Monday, December 20, 2010

Lawyers of the world: UNITE and start filing law suits against the city hall!

Why?
The next time you get your car out on the road, just check the conditions of the roads you are driving in.
We are taxed to pay for the roads building and maintenance. The problem is that build quality is normally bad and maintenance even worse.

Every car sold today has ABS. ABS stands for Anti-Lock Braking System. What it does is assist you when you brake harder than the conditions permit. Meaning? Meaning that either if you brake too hard, or your tires grip too bad (because of whatever the reason is... rain, snow, oil, polished pavement, bad quality rubber), the car will start puffing your brakes on and off very rapidly, maintaining the wheels turning and allowing you to steer away and/or reduce the otherwise skid distance.
Is it the best way to brake? No... but for 99% of the drivers out there is FAR better than them braking to a full stop. This is why it is now standard with every car.

The problem:
ABS is a kinda stupid system... good, but stupid. It just interrupts the braking force enough to keep the wheel spinning little enough to steer. It doesn't consider the harmonics of the car's suspension. The result is that if you activate the ABS in a bumpy road, the system will get confused because locking the wheel in the air will render it to a full stop and the abs will "ease on" resulting in even less braking force while the wheel touches the ground. Also, if initiating a brake while driving through a road bump, will trigger the ABS and it will keep on until the car stops or you lift off and re-press the brake pedal.
This is why ABS is so bad in a dirt road.

The conclusion:
You pay tax for DECENTLY built and maintained roads. You get crap instead.
But when you try to brake to avoid an accident or a run-over and you car just goes crazy on you because of poor road conditions, it's time to sue and maybe this starts being taken into account.

Having no responsibility or consideration for the road is inhuman and disrespectful. Making them pay and while having this attitude is a severe offense and asks for PUNISHMENT.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Just like I've been posting and debating for years now... battery electrics and hybrids are a stupid unsupported mania.

Everyone that knows me, is fairly clarified about my vision of electric cars and hybrids.

It's a stupid trend!

Hybrids create more impact than normal cars because the engine consumes more (especially when pulling, because of the lack of ENGINE... take a look at this video here) and even worse than that, they use batteries that create huge environmental impact in both creation and recycling (read the studies bellow).
The fully electrical has 2 categories:
1 - The stupid electrical car than draws energy from rechargeable batteries. These cars are heavier than normal (batteries are heavy) making it less energy efficient... and have more battery than a hybrid increasing the environmental impact... and then they have to be recharged using the electrical power grid... how is that energy created? Yup... more impact. And even worse... if most cities are having electrical shortage problems, guess what would be the result if every smart ass out there went to tesla on nissan and by a fully electrical "thing".
2 - The real future of mass automotive. The Hydrogen Fuel cell hybrid. Like THIS VIDEO HERE. It's dull but makes sense and I love it in that manner.

Now for the reality check on all those Hybrid fans out there, that by buying these crappy cars are creating a trend... making most (once great automobile manufacturers) create pure shit and end wonderful projects to divert funds (yup I'm talking about Honda and Toyota)... please READ THESE LINKS BELLOW:

Gizmag
Hybridcars.org
CNWResearch

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Big brother is geting ready to watch US ALL!

Another great article from GIZMAG... but this one brings some bad news.
Take a peek HERE.

Humm. Looks like that by 2013, I'll be installing some fake license plates and start wearing a mask while driving.
Not that I don't like the principle of this thing... I just don't think it will be used to improve road safeness and rather be used to GET MORE MONEY from those perfectly stupid and scientifically unsupported speeding tickets.

Drive clearance according to traffic and weather conditions, seat belt wearing, etc etc are all good features.
Speeding however is a stupid definition. Those that state this should be put into a physics class for the rest of their life to try and learn something .

I can go 50km/h on a fiat punto with no ABS and with budget tires on the pouring rain and be PERFECTLY legal and NOT SPEEDING... but if I do the same thing on full packed Volvo... or a Porsche at 80 or 100, then I'm the messenger of death, son of the devil, responsible for the radiations levels and for Bush re-election... and should be crucified.

SPEED TRAPS Is just the best name for the thing. It's a trap! It's the way governments found out how to increase tax... without having to go public on it.
I recommend THIS topgear video on that subject.

The true killer and often overlooked is Excessive speed. This is not easy to define... but the above example IS VERY CLEAR about it. I f was in the PUNTO I would be in Excessive Speed...
Excessive Speed kills, murders and it can be as simple as a BAD driver getting the car out of the parking lot. As a bad driver... he or she should not be driving... even at 5km/h... making it UNSAFE at ANY speed.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Asterio vs AUDI's eTron and VW's BlueSport

If you are looking for the Asterio Roadster website, try this link.

Although I wouldn't buy an electric car... and definitely would never ever buy an electric Sports car.
And Diesel.. well no thanks!
The market, however, does... and so, they are comming!
I decided to take a good look on the Asterio's competition.

So let's meet our contestants:
1st - Asterio Roadster




2nd - VW BlueSport



3rd - AUDI e-Tron


Now lets just brainstorm on this:

1st - The design
They all look like brothers! The BlueSport looks less Audi than the Asterio... but they do share lines!
This is a clearly intelligent move from Asterio. Different enough to notice, but not enough to fall out of the "audi buyer" target... or maybe this design has an even deeper commercial purpose.

2nd - TheChassis
Here, and considering the fact that the Asterio's generis is F1, It's the CLEAR winner. No doubts. It's however not a beater because of some very very clever tricks audi just didn't let go... until now.
The BlueSports and ETron will probably share the same chassis platform (it's not clear to me as the drive train is so much different.. but the VAG modularity concepts should come through).
Asterio offers a MR solution for each and every engine.
VW offers MR for the BlueSport.
AUDI offers a AWD very clever Torque Vectoring solution... the Asterio might be in trouble here. I'm sure that nothing beats the steering feedback purity and on the limit handling that the Asterio provides with this kind of chassis, but the handling of grip cornering and over the grip limit recovery of the Audi might me something that's completely new and ultimately better.
The torque vectoring solution is an EXTREME solution to what the Nissan GTR active differentials are. Each wheel will put the necessary power to the ground depending on how you need it and how the pavement / chassis can apply-it. Being electrical however, it will have instant and maximum torque (this might just be pure dynamite). It should corner like on rails... and this is a real problem... Jeremy Clarkson's neck didn't handle the immense G's the GTR produced around the race track... how will it DIGEST this Torque Vectoring... better stay away from this one Jezza!

3rd - The Engines
Here the Asterio has a good positioning. You can buy an electric Asterio, 2 different Diesel Asterios and a very very impressive V8 11.000rpm Asterio.
VAG however is not entirely sleeping. The VW BlueSports is the Diesel offer and the Audi ETron the Electrical one... as for the TRUE sports models, well the VAG group offers the R8 but the price scale will probably just make people shift to the much better chassis suited Asterio.

Now on the Diesel front-end, Asterio Offers the 2.2 IL4 500nm and the 3.0 V6 700nm torque ... against what seems to be a unique offer of a 2.0 IL4 350nm from VW. Seems like the Asteiro has it fully covered and with a huge comfort margin.

On the Electric front-end, Asterio does have a problem. Audi is offering the Etron with 680nm electric engines... 680nm EACH... and since it's a 4 wheel car.. you have 4 engines! That's a combined 2720nm! Better start thinking of titanium roads and tungsten tires cause this thing will melt rubber and deform the tarmac. The Asterio is offering a very modest 440nm single engine driving the rear wheels.

4rth - The price Tags
The Asterio is offering the electric option at around 40k (admitting a 5k benefit on the Portuguese market for electrical vehicles)
The Asterio Diesels will come around 55k and 80k
The VW BlueSport will cost around the same price as an S2000 so target around 50k in the Portuguese market. Ok... 5K cheaper, but with 150nm less of torque. And being a Diesel... torque matters!
The Audi... hummmm ... 150k usd... so you better target around 170 to 180k euro in portugal! That's 4 times the Asterio's price... but again.. it's more that 4 times the engines too :)

Conclusions:
The Asterio is FAR better as a Diesel offering
The Asterio is much more affordable as an electric offering, but not even close dynamical (under grip limit).
The Asterio is a much better choice as a petrol offering (PERSONAL opinion completely BIASED toward my engine definitions)... but this is a different league.. for a different discussion.

