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An audiophile and petrolhead's journal: Buckle up! - Page 220

post #3286 of 7473

Will we see a diesel-electric road car or truck at some point, where a small diesel exists solely to generate power to keep the batteries charged?

post #3287 of 7473
IMHO, we should be seeing much more diesel in the US than we do now. Diesel has a bad rep in the US as being slow, noisy and smelly. We can thank Peterbuilt, Kenworth, Mack, Freightliner, GM & Ford for that perception. Of course, Europe already knows that modern diesel engines are not slow, noisy or smelly - but we in the US are not even being given the chance to learn. The only ones selling diesel passenger cars in the US are the Germans, and only VW has been serious about it. BMW sticks a toe in and then pulls it out, and even Mercedes brought over very few.

Supposedly, that is beginning to change. There is a 2013 diesel Chevy Cruze, Mercedes again has more diesel models and for 2014 Mazda has a VERY interesting twin-turbo diesel engine that I really wish they would hurry up and launch in the US!



post #3288 of 7473
Hmm - I guess I really didn't answer your question - but I don't think we will see the diesel-electric hybrid (at least in the US) until the diesel engine itself is seen as not just viable - but an improvement over gasoline.
post #3289 of 7473

Around here, diesel is about 40 cents a gallon more expensive than regular unleaded. I wonder how many regular Joes will be able to overlook that? That Mazda engine does look quite promising....and the torque curve of a  diesel is nice at typical American traffic speeds.

post #3290 of 7473
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by billybob_jcv View Post

OK - since we're talking about McLaren, I have to ask about the P1. I'm really struggling with the point of including the electric motor. The car has a 727 bhp V-8 and a 176 bhp electric motor. The batteries can run the car all electric for.... 12 miles @ an average speed of 30 MPH! I know someone is going to say "the electric motor gives it great off the line performance" - OK - but you're telling me that a car as light as the P1 (if you delete the batteries, electric motor and special hybrid clutch & transmission) that has "only" 727 bhp isn't still going to go like slick snot?? The only reason I can give for this car is that McLaren doesn't want to be the only kid in class without a hybrid supercar.

You nailed it, right there. There's nothing revolutionary here, it isn't even the "coolest" hybrid hypercar, that honor goes to the LaFerrari with its KERS braking. The P1 weighs 3100lbs, so compared to the F1 it's a plumper, and the engine isn't much more than a beefed up version of the 3.8 in the 12C. That's not all bad, it's a good engine, but that's quite a step down from the ungodly V12 in its legendary stablemate. Then there's the seating, no central driving position and room for 2 passengers? Tons of nanny equipment to pollute the actual driving experience? I'm not impressed and won't be buying one. It's a step back in almost every measurable way. They have the blueprint to make the ultimate car, it's parked in their garage. How do you screw that up?
Edited by Magick Man - 6/2/13 at 8:33pm
post #3291 of 7473
Thread Starter 
Why have I not been talking about more of the cars? Frankly I've not had the chance to drive them, or at least haven't had the opportunity to get much of an impression. I will say this, classic vettes, like the C2 Stingrays, they... umm... look a lot better than they drive. redface.gif Sure, they're fast enough, but they handle like river barges, if I have to be honest. The restomod `67 we got from the auction, it wasn't done very well, but it's my fault really. It clearly said "Corvette C4 suspension and brakes", and neither are able to handle the performance this car puts to the ground. So, those are being scrapped and replaced with Jim Meyer suspension and larger Wilwoods. The DeLorean? Well, it's a problem too, because we need to replace every hose, belt, gasket, and seal. Why? Most are rotten, or getting there, because the car sat for decades without being run and they dried out. Anyway, while we're at it we're going to work on some extra kick for it, maybe in the way of a small procharger. We'll see. All of this takes time and we've been doing work for a couple of local car museums, and some long-time customers to boot, so things are moving a little more slowly for my personal projects.

My buying has come to a halt too, but that's because few other things are catching my eye. Except the Zonda... and maybe a little something from Sweden. wink.gif
post #3292 of 7473
I am firmly convinced that Diesel is more expensive than gasoline because many gas stations no longer have diesel. They don't carry diesel because there aren't many diesel cars. There is NO reason for diesel to be more expensive than gas - in fact, it should be cheaper. When I was a kid, diesel was always cheaper than gas. It's my understanding that the diesel used now is a different form than it used to be (lower sulfur) and that increased the cost of refining. It is also claimed that the worldwide demand for heating oil also drives up the price of diesel. I think the federal tax on diesel is also higher than on gas. But, I still think those are mostly excuses - if a significant portion of the cars switched to diesel, there would be a significantly lower demand for gasoline, and that would free the crude oil and the refineries to be used for diesel. I think that even with the low-sulfur formulation of modern diesel, it is most likely still much cheaper for a refinery to produce diesel than gasoline.

I commute 130 miles (round trip) per day. Even at 30 MPG (what I get now), I spend a ton on gas every week. It is going to be a long time before an all-electric vehicle is going to have enough range for me. Hybrids are good at in-town driving, but the gas mileage advantage of a hybrid pretty much goes away during freeway cruising. The Prius gets decent highway mileage because it has a tiny, gutless engine. That's the wrong direction for where I want things to go. If there is some @sshat doing 50 in front of me (probably in a Prius), I want to know I can hit the gas and blow by at the first gap in traffic I can find. I've got places I need to be! wink.gif
post #3293 of 7473
Classic Corvettes handle like crap? Well duh... biggrin.gif

Every one I have ever been in creaked, groaned & rattled it's way down the road - from both the suspension and the interior. Then again, so has every classic Mustang & Camaro I've ever been in. I think the C3 Corvettes were probably the worst - marginal designs combined with poor build quality do not make for a tight feeling car!
post #3294 of 7473
Thread Starter 
Tesla claims they're working on an EV sedan that gets 200 miles on a charge and costs under $40k, that could be attractive.
post #3295 of 7473
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by billybob_jcv View Post

Classic Corvettes handle like crap? Well duh... biggrin.gif

Every one I have ever been in creaked, groaned & rattled it's way down the road - from both the suspension and the interior. Then again, so has every classic Mustang & Camaro I've ever been in. I think the C3 Corvettes were probably the worst - marginal designs combined with poor build quality do not make for a tight feeling car!

