A recent new car purchase has me wondering why Styling has become more important than either Safety or Good Sound Engineering.
For example look at the wheels and tires on new cars today. My new Fiesta came with ONLY 205R40-17 inch wheels and tires. If you think that is an actual performance issue I will tell you that Formula One dictates a sidewall height of 3.25 inches, NASCAR dictates a 305R55x16 tire, and INDYCAR mandates tire profiles that are a near twin of Formula One. The reason for this is because a cracked rim at over 150 mph is near guaranteed to kill a driver and possible a large group of spectators. TO BE BLUNT BECAUSE ADEQUATE SIDEWALL HEIGHT IS SAFER.
So, why do we see cars sold with tire profiles that have proven to be very prone to road damage and cause accidents? Because the Nonsense Generation thinks that Style trumps common sense. BTW, those who dispute this are free to check the various racing venues and have an Epiphany that they are indeed MORONS for thinking lower profile is better.
Then there are the brake, clutch, and gas pedals. Yeah, back in the 60's stupid all metal footprint gas pedals were a "thing". Worst thing that can happen if your foot slips off a gas pedal is you lose the race. So how come we are stuck with metal clutch and brake pedals with hard plasic inserts? I have already had my foot slip of the brake pedal in my car because of wet shoes. Fortunately because I'm an "early" braker I had time to recover without a collision. However I don't want it to happen again and basic high traction rubber slip on pads have proven difficult to find. However I can find an array of very "Stylish" pedal covers that are perhaps even worse than what's in the car now. This is CRAP that NHTSA should be banning but I guess the only purpose for folks at that organization is to collect paychecks for not doing one damned thing.
Bumpers. I actually remember owning cars with those massive 5 mph bumpers and they actually did provide no cost protection for bumps under 5 mph. So why are we now stuck with so called bumpers that can't even withstand the impact of a freaking grocery cart without damage. A lousy less than 50 lbs. grocery cart moving at a walking pace. Now, I'm not asking for huge beams like in the late 70's, those were pretty darned ugly. Howver a well designed Urethane bump pad bonded to a solid steel bumper could be both good looking and effective for minor low speed impacts. Note, I remember the Pontiac Endura bumpers and the ads featuring a guy with a large crowbar beating that bumper without causing any harm. If Pontiac could do it back in the 60's why cant we even match that result nearly 60 years later?
Note, I am aware that SUV's and Trucks do have bumpers that provide some protection. However I can "read the writing on the wall" and can predict that in another 5 or 10 years we will start seeing trucks and SUV's that are Stylish and have no effective bumpers.
Note, I personally blame all of this on the Demoncrats and the Nonsense Generation. Because their only purpose in life appears to be Stylish and sponging off those who actually do real work to the greatest extent possible.This message has been edited. Last edited by: Scooter123,
I've stopped counting.
if you think, cars used to be engineered better. Well, I just don't know what to tell you.
Chances are high; you won't like what I've got to say.
I have not a clue as to what the meaning of your statement is. At a guess I am thinking you were stating that Engineering is better today than back in the 60's.
First, to be clear about things Styling and Engineering are two separate activities. I am also saying that Styling has become more important than good Engineering.
As for the Engineering on cars today I actually have experience as an Engineer on the supply side of the Automotive sector dating back to 1982. As a result my opinion of "modern Engineering" is a completely different issue that the Styling versus Engineering issue in this thread. BTW my opinion isn't positive, there is a massively HUGE waste of money and resources going on in Automotive today.
I've stopped counting.
|thin skin can't win|
Well you do get credit for making your own thread political in the OP.
The whole rant is pretty funny!
You only have integrity once. - imprezaguy02
|Savor the limelight|
My Focus ST rear bumper has been hit twice at less that 5 mph and had no damage.
I agree on the sidewalls. I'm seeing rediculiously short sidewalls on stock Camrys and Accords. A 40 series tire on a car that can only pull .85 on a skid pad.
My Mercedes runs a staggered 35/19 tire setup, but has some of the performance to use it.
The F1 argument becomes invalid in a couple years when they move to 18" wheels from the existing 13"
I believe Formula E is already using the larger wheels.
I also witnessed an offset headon collision between a Tundra and Explorer last night, ton of damage to both & luckily both drivers escaped with no major injuries.
The Tundra driver was out walking immediately after, despite the frame appearing bent.
Explorer driver had a skinned knee & the expected post accident discomfort of being hit by an airbag suddenly.
The Enemy's gate is down.
Seems like they have to do some of these things for the Walter Mittys and the Instagram crowd.
My other Sig is a Steyr...