So I'm very happy with this project. Good Job

People's biased opinions on car brands. Lack of knowledge, ignorance or plain stupidity?

Yesterday, I participated in a Facebook conversation that caught fire very easily.
After a cool down I decided to try and understand how and why should one of the participants have such a biased opinion when he clearly had no knowledge foundations to support his claims.
The "he's just a kid" justifications immediately popped in my mind (and by that I'm not targeting age, but rather behaviour)... I'm still convinced that I was right about this case...but latter I decided to think a little more about that issue and I realized that more mature people are also BIASED like hell... and so I had to try to explain this instead of just starting the distribution of "I'm an absolute ass" sticker on peoples foreheads. I came up with a theory that I post here... expecting some commenting.

Now evidently you have people that bias just to chock others (and I reckon to be like that more often that I should... but people that know me understands a certain amount of comedy in my biased caustic comments). I'm talking about Jeremy Clarkson for instance, and in the other extreme "Captain Slow"... the mean in the TopGear show is "The Hamster". These guys are biased because they have a strong opinion and have to run a show that must be both entertaining and amusing.

But what about the rest of the world. Well, most people just don't have enough knowledge to understand... so they glue their hearts to a brand and stick with it no matter how stupid it's creations are.

It's however important that most people understand that MONEY talks... and it talks pretty loud in the Automotive industry.

Most BIG manufacturers produce dull products (in the pure motor sports and adrenalized opinion). But they do so because they have a huge infrastructure to maintain and can't afford to lose sales... sales that are made by people that really don't know anything about cars. So, evidently, and putting safety & quality improvements apart, they build what YOU buy... and if you have little or no knowledge about cars you will buy a dull product and be extremely happy with it.

Then you have some of these manufacturers that have a racing pedigree and continue to build some very impressive products.. but still in small production (compared to the rest of the line) and always in a compromised design. The Peugeot RCZ for instance. This car comes from the same people that created the brilliant 205GTI! But back on the RCZ, not the best chassis, but not that bad either, a fun little engine, but SHOULD do much much better. Still, its a product that will make more sells due to it's design then anything else... so, evidently, considering that the buyers no nothing about what they are buying except that it's beautiful, they fine-tuned the chassis toward a dull but very-safe-to-the-bad-driver UNDER-STEER behaviour. But don't get fooled about these facts, with small simple changes this car is a real performer... and it does reflect Peugeot's racing heritage.. but in metropolitan era.
Sure it's not half the car a 206gti was... but again, today's drivers are not ever near a quarter of what they were back then and politicians and environmentalists have quadrupled since that time!

And then comes the small manufacturers than have the freedom to create whatever they want because they have a small structure to maintain... And even these, went entering a competitive market have to compromise (see my other article about the brilliant little ASTERIO ROADSTER).

In between the Big with a racing heritage and the small, you can place most FORMER sports car producers... But these didn't resist the market squeeze that brilliantly and most got brought by the big groups. Some (if not all) as a way to "buy" racing pedigree that they didn't have... for example VW buying Audi, Lamborghini and Bugatti.

Now for the market... the humans buying the cars. Look around you and and try to place the people you know in the following drawers:
1 - knows about cars
2 - knows what they need on a car and looks at it as a transportation tool
3 - has no idea but likes cars
4 - doesn't give a damn and has cars... because

These drawers should be filled according to these division rules:
1 - A VERY HARD TO FIND 1 maybe 2%
2 - 20 to 30%
3 - 20 to 30%
4 - 38 to 59%

Now It's a little easier to understand why the market is getting duller by the minute. Most drivers on the road don't know how to drive, don't care about it.. an this attitude is a reflection of how they buy a car.
So big manufacturers have to follow this trends in order to survive. This is also the major reason for so much safety improvements in cars and weight resulting from it.
It's a really disappointing fact of this industry, Active Safety is being sacrificed in order to improve Passive Safety. It's a nonsense evolutionary factor that describes today's car industry... car are becoming big metal condoms. You have worse handling because of all that extra weight... and eventually you might crash... but if you do, airbags will pop out from every panel and the car's structure will deform completely but progressively and safe your sorry ass.
Me on the other hand... I rather have a car that can go around bends and avoid the crash :S maybe I'm too old fashioned.

The final tie.
People BIAS toward a brand because they really feel lost in this ever changing and trendy world, know little about cars and have very little culture about the automotive industry. If you have little knowledge, you follow design and specs... and automotive designers know this and tend to create lines that will keep you satisfied.

Most people in this country work their entire life to buy a Mercedes because every ass likes Mercedes and state poorly unsupported comments like "the star of the road", because they like the design, the comfort and think that they are in a safe inside one of these because of all the airbags and electronic gizmos and tones of metal. Most do this ignoring the fact that a benz is an (autobahn car) ... it's a well made decision to buy such a thing if you drive long distances and need a comfy, safe-in-a-straight-line car that, in a high speed crash would put it's weight's inertia into the crash and use other vehicles as an extra crumple zone (eventually killing other people in the process).
The truth is that most of these people then drive the car in mountain roads, and suffer the results of that huge living-room-on-wheels and all it's weight moving on top of a soft comfy suspension...and feel sea-sick in no time... and if they push hard, the lack of active safety will come on as an issue and eventually they could get surprised by the good old inertia laws (the same ones that could also kill people in other cars if having to deal with all that weight you are displacing)... and need all that passive safety that contributed to all that excess weight that made them crash.

My suggestion:
learn how to drive, learn physics and mechanics...and racing history... and then choose the cars you LIKE and that make sense to you and your needs, but on a knowledge base.

P.S.
I'm mostly an anti Mercedes person (mostly because I feel they are building better and better cars, so I'm trying not to BIAS as much), but has I can fully criticize an A class creation (and apparently I was very very spot on from the first sketch... being proved right with that catastrophic test failure and the later A class model being redesigned towards the audi A3 shape!!!) I can also say that I absolutely love the original gull wing! I admit my BIASing but I can explain it. I don't like ferraris and hate most V engines, but the Italia's engine is just something else... and I happily admit that I love it!

I'm also a pro-VOLVO person and recon that anything beyond the S40 and C70 is too heavy and ultimately dangerous to drive... and believe-me.. I know Volvos. I wouldn't want to be inside a car that crashed an XC90... I think that you have trucks out there that are a softer option to be crashed by...believe-me.
I'm also a Old Honda lover, I have one! And I'm the first to crucify Honda with it's recent ECO-Mania stupidification... I can state that the ONLY good Honda on sale today it's the FCX clarity... this is from the company that gave you the CTR, ITR, NSX, CRX, ATR, Prelude and S2K!

Stop being biased JUST BECAUSE... and start opening your eyes... good cars are being harder and harder to find. Learn to find them, or suffer the consequence of living in a prius / insight, grey, dull, world!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The ASTERIO Roadster Part2

If you are looking for the Asterio Roadster website, try this link.

Hi everyone.
Just came back from Autodromo do Estoril for the first ASTERIO Roadster presentation
I'll follow my report as I would like to read-it.
1- The company
Asterio automotive S.A. will  provide engineering and consulting services as a company in the automotive industry. It also has a brand called the Asterio Roadster. This will produce a small volume  production roadster car (1000 units/year max). The team behind all this is composed by a Portuguese entrepreneur and automotive fan Ricardo Baeta, two british engineers (Mike Rawlings with over 40 year of automotive industry experience in projects of lot's of sports and gt cars, another with over 20 years experience in building formula 1 and indy chassis), a designer, a production manager and a marketing director.
My initial thoughts:
The Lotus business approach and with British engineering with lotus and F1 experience... this might just be the BEST Portuguese project so far.

