything besides my groceries.

    • 0 avatar
      FormerFF

      If you do something to spite someone else you have given them more influence over them than they deserve.

      • 0 avatar

        Therein lies the lie of the I’m doing it because this is what I want crowd. They claim they are being brash because they like it, and some are, but some do it to piss off others. The weakest reason I can think of doing anything is to piss off others. Even weaker than doing something to impress others.

        Do it for yourself and forget others!

    • 0 avatar
      ttacgreg

      F 350?
      Wuss, why not just go whole hog and get a semi trailer Truch or or a school bus to express your spite?

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      You’ll only hurt yourself… no spot in the grocery parking lot will fit an F-350. :)

      (More seriously, something like that often ends up being true for people who do things purely out of spite.)

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        Hey, our ’08 F-350 fits just fine! Granted, it’s a regular cab…

        • 0 avatar
          Mandalorian

          The actually jump in dimensions between my future truck and say a Toyota Camry isn’t huge. It’s mostly length. It’ll fit just fine.

          I used to have a Chevy Suburban and never had any difficulties with that. RWD is much nicer than anything else for tight manuvers.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Mandalorian,
            I actually drove a SD crew cab with the 6.7 Powerstroke around Vegas for a while.

            It’s well an good what you state. It was fun to drive. But when we went shopping in it, it was a horses ass to park.

            Maybe your comment is what I would term ‘little d!ck’ spite.

            Don’t be spiteful, and buy what YOU want. If it is genuinely a F-350 good, and enjoy the vehicle. But if you buy it for ‘little d!ck’ reasons I do hope it is a constant problem for you.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        @dal20402 – the whole point of the off-road armoured 24 ft long F350 is to take any f$ckin’ spot you want or take 2 or three at once.

        Alpha males just take………

        The weaklings trying to save the planet in their Prius’s or Prii (alpha males don’t give a sh!t how it is spelt) would NOT have fathered enough offspring to survive the zombie apocalypse any ways ;)

  • avatar
    FormerFF

    The sad thing is that I suspect most of these cars will never be used anywhere close to their limits. Hopefully they won’t wind up like the Ford GT where most of them wind up in the hands of collectors who never drive them.

  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    Meh.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    I used to be one of those “less is more” guys… then I got a motorcycle and some wheel time in a car with some real horsepower

    Whenever confronted by one of those “less is more” guys, demand their driving resume. Best compliment to a great chassis is horsepower.

  • avatar
    tiger260

    It’s a free country – buy what you want. I’d subscribe to the theory that having power makes the car more fun to drive, so the more power the more fun? Maybe? It does seem that there are some practical limitations though. Unless you plan to use it for a lot of track days, it is hard to see where and when you could really use a 707 hp car to its fullest potential on a public road in the USA without risking accident or losing your license.

    As for this article – Bark, I’m assuming that this is supposed to be a subtle tongue-in-cheek satire to generate a little click traffic,… yes? If not, then I am a little disappointed. I started reading TTAC back in the Robert Farago days and was attracted by the fact that the articles (and majority of the comments) were from knowledgeable and intelligent enthusiasts. This article just makes you sound like some ranting redneck who just hates anybody who isn’t just like him.

    I note that others have already called you out on the Craft Beer compared to Budweiser…. Craft beers probably better represent the true spirit of America, being small independents, generally owned by actual Americans, and striving to make a success by producing a unique quality product for their marketplace?

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Great article Bark, it made me stand up, salute the flag outside, and yell ‘Murica!

  • avatar
    tiger260

    Thank goodness for that. I’m reassured that the whole thing really was a spoof.

    You should probably come clean and tell everyone that. Reading the comments you do seem to have stirred up some of the “Beavis and Butthead” crowd who really think you were being serious.

    BTW. nobody mentioned Kentucky

    • 0 avatar

      The whole thing isn’t a spoof. One paragraph of comedy does not a spoof make.

      You called me a redneck. I’m from Kentucky. QED.

      • 0 avatar
        Eiriksmal

        Wait, _from_ Kentucky? I thought you just lived here. Oi, vey!

        Clearly, you’re No True Scotsman. You live in Lexvegas, as those filthy UK-alum say, but don’t own a F-250? You’re not from Kentucky. You bought a Subaru STATION WAGON? Clearly, not from Kentucky.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    My overall response to the folks Bark writes about is simple: because I can.

  • avatar
    Jeff Weimer

    Too many Prius people are insufferable.

