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Old 06-23-2010, 05:02 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by MetroMPG View Post
The other great thing about lighter weight is most auto journalists like the way the lighter cars drive, particularly if they're tuned to feel responsive/sporty. The older ones probably remember what light cars felt like, but for the greenhorns, it may be a pleasant surprise (and they'll hopefully pass that on to their readers).
I remember the original Insight going down quite well in road tests - the light weight (and the shape, obviously) were very good for economy, but the weight also contributed to a car that felt very sprightly and easy to throw around - although far from a performance car it still maintained the element of "fun" that's so hard to quantify in any other way than experiencing it yourself.

Originally Posted by Piwoslaw View Post
The now discontinued Daewoo Tico (Fina) weighed 690kg. So did the Fiat Cinquecento, but its successor, the Seicento, weighed about 50kg more.

The 3L version of the VW Lupo was an attempt at weight reduction, using light metals and other tricks to reduce the weight from 890-980kg to 830kg.
The Cinquecento was very light, but then there was very little car there so you can see where the savings were made! I still think the Smart is impressive, given how much modern technology is packed into one and how good quality the interior feels despite being at the lowest end of the market. The Elise is better still, though again it's easy to see how it's so light, given how little car you actually get! A friend used to own an original Elise S1 and you can totally understand how it only weighed 720kg...

The Audi A2 is another lightweight favourite of mine. Clever engineering - (aerodynamic) aluminium body and light weight allowed smaller engines. 1.4 petrol weighs less than 900kg (brilliant for the usually podgy Audi brand) and still under 1000kg for the 1.4 diesel with a heavier block and more ancilliaries. I expect the "3L" version of the A2 with the 1.2 turbodiesel was pretty light too...

Originally Posted by RobertSmalls View Post
So what is the CR-Z doing at 2664lbs?
No idea, but having sat in one I can see how it weighs as much as it does. It's a quality product, there's a lot of interior around you, comfy seats, and when you pop the bonnet there's a lot of stuff under there. Certainly doesn't look as spacious as the original Insight's engine bay. Not to mention, the whole thing is steel rather than aluminium. I guess we should be thankful that it's still on par for the class, and that it's affordable enough.

In the UK, the base CR-Z costs the same as the 1st gen Insight did when it was new - 17,000 or thereabouts. Not bad for ten years more technology.

Me? I'd happily have either Insight or CR-Z. Both, preferably.
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