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Old 10-12-2021, 07:02 PM   #43
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Yes, I agree. It's particularly maddening for sports car enthusiasts to see them go extinct/get fat from regulations (crash and emissions) while in the meantime SUVs and trucks basically get a pass. It's nonsensical.
(of course just follow the money)
It's not the "crash and emissions regulations". Fact is Subaru and Toyota are producing a modern S13 240SX at the same weight, with much more power and greater chassis stiffness, *much* nicer interior, at same relative price point as Nissan did in the early 90s. And the Miata is not too far off from early-90s era weight as well. While meeting all those modern crash and emissions regulations.

If regs are to blame, it is indeed the regs that have been heavily rigged by the automakers and fossil fuel industry to actually *encourage* bigger and heavier cars, and *especially* MUCH bigger and heavier trucks and SUVs. If they all had to meet the same fuel economy and CO2 emissions standards, we wouldn't have a huge portion of the population driving around in 4000, 5000, 6000 lb. tanks. Totally agree, it's beyond ridiculous...

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Old 10-12-2021, 07:51 PM   #44
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I personally wouldn't blame the "environmental green movement" for a lack of lightweight interactive sports cars. Lightweight is good for the environment. But the market has never been that interested in those cars and with brands consolidating all of their models into a handful or even a single platform...it doesn't make much sense. The market wants big power, tech, insulation, and acres of piano black plastic.
My take is that 20-30 years ago if someone wanted some pep and a sporty driving experience in a car they had to go to a proper sports car. So the true hardcore enthusiasts were augmented with plenty of softcore drivers. Today most cars are decently quick and tire and suspension technology make even the most boring commuter car being able to out-handle the average driver, so the softcore enthusiasts don't need a sports car anymore. Hence the shrinking market.
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Old 10-12-2021, 08:21 PM   #45
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My take is that 20-30 years ago if someone wanted some pep and a sporty driving experience in a car they had to go to a proper sports car. So the true hardcore enthusiasts were augmented with plenty of softcore drivers. Today most cars are decently quick and tire and suspension technology make even the most boring commuter car being able to out-handle the average driver, so the softcore enthusiasts don't need a sports car anymore. Hence the shrinking market.

Yup. My dad traded his 997 for a Macan GTS. I get it. On paper it is pretty much a dead ringer for the performance figures of the 997, and it’s more practical. It matches the 0-60, slalom speed, almost everything is exactly the same.

But man, the 911 would raise the hairs on your neck when you drove it hard. The Macan just doesn’t.
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Old 10-13-2021, 01:49 PM   #46
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It's not the "crash and emissions regulations". Fact is Subaru and Toyota are producing a modern S13 240SX at the same weight, with much more power and greater chassis stiffness, *much* nicer interior, at same relative price point as Nissan did in the early 90s. And the Miata is not too far off from early-90s era weight as well. While meeting all those modern crash and emissions regulations.
Half true IMO. While it's all still possible (as evidenced above) it requires much more effort, will power and dedication from the automakers than it used to. And compared to the past, at this point most simply don't care about passion projects that in most cases won't have large (or any) profit. A bridge too far, if you will.
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Old 10-13-2021, 05:00 PM   #47
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I honestly put the decline of affordable, lightweight sports-cars down to changing consumer preferences (anecdotally, people are getting fatter, lazier, and like the higher seating of SUVs they can ‘walk into’ over low sports cars they have to ‘fall down’ into). As others noted, it is still possible to engineer lightweight RWD sports cars that pass all modern emissions and safety regulations since Mazda and Toyota/Subaru are still doing it.

But the other manufacturers probably look at Mazda’s and Toyota’s sales numbers and ask, why bother? Why should the other automakers invest the hundreds of millions or even billions needed to develop a new sports car for relatively modest sales when a fraction of that investment can produce yet another SUV or dual cab ute variant on an existing platform that will sell in far greater numbers? They’re in the business of making money with the least risk, and sports cars are are high risk and expensive to develop where SUVs are low risk.