    We had one who regularly posted at Cruzetalk (didn’t own a Cruze, btw). His whole schtick was to tell us, in what seemed the most patronizing and condescending tones possible, what a terrible choice in vehicle we made from a reliability, styling, and fuel economy standpoint compared to the Prius. And, just how superior he was in general. No really, he even said the whole point of him being there was to “educate” us.

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    I’m sort of in that first group, but if you’re fortunate enough to have a location where you can drive a fast car fast, have at it. If you want 707hp go ahead, I think its great that you can get that sort of power in a muscle car.

    Yes a few will get wrecked along the way, you can’t blame the power though.

    The other two groups seem to be by-products of the 70’s, self absorbed types who are ashamed to be American.

    I view cars like I do guns, I don’t care if you have a pistol or an AK-47, just don’t do anything too foolish.

    As far as hipsters go they should quit buying fedoras, we’re not in a 30’s NOIR! Quit fedoras and donate the cash, get off the net and volunteer somewhere, quit telling people what to do.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      The problem is not that they have them, it’s that they wear them inappropriately. You never saw the noir guys (Prairie Home Companion reference intended) wearing them with ironic t-shirts or flannel. It was always with a suit. Of course, that was back in the days when you could (and did) walk down the street in a suit and not have people say, “gee, YOU’RE dressed up!” Suit and appropriate hat was the expected attire.

      I say all this because I actually own one. And not a trilby, either (shudder). An honest-to-goodness felt hat with a grosgrain band and a 3-inch brim, only for wearing with a suit or sport coat. Any other time it’s a regular old 1940’s-era-farmer flat cap. Or a straw hat in summer. Really, it’s more about keeping the head covered (kind of OCD) when I’m outdoors, and it has to be appropriate to whatever else I’m wearing. A trucker cap is only appropriate when going to the farm sale, for example.

      I think too hard about these things sometimes.

      • 0 avatar
        Ryoku75

        I pretty much have that same opinion, you wear your Fedora with a matching suit if you want to do it right, and unless if you’re Elwood Blues you take off your hat inside.

        Caps are typically appropriate outside imo, though the whole backwards thing I see all the time is a bit dated.

        • 0 avatar
          Drzhivago138

          The rule for me is: Outside, always on (once again, kind of OCD), entering a room, always off. Hallways and cars are kind of a neutral ground; it more depends on how awkward the hat is. Flat cap: eh, it can stay until I get to where I’m going. Soviet Army fur cap: kind of silly, better take it off.
          One great thing about the nationwide shift to CUVs over sedans is that once again a man can wear his Sunday best, hat included, when going on a Sunday drive.

          Only one more week until Felt Hat Day! Almost time to put away the boater and break out the Homburg!

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    Ah….the little d!ck people, so insecure in their world of little. Living in their tiny inner city government apartments in cities like Winnipeg.

    The little d!ck people are the ones who talk big, act big but are mostly none achievers.

    I bet at most they might have a pot to p!ss in.

    They are the dreamers.

    I love all vehicles. I don’t have to agree with the logic some have for what they buy. But, the ones who have great cars aren’t the ones who contantly talk sh!t.

    The little d!ck people do.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      I don’t believe that hostility is either necessary or conducive to a rational discussion.

      • 0 avatar
        Arthur Dailey

        And there are more pick-ups per capita in Winnipeg than in Oz.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          There’s more haters per capita in OZ, apparently. They can’t readily own fullsize pickups, so I kinda get where their hostility stems from. Frustration even. I mean some times I hate that I enjoy my fullsize pickups so much. I haven’t seen one without some amounts redeemable qualities. That’s part of why their resale value is so strong. People don’t want to give theirs up. They become like a member of the family almost. That’s not nearly as true for normal cars or smaller pickups.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          @Arthur Dailey
          Ask Pch101, he tends to think he has all the data and can trend it.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @Drzhivago138,
        I don’t think my comment is hostile.

        I do think you’ll find on these ‘car’ sites many dreamers and wannabes’ who talk sh!t.

        They only know the data they read in magazines and on the web. They probably have never owned the vehicles they constantly talk of.

        • 0 avatar
          Drzhivago138

          It’s certainly conceited, anyway.
          There’s nothing fundamentally wrong with living in a tiny inner-city government apartment in a city like Winnipeg, yet you seem to think there is.
          And how do you know them to be insecure?
          Maybe instead of loving all cars, you should try to love all people.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Drzhivago138,
            That is an inference to a specific person who blogs on this site. One of those ‘little d!ck’ types.