2 -The concept
A lightweight Sports chassis with a racing-to-road development approach.
The chassis design will allow several motorization options. This is very important to my point of view. It might just enable the company to produce a REAL project with some COSMETIC engines that the market buys.
My thoughts:
Nice... Racing first... than de-tuning to road homologation is THE way to build a sports car. Sounds good.
The modular chassis design does mean a lot... and even with a bad engine, you can always swap it. The lotus Elise was an excellent car... but a small K20A swap will make it a God, this could just be the case.

3-The chassis



My thoughts:
It's a semi-monocoque chassis built in steel-aluminum... sounds good.
The semi part uses a conventional double wishbone design, the front suspension has a push-rod type suspension and unfortunately the rear one can't because of the engine... but the front is the most important part on this equation. The Aluminum monocoque structure is F1 style built in aluminum extruded panels, rebited and glued with an honeycomb type sandwich. It's light and the design is very very F1ish and modular enough to change for instance.. the engine. Smart, logical.. GOOD! I'm all for this design an after talking to the engineer responsible for it, I'm extremely happy with the aims and targets he had before starting to sketch it.
The weight distribution is around 65% rear biased, but don't get fooled. This is an MR platform... not a 911 like RR. Being light... and taking the example of the engine seen in this demonstration (a 2.2 TD pulling 225bhp on a 500nm torque curve), reeving the engine and dumping the clutch will produce little over a 3 second time from not to 100km/h, instead of massive wheel spin (the V6 option will do 3seconds). The credit were goes entirely to the chassis... not the engine (evidently, being diesel....it's not the best point on the car). During that clutch dumping the car will squat and just go, as the suspension compresses and forces more grip into the rear wheels, the lightness of this package will make it JUST go before you break grip.

4 - The engine.
Asterio plans to introduce 4 engine packages to go along with this chassis (having minor mods like wheel size, brake size and suspension settings):
1 - Electron - fully electric package with 120Bhp 440nm 990Kg
2 - Tork 500 - 2.2 Turbo Diesel with 225Bhp 500nm 790Kg
3 - Tork 700 - V6 BiTurboDiesel with 350Bhp 700nm 890Kg
4 - V8 Edição Especial F1 Revival - 400Bhp 320nm 750Kg 11000rpm competition sourced V8

My thoughts:
1 - don't quite believe in it. Even after talking with the 2 British Engineers, and believe-me, it will have some UNIQUE features ... it's not my idea of how a sports car should be and how the future GREEN car should be too... But I will get back to this in a new post after mailing my opinion back to Ricardo Baeta.
2 - Diesel is not for the track. This was a disappointment for me as a pure sports car lover.
3 - Diesel is not for the track and a V6 Diesel is for the family saloon.
4 - NOW YOU'RE TALKING... and this makes the entire project make sense. This must have been the initial idea... and the rest it just cosmetics for the public's blinded view of how a car really is... Don't miss understand-me, In this green madness we live these days, every manufacturer is a rookie, so if you want to enter a competitive, mature market without no history to back your image up... you have to catch a new trend.. .This is by far the most important part on the justifications of the first 3 engine options. Still and very honestly, I wouldn't wan't them, and would immediately make the swap for a Honda engine. I don't like most V engines... but producing 400bhp from 3.5 liters makes well over my 100bhp/liter minimum requirement.
It's very clear to me that Asterio is making a MARKET move with diesel engines. For a non-expert-but-sports-car-lover, the torque of the diesel will seem immense; the international market will think ?! WTF?! but pulling 3s times from 0-100km/h will give-it a try; and the stupidly dieseled Portuguese market will think yummy!
Of course that I seriously doubt they will enter races with engines that have power surges lasting for no longer than 1500rpm... and the V8 will rule championships as it should.

5 - The design
Some pictures:






My thoughts:
I like it... but the front looks like a morph between the (now dead) s2000 replacement and an audi R8... and the rear is the result of a Lamborghini rapped by the very same R8 that rapped the s2000 for the front. But I like it!
And, again, if makes perfect sense. The Audi brand is very successful with it's design trend... why not follow the same trend? Especially if you are entering a competitive market and can't afford to loose a great chassis because of some body panels showing just how independent your design styling is.

Overall: GOOD JOB and congrats... but loose that diesel stuff and make it a petrol screamer PLEASE (4pot Honda sourced and revving over 10.000rpm preferably)!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Freedom is one step closer

As Jay Leno so eloquently said "the fcx clarity is important because, as the car set the horse free, this will set our cars free", the Honda FCX CLARITY is a "car" that works on Hydrogen. It produces 0 Co emissions and water from it's gas pipe.
The problem with this are:
1 - Liquid Hydrogen is expensive do produce
2 - Liquid Hydrogen is dangerous to store in a car
WATER, however isn't... and Japan’s FUKAI Environmental Research Institute has announced a new technology for obtaining hydrogen that it claims is less expensive and more efficient than anything that’s been tried so far.
The full article can be read here, but in short, they are producing hydrogen  in ways that are targeted to transform your car's gas tank into a water tank.
People that read my blogs tend to think that I have a profound hate on green cars.... but that's not the case.
I hate stupidity, and a hybrid car that doesn't go and has more impact on the environment is PLAIN STUPID.
I also hate the fact that the best engines ever invented are being taken out of production by laws that are even worse than the Stupidity that supports them... and to this I call the GREEN MADNESS DISEASE.

This, however is a totally different case. a Hydrogen Fuel cell car or house will have 0 co emissions... 0 Either direct or indirect. If you take this into comparison to a hybrid running on gas or a fully electrical being charged by the power grid, there is a clear advantage. Now think of all that process involved into producing car batteries and recycle them in the end... and now consider the impact of it's weight in the car's movement.

If you take 1 minute to think about this you will recon:
1 - The full process of building, recycling and using a hybrid or electrical car will generate more pollution and co than a normal car.
2 - The laws that kill the best cars are twisted. You should plant more trees with the taxes payed by our cars and that would even things... instead we tear down trees and increase tax and stupid emission laws.
3 - If you like cars and you think of buying one today.... chance are that you are already considering buying a second hand car from the time when they were interesting, instead of dull-green people carriers of today.

This process will enable the projects like the Honda Clarity to be a reality. The globalization of this reality will render our TRUE cars free... and that means that our sports cars will probably be less "runt down" by those absurd laws.

Monday, October 18, 2010

The ASTERIO Roadster first preview


If you are looking for the Asterio Roadster website, try this link.


--------------------->RE-EDIT<------------------------
I've noticed an increase  in pageviews over this article.... but not the second part of it with all the good news.. so check it out here
--------------------->RE-EDIT<------------------------

Hi Everyone,
 
I was saving this one for later, but then I decided that since nothing existed on the web about this vehicle (at least Google doesn't have a clue)... maybe I could write something.

Today, I feel a little like Jeremy Clarkson.

A good friend of mine is involved in the consortium to build the Portuguese Sports Car.
As we know each other for a long time now, and he values my knowledge about cars, he invited-me for the 1st presentation of this car due to happen this week.
I'm not yet disclosing data about what I know, because I don't yet know how much is to disclose... and since he is a very good friend, I'm being over zealous about this event and the car surrounding it (I would never put a friend in a bad position).
So, all I can say is that apparently Portugal built a prototype Sports car that is already running and under testing. Depending on the disclosure level entrusted to every attendee, I'll eventually continue this post... or include a "sorry, can't comment".

Independently, since this is the first post I could find about this issue, people visiting this blog SHOULD consider registering to be able to receive warnings on updates and new articles (and discuss the subjects).

 --------------------->RE-EDIT<------------------------
I've noticed an increase  in pageviews over this article.... but not the second part of it with all the good news.. so check it out here
--------------------->RE-EDIT<------------------------

Statitics are just a tool... and like a weapon, you can use-it the good or the wrong way.

Today at an abnormal Lisbon morning traffic... I saw one of those stupid traffic statistics.
Why abnormal? I was able to drive normally.. It was almost unreal! In a tunnel, 2 cars away from me, a truck was over taking... I clutched the engine, revved it to 8000... and a miracle happened the truck moved. Then the rest of the road was almost clear... but when it wasn't, people changed lane on my approach. This was just sweet. I managed to do home-to-work in under 20 minutes and without insulting people. This should have been filmed so that anyone can understand that respecting others leads to efficiency. Everyone made it's way into Lisbon, without accidents and much happier.

