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Old 02-06-2018, 12:17 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Dream with me - your perfect car

I was thinking today about what would be the perfect car for me. Currently thinking along these lines:



I'd probably want a small 2 seater hybrid soft top, a la S600. Make it out of aluminum so I don't have to worry about salt. Give it a fuel-sipping de-tuned 3 cylinder you can drive across the country with (but not so small you start to lose efficiency), and a monstrous electric "assist" with 2-300 lb-ft of torque. ~15-25 miles of plug-in electric range would be icing on the cake, if it doesn't add too much weight. Front or rear wheel drive, I don't mind, so long as its power reaches the ground.

I would consider a very minimal electric power steering and compact heat pump, but these aren't necessary. Ensure there's adequate frame strength for a hitch to pull a small cargo trailer or tear-drop camper for the handful of times per year I need to carry more than a passenger, groceries or a carry-on bag.

In the cabin, minimal electronics. I don't need navigation or satellite-streamed commercials on a 17" screen in the center console, and I'll turn on my own headlights and windshield wipers, thank you. I'd probably want just instrumentation - speedo, RPM, temp (that isn't a dummy gauge), battery level, assist/regen, lights and signals. A radio with a knob would be nice.

I would probably own this car for the rest of my life, or until gasoline isn't available anymore.

What's your fantasy vehicle?


Last edited by Ecky; 02-06-2018 at 12:25 PM..
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Old 02-06-2018, 12:28 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I bought my dream car a few years ago.



The only improvements needed is a taller 6th gear, VTEC to kick in at 4,500 instead of 6,000, and a little more sound dampening.
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Old 02-06-2018, 12:39 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redpoint5 View Post
I bought my dream car a few years ago.

The only improvements needed is a taller 6th gear, VTEC to kick in at 4,500 instead of 6,000, and a little more sound dampening.
It's nice to hear you're very happy with it, but there's nothing else you'd change? Maybe a more modern engine (DI, higher compression, forced induction?), mechanical linkages, AWD, a hybrid system that boosts low-end torque and economy, maybe some all electric range? Shed some weight with redundant features or aluminum/carbon panels? Stiffer body to reduce roll? Maybe a different suspension geometry (not macphereson), or something like they've done in the new Type R to eliminate torque steer? Perhaps have the rear as a hatch instead, so you can fold down the seats and sleep in it or move furniture?

Admittedly I've never driven a TSX.

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Old 02-06-2018, 02:17 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I just mentioned the minor complaints I have of the vehicle that could have been addressed using the technology they had at the time.

Sure, the car could be made of carbon nanotubes and be powered by a fusion reactor and travel by warping the fabric of space/time, but I wanted to restrain my dreams to something achievable. The car is fantastic. It's fast enough, it's comfortable enough, it handles well enough, gets good enough fuel economy... the exterior is even timeless in that it is not pretentious. It has a 0.27 coefficient of drag, which is still impressive by today's standards. The 6-speed gearbox is buttery smooth and a dream to row.

Much of the other things you mentioned are found in my Prius plug-in. It's a technological marvel and a fantastic vehicle in its own right, but still leaves much to be desired by way of performance, comfort, and general motoring bliss. It does too much for the driver, and yet not enough.

In my view, the perfect vehicle either demands your full attention to proficiently operate, or none of your attention by way of autonomous driving. That is to say, it is totally engaging, or can totally be ignored so that you can engage other interests.
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Old 02-06-2018, 02:27 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I have come to conclude there cannot be a perfect car. A car is a tool and there is no such thing as a multi-tool that is the perfect tool for the job. So we need lots of different tools to have the perfect tool for the job at hand and that job changes all the time. So what might be better is to not own the tools at all but rent them for the specific job. The problem with that is people take care of the tools they own but treat rentals like crap. So my ultimate car? I suppose would be the Pacifica plug in hybrid. If I could only have one car I suppose that would be the one by wanted. If I could improve it, I would engineer enough suspension, cooling, etc to give it a 1500 pound payload and a 6500 pound tow rating.
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Old 02-06-2018, 02:37 PM   #6 (permalink)
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What would be a vehicle you'd like to own, one that could be built reasonably with today's technology, if not one that fits all uses perfectly?

Or, something a manufacturer could reasonably bring to market, which you would be tempted to buy?
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Old 02-06-2018, 02:38 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I'm going on a road trip to Sacramento Thursday in a Pacifica plug-in. Looking forward to seeing how it does.

Exactly my thoughts on a vehicle Hersbird. It's a tool, and jobs require different tools.

Not all people treat others stuff poorly. Perhaps in the future there will be a rating system to vett those people who are likely to treat things well. Many online service providers have rating systems like this, such as Ebay's buyer and seller rating, or Uber's driver and passenger rating, or Airbnb's host and guest rating. Compiling this info would be useful for determining if someone is trustworthy, kind of like a FICO score for a person's propensity to be a decent human being. People with low decency scores could still rent as long as they put a down a hefty deposit. Those with "platinum" decency ratings might not even be required to place a deposit.
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Old 02-06-2018, 03:15 PM   #8 (permalink)
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My ideal car weighs next to nothing, has electric drive, tires that can't go flat, virtually no aerodynamic drag, all kinds of gadgets and long range radio.
It can take a bit of rough terrain if I'd happen to encounter that.
Even though it is a convertible I'd never get wet.
And it is quite safe; I doubt it has ever been crash tested but it seems highly unlikely to kill you in a crash with another car.

Maybe it does not look very practical, but let's say it is made for the job.
Best of all, it is out there for anyone to pick up! Who would stop me?

Ah well, here goes...



Just hooking into the discussion that a car is a tool and therefore not perfect to add a few extra dimensions a car can be not perfect in

A Tesla Roadster would do fine too.
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Old 02-06-2018, 03:23 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hersbird View Post
So what might be better is to not own the tools at all but rent them for the specific job. The problem with that...
The other problem with that is the time & hassle spent doing the actual rental. For instance, my friends rented a small-ish car for a vacation trip last fall. To do that, they had to drive ~1 hour into town, deal with rental company, drive back home (because the trip was in the opposite direction), then do it again to return the car. Plus pay for parking their truck at the airport while they were gone.

For something they do once a year (if that), it might be acceptable. If it's a couple times a month, though?
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Old 02-06-2018, 03:30 PM   #10 (permalink)
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