            If you knew the history of this guy, he lives in LA, Arkansas, Winnipeg (in a tiny apartment).

            Has been to Spain over 36 times. Has owned at least half a dozen truck companies in the past 2 years and has owned any and every performance/muscle car ever, then has donated them to his family and friends.

            His stories are highly improbable. You realise this after several debates with him.

            He’s sort of Clueless in Winnipeg.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Drzhivago138, there are many people who come to ttac in good faith. And there are many pretenders and poseurs who proclaim to know everything about all things, since the beginning of automotive history.

            Those of us who have been on ttac since the era of the irreplaceable Robert Farago have a pretty good idea which of the B&B are the real thing, and which are not.

            While the ones in the know dazzle us with brilliance, the know-it-alls baffle us with bullsh!t.

          • 0 avatar
            mikey

            I’m just sitting here watching some Monday Night Football.

            Went over to the GM Canada web site. I built myself a very sweet Silverado double cab. Over $50K.

            I live in the heart of suburbia, I don’t own a boat, or a trailer. The biggest thing I may haul would be a load of mulch. I don’t have the slightest need for a truck like that. That don’t mean I wouldn’t really like to have it.

            I’m not going to buy it. But if I did, I could write a check for it.

            I wouldn’t care what anybody thought. I wouldn’t care if anybody here believed me.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @HDC
            I do think you could be correct.

            My comment regarding the little d!ck people are to the guys who just talk crap.

            I have raced V8s and even had my own rally car. So, when it comes to vehicles and why you own them I understand.

            My view if someone wants to drive a Kenworth or Western Star as a daily driver I don’t care. I would actually envy them.

            We have guys at work with all types of performance cars from, HSVs, FPVs, WRX’s, etc, even off road buggies and 4x4s.

            I even have a small group of guys actually racing Skylines. They are that interested that one of the guys built a 650hp RB engine in his bedroom.

            Now that is enthusiasm at it’s highest. All high pay to race. These are the guys to talk to.

            He turned a single cam engine and bolted on a twin cam quad valve RB head. He fabricated some sheet metal to modify the timing cover. It was a relatively simple conversion. Plus extensive head work and turbo work.

            Fantastic kid. Then he’ll drift race it.

            We have guys that race motor cross, very popular up here and guess what they rarely go over 60mph.

            I off road considerably and have modified my vehicle for this. This is fantastic, how many have straddled a vehicle over a 2 meter deep ruts, or attempted a steep incline and you only get one bite at it.

            I think the true car lover takes on challenges and doesn’t boast about the horsepower. The ones that boast about the horsepower are the little d!ck types.

            Huge horsepower isn’t the only buzz, so is huge torque.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            “I wouldn’t care what anybody thought.” If someone’s buying logic is influenced by what others think, then it really isn’t their buying logic any longer. Is it?

            I never paid the amounts of money we have to pay for cars nowadays — IIRC our 2008 Highlander was $38K, my 2011 Tundra was $32K and my wife’s 2012 Grand Cherokee was $46K out the door, incl tt&l.

            But I hope recoup some of that money on the JGC and Tundra at trade-in time.

            I’ve never paid $60K for any vehicle I bought but it looks like that 2015 Sequoia will cost at least that much minus the trade-in value of the JGC.

            If I have to write a check for the full amount on the Sequoia, it’ll break me until I can recoup some money from the sale of the JGC.

            In a way it’s scary to lay out that kind of money for wheels. OTOH, everyone buying the same thing has to shell out that amount as well. The hard part is the decision to commit, or not.

            And that’s where you cut the wheat from the chaff. People with the money buy ’em. Money talks, BS walks.

            There’s nothing you have to prove to anyone because the debate you have with yourself about whether to buy something or not, is personal and intrinsic.

            At this final stage of my driving life, I still turn over every penny rather than waste it foolishly. Hell, if I see a penny on the ground I still pick it up.

            But once the decision to buy or not to buy is made, that’s all she wrote! No second guessing.

            But that is just me. Been that way all my life. Something instilled by my Portuguese father and German mother.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            BAFO, I understand. I, too, started at the tender age of 12 rebuilding the 426 Hemis my dad and uncle used in their dragster at Riverside Raceway.

            This was in an environment where fuel consumption was expressed, not in mpg, but in gallons per quarter-mile.

            Hence my love for cars and power.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          @troll – The personal attacks are debate tactic when your argument has smashed into rocks.

    • 0 avatar
      mkirk

      Cool…I drive a midsize truck so by your logic I am John Holmes! Hello Ladies!