But back to the point, the stupid statistic:
"Drive carefully, during 2009, 316 people were injured in crosswallks inside Lisbon".

Now this is a bad statistic... it's too close to 1 person per day.
Is it the driver's fault? Sure... since it's a crosswalk, it's the driver's fault period. But should the driver alone take the blame for it? No.
Inside Lisbon (and across the country), and I dare you to visit the examples bellow, crosswalks are drawn in the worse possible places: intersections and roundabouts.
The driver approaching a roundabout, has to cope with breaking/accelerating it's car towards a road of incoming traffic of at least 1 direction (mostly 2 and sometimes 3 to 5!). He stops, looks and while he accelerates his car and turns in (accelerating will be important to avoid accidents) he still has to be ready to brake because some idiot at city-hall decided to draw a crosswalk exactly were he should be under heavy acceleration.
The same goes for roundabouts... the law (we call it the taxi driver's law) says you can drive all day long in the roundabout in the same lane, full throttle and don't give a damn about others cause if you are not changing lane, it's your right to do so. Taxi drivers, when approaching an overhaul will do so until they crash an then the victim will pay the repair (including the overhaul parts, pre-settled with the garage). Now normal people know that you should count lanes and exits and start from the inside and change progressively to the exit. During this risk maneuver, you have to dose acceleration and breaking and side mirror and most times take a pick over your right shoulder... and then you have a crosswalk!
Seriously, considering all this stupidity and lack of common sense, the statistics is VERY VERY GOOD!

Roundabouts:
http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&ll=38.749965,-9.105099&spn=0.001234,0.003444&t=h&z=19

Crosswalks:
http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&ll=38.747765,-9.139406&spn=0.000617,0.001722&t=h&z=20

These are small examples, unfortunately, much more exist.
Now... are the drivers to blame 100%?

---------------------------------> Second Edit <-----------------------------------

Today, exactly 1,5 days after writing this article, I became a victim of this twisted system.
Turning left, with a FULL GREEN LIGHT, following a "Laguna", some idiot that isn't worth the oxygen that he breathes, decided to go across a crosswalk (having a red light stamped all over his idiot face). The laguna (consuming all the visible area of my windshield) accelerated and then suddenly braked hard.
The S2000 is not made for slow starts (it has a recognized hick up if you start it slow) so I was starting to accelerate when that big ass laguna light up... I was doomed! I did brake... a little.. and then bumped into the laguna.

UNFORTUNATELY not even hard enough to make it go over the moron that started everything in the first place.... result? I'm the one paying for a fucking idiot's error and he walks clean because he was on a crosswalk placed in the worse possible place.
I'm now considering the possibility of passing this very same spot during the night and spray black ink all over that stupid crosswalk.... as many times as I can remember.

BOY I HATE TO BE RIGHT ALL THE TIME!.... and for those of you chocked with my words... let me make it quite clear: YES I do wish than the laguna had been projected hard enough to run him over... don't quite care about the outcome... killed or badly injured, he would have learned a lesson and made my money at least worth the joy of some "morality revenge". Being part of a system, one HAS to respect the basic rules of that system, and I've seen plenty drivers loose their license for passing red light (rightly, I should add)... but I've never once seen a cop fine a person walking a red light.

TWISTED and it just brings out the very worse and rough thoughts in me.
Having apologized to the lady in front, that was apologizing back for accelerating and then braking hard, I immediately told her that she had the law on her side... and that if only she had set the foot of her pedal and let the inertia do justice, we would have a guy going to the hospital and being identified by the police.
I would testify to protect her (proving that she stopped before hitting him) and he would have to pay for all the damage plus hospitalization (I would send the lawyer after that idiot's ass).
But since she avoided the collision with him... I'm the only part to blame!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Are there V engines that I like?! SURE!

This V8 here - CAPARO T1
And this V10 here too - Lexus LFA  - you can hear it sing right here
ohhh I like this V6 too - F1 - you can hear it here or in any senna's MClaren-HONDA races

Can you notice anything besides 2 of them being Japanese?
Yes, they rev really high, but more important is that all of them produce OVER 100Bhp/ton.. and that's engineering. ;)

My comments on the TT vs RCZ on the TopGear Facebook page.

The Thread: http://www.facebook.com/posted.php?id=282681245570&share_id=162662420416928&comments=1&ref=notif&notif_t=like#!/posted.php?id=282681245570&share_id=162662420416928&comments=1&ref=notif&notif_t=like#s162662420416928

Most comments I've read so far are completely OFF the purpose of these cars!
These are sports cars. They are supposed to handle and be fun to drive.

How on earth is a heavy under-steer oriented car fun to drive?
Why oh why would I buy a sports car thinking on how would it loose value!? Do you pick condoms that way too?
Why does the brilliant RCZ's design is wrong on being an imitation of the TT? I'm all for the learn, then do it better... it's called EVOLUTION!
There is one and one flaw on the RCZ... it's being FF. Should be FR or MR.
But I consider the TT even worse. Instead of having a REAR Biased 4WD, it has a FRONT biased 4WD.

I've driven lots of AUDIs and even had one (for 1 month)!
Are they well built? YEP
Are they expensive? F$#K YEAH
Are they beautifull?... hummm kinda
Are they powerfull? SURE
Can they handle? NOP.. They are TOO safe to let you enjoy the car.
It's one of the most frustrating cars because of the extremely intrusive way it's safety features are build into the product. It's a car that insults the driver by assuming it drives better than you, but it doesn't!

If you compare the A4 Vs the 407? Sure it's a clear win on the A4 side... same with the A6, A5, Q7... but this? THIS is about FUN and passion for driving and the RCZ is MILES AHEAD on that point.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Guilty or not!?

Am I the one guilty of plagiarism, or is Jeremy Clarkson's guilty!?

I would guess none of us, But it's very very strange to watch an episode of TopGear that I've never ever seen before, and find out so many thoughts in common with Clarkson (or the guy that wrote the script!!).

Let's just start with this exert of video @ 3minutes, and compare with my opinion (readable on the links) on smarts, semi-cars, hybrids and electrics.

Then in the same video @ minute 6:20, my opinion on how a "bad car choices relate directly to bad drivers (I called them NUMB drivers) because they carry the same lame attitude on buying cars to driving them on the streets"!

As if it wasn't enough, on that same episode, Jeremy test's a sirocco TDI with "Captain Slow". Captain slow claims that "the car has no power... then some power... and then 1000rpm later, it's gone". Jeremy reply's "That's the way diesels are, they show you some power but then it's gone!"... "this is the perfect example on how to spoil a good car". I don't have posts in English stating my opinion on how to spoil a good car (It's here and in portuguese and related to the RCZ hdi), BUT I do have one about engines and where the diesel engine really belongs and that's the HEAVY FAMILY SALOON.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Towing cars without permission... THAT's GRAND THEFT AUTO!

The news behind my post about this subject is very very interesting.
http://www.tvi24.iol.pt/portal-iol/psp-oeira-isaltino-ezequiel-lino-tvi24-ultimas-noticias/1191013-5281.html
Just like I posted, I'm not surprised that a politician has a shitty-abusive attitude, nor that the cops have the very same (politically induced) attitude; I'm completely overwhelmed by the pure fact that, in Portugal (the most dirty, corrupt place on earth) a couple of cops and a judge, had the courage to arrest and present to court... a politician! This is unique... I'm very inclined to contact the Endangered Species Rescue Group to consider this RARE RARE species and protect them at ALL COSTS, cause they will not survive too long.

But back on the POST subject... Police towing/immobilizing cars.

First comes the facts.
1- The road is public and, to use it, you must pay taxes. SO, if you don't pay taxes, than its the same as parking your car inside someone else's property and so loose all right. If you pay, however, the car is legally using a common asset and since the car is your property, towing it is thievery, just as immobilizing it just as illegal.
2- The road usage is ruled by law. This is so that it's usable as a common asset, not to increase TAX income. These rules and aspirations are created to allow us the best comfort.