I’m actually hopeful that improving EV tech might make lightweight, awesome handling sports cars that are easier to develop possible. I’m open to an EV MX-5 if they can keep the weight down (it doesn’t need a heavy, long range battery). It has the potential to have an even lower centre of gravity and better acceleration with next generation EV motors and batteries. The main barrier will be similar to the existing barrier to ICE sports cars… will consumers buy enough of them to justify the development?
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Old 10-13-2021, 05:54 PM   #48
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As a lightweight vehicle enthusiast, this thread is making me sad. Spot on with everyone buying SUVs - herds of them everywhere these days.
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Old 10-13-2021, 06:09 PM   #49
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As a lightweight vehicle enthusiast, this thread is making me sad. Spot on with everyone buying SUVs - herds of them everywhere these days.
I hate them with a fiery passion. For one thing, many of them are huge. They hog the road and fill up car parking spaces that still seem to be sized for much smaller 1980s cars. But I also hate what they have done to normal car sales… coupes, hatches, sedans and wagons are all dying off, being replaced by SUV lineups. Other than the elevated seating position and slightly easier loading of heavier items, there is nothing the typical SUV does that a good wagon cannot do better. The wagon is more aerodynamic, lighter and so uses less fuel on average. It has a lower COG and handles better. It doesn’t block the forward view over the roof as much. It looks better! And many wagons actually have more cargo space than many SUVs (especially these fugly ‘coupe’ SUVs). But the market has spoken apparently, and passenger cars are going the way of the dodo as SUVs take over the roads.

The thing that really irks me is that at the same time we have a push to make vehicles as ‘green’ as possible, we live in the heyday of the lumbering great SUV! I mean, look at the things that make a car as efficient and environmentally friendly as possible… aerodynamic (so it must have a low profile), lightweight (so it has less mass to move), small (uses less materials). The SUV is the antithesis of all of these! Even as engineers wring every last ounce of efficiency out of engines, many of the fuel efficiency and emissions benefits of improved engines are lost because these modern engines need to haul around these huge and heavy vehicles! It’s so ridiculous.
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Old 10-15-2021, 12:29 PM   #50
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I honestly put the decline of affordable, lightweight sports-cars down to changing consumer preferences (anecdotally, people are getting fatter, lazier, and like the higher seating of SUVs they can ‘walk into’ over low sports cars they have to ‘fall down’ into). As others noted, it is still possible to engineer lightweight RWD sports cars that pass all modern emissions and safety regulations since Mazda and Toyota/Subaru are still doing it.

But the other manufacturers probably look at Mazda’s and Toyota’s sales numbers and ask, why bother? Why should the other automakers invest the hundreds of millions or even billions needed to develop a new sports car for relatively modest sales when a fraction of that investment can produce yet another SUV or dual cab ute variant on an existing platform that will sell in far greater numbers? They’re in the business of making money with the least risk, and sports cars are are high risk and expensive to develop where SUVs are low risk.

I’m actually hopeful that improving EV tech might make lightweight, awesome handling sports cars that are easier to develop possible. I’m open to an EV MX-5 if they can keep the weight down (it doesn’t need a heavy, long range battery). It has the potential to have an even lower centre of gravity and better acceleration with next generation EV motors and batteries. The main barrier will be similar to the existing barrier to ICE sports cars… will consumers buy enough of them to justify the development?
Some japanese may be working on cartridge type of battery 🔋.
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Old 10-15-2021, 03:30 PM   #51
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I've always found the Alpine conflicting for me. On one hand I find it very slick and cool. But on the other hand, it comes off as squished and ugly.



That one thing about car design now, a lot of them look terrible on paper/photo but are actually pretty sleek in person.