  • avatar
    lon888

    I think there will be 3 types of owners/drivers for these types of cars: #1. The guy at the “coffee and cars” meet. Loves having his ego massaged while guys quitely drool on his new toy. He’ll get rid of it when something better comes along. #2. Track day guy. This type of driver truly undersstands what he bought and knows the right place to exploit its virtues. #3. The guy who buys one with the sole intent of selling it at Barrett-Jackson’s in 25 years with only 12 miles on the clock. The worst type of car guy because he never enjoys it.

    • 0 avatar
      S2k Chris

      What about the guy who buys one because he’s a life-long Mopar guy and this is the pinacle and he drives it to C+C on the weekends but also spends Saturday nights doing burnouts at the DQ and generally just having fun with the car? Or the guy who just always likes to have the baddest thing on the road and will buy it and beat on it and then trade it away in 6-12 months when the next thing comes out, but it has nothing to do with status, it’s just How Can I Buy The Most HP/Speed??

      It’s awfully cynical to suggest few will buy one of these for enjoyment of the thing itself; and unless you are talking about the drag strip, I bet few will make it “to the track”…and that’s okay.

  • avatar
    daver277

    By observation, the most dangerous thing on the road is a 4 door hemi 20″ wheel Dodge pickup. Not to those inside but those outside. I have a sub-2000# Lotus and fear that my name is written on one of those things driven by someone with a software problem.
    A 2 ton+ vehicle with 400 hp can gather up huge momentum extremely quickly.

    • 0 avatar
      Kaosaur

      I live in the South. Let me tell you, the aggressive, small-car-hating pickup driver is ALWAYS in a Ram like you describe or a Silverado. Always. I’ve had them aggressively tailgate me at highway speeds, swerve in front of me & brake hard, and try to run me off the road by keeping me from merging from a closing lane (slowing down and speeding up alongside me so I can’t pass or get behind).

      I love the “someone with a software problem” description by the way. I’m stealing that.

  • avatar
    Zykotec

    A couple of years ago I was trying to explain to a swedish co-worker how her ein Norway there are 2 Ford Granadas (euro model, a bit like a fox-fairmont with IRS) with twin turbo v8’s. One basically a Koenigsegg setup maing 1200-1700 hp, ad one bigblock ex.dragrace engine with roughly the same power. Neither has been built for racing, or can show off any 1/4 mile times. He just couldn’t get his head around the fact that for some people there is no such thing as ‘too much power’ or the fact that somemone just wants something really really awesome, for no other reason than its awesomeness. Both cars have occasionally seen open track days, but mostly so that they can wear out rear tires in a somewhat legal fashion..
    Remember, this is Norway, where the average car is a 2.0 Diesel Passat Wagon…and these Granadas were never built with more than a 160 hp v6 from the factory…
    It is possible that people who buy motorbikes with more than 100 hp can understand this.

  • avatar
    superchan7

    Been lurking for years, but this article finally got me to sign up and comment.

    The years of buying cars for image are long gone in mainstream California. Almost all of the Prius owners I know bought their cars only to save on gas money. A few of them were particularly proud of their fuel savings, but I don’t know a single person who bought it for “green cred.” I’m sure they exist, but they are rare.

    Ever since I realised my childhood dream of owning stylish, highly impractical sports cars, the reaction has been cautious but positive. Most of the people around me don’t have the itch for these toys, so they’ll usually praise the “sweet ride” but some would ask how I manage with so little passenger and luggage space.

    I do have two cars now (one being too precious to DD), but I did enjoy having a Cayman as my only car for a few years. I never had to drive for company lunches!

    Off-topic: By far, the most common douchemobile in the San Francisco area is surprisingly the same as in many other locales: the lifted pickup, usually V8 gas-powered. For some reason the Diesels are generally better-behaved. Late-model BMW coupes bought with daddy’s money are a distant, distant second.

  • avatar
    ttacgreg

    First two points make some sense.
    “The Environmentalists/Hipsters” point is pretty much a lame exercise in ideological stereotyping and broad brush generalizing that bears little resemblance to reality.

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    Let’s make a deal…

    I won’t begrudge you for purchasing a 707hp Dodge

    IF

    You won’t begrudge me for thinking you’re an idiot.

  • avatar
    stuki

    More often than not, I tend to prefer less power to more these days. A friend of mine bought an old, beat up 3 cylinder Geo Metro a while back, promptly installed the narrowest, cheapest, longest wearing hard rubber tires he could fit; and that thing is just crazy fun to drive on public roads.