The problem:
Mister X, for instance, parks his car on a crosswalk. He get's his car towed or immobilized.

Should he be punished? WHY?

The why:
Cause it's in the way of people that OCCASIONALLY cross the road? Not valid! One can go around easily.
Cause someone on a wheel-chair will be in difficulty... cause someone with a baby-cart will be in difficulty? Sure... SuperValid argument. But again, does the sidewalk have a ramp? If not, than the city-hall should be finned 10folds the amount a driver is!


The WHAT IF:
Most people defend that the guy that parks in a crosswalk is "Devil on earth and the messenger of death". For those of you, picture this -> Your wife calls you telling you that she is in a shopping mall, almost fainting because of uncontrolled bleeding... what do you do?
YOU, as any human,  will:  pass red lights, overtake like mad (because irresponsible motherfuckers will go as slow as possible, scattered across all available lanes, making it as difficult as they can... just because), you will park in the very closest spot you find and try to get her into the car, to the hospital.... just to find that some idiot towed your car or decided to immobilize-it. BOY I WOULD KILL SOMEONE if in that situation.

Conclusion:
If a car is badly parked (and that means crosswalks, double parking, outside the marks, too close to the next car....you name it), the cops should 1st fine, than if after 30 minutes the situation is maintained tow the car to the nearest parking space and leave a mark indicating (just like they do in Tokyo)... then charge the fine with the "deluxe parking service"... if recurrent increase the amount exponentially.
After the fine, the insurance company should (if not justified by a hospital bill or something like it) increase immediately it's tax on the driver because a bad social behavior is increasing the risk and the risk's consequences upon others, leading ultimately to more payments from that company.
If applicable, the city-hall should immediately pay a fine and be forced to solve the problem within a month.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The horrible truth behind motoring laws.

Its a sad truth. In a world where speed is the matter of word, were you want to get the fastest internet connection, the fastest PC, the fastest software, the fastest medical treatment, the fastest delivery of your supermarket shoppings... in other words we have less and less time to spend on futile, unproductive stuff, so we try to make those tasks as FAST as possible... another way to put it is that we seek efficiency.
We do however go slower and slower in our cars.

Does this make ANY sense? Evidently not. It is however a difficult matter with an even more complicated solution.

You have to have some fact together with 3 or 4 points of view on the matter to even start to describe how things work. And you must start by pointing out facts.

Fact 1 - The motoring industry is producing faster and safer cars. And for some reason they all go above 200Km/h standard, knowing that those cars are to be driven on standard roads, by standard people in normal countries. Why oh why don't they all come limited to 120Km/h from factory? Japan did that for 180Km/h and 280Bhp... Germany does it for 250Km/h...

Fact 2 - Our roads are an extremely complex system. We have several roads (some poorly built, others poorly maintained, others just fine), several cars (again some pretty bad ones, some good cars but poorly maintained and some just fine) , several people (most don't know how to drive), several weather conditions (getting worse as we screw up the planet and invent worse ways to fix it than the ways we found to ruin it in the first place... and yes, I'm pointing my gun out on hybrids) and depending on the time of the day different levels of mass stupidity.

Fact 3 - The people that drive those cars are teached on absolutely nothing about driving a car. They teach how to understand standard city traffic, how to work the steering, pedals and switches of a car and that's about it. Learning  the very basics of how to drive in a complex system by trial and error. The problem is that most of the trial and error is done by causing constraints and sometimes great pain on others.

Fact 4 - Speed doesn't kill. Speed only increases the consequences and reduces the chance to react.
As you gain speed on a motorway, you are increasing the energy within your movement. This means that if you crash and eventually stop in a couple of millisecond (yes, eventually because of inertia... something to discuss in another topic) that energy has to dissipate. That's where a crumple zone gets to work and deforms gradually, absorbing the energy. No crumple zone (point my guns to semi-cars as the NOT-SO-SMART) means that your body will have to deal with your organs smashing hard against your bones... and eventually parts of the car, resulting in severe and normally fatal injuries. More energy that the crumple zone can handle will result in uncontrolled vehicle deformation and eventually injuries.

Fact 5 - Going over the speed limit is not the cause for accidents and death. Going over the speed limit means one and one thing only. The number of your speedometer is higher that the one on the road signs. THAT's IT! I'm not even arguing that the speed signs are good or badly placed.
The true killer and messenger of death is another concept with is excess speed. That is a much complex definition. It means that your's going too fast for, in that particular moment in time, at that particular system (road condition, traffic, your ability to drive, the car's safety and condition, your knowledge about driving, the weather, and so on), if needed, stop the vehicle or avoid an incident, safely.
Excessive speeding could be as simple as driving your car on the road under perfect weather, car, tires, traffic and road conditions... but without really knowing how to control a car in a slalom. This SAD and WORRYING fact alone means that 90% of all drivers are in excess speed the moment they enter the road.

Now on to the point of views:

The point of view of the numb driver - The numb driver chooses cars as they choose the toilet paper. It's paper, it works, job done. Takes on the buying of a car with the same attitude and therefore the road. He doesn't care much about driving so he doesn't mind going at 10Km/h to work. It is used to drive at 10Km/h to work so we gets up 1h earlier, compensating the inefficiency of his transportation method.
Some of these are conscious of this fact and try to occupy the right-lane only, minimizing the impact of his inefficient way of transportation has on others.
There are however (and unfortunately those represent the majority) the "I really don't give a rat's ass about others" drivers. These scatter across all lanes and make it impossible to use the lanes with minimum efficiency and freedom. They are abusive in their way of interacting with others and using a common good - the roads. These drivers are mostly responsible for the loosing of patience from other drivers and ultimately they create the most frustrating accidents and walk away clean.

The point of view of the driver - The driver is the kind of person that buys cars considering it's real use. Either a sports car or a minivan to take the kids to school. Evidently, someone that takes it's car seriously, sees it as a project with a purpose. It takes this attitude to the road and it's life's schedule. These drivers get really annoyed with the numb-disrespectful driver and this; this its completely understandable.

The authorities point of view - This has a lot to do with who they are. If given the choice, would you rather be an executive on a high payroll, of a traffic cop? No need to answer. One get's to be a cop because they really didn't care much about studying (99% of them), or has a severe psychological problem (1%). It's even a way of punishment for disrespectful cops. If the detective doesn't respect the inspector, he get's transfered to traffic. Evidently, all these folks have a severe social jealousy that they take out on the drivers that also pay taxes... taxes that are also used to pay for the cop's salary, so ultimately they are being tough on they employers. It's the only way they feel powerful. And its a very very stupid way to try to enforce power.

The government point of view - This is by far the most chocking of all. Government really don't care about you. They care only about your money. They want to find a way to stork money from you. So they grab a bunch of frustrated and quite furious people (a.k.a traffic cops) and enforce rules. Now here enters the "Going over the speed limit" part. How do you tell a monkey algebra? You don't. So evidently, you cannot explain most cops what is bad or good driving. You have to give them a number to work with. Soooo they compare the number on their radar with the ones on the road signs and voilà more taxes disguised as a speeding ticket. And because you really don't want people to think too much about the obvious truth, they go on TV and brag about it all the time.
For those of you that are chocked with the "monkey" comparison to the "traffic cop", I'll explain it. A complex system HAS to run on tolerances otherwise it will have a catastrophic failure. You can't go on TV and say words like "Zero Tolerance on speeding" without making a fool out of you.
Traffic cops are however an asset. They belong to the road system and SHOULD be helping to control and solve problems. Instead they are being used in an abusive and disrespectful manner.
The government is so stupid that taxes cars based on the price and engine of the car. They clearly never ever rented a videotape in their life. The longer you use a common asset, the grater you'll have to pay to it! This should be the same with our roads. If you are SLOW, you are using the asset longer than others and preventing others from using the same asset witch they should have the very same right to, as you do.
Even being completely and disrespectfully money driven, it's easy to implement limitations on cars, based on the drivers abilities, and therefore, toll taxes based on the time they take to drive a distance.
They could be earning a lot more than they are, and avoid drivers hates on cops.

I recommend THIS topgear video on that subject.

