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Thread: Alternative Cars/Vehicles

  1. #106
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    I wonder if the racing ban is for active only systems.

    What if they found a way to make the system passive? Once air pressures reach a certain amount, they push certain pieces into place, rather than a speed gague activating pneumatic actuators or servos?

    IOW, the wind pushes the car into the shape it needs rather than the car doing it regardless?

    (And why is this forbidden in racing? they have the strangest rules for these things sometimes...)

  2. #107

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    What bugs me is that the jerk-offs at GM should be announcing an electric powered Corvette. Even if it's a concept... even a stock Corvette with an electric cord to nowhere. At least create excitement, some press, some good-will. GM could do a Tesla thing with some special Corvettes... why not?

    In fact: while GM kills Pontiac and Saturn... they should make Corvette a seperate brand... have it all about high technology, research. Do some limited edition stratospherically priced electrics. Corvette is one GM brand whose name has not been ruined. They should run with it.

    ---
    Last edited by Fabrizio; December 4th, 2008 at 10:00 AM.

  3. #108

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    Corvette needs to find some direction since they've scrapped their mid-engine plans. Twin-turbo V6?

    I think the Saturn nameplate could fetch them good value, what with their history of lightweight composite body panels - being the future. Of course they'd have to forget about trying to be conventional and go back to:

    "What Kind Of Car Is That? It's A Saturn!"
    and
    "A Different Kind of Company, A Different Kind of Car."

    Saturn Flextreme hybrid concept

  4. #109
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    I thought Saturn was a success story, why would they be scrapping it?

    Also, I cannot believe, for ONE SECOND, that all the big automakers will spontaneously stop and close, thus stranding millions. You would think they would propose, as Jason and Fab are suggesting, some viable alternate plans that would require some downsizing rather than just saying "hey we are closing all these things, go tell your congressman!".


    BTW, I think Corvette would be a good brand to branch off. It is not the greatest sports car out there, but it has held more rep than the Mustang lost through the 80's and 90's and probably could be a successful offshoot.

    Thing is, I do not know if it can go the same way as the Tesla and start talking future techie. Corvettes always seemed like a ritzy muscle car. Like pure HP with a bit of style, it may be hard to adapt that to an electric, even one as powerful as the Tesla or Lightning.

  5. #110

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    Ford has announced that it has enough funds to get through but would like a loan. GM and Chrysler talk of bankruptcy.

    And they have all spoke of plans for downsizing as has been mentioned here: GM is killing brands.

    Re: Saturn: They are re-badged Opels... they do not design their own cars anymore. It's basically an Opel import division. And sales are not a success.

    If Ferrari can announce going green... so can Corvette.

  6. #111

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    Corvettes in the 60s were more than muscle cars. They were innovative, a bargain-priced alternative to foreign exotics. "Bargain" was strictly relative.

    Fiberglas body panels, a unique transverse leaf spring for the independent rear.

    They should have gone to a lighter, high output engine in the 90s. Take some weight off the front wheels. Maybe an inline 6.

    But by that time, the Arkus-Duntov group was long gone, and the bean-counters who replaced the car-enthusiasts deemed the old iron V8 the cheaper alternative.

  7. #112

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    Quote Originally Posted by ZippyTheChimp View Post
    ...and the bean-counters who replaced the car-enthusiasts deemed the old iron V8 the cheaper alternative.
    ...and that's what GM's business plan has been: saving money on every car. But if you're not making money, because no one's buying your cars, because all that economizing is so obvious... then there's no money to save.

  8. #113

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    My question is what US carmaker is going to get serious and step up to the 4-cylinder turbo diesel plate?

    (So we can move toward industrial hemp composites and hemp seed biodiesel.)

  9. #114
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    Hemp will never get passed.

    It is too easy to be produced independently, so they will never go for it.

    What I keep seeing now from companies like shell are the Gaseous liquid fuel or some thing lik ethat, where they are trying to use natural gas, but convert it into a liquid form for use.