    It’s a full on race almost anywhere, 4 wheel drifts down Sunset blvd. (It’s short and narrow enough to have plenty of sliding room without even leaving your own lane). Simply keeping up with the Bimmermen on their commutes through Malibu canyons, requires not just decent technique, but actual strategy for momentum conservation through a set of corners.

    Even compared to the venerable NA Miata, that thing is waayy underpowered. And an order of magnitude more fun anywhere in the presence of other people. You really have to drive one to understand just how utterly stupid fun it can be to spin out on a freeway onramp and not even go fast enough to damage anything. Almost like you’re at an autocross or trackday wherever you go.

    And the insurance he pays for his car, is somewhere in the vicinity of nothing. Despite him having a driving record including such pearls as attempts at running away from cops only to get home to have a helicopter shine a spotlight on his head as he steps out of his car, and 10 officers pointing guns at him…..

    The 3 cylinder ones seem to have become sort of cult items amongst those Hipsters you derided, so aren’t really all that available anymore. But if I didn’t mainly ride bikes these days, and only use a car when I “need” the added space, civility and pretense of respectability, I’d be on the lookout for one, for sure.

  • avatar
    MrIcky

    I come to this site because I love interesting cars. Everything from Miatas to Hellcats to whatever exotica looks sexy this week. The ‘too much power’ crowd may be happier at consumer reports.

    Equally as frustrating to me is the group that compares every other car with any sort of power to the M3. Or they start talking about ‘for the money’. Interesting/fun cars aren’t always so because of their track day ability nor are they all Mustang V6s.

    And then the people who try to categorize everyone who buys a powerful car. Can’t someone simply fall in love with a car while having the means to attain said car and then purchase it without it being about ego-stroking, cars and coffee, selling at Barrett Jackson. Although that may end up being what happens- they may have just purchased what they loved.

    Sometimes you love a car for what it is while everyone else is determined to add their baggage to it. I used to have a stereotype on Priusii until I met an engineer who had one and loved it- so even some Prius dude(ttes) can be car guys/gals.

  • avatar
    Sigivald

    “You don’t need”, extended to “thus you must not have” is the thought and language of the Kommissar, Comrade.

    Reject it in all things and at all times.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    You missed a category, which I’m in.

    Too Much Power Is Not Fun on the Street.

    I have a 415-hp, 4000-pound car. In other words, a bit slower than your Boss, and not in the same league as a Hellcat. It’s a blast on those *very* few occasions when I have an empty road with no driveways or intersections all to myself and I don’t think cops are close by.

    But the rest of the time, it’s just frustrating. Even aggressive (but safe) driving in normal traffic doesn’t come close to the car’s capabilities. There’s nothing I do in 99%+ of my driving that an Accord V6 couldn’t do without exceeding 4000 rpm. And that’s especially true given that 1) the constabulary in my city and state are extremely strict and 2) almost all the places I drive have driveways, intersections, etc. so that safety requires moderation.

    A 707 hp car would just make that worse.

    My next car won’t have more than the current 415 hp and is fairly likely to have less. The sweet spot is somewhere around 300-330 hp with smoothness; my 224 hp Forester could use a bit more oomph.

  • avatar
    NoGoYo

    I need more power. And a better transmission too!

    I’m too ashamed to even try and put the old T-Bird on a dyno, it probably makes like 180 horsepower or less at the rear wheels…

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Ford 4.6 2v:

      1994–1995 Ford Thunderbird, 205 hp (153 kW) and 265 lb·ft (359 N·m)
      1996-1997 Ford Thunderbird, 205 horsepower (153 kW) and 280 lb·ft (380 N·m)

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_Modular_engine

      • 0 avatar
        NoGoYo

        Well yeah. That’s factory rating.

        Almost 20 years ago.

        On an engine that doesn’t have 110,000+ miles on it.

        Chances are if I dyno’d it it would be like 163 horsepower and I would cry.

        • 0 avatar
          PonchoIndian

          it probably made 163hp to the rear wheels new…I’ll bet even yours is withing 5% of that now. Unless it’s actually really tired there isn’t much reason for it to be low on power.

          I remember reading an article where the Michigan State Police tested a 80’s Caprice police car when new and when it had 100K miles on it. It was actually faster when it had the 100K miles on it.