Conclusions:
How offended should a cop be? VERY. They are getting used and controlled by government with a sole intention of fracturing, making anyone loose all respect on them.
How offended should a true driver be? EXTREMELY. You are paying taxes to buy YOUR vehicle, and use the public road and have a couple of people willing to help out the flow and sort out accidents and prevent bad drivers (the cops), but instead you can't use your vehicle because any jerk can have a license and spoil your day in a number of ways, and the cops protect them and try to fine you any way they can.
How offended should a numb driver be? If conscious, a lot. If not conscious... no, not really YOU are the insulter number 2.
How offended should the government be? Not a bit. They should apologize publicly and return the money for their lousy management and insult. It's disrespectful to charge taxes, not care about the drivers needs and interests while using the infrastructure THEY pay against them to earn more money.

About your attitude towards the road? Place yourself into one of the categories and if you are:
A Numb Driver that really don't care about others, sell your car and use public transportation... it's why it exists.
A Numb-conscientious driver, avoid using other lanes than the right/slow one, and if you must, try to understand that you are causing other people's delay while doing it... so be quick.
A real driver, avoid being too aggressive with Numb-conscientious drivers. They might be carrying their kids inside the car and avoid speed to make them safer... or just to avoid being ripped-off by cops.
A cop in the 99% frustrated group, change job or try suicide.
A cop in 1% decided-to-be-a-cop-since-birth group, ignore orders and work with your TRUE objectives in mind.
A politician, try suicide or try to change the world. If going for the second bet, keep in mind that you'll have to kill most of your incompetent colleagues first.... you will however guarantee reelection.


Independently of the groups, keep in mind that the road is public. So try to use-it quickly and without causing disturbs to others that are paying to use this same asset, the same you are.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Quem faz mais vitimas? Os acidentes... ou o jornaleirismo português?

Não é gralha! Escrevi e re-escrevo Jornaleirismo. Jornalista é aquele que relata uma noticia com rigor e precisão... enquanto o jornaleirista é aquele que quer vender jornais e por isso vomita mentiras como se estas fossem factos, desde que choquem e façam noticia.
É com tristeza que, no dia de um dos maiores (senão o maior) acidente de sempre na história do país, constato o verdadeiro jornaleirismo da TVI. Tristeza porque conheço bem alguns profissionais da TVI e sei como se dedicam e o nível de profissionalismo que têm, e custa-me que meia duzia de jornaleiristas que lá trabalham contribuam tanto para denegrir tão rápida e cabalmente a imagem da TVI.
Ao que me refiro?
Nas horas que se seguiram ao violento acidente da A25, vários canais de televisão cobriram os acontecimentos. Um deles, a TVI, colocou uma reporter que, durante o seu directo para o TVIJornal afirma "o excesso de velocidade esteve na origem do acidente".
Epahh! Lá que os iliterados dos nossos policias o digam sem raciocinar e porque são obrigados a tal pela maquina de facturação desmedida do estado, até se compreende (muito mal.. mas compreende)... o estado quer é dinheiro e por isso de tudo se serve para estorquir... agora uma jornalista?
Pergunto-me... qual terá sido o instrumento de medida que ela utilizou para chegar a essa brilhante conclusão? Radares TVI? Bandas de pressão TVI? Carro de reportagem com sistema de medição laser TVI?
MAIS, qual o tamanho da coragem e inconsequencia dos vários condutores que passam uma nuvem de nevoeiro a mais de 120km/h???
Se a jornalista tivesse dite Velocidade Excessiva, eu até comia, mas velocidade excessiva é COMPLETAMENTE diferente de excesso de velocidade.
Excesso de velocidade não é mais do que um termo para explicar que um veiculo se desloca para alem do que a lei diz ser permitido no local, e consequentemente, aplicar uma taxa arbitrária além dos impostos exagerados que já pagamos.
Velocidade excessiva, pelo contrário, significa que o veiculo vai com demasiada velocidade para, dadas as condições (do proprio veiculo, da estrada, do tempo, dos outros veiculos, do condutor... etc etc etc), se conseguir imobilizar ou evitar um obstaculo em segurança.
O Excesso de velocidade faz o estado facturar e literalmente roubar os cidadãos... ahh e também vende noticias num país de iliterados que não compreendam a diferença.... por outro lado, a muito perigosa e mortal velocidade excessiva continua a fazer vitimas.

Recomento que vejam ESTE  video sobre o assunto da velocidade e a propaganda sobre a velocidade.

A triste realidade desse acidente, é comum a todos os grandes acidentes deste país. UMA VIATURA PESADA. Sem surpresas para quem utilizar alguns neuróneos, quanto mais massa em movimento, mas espaço ocupa, mais dificil é de contrariar o movimento (inercia) e como consequencia directa maiores os estragos que provoca. Alem do mais, os veiculos pesados são altos e não têm protecção das zonas de carga para que quando um veiculos ligeiro embater neles, possam evitar danos perigosos.
É absurdo que se invista tanto dinheiro em desenvolvimento de sistemas de segurança de ligeiros, e depois de negligencie o facto de ao embatro num pesado apenas os pilares "A" contribuem para parar o carro provocando inevitavelmente fatalidades.

Também me parece que (e agora ataco quase TODAS as reportagens de TODOS os canais) deviam por em rodapé das reportagens em que insistem a dizer que um dos carros era GPL, um banner a dizer "noticia patrocinada pela GALP/REPSOL/BP". É absurdo principalmente quando na mesma reportagem se ouve o comandante dos bombeiros a dizer que a viatura é gpl mas o tanque não rebentou.

O jornaleirismo está demasiado presente! O que é feito dos nossos jornalistas?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Green disease continues to make victims.

I can't say I'm actually sad about the recent news "Emissions regs to kill Honda Civic Type-R in most of Europe at end of 2010". The 3rd generation Civic is crap in Europe anyway... they only produce-it with independent rear suspension in Japan, so the European version is far worse than the 1st and 2nd generation.

The reality however, is that the K20A, Honda's new B16A is about to die with it... and that, that's just catastrophic. The K20A is an engine with a huge potential... and that Green virus is just cutting it's life just too short.

If I was heading Honda Europe, I would just fit a larger catalytic converter, in a pipe with 6 EASY-TO-REMOVE screws, and then explain that it's the exact same engine. Then, just like it happens with the S2000, the owners unbolt the 6 screws and replace the pipe with a "test-pipe"... and off they go.

Green madness is really something that is stupidity everyone and making cars worse.
Open your eyes, people, here are simple facts:
   - Hybrids consume more petrol than a normal car, because they are HEAVY. And unless you drive always in it's hybrid zone (something you'l never ever do in a traffic day... or in a fast trip). Check this video and watch a Pirus that consumes MORE than a BMW M3
   - The creation of batteries and the recycling of used batteries makes a HUGE IMPACT on the environment.
   - The full electric car uses even more battery, and has even more weight, ultimately being less efficient and creating a bigger impact on the environment.
   - The Full electric car will need a full overnight charge, consuming electric energy from the power-grid, that was created...generating an even bigger carbon footprint. Ultimately it will render our days power-grid insufficient and create an even bigger investment and ultimately carbon footprint.
  - And the diesel, although much better than an hybrid or a electric car, emits not only carbon dioxide, but real carbon particles... ever wondered why our city's are getting they building dirtier and why your tissue comes with little black particles when you sneeze!?

The only really environmental friendly car, is the Hydrogen fuel cell car. And just like Jay Leno (SPOT ON) says "just like the automobile was the savior of the horse, this is the savior of our cars."

Check this excellent article.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Another Point Taken!

Everyone that knows me, also know that, to my point of view, the LAST Godzilla was the Skiline R34V-SpecII. That i don't consider the R35GTR worthy of the Godzilla Badge and so rightfully named GTR instead of Skyline GTR.
I've always said that the same car and all it's marvel tech would be best used with a real engine. And anyone that knows me, also knows I hate 99.9% of all V engines. The R35GTR should have an RB26DETT engine and be called the Skyline R35 GTR.... but then Renault brought Nissan and with it the Green disease infected the big Japanese giant. As a result, one of the glorious engines in existence was replaced by an "americanish V crap".

