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Old 07-31-2015, 04:20 PM   #1
AndySD
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Answer To Sports Cars Are Becoming Too Heavy

A premise I can relate to, and have an answer to, is that high performance/sports cars are all becoming too heavy.

Sadly, you probably won't take my solution seriously, but here goes.

After research on Youtube where I saw how amazingly they corner, I bought a new 2011 Honda Fit Sport 5M and mounted 17x7 Kosei Racing wheels with 215-40 Kumho ECSTA SPT tires plus some less important items like muffler. (I sold the OEM tires and wheels for $350.) It weighed only about 2,400 pounds and cornered fantastically. (Check it out racing on Youtube.) I gave much more costly sports cars a hard time following me through two lane mountain road curves, where power is not so much of a factor as suspension, tires, and weight. (Honestly, a friend with a new Audi R8 said, "Your Fit is giving us fits!")

Recently, I gave that car to my granddaugher's fiance and bought a Milano Red 2015 Honda Fit LX 6 MT and put on the same 17x7 Kosei Racing wheels, this time with Dunlop 215-40 Direzza Z2's (also from Tirerack). (Now the odometer and speedometer agree perfectly with the GPS.) With 130 vs 117 horsepower and 6 gears it goes even better. Sometimes I use premium gas and wish I knew if it really helps. But again I'm having a lot of fun, for less that n $17k out the door in California with 8% sales tax, including a nice discount I received! Don't believe the mags saying how the '15 Fit lost edge compared to the gen 2 Fit. I also installed an HKS more open axle-back exhaust system that gives a very cool sound.

Last edited by AndySD; 08-02-2015 at 01:33 PM. Reason: minor tried to add photo
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Old 08-01-2015, 12:12 AM   #2
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Re: Answer To Sports Cars Are Becoming Too Heavy

A Fit to take the place of a modern sportscar?
Nah!
Not enough steam to shorten the time spent on those boring old straightaways.
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Old 08-02-2015, 01:19 PM   #3
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Re: Answer To Sports Cars Are Becoming Too Heavy

I didn't think anyone would really try to understand, but I'll reply as if you were paying attention and had an open mind. It wasn't long ago that 0-60 of 7.7 and a top speed of 118 was respectable. But did you ever imagine you could buy an engaging car for $15,400 before tax, 16,315 MSRP? Specific to your comment, our straights are at most half a mile, and they are undulating as well, so with 100 coming up very fast you better just keep both hands on the wheel and concentrate; being bored will not happen. But you'll be more comfortable sticking with your preconception that a sports car has to have a 400 horsepower to command respect around the bar. Never mind it weighs 3,500-plus pounds, it will never be wrung out anyway. If, as your username implies, you wear a Lotus, its respectability is achieved with the most important element, low weight. But it is expensive, tiny, difficult to get in and out of, and very tiring. I have three motorcycles for that kind of riding. On the other hand, I have found a little niche car that scoots through corners, has surprising acceleration, and at today's price levels is a gift - one with 6 speeds, quick steering, bolstered seats, a backup camera, external temp, CD, 5 passenger capacity (rear seat legroom more than an Accord), and a plethora of cargo variations. Its 130 hp engine is dohc direct injection, i-VTEC, about 7k rpm fuel cutoff. Maintenance costs a small fraction of Porsche, BMW, etc. Wide sports tires are a must as with any car. I first put Direzza Z2's on an S2000 and can recommend them. As Tirerack points out in their comparison test, they have excellent traction cold off the line, a must in autocross where you sit in line waiting your turn to run, which I did for 7 years with a breakdown-prone '67 Porsche 912 where perhaps I learned to appreciate low weight (2,000), low horsepower(90), the best line through a series of corners, corner entry speed, and carrying speed through corners.
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Old 08-02-2015, 01:41 PM   #4
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Re: Answer To Sports Cars Are Becoming Too Heavy

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Old 08-02-2015, 02:55 PM   #5
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Re: Answer To Sports Cars Are Becoming Too Heavy

I have 2 Lotus Esprits. Not tiring at all to drive on a 500 mile trip. It's just the way the car is designed.
Probably drive the V8 to work tomorrow, like I usually do on a nice day.
What's nice about a competent sports car is that they challenge you to get the most out of it.
Which, while not "fun" for me in a strict sense, it is a nice mental exercise. And it is very satisfying to me to do a good job on a twisty mountain road. I'm an ex motorcycle road racer, so cars and the speed they create doesn't intimidate me much.
What I've found out about "sporty feeling" mass market cars, is that they feel great up to a point, then when you really start carving corners, the suspension goes numb, and at that point, the car starts to work against you.
Whereas on my 2 cars, they will give you feedback about what is going on at the tire patches, right to the point where they go off the road, or spin out. (Not that I've left the road or spun out---pretty close 'tho). Lotus designs very safe handling mid engined cars.
So yes, sports cars are getting too heavy these days, but make up for it with fat tires and 4 wheel drive.....I don't agree with that direction, but I'm not about to buy a hot hatch either.
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