          • 0 avatar
            NoGoYo

            Of course, it does have full length true dual exhaust so it probably makes a little more than that…

            But really, a major part of the problem with me wanting to go fast is a lethargic mushy gearbox that sometimes just won’t shift. But the “J-mod” should help fix that. J-mod, PI top end swap, and electronic speed limiter removal should make this car perform less like a Crown Vic with a great suspension and more like a Mustang GT.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            MN-12 essentially ran the AOD-E transmission evidently till the end of production but it was renamed 4R70W. I do recall the AOD-E not being as vilified as the AOD (or “DOA” as I heard it referred to as) but I never remember it being particularly impressive. Perhaps the “Ford people” can chime in as I am drawing on ten to fifteen year old partial memories.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_AOD_transmission#4R70W

            This also sounds familiar:

            “A 20,000+ GVW cooler is highly recommended for all vehicles. Breakdown of the transmission fluid often results in “converter shudder” (feels like driving over rumble strips) where converter tries to maintain a steady slip rate during lock-up, but alternates between slipping and grabbing. Frequent fluid changes, especially when used for towing, are the single best method to prevent shudder. Shudder occurs because the torque converter never fully enters “lock-up”, and ends up bouncing in and out of lock-up to slip. This causes the engine to flare up and then down again as the clutch cannot hold back the power of the engine”

          • 0 avatar
            NoGoYo

            It just has very poor stock shift points for a performance oriented vehicle. It’s fine in your plumber’s Econoline van or your dad’s F-150 but you don’t want it in your Mustang GT.

            I feel like the GM 4L60 is much better, but I haven’t driven a RWD GM vehicle yet.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            NoYoGo-

            90s automatic transmissions aren’t going to be great in performance applications, no matter the company.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            That’s not entirely accurate, the Aisin Warner A341E is a fine semi-peformance unit used in:

            1990-2000 Toyota Chaser/Mark II/Cresta 2.5 GT/Tourer V (1JZ-GTE)
            1991-1997 Toyota Soarer 4.0L V8
            1993-1995 Lexus GS 300 3.0L
            1992-1999 Lexus SC 400 GT-L V8 cdn spec.
            1990-1994 Lexus LS 400 4.0L V8
            1988-1990 Toyota Crown Royal Saloon G 4.0 V8
            1991-1995 Toyota Crown Majesta 4.0L V8
            1992-1998 Volvo 2.9L I6 (AW30-40LE)

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toyota_A_transmission#A341E_.2830-41LE.29

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          There are many places that can help you coax more power out of the 4.6L.

  • avatar
    blackcayman

    Bark, of course no one knows better than you that your Boss 302 isn’t really in the same vein as the Hellcat, GT500 or Zr-1s. Those are all max HP versions from the factory. The Boss 302 was designed to be an all around performance car; handling, braking are as important as acceleration.

    So I get your rant – I enjoyed it, even if it was a bit bombastic (read “not boring”).

    I’m sure that most people that frown on your smokey burnout have no idea how it can tear up a road course

  • avatar
    ChiefPontiaxe

    You had me at Rollie Fingers

  • avatar
    iMatt

    I like to approach every car as a machine, not a roller coaster. I couldn’t really give a damn how fast to 60….or 100 a car is. It’s about how it gets there. A traction controlled launch in a slushbox equipped car is about as exciting as rice pudding….even in a Hellcat.

    When 100 MPH comes and goes in less than 10 seconds for some of these cars with no other action taken than a planted foot, where’s the fun in that?

    That’s my opinion.

    Buy what you want but be respectful of everyone else on the road please.

    As an aside, in a few instances, I’ve been laughed at for driving around town in a turquoise Fit. Two asshats actually tried to intimidate me in a jacked up BiGTruckSeries laughing and trying very hard to get under my skin. Ironically, I was on my way to the airport to give a lesson in aerobatics that one of my students had asked for. True performance comes with skill, the lazy types just like to press down on a go fast pedal with their foot while feigning superiority.

    • 0 avatar

      True. Everyone who has driven an underpowered car is that much better for it. Learning to manage how not to let rpms drop, how not to lose momentum, how to take a curve in the best possible fashion and not be afraid of accelerating to get out of it. A big engine eliminates a lot of that, maybe that’s why a person used to smaller cars when they drive a more powerful car like it and adapt, while those who go the opposite route are so appalled.

    • 0 avatar
      iMatt

      I apologize for my tunnel vision regarding automatics, I know it’s just one part of the segment. Nothing wrong with insanely high powered cars for the street, just don’t see the point for ME to ever want one!

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      @iMatt,
      Great comment.