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I also hate what they have done to normal car sales… coupes, hatches, sedans and wagons are all dying off, being replaced by SUV lineups. Other than the elevated seating position and slightly easier loading of heavier items, there is nothing the typical SUV does that a good wagon cannot do better. The wagon is more aerodynamic, lighter and so uses less fuel on average. It has a lower COG and handles better. It doesn’t block the forward view over the roof as much. It looks better! And many wagons actually have more cargo space than many SUVs (especially these fugly ‘coupe’ SUVs).

Atleast you can still buy car/wegons like the nice honda oddesy wegon that's like low to the ground from factory in Australia? They only have abomination in north america cuz soccer mom's demands it.
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Old 10-16-2021, 12:19 PM   #52
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I hate them with a fiery passion. For one thing, many of them are huge. They hog the road and fill up car parking spaces that still seem to be sized for much smaller 1980s cars. But I also hate what they have done to normal car sales… coupes, hatches, sedans and wagons are all dying off, being replaced by SUV lineups. Other than the elevated seating position and slightly easier loading of heavier items, there is nothing the typical SUV does that a good wagon cannot do better. The wagon is more aerodynamic, lighter and so uses less fuel on average. It has a lower COG and handles better. It doesn’t block the forward view over the roof as much. It looks better! And many wagons actually have more cargo space than many SUVs (especially these fugly ‘coupe’ SUVs). But the market has spoken apparently, and passenger cars are going the way of the dodo as SUVs take over the roads.

The thing that really irks me is that at the same time we have a push to make vehicles as ‘green’ as possible, we live in the heyday of the lumbering great SUV! I mean, look at the things that make a car as efficient and environmentally friendly as possible… aerodynamic (so it must have a low profile), lightweight (so it has less mass to move), small (uses less materials). The SUV is the antithesis of all of these! Even as engineers wring every last ounce of efficiency out of engines, many of the fuel efficiency and emissions benefits of improved engines are lost because these modern engines need to haul around these huge and heavy vehicles! It’s so ridiculous.
but look at the numbers. a 2019 86, a nearly textbook example of a small, lightweight, barebones car, only manages to achieve 21mpg city/ 28mpg highway.

the 2019 kia sorrento for an example, in all it's 'heft' lays claim to 22mpg city/29mpg highway.

so the SUV is more efficient by the numbers, even if it's only 1 mpg... if one's got a family, there's really no difference, so people are understandably buying the biggest thing that they can afford that suits their needs. small cars have a ton of caveats. i'm single and i don't even like taking the 86 for grocery shopping. no matter how few bags i get, it always somehow turns into a champion-level tetris game...
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Old 10-16-2021, 06:29 PM   #53
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Depends on the examples you pick. The 86 isn’t a particularly economical small car. My wife’s small 200kw, 1200kg hot hatch gets under 6 litres per hundred on average and a mate’s family Toyota Kluger uses more than double that (often into the 15s around town). Both have the same power, one just carries an extra tonne of mass.
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Old 10-17-2021, 12:58 PM   #54
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but look at the numbers. a 2019 86, a nearly textbook example of a small, lightweight, barebones car, only manages to achieve 21mpg city/ 28mpg highway.

the 2019 kia sorrento for an example, in all it's 'heft' lays claim to 22mpg city/29mpg highway.

so the SUV is more efficient by the numbers, even if it's only 1 mpg... if one's got a family, there's really no difference, so people are understandably buying the biggest thing that they can afford that suits their needs. small cars have a ton of caveats. i'm single and i don't even like taking the 86 for grocery shopping. no matter how few bags i get, it always somehow turns into a champion-level tetris game...
The automatic 86 was 24/33. I think the 8 speed transmission in the Sorento helps. If these CUVs don’t have a CVT then they have a million gears approximating a CVT. The larger displacement engine probably makes more torque down low, so the engine doesn’t need to be revved out past a torque dip to move the car. For what it’s worth, the 2019 Kia Forte does 31/41 city/highway, so light weight still wins; the SUV/CUV isn’t a win/win.
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Old 10-17-2021, 01:23 PM   #55
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Crash tests aren’t really a thing driving size the way people are talking about or a Miata and a Fiat 500 couldn’t exist. Yes, vehicles are bigger than their predecessors, and part of that is based on crash standards, but the drive to SUVs and bigger trucks is a cultural thing and a marketing thing.



