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!
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?
Is Portugal a place with big straight Autobahns? NO
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