      I do think there are some who only look at the numbers there vehicle produce and not what they can produce behind a wheel.

      This is also what the marketeers chase. The numb minds, who think they are the best because they are told they have the best in class.

  • avatar
    carlisimo

    I appreciate power, but when it comes to new cars with huge hp numbers I’m kind of over it. Horsepower wars were more interesting when 300hp was a lot and not easy to get. After 400 or 500hp, I’m sure you can feel the difference but I don’t care enough to memorize the numbers. I just think of them as, “a lot”.

  • avatar
    raph

    “Craft Beer—what, you’re too good for Budweiser? Why do you hate America?”

    I’m no hipster ( I thought these guys went in for Pabst or something like that ) but even I can agree that Buttwiper is bad for the body and environment.

    People who drink Buttwiper need some serious beer intervention!

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      Where does Michelob Golden Draft fall on the spectrum? Compared to some of the
      “snooty” craft beers I’ve had, it seems to me to be perfect for the Minnesota palate accustomed to mushy-but-somehow-still-tough roast beef and boiled potatoes every week for dinner.

      I suppose it’s only a matter of time before the hipsters switch from PBR and Grain Belt to this alcoholic equivalent of plain lefse, no butter, no sugar.

    • 0 avatar
      mkirk

      Samuel Jackson…It’s good MotherF&^(in Beer!

  • avatar
    karlbonde

    Yellow Mustang = lots of attention due to the color, and the same would be true if it were a bright yellow Prius. The bright color of the car simply exacerbates the amount of attention you will receive, which in turn increases the reason to be defensive of your choice of automobile, regardless of its POWER or gas mileage.

    I drive a black ’93 Mercedes 500E, and although the exterior paint is shitty (due to 256K miles), I still sometimes get the “you are a rich asshole” vibe from some people, but mostly from co-workers who have never seen the condition of the car up-close.

    Nonetheless, a black sedan can fade into the background quite easily. Therefore, I never have to defend my gas-guzzling 326HP V8 car because nobody pays any attention to another anonymous grey-scale colored sedan.

    Bright colored vehicles, as well as unusually small or large vehicles receive more attention, period. The need to justify said vehicle is only necessary if you pick out one of these eye-catching vehicles: if you don’t like that sort of attention, then pick out a grey-scale sports car, or perhaps a colorful sedan instead.

    Lastly, I bet the author did not feel it necessary to defend his “power” choice while he owned his Pontiac G8 GT.

  • avatar
    WheelMcCoy

    This was a fun satirical piece along the lines of “You can never be too rich, too thin, or have too much horse power.”

    After mulling it over for a bit, I realized you can be too rich, if you’re Warren Buffet. You can be too thin, if you are anorexic. And yes, you can have too much horse power, if you don’t have the brakes (and brains) to match. :)

  • avatar
    Hummer

    There’s zero fun in waiting for an engine to spin up to get moving. The more power on tap the better, when I want to be somewhere, I want to be there immediately. Having more power is simply the safest bet when your on a 2+ lane road, you see an opening, you take it; no bull about having “fun” spinning up to 4k rpm to do it.

    Having to drive something with low HP is miserable in every conceivable situation that has been previously enacted with sufficiently high(er) power.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    There’s zero fun in waiting for an engine to spin up to get moving. The more power on tap the better, when I want to be somewhere, I want to be there immediately. Having more power is simply the safest bet when your on a 2+ lane road, you see an opening, you take it; no bull about having “fun” spinning up to 4k rpm to do it.

    Having to drive something with low HP is miserable in every conceivable situation that has been previously enacted with sufficiently high(er) power.

    Now this is if I just want to have fun, if I just want to cruise, hell 20-30lbs/HP is fine.

    • 0 avatar

      We will agree to disagree and you will realize there are other ways to see it. Anyways, who says you got to wit, knock down a gear, and see the little engine roar. Helps if it’s a manual of course, and helps too when you know wht you are doing, knocking down the car 2 or 3 gears manually and accelerating just a bit and fast each time to slower the car and not blow the engine is quite fun. And of course some engines love to rev, even if that does not mean super high rev limits (like Honda’s). Krhodes1 explained perfectly the feeling with his Abarth. BTW, Fiat engines are wonderful for that as are VW’s and other Euro makers. Ford is not bad either. GM is mostly too square, but again, appropriate hardware, a driver who knows how to drive a small car, you have real fun at your disposal and the fact the engine isn’t big means your mistakes will be debited to your account.