Styling trends change over time. A huge sedan could be a two door coupe too in the past. America has always liked big vehicles, but they just had a different shape. Trucks, SUVs and CUVs are just more practical and easy, and people are just less interested in style or being different. This is also evident in the landscape of black, white and silver vehicles; there isn’t a whole lot of colors because it is more practical to buy something that sells well, that is safe, and manufacturers don’t want to build inventory for colors that don’t sell. People don’t want to pay extra for color. People in general don’t have the money for vehicles like they use to, so they try to maximize their money on space, safety, utility.



Luxury vehicles seem to defy the rest of the industry. There are still CUVs that sell better than other models, but then you have brands like BMW that has a sedan at every size and in coupe and sedan forms, and in two and four door variants like it creates a 4-series coupe to differentiate against a 3-series sedan, but then it makes a four-door GT variant of the 4-series. Apparently BMW can build a million different variants to satisfy everyone in tge market and still make a profit, but every other manufacturer needs to ditch their coupes or cars all together (ex: Civic coupe, Ford).

I think I’m ranting and lost my point.
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Old 10-18-2021, 07:49 AM   #56
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but look at the numbers. a 2019 86, a nearly textbook example of a small, lightweight, barebones car, only manages to achieve 21mpg city/ 28mpg highway… the 2019 kia sorrento for an example, in all it's 'heft' lays claim to 22mpg city/29mpg highway.
That’s because the 86 has a NA engine geared to try and achieve respectable HP and acceleration numbers and be somewhat exciting - economy was almost an afterthought. The KIA Sorrento has an entirely different engine and gearing - high revving excitement was not high on the priority list.

Put the engine and transmission from the Sorrento into the 86 and the 86 would murder the Sorrento’s economy numbers, even if it was less fun to drive. Likewise, put the 86’s engine and gearing into the Sorrento and watch the economy get far worse. There is no doubt that if you controlled the key variable by using the exact same engine and transmission in both a coupe and SUV, the lower, lighter, more aerodynamic coupe will be more economical, because physics.

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if one's got a family, there's really no difference
Why on earth would someone with a family buy an 86 if it is their only car? It’s a sports car, not a family hauler.

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so people are understandably buying the biggest thing that they can afford that suits their needs.
Yes, I know, that’s what saddens me. So many people I know would be just as well served with a nice hatchback or wagon - just as much space, better handling, and the potential for better economy (as long as we aren’t comparing a less economical sports car engine to a low powered econo-SUV engine).

I see so many people commuting to work, or just driving to the shops alone or with only one passenger, in giant ass SUVs and it is just more car than they objectively need. Yes, I understand the myth that ‘bigger is better’ but it isn’t always which was my point. Sometimes bigger is just an unnecessary waste of resources and space. And as a result of the bigger is better mentality, the rest of us have to put up with these giant road hogs.

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small cars have a ton of caveats. i'm single and i don't even like taking the 86 for grocery shopping. no matter how few bags i get, it always somehow turns into a champion-level tetris game...
Sounds like maybe you bought the wrong car.. for you. I never had a problem fitting my grocery shop in my 86 or now in my Z.

But this is largely beside the point, I wasn’t arguing small sports coupes are the logical alternative to SUVs for people needing a practical vehicle, I was pointing out that other types of regular car like hatchbacks and wagons are just as practical and more efficient than most SUVs and would suit most people’s needs just fine if it wasn’t for automotive ‘fashion’ which dictates SUVs are the default vehicle choice nowadays. A coupe might not compete with an SUV for practicality, but a good hatchback or wagon sure can. Indeed, many SUVs are merely more expensive, jacked up, high riding hatchbacks anyway… case in point, the Subaru XV, which is literally a more expensive, high riding Impreza hatchback.
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