The following link shows just how much the RB26DETT is superior to a crappy V6.
Again, as I've always stated, the V engine is no match for an inline. And the Green disease is just killing the fun in driving cars...and producing them.

Boy I hate to be right all the time.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The sad news of Mr Hiromu Naruso's death makes me think we are getting out of geniuses in todays car R&D

There are very few names in the Japanese Car industry that really make the R&D departments produce interesting products.

Hiromu Naruso was on of those few. He was Toyota's Master Driver. The Man responsible for Toyota's best products of all times: The 2000Gt, The AE86, The Celica, The MR2, The Supra, The Altezza ... and evidently the LFA.
Within some of it's numerous qualities was the being able to push the R&D into creating passionate products that the customer thought to be "tasty" and that he would never "try to stop tasting a bit more".

With the death of Naruso, the Japanese car industry looses one of it's drivers (as in someone driving the big R&D department and steering it way form the hybrid prius route).

This creates a similar (extremely sad) feeling in me as the death of Senna did. Senna was very involved into R&D of both Honda's racing and production cars.

There is one of those geniuses left, but seams to me that the company that he's worked all he's life for, has lost it's essence. I'm Talking of Shigeru Euhara. The man behind the NSX (together with Senna) and the Honda S2000. Guess that if Honda continues it's hybrid crap madness, Shigeru should apply for a job at Toyota and continue Hiromu's legacy... at least there they do produce cars and not just prius.

I think that TopGear may have just reduced my "Japanese recession" depression quite a bit.

I was working and as usual, I'm listening to TopGear via Minitube (yes.. I do use Linux... how could a Efficiency oriented person use windows anyway!?). Why listening? Because I need concentration and normally I listen to things... only diverting my attention to the video when something real special POP's-UP.

And it DID! I heard a very distinct whooooaaaaaaaaaaa followed by "it's called the LFA". Evidently the eyes turned away from the code and got fixed into the Minitube window.

For those of you that read my blog or know-me in person, its very clear to you that I'm suffering with this GREEN mania that is infecting the Japanese automotive industry.
Honda, a brand that meant everything to me, killed the S2000, killed the NSX and then unhappy with all this nonsense created a CivicType-r replacement heavier then the previous one and with a cheaper and ultimately worse rear suspension.
Toyota Killed the Supra.
Nissan Killed the Skyline and it's glorious in-line 6 bi-turbo engine.
Mazda re-created the Renesis and that was fine... if it was bi-turbo... but it isn't.
Subaru is making uglier cars by the minute... and stopped evolving it's car, widening the Lancer Evolution's superiority gap.
Mitsubishi... well mitsubishi at least is working right.

But now Lexus... A.K.A. Toyota shows a department that survived the GREEN disease devastation.

Now TOPGEAR... don't say that Lexus never created a supercar, Lexus is Toyota... and Toyota created the Supracar.
This LFA is very very interesting, I know, it's a V10... ok, not perfect, but it's a V10 with the size of a V8, the weight of a V6 and the lightness of an Inline 6 or 4, soooo it's actualy very OK!
And it produces 552Bhp from just 4.8 liters... that's 115Bhp/liter... well above my 100Bhp/liter minimum acceptance mark. And of course, being a proper car, redline starts at 9000rpm witch is perfect.

Go go Toyota, finally I no longer look at you as the company that used to build cars and now builds... prius!

Guess that the 115Bhp/liter of that V10 still makes me thing that the now dead Honda NSX Replacement project might have a 125Bhp/liter V10, since it's projects remainings (the Japans Super GT championship HSV-010-GT) are racing on a 3.8liter V8 producing 500Bhp...131.5Bhp/Liter
The sound, at least is very promising.
;)

The Full Video

Road & Track December 2009 Samurai Warrior Lexus LFA Japan's Newest Supercar Nissan GT-RAutomobile December 2009 Satanic Lexus LFA Unmasked

Monday, August 9, 2010

There's more to a car than just it's engine!

Why this post?
Well... 2 reasons actually:
1st - One of my friends had a fiesta (just like I used to have). But she changed to a Golf and replied to my Email stating that "I now have quite a machine... a golf 2.0".
2nd - I loved the TopGear review on the new Fiesta and was thinking on posting it anyway.

Now about the first part. Some people think that a fast car is a car with a big engine... well, it isn't. A fast car is a car with a good and lightweight chassis, and a big power to weight ratio, delivered through a linear elastic engine with high specific power.
Why I think my friend has gone from an excellent car down to an ordinary one?
Just like the old Fiesta Mk4 Vs the Golf Mk4, the new Fiesta is a more nimble car than the new Golf. One might say that the Golf should be compared to a Focus and the Polo with the Fiesta... but again, the FORDS would win chassis wise.

Nothing has changed with the new versions chassis... the golf has a good chassis, just like the mk4 golf had... but the fiesta has something of a wonderful chassis, just like it's grandpa Mk4 had.
On the engine side, however, the OLD Mk4 golf had the VERY best 4 cylinder diesel in the world. The PD115/130/150 8V 1.9 TDI was such a joy of an engine. The 2.0 16V on the other hand was never half as brilliant as that... not surprising since the 8v engines favor low end torque witch is the ONLY think you really want in a Diesel.

So, to conclude my thoughts:
Does my Friend has a car that is more comfortable? Sure!
Faster is a straight line? Sure!
BUT
Does it handle better? NO!
Does it break better (and I'm not talking about ONE 100-to-0 stop, but rather a couple of hot laps)? NO!
Is it more expensive? YEP?
AND THEN AGAIN...
Is Portugal a place with big straight Autobahns? NO
SO ULTIMATELY...
Not my choice at all.

And on that thoughts, I tell you a story of another friend that owned an Mk4 PD130 Golf, and now changed... not to the new golf, but rather a Peugeot 207 Rally... I WONDER WHY THAT WAS!?

Sure the Golf is a good car, but buying one, consider that you are buying comfort and straight line speed... never ever try to consider it better than a cheaper car with a better chassis and some very competitive engines, because if you happen to find one on a B-Road, you might just get humiliated. ;)

The Fiesta is such a joy of a car, that even Jeremy Clarkson (the man that could corrode stainless steel with a 3 word phrase) liked it. Indeed Jeremy performed one of the most brilliant tests I've ever Ever seen. It's funny, it backfires all over an idiot fan's letter, but best of all, it really test's the fiesta in a number of ways that just make a lot of sense. Handling, agility, power-to-weight & to-traction-configuration ratio... and best of all ABUSE. Way to go Jezza.
Clarkson Tests the new Fiesta Part 1
Clarkson Tests the new Fiesta Part 2

My Old Fiesta on the track part 1
My Old Fiesta on the track part 2
My Old Fiesta on the track part 3

Never Before Shigeru Euhara San's words made so much sense to me

Shigeru Uehara Was the chief engineer for the best project Honda has ever made. The NSX and The S2000.

Shigeru Uehara San – 12th April 2009 – Trentino, Italy
The Speech Video

GOOD EVENING EVERYBODY

Thank you for inviting me to this very special event.
Today I’m so excited and pleased to be here because this is the first chance for me to actually meet and speak to S2000 owners in Europe.
I can see that you all love your S2000 very much and as the
person who created the car I am really happy and feel very
much honoured about that The target for the S2000 was to realise both the dynamic performance of a ‘REAL-SPORTS’ and the relief of an ‘OPEN CAR’.

It has its roots in S600 and S800.
38 years ago – at that time I had just started at Honda – I admired the S800 and drove one myself. The high revving engine, the secure handling, the sense of freedom of an open
car, all this gave to me and my later wife great fun and pleasure.
Time has passed and for Honda’s 50th annniversary we began a project to revive the ‘S’. Of course, this was meant to be the new ‘S’, not the old ‘S’, but the legendary heritage was still present.

The concept of the S2000 was ‘Real-Open-Sports’ and we decided to refine the car under European environments. We built the ‘S’ and tested it on a different kind of roads in Germany, France, Switzerland, Italy and the UK under various conditions.
I even do remember to have been close to here, Trento, on early research stage during a test drive.