      Again, see your point, just pointing out there are other ways so “low HP is miserable in every conceivable situation” is just wrong. Miserable to you maybe, not to a lot, but a lot, of people the world over.

      Blanket statements rarely hold water Hummer, just saying.

      • 0 avatar
        kuman

        I’ll second that marcello… right to the point. 100hp/260nm on an SUV is already too big, pointless, too thristy and tad too many if what was once 2 lane road is now spliced into 3 lanes with motor cycle cramming in between ever lanes. while the average speed continualy drop from 40-50kmh down to 12kmh.

        My daily traffic commutes scenery looks like this : http://backthelight.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/strangelandsstrangelife.jpg?w=680&h=510

        Im really eyeing the japanesse K car, too bad we cant afford it yet due to the stupid import tax.

        • 0 avatar
          Hummer

          Do you per chance live in India, I mean seriously where would I have to worry about dropping from 25-30 MPH to 7 MPH?

          My biggest problem is cruising at 78 MPH and some jagoff doesn’t know how to use the left lane, causing me to drop down to 70MPH. And yes that’s in a 3.5 Ton truck with over 300HP and over 350 lbs torque.

          Why if waste is so bad to you are you going to get something as big as a Kei car, why not stick to mopeds, otherwise your purchase is too big, too wasteful, and too thirsty.

          And motorcyles that try to crowd between lanes are far and few, and the few that do have a very quick near death, or actual death experience.

          • 0 avatar
            Dan

            “I mean seriously where would I have to worry about dropping from 25-30 MPH to 7 MPH?”

            In every major city in America for at least the couple hours a day that people are going to and from work.

            Ironically, those cities are where nearly all of the jobs that support a nice car are. Thousands upon thousands of Ultimate Drivers, not signalling while riding their Burgerkingring tuned brakes to the cubicle every morning.

            Meanwhile, mountain switchback country is mostly third owner trucks and FWD shitboxes owned by people who can barely put gas in them.

            Weird world.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            @Dan

            This is totally spot on. Good job.

          • 0 avatar
            kuman

            Actualy i live in Jakarta, Indonesia. the traffic here is so very bad indeed. The reason I stay off moped is 1st, security, 2nd u need aircon unless u wanted to show up on meetings looks like preserved vegetables. I’ve been thinking on mopeds honestly, if the weather is slightly cooler, i would definitely done so.

            I felt bad on wasting my money on fuel while my car crawls endlessly… 100HP is too much for a cart with air conditioning moving at jogging pace.

  • avatar
    spreadsheet monkey

    Had to double check I was reading TTAC and not the “Colby Dousche” parody column on sniffpetrol.com

  • avatar

    Budweiser wasn’t good enough for America, so it was purchased by the germans.

    Now, back to my awesome craft beer, you commy.

  • avatar
    Jacob

    The “less is more” crowd is right. Drive a car with a small displacement high revving engine on a public road, such as a Subaru BRZ, Honda S2000 or a Mazda Miata, and you feel like a race car driver usually without getting any tickets. This feels a lot better than lugging a car with a 7.0 liter V8 engine at 60mph.

    • 0 avatar
      superchan7

      Even some of the tighter mountain roads can really put a buzzkill on your high-powered car. Last week I drove a road that really was made for an MX-5. I had too much power in my 2.7L Cayman, and even more so with my 355.

    • 0 avatar
      mkirk

      I have a fistful of tickets from my Mazdaspeed Miata days. I have driven an S2000 and am quite sure I could duplicate the feat. Then again, I had a stack from my 88 Ranger when I was a kid.

  • avatar
    ktm

    I am in the there is never too much power crowd…..to a point. I have a car that has a similar power to weight ratio as the Hellcat (400 whp in 2400 lbs). I don’t speed on the freeway as I don’t find it all the exhilarating. However, I do love me some acceleration.

    Stop lights, on ramps, passing, etc. are all chances for me to enjoy the massive push that comes with all that torque/hp in a lightweight car. I can smoke my tires (245s with an LSD diff) in 1st and 2nd and have them spin in 3rd. Leaving 40 ft long dual marks on the road is obnoxious fun. Do I do it all the time and when around people? Nope, but it is great stress relief.

    Saying that, there is such a thing as way too much power. If it makes the car basically undriveable then the line has been crossed.

  • avatar
    golden2husky

    My answer is easy…I drive a C7 and a hybrid. And come to think of it, the C7 could be improved..by more power!

    And you can have too much of some things..like money or snowstorms…but its hard to get to that point.

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