    Basically, something that is not easily produced and refined by the small-time production crew.

    If we allowed hemp farms and processing plants, correct me if I am wrong (like I have to ask), wouldn't it be feasable to almost have small private or municipal fuel production plants? Kind of like what they have now for recycled veggie oil?


    But back on topic. Zip, I am just going on what I have seen during my driving life (20 years or so). Vette's were seen as the mid-grade muscle car. More than a Mustang, but classier too. Cheaper than a euro sport car, but not something to be ashamed of when seen in one even in a more affluent area.

    It still says more muscle than pure style hough.

    And that is the only reason I say that it would have a harder time marketing the alternative green model development. In order to get the same performance, they will not be able to charge the same price (yet). Ferrari can because they can charge $250K for a car and no-one will blink. They also have a more eclectic feel to them. Elite, different.

    Vette's now feel like the American Sports Car, good bad or otherwise, I don't know if they could successfully market that to their target markets....

    When do you think that the next tier of performance electrics wil hit the market? Could you imagine a 300HP sport sedan, 200 mile range that could charge in less than 20 min? when would something like that, at the current development rate, be a realistic possibility?

    More importantly, when would it be comparable to similar gas powered vehicles in terms of price? $60K for a luxury performance electric? $20K for a Miata sized fun-car?

  10. #115

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    Vettes were/are not muscle cars. They are sports cars.

    A muscle car is a standard mid-size coupe with a big engine: GTO, GTX, Chevelle SS, RoadRunner etc.

    ---

    Pricing: the Corvette Z51 costs around $100,000. The idea is to up the brand. Is this such a hard concept to grasp?


    ---
    Last edited by Fabrizio; December 4th, 2008 at 02:45 PM.

  11. #116

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    How Corvette was marketed in its hey day: the emphasis was engineering, refinement, class, handling, esclusivity :




    If you can make out the text... it's all about engineering:








  12. #117
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fabrizio View Post
    Vettes were/are not muscle cars. They are sports cars.

    A muscle car is a standard mid-size coupe with a big engine: GTO, GTX, Chevelle SS, RoadRunner etc.

    ---

    Pricing: the Corvette Z51 costs around $100,000. The idea is to up the brand. Is this such a hard concept to grasp?


    ---
    To the American consumer? Yes.

    PS, the 2009 2 door coupe is listed at $50K, significantly less than Lamborghini, Ferrari, Porche, and even a great deal of BMW or Mercedes....

    To the general car-buying public, it is seen as a beefy sports car. More style than the generic muscle car you defined, but more "beef" and weight than the fancier bretheren.

    I think it would be difficult to make that market think green.

  13. #118

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    (oh boy...)

    Ferrari's market is multi- multi-millionares. Right now lots of Saudis, Russians, Chinese.

    They don't give a ratz ass about the environment or green Ferraris.

    So you tell me: why is Ferrari even bothering. You tell me.

  14. #119
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fabrizio View Post
    How Corvette was marketed in its hey day: the emphasis was engineering, refinement, class, handling, esclusivity :

    If you can make out the text... it's all about engineering:
    That's great. And what does it stand for today?

  15. #120
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fabrizio View Post
    (oh boy...)

    Ferrari's market is multi- multi-millionares. Right now lots of Saudis, Russians, Chinese.

    They don't give a ratz ass about the environment or green Ferraris.

    So you tell me: why is Ferrari even bothering. You tell me.
    I will!

    Because it is different, AND the electric, if done right, can beat a gas powered vehicle in acceleration. Making it so the wheels do not slip AND being able to give full torque at 0 rpm gives electric a distinct advantage (as shown by both the Tesla and Lightning).

    It is also seen as something new and different. I doubt, seriously, that they are pushing the green standard on these cars as much as they are pushing the performance and style. The green is like the "salad" at the side when you order your steak. They know this.

    When I see the "smart" car, I think "green" (and not in a flattering way). When I see the Tesla, I think fast.

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