I'll admit, most of the muscle cars I've driven have been modded, my `70 `cuda is a good example, but I thought `vettes were a little more agile in stock form. My mechanic told me what to expect but I didn't listen to him. rolleyes.gif
post #3296 of 7473
Quote:
Originally Posted by billybob_jcv View Post

I am firmly convinced that Diesel is more expensive than gasoline because many gas stations no longer have diesel. They don't carry diesel because there aren't many diesel cars. There is NO reason for diesel to be more expensive than gas - in fact, it should be cheaper. When I was a kid, diesel was always cheaper than gas. It's my understanding that the diesel used now is a different form than it used to be (lower sulfur) and that increased the cost of refining. It is also claimed that the worldwide demand for heating oil also drives up the price of diesel. I think the federal tax on diesel is also higher than on gas. But, I still think those are mostly excuses - if a significant portion of the cars switched to diesel, there would be a significantly lower demand for gasoline, and that would free the crude oil and the refineries to be used for diesel. I think that even with the low-sulfur formulation of modern diesel, it is most likely still much cheaper for a refinery to produce diesel than gasoline.
 

In Aus Diesel prices are a lot stabler then Petrol. So at times its cheaper and at times its more expensive ^^ My parents have an Diesel VW, its suprisingly smooth and has a lot of torque 

post #3297 of 7473
In stock form, I think the newer vettes are MUCH more agile than the older ones. And, you can't forget that it's all relative. Compared to a '55 Chevy Belair or a Country Squire Wagon, the Corvette handles like a dream!
post #3298 of 7473

Magick, does your F1 GTR have the ground effects chassis like the standard F1, or is it flat bottomed like the racing F1 GTR's.

 

Just curious.

post #3299 of 7473
Quote:
Originally Posted by billybob_jcv View Post

In stock form, I think the newer vettes are MUCH more agile than the older ones. And, you can't forget that it's all relative. Compared to a '55 Chevy Belair or a Country Squire Wagon, the Corvette handles like a dream!

When I was ~13 years old, my uncle's friend had a 1978 Corvette, and I pestered him into taking me out for a ride in it. At the time, the engine in it was still stock, so it wasn't terribly fast (by today's standards), but he had very wide tires on it all the way around, and he was going through turns marked at 35mph at 70-75mph....no body roll, but you felt every single ripple in the road....there was no give in that suspension at all. I do remember hearing squeaks and rattles, too.

post #3300 of 7473
Thread Starter 
Last week I got this:
Quote:
Dear *******,

Thank you for your inquiry.

Sorry, but we only produce the cars with paddle shift gearboxes. May I ask why you are averse to them? Paddle shifters are much faster and more reliable.


Best Regards,

Andreas Petre
Director - Sales

Fun, do they understand the nature of "fun"? And, "reliability"? That's what the supercar market is about now? RELIABILITY?!? confused.gif It seems the Swedes are becoming German... So I sent back an email telling them I wasn't interested, because I don't want to buy more cars with DCTs, automated manuals, or whatever else they want to call them, and quite frankly I was disappointed that true sports car enthusiasts have seemingly been forgotten.

I thought, "well, that's that" and went about my business. This morning I receive another email:
Quote:
Dear *******,

I would like to discuss this with you on the telephone. I may have a solution for you.

Please call me at +46 431 45 ** **


Andreas Petre
Director - Sales

So I call, WTH right? After introductions and some pleasantries, he essentially explains that they never designed a MT for the Agera because they thought there wouldn't be any interest (I don't buy that), however they now see that the omission "may have been short-sighted". (Personally, I believe it was done to comply with stupid emission and safety standards, but I digress.) Although there's nothing he can do about an Agera with a stick, he does have a CCX at the factory (pre-owned w/ 1700km on it) that is now in CCXR trim (updated aero package) that can be brought up to current model spec to run on E85 biofuel, and it does have a MT. In fact, I found out that any Koenigsegg that's been built in the last 5 years can be upgraded like that (are you kidding me?). So, I then asked the obvious question, if the gearbox blows up can I get a replacement, or am I screwed? He said, "yes, we guarantee a replacement".

Essentially the CCX has a 2-year factory warranty, is refreshed to new condition, and after further modification and testing can be shipped out ASAP. Does it meet DOT and EPA specs? Yep. How much? Less than a new Agera R, quite a bit less. He also assured me that several other parties were interested and if I wanted it I "need to act now". I don't believe he was bluffing there, so I did, and we worked out the business part of it. It's this one, BTW, it had been in a few photo shoots before it was originally sold.






While talking I did mention the noise, Koenigseggs I've seen in videos seem very loud inside the cockpit. He told me it's mostly exaggerated due to the way the audio is set up in the cars (not sure I buy that), but they can add some additional damping to cut engine noise by several dB, but at the expense of adding ~10kg. So I ask if they can just remove the stereo, navigation, and speakers to make up for it. He laughed, "absolutely". Why would a person want a sound system in a car like that, it ruins part of the experience. Sat Nav? I'll just add a mount for my phone. biggrin.gif Anyhow, it can't be said that I'm not doing my part to stimulate the global economy.
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