Now this is how the one and only S2000 was born.
This means, the place where you can drive an S2000 really like an S2000, rev the engine up to 9000 rpm and take full advantage of its potential, is Europe.
So in that respect you are all very lucky.

This year it is the 10th anniversary of the S2000 and it will also be its final year of production.
In those ten years, 110,000 customers around the world bought an S2000 and have shown their appreciation for ‘Real-Open-Sports’.

For these people man and machine become unified and with the high revving engine, the accurate shifting they take the challenge of winding roads with the freedom of an open roof.
Please take good care of your S2000, keep it by your side for long and enjoy it from the bottom of your heart. And share the quality and legacy of the S2000 with many friends so that the legend of the S2000 will continue for long

Today, I sincerely want to thank all of you to have gone all the way with your S2000

Ladies and gentleman thank you very much!

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The words "Please take good care of your S2000, keep it by your side for long and enjoy it from the bottom of your heart." now evidently translate to: Keep them because the idiots at the board are planning to do nothing but Hybrids from now on.

And the words "And share the quality and legacy of the S2000 with many friends so that the legend of the S2000 will continue for long" now translates to: Since they might not have one and now that they can no longer buy one, let them know how a CAR should feel like.


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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Sorry EVO but... you are way wrong

Reading an EVO nr 146 article "FastFleet-long term tests" on page 134, I came across a benchmark against the Nissan 370Z and the good old Datsun 240Z witch it's "arguably" based on.
Why the arguably? Simple, It might the the project's objective to re-launch that little old PERFECTION of a car... it might be the aim of the company, but then some idiot put a V engine in it and screw it up big time.
The Nissan 370Z (or any other nissan for that matter) should have the glorious RB26DETT or a variation of it inside.
The original Datsun 240 used an InLine 6. It's criminal to call a V "raped" 370Z it's successor since it's lost is heart.

The same goes for the GTR. On page 135 you call it Godzilla2...SHAME ON YOU! Godzilla died with the R34VSpecII. The GTR should only be called Godzilla2 after a "heart" change and a 1300Bhp RB26DETT in it.

Why the hate for V's...not because it's an american trend....

Some people (well, a lot of people, actually) asked me "why do you hate V engines?"
Tired of explaining everything over and over, I decided to post an explanation.

To understand-me, first you have to understand my brain. I look at an engine (every one of them) from an application/efficiency point of view.
That kinda placed everything in view.
Since I consider only 2 kinds of vehicles: The sports car and the family car; I immediately place engines in 2 categories: Petrol engines for sports cars, diesel engines for family cars.

With this in mind, it's easy to understand that if you are requesting torque, that you move 2 tons of car + people, so you should go diesel.
On the other hand if you need response and pack as little weight as you can, go petrol.

On this front then, the petrol engine is supposed to revv and be light. Light also means on it's internals. So A V engine will have to either have a central CAM with push-rods, or 2 sets of overhead CAMS... now that's twice the drain on power to move the cams, valves, fight the springs, chains, etc comparing to an Inline Engine.

For some reason, V engines (apart from the caparo T1's unit, some ferrari's, some Bmw's and some AUDI's) rarely reach 100Bhp/liter. Since we have InLine units going over that mark with ease, why the hell going V?
The only acceptable response is compactness. But still, only if you save weight.

The truth is that an InLine engine, if needed to grow beyond it's physical location capacity, should become either forced induction, or replaced by a wankel.

To summarize, efficiency is accomplished by reducing the engine's internal loss and my making it work more (increase revvs).
To all those "there's no replacement for displacement" people out there goes a simple figure: try to use your calculator and quantify how many liters of air does an 4.0 v8 running 1minute at 4500rpm pumps out... and just how many liter does my 2.0 Inline4 running 1 minute at 9000rpm pumps.
The same goes for all the turbo and compressor fans. A 2.0 turbo running at 2bar (1 bar of boost) will be the same as a 4.0 atmospheric engine, admitting that it's intercooler had a 100% efficiency (it doesn't and probably will have something near a 3.0 to a 3.5).

So clear your thoughts on displacements, turbos, compressors and get to the raw engine power figures.. and that's called Specific Power output... or Bhp/liter.
Anything below 100Bhp/liter is (nowadays) pure garbage (unless it's diesel and it's meant for your family car).

Leveling things down this line of thought and you'll soon understand that, the less moving weight, the less power drain, the more revvs and consequently, the best Bhp/liter.

Through my viewpoint:
a light RWD sports car needs an IL4 or IL6 atmospheric 10.000rpm rev-monster.
a heavy RWD sports car needs the same engines but with a compressor on it.
a AWD sports car needs an IL4 or IL6 turbo or twin-turbo.
and if the IL4 is not enough and the IL6 too big... go the wankel way.

Anything besides that is for saloons and saloons should run on diesel with loads of torque to cope with all that weight.

When I look at people drooling around a Corvette Z06... I honestly laugh my pants out! That silly thing has chariot-like rear suspension and a MONSTER engine with 7.4liters and a compressor... and does what? 76bhp/liter... 84 maybe? pffff that's nor even a car to my view since it doesn't reach the 100Bhp/liter mark. (caustic I know.. but that's just me)

Feel my drift?

Something to think of

At the same time... 2 companies that, in different ways, represent some of our best improvements on cars and engines, place 2 VERY different products on the market.

One of these 2 companies, has a rally and LeMans heritage. An European brand that has always built excellent engines and chassis.

The other one comes from the other side of the planet. From the land of the rising sun comes a company that builds the BEST N.A. engines in the world, they rival engines having between 1.5 and 2x it's capacity... and so, probably the best engines in the world... or they used to do so... but still they carry out, nothing short of,  F1, JSGT and Indycar heritage.

Both these brands have an heritage to defend. They both have followers all over the world. People that love their products and buy them.

They both faced a terrible threat - Global GREENNESS!
They both had to come up with a solution.
They both had a small sports coupe that needed to be Updated.
They both decided to use the same letters to name their products...
...and here ends the THEY part.

One of them came public with disturbing facts - Peugeot announced that they would no longer create sports models for their normal car line versions... that scared-me because I immediately pictured a giant GREEN sledge-hammer falling on top of the glorious 205GTI.

The other one came public with heart breaking news - Honda announced the end of their new NSX replacement and their new S2000 replacement. The only not-so-bad news was the end of the 3.2 V6 replacement, but it lacks another one saying that an InLine 6 or InLine 4 i-VTEC unit revving over 10k was on the way... but no... nothing like that. All that came from the rising sun country was a strange small petrol engine noise baffled behind a huge catalytic converter and IMA motor-generator! I'd rather have that americanish V engine.

Now since both of them had a market to supply with a small sports coupe, Peugeot with the 205GTI and Honda with the CRX VTEC, they had to come up with something.

Peugeot grabbed their 3 letters and created the spectacular RCZ. Honestly, I took a look at the car and thought, if they would have done this 10 years ago, that silly Audi TT would never ever have sold.

Honda, o the other hand grabbed their 3 letters and created something called the CRZ! It was promised to be the CRX replacement. The Z in the CRZ is supposed to be the NEXT step in the alphabet! I however fail to see where!?!?!?!

The original CRX VTEC produced 160Bhp from it's 1.6 engine. That same engine was evolved in the Civic Type-r Mk1 to 184Bhp. Spoon and Jun both have versions of this engine producing over 230Bhp and revving over 10.000rpm. So the ONLY replacement admissible would be either that B16Engine with over 220Bhp or a B18 unit with the same power but better torque.

HOW IN THE WORLD did they produce a 128Bhp HYBRID.... sports coupe and call it an improvement? Unless you are selling cars for birds and plants, it's everything BUT an improvement.

This morning, I parked my car next to one. I looked at the owner... the guy was still asleep and I thought NO WONDER! I got in my S2000 and just revving the engine to take the car out of my garage woke me up, but that!? not even on a mountain road would I be thrilled to drive.

Sad times these are (yoda nostalgic like phrase)

The RCZ SHOULD be called CRZ and the CRZ should never wear the Honda badge.... EVER.

Well done Peugeot.... and shame on you Honda.