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.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Decepção com a imprensa nacional do ramo automóvel

Já não é novidade, e com o programa de televisão ainda ficou mais evidente.
Recentemente, num dos meus tempos mortos matinais, resolvi passar por uma banca de jornais e comprar "algo para ler".
Os jornais traziam noticias sobre aumentos de impostos e ao mesmo tempo grandes obras publicas, algo que em qualquer país seria digno de um atentado, mas aqui pelos vistos é digno de re-eleições.... mas não divagando, entre jornais com noticias deprimentes e revistas sobre gadgets que já existem no mundo desenvolvido há um bom mês ou dois, la resolvi tentar comprar uma revista de automóveis. Há já muito tempo que tinha desistido das revistas nacionais, mas no meio da mediocridade, sobressaltou uma imagem do novo RCZ e lá comprei a muito tendenciosa TURBO.
Ora eu já esperava encontrar frases sem sentido como "o Porshe carrera 4s peca por ter pouco espaço para transportar a mobília da sala" ou um "leva uma má nota nos consumos, conforto e espaço de bagageira" como efectivamente Ví no programa televisivo... mas acho que desta vez foi demais... a revista foi rapidamente oferecida a um amigo e que depois a reciclou por minha ordem!

Expliquem-me por favor onde está a lógica desta gente;
ora numa revista que fala de tudo deste a ultima trotinete da fiat até ao ultimo supercarro, encontrei testes de comportamento em slalom, travagem e aceleração... num conjunto de SUV's... e num RCZ, um artigo de 2 paginas de texto sobre N trivialidades... e mais nada. Minto havia uma tipica frase "a altura ao solo dificulta a entrada e saída do carro" DUHHHHH é um DeSpOrTiVo!!!!
Isto tudo num teste feito a um RCZ... HDI! Lindo; de todos, escolhem logo o mais medíocre para testar numa revista. A justificação do mercado nacional sofrer temporariamente de uma DIESELMania, não é válida. Olhem para a TopGear! Quantos dieseis lá testam? 1 em 1000? Na pista vê-se como um chassis está bem ou mal desenhado e afinado... na pista vê-se o que é um carro e o que é uma trotinete... e na pista o diesel não é nada bem vindo.

Mas pronto... assim fica DEFINITIVAMENTE posta de parte toda e qualquer compra ou recomendação favorável a esta revista nacional. Nem com uns 2 anos de intervalo para recuperar antigos traumas eu consegui dar uma nota aceitável a esta publicação. Triste... muito triste.

What the hell is going on in Japan? Is it the water?

For the last 2 decades, Japan (at least in my opinion), was probably the best country in the entire world producing GOOD cars.
I can easily remember:
From Honda : NSX (and all its other flavors), CRX V-TEC, DelSol V-TEC, Accord Type-R, Civic Type-R (mk1, mk2 and the jap version of the mk3), S2000, Integra Type-r, Prelude....
From Toyota : AE86, Supra, Celica GT4, MR2 (Mk1, Mk2, Mk3)
From Mazda : Mx3, Mx5, Rx7 (FC and FD)
From Mitsubishi : Lancer Evolution (all), Eclipse Turbo
From Subaru : Impreza (all the turbo 4wd)
From Nissan : Skyline GTR, Sunny GTi, Silvias (from the Dastun Gazelle..rs12, s13, s14 and s15)

But then came a stupid world trend of the "green car"!
Now before you "chlorophyll injected brain people" start saying that I'm wrong, let's just think for one second.

Of all the car's I enumerated, NONE is an economical, cheap, family car! NOT ONE.

A sports car is supposed to BURN fuel, Burn rubber, Burn oil, kill little birds with the sound of it's engine and render the American eagle impotent with it's exhaust fumes.
Economical cars, on the other hand, are made considering consumption, comfort, they are cheap so that a lot of people can afford them and so, they are made with the birds in mind... and the female eagle.

So why oh why did Honda kill the S2000 replacement project and the new NSX replacement project? And then, thinking it's not enough, why did they do a CRX replacement with an 128ps hybrid potato masher inside?
Why did Toyota end the perfect Supra?
Why did Nissan killed the InLine6 of the glorious SKYLINE?
Why did Mazda go all green with the RX8 instead of putting a triple rotor bi-turbo in it?
The only ones not following this trend are Mitsubishi and Subaru! I recon that they must use a supper advanced water filter on their engineers homes... they must. Otherwise it's just a question of time until I read a news blog and just get smashed by another "Japanese Brain Fart".

I've been telling EVERYONE, since I brought my S2000, just how much better Japanese cars are, comparing to Europeans.... but then THIS!
I just found myself telling people to buy the sirocco, the golf GTI, the Peugeot RCZ, the Porsche boxter, the Citroen DS3, the mini cooper and so many other GOOD examples of just how bad the Japanese car industry is that they no longer even get in the race.

I remember the times where a test between a Civic Type-R, a Audi S3 and a Seat Leon Cupra R, where you could tell that the civic was the best even with the turbos and all wheel drive on the European competitors... but now, you couldn't fit 3 turbos in a CRZ and make it outrun a fiesta.

I'm a proud owner of an S2000. To me it's the last Honda besides the Japanese CivicType-R (the European uses a multi-link rear suspension to ... cut prices... PFFF)
I'm desperately trying to source money to buy a good Supra, GTR-R34 or an Rx7FD... I'm feeling like the time when Japan produced cars for people has ended. Now all you can buy from them is "bird cars".

It must be the water!