I was not more than three minutes ago talking to my neighbor about the car I just bought. 235/40/19s on it. Told him I was considering buying 17 or 18s with larger side walls for the winter. One pot hole and I'm out $700 for wheel and tire, maybe more. Luckily my car has some kind of radar that stiffens suspension right before hitting holes which is supposed to lower chances of damage.
The rubber bands do look nice on large rims though.
A couple SIGs and a few others
I forget the year or make/model, but on a recent pull 'n pay expedition I saw several urethane bumpers that had damage where the urethane was ripped to the point the backing was exposed. Backing was freaking wood particle board. No thanks; give me a pick-up truck with steel bumpers.
Your right to swing your fist stops just short of the other person's nose...
|On the DL|
I recall reading, many years ago, that the only time that most drivers experience numbers like that is immediately before they lose control of the vehicle.
A mind is a terrible thing.
|Void Where Prohibited|
With the terrible condition of the roads around here, I despise low-profile tires.
Too easy to bend a rim.
"If Gun Control worked, Chicago would look like Mayberry, not Thunderdome" - Cam Edwards
"Better engineered" has many positive and negatives.
For instance- my first Volvo was a 1973 142 2 door.
If you took the cap off of the windshield washer reservoir electric motor assembly, you would see that the motor had swing arms on the brushes. It enabled you to swing the brushes away from the commutator assembly in order to service that tiny windshield washer motor. To get to it you opened the hood and reached down and could touch and remove the whole motor and washer fluid reservoir assembly in 15 seconds.
Consider any modern design engineer who would design a vehicle with this longevity in mind...
#1 son drives a Volvo S80 T6. The windshield washer reservoir has begun leaking- again. (This is a common problem with many of the Volvos).
It already had a flaw which resulted in a leak and was replaced once when the car was only a year old.
In order to access the reservoir, you have to remove the entire exterior bumper/shell/front end of the car and part of the inner fender shielding plus bracing.
Depending on where you live in the country, this can cost between $300 to $425+ dollars.
Is the S80 better engineered? Yes, overall- but combine cheap materials used in ALL consumer level vehicles, mean time failures vs. planned obsolescence and you may have differing opinions on the "better" engineered argument.
Just think of all of the grease fittings that used to be considered standard on u-joints, ball joints, steering assemblies, etc.
There are some fellers that think "permanently lubricated/sealed" bearings are "better engineering"...
|Page late and a dollar short|
Engineering for safety has gotten much better over the years. Crush zones, multiple air bags and electronics have all improved over the decades.
Engineering for style, now that is a whole different animal. Sure headlight lifespan has improved today but having to remove a front bumper to replace a lamp aka Cadillac CTS?
Low aspect ratio tires, automakers response to the lowrider/customizer faction that love to fill up a wheel opening with chrome and minimal tire. Personally I loved the Cadillac ATS, in the dealerships we sold a bunch of replacement wheels and tires for those. It was not unusual for a car to come in with four bent wheels and damaged tires, some being frequent flyers.
Servicing today's cars is tougher due to smaller size and trying to fit everything into that space. I've seen some great examples, some so-so examples and some that are just downright terrible. One of the reasons I don't work on my own stuff anymore.
Saw a lot of changes during the almost five decades I worked in car dealerships.
Douglas MacArthur: “Whoever said the pen is mightier than the sword obviously never encountered automatic weapons.”
If it weren’t for styling, Honda and Toyota would’ve put the big 3 and other automakers out of business long ago.
Those who can, do. Those who can’t, manage.
|Unapologetic Old |
For those who say they don't build them like they used to:
- "This town reminds me of something in the bible."
- "Which part?"
- "The part right before god gets angry"
It’s been said before-
There is a story about one of General Electric’s engineering facilities. Over one doorway there is supposedly a 1950’s era GE iron mounted on the wall over the door.
There’s a sign that says “THIS GE IRON LASTED 40 YEARS”…
In small print below it says - “Don’t let it happen again”.
|The Unmanned Writer|
One thing I don't see mentioned; even with a 160 mph tailwind, you fiesta isn't cracking the 120 mph mark much less 150.
Sentiment without action is the ruin of the soul.
Help, I'm having premonitions of future flashbacks.
Only in an insane world are the sane considered insane.
Some people listen to the noise of the world,
And some people listen to the quiet.
"All Californians, like all citizens of the United States, have a fundamental Constitutional right to keep and bear common and dangerous arms. The nation’s Founders used arms for self-protection, for the common defense, for hunting food, and as a check against tyranny." Judge Benitez - March 2019
|Savor the limelight|
My Focus hit 140 before I backed off. I don't see why the OP's Fiesta wouldn't do 120. There's video of the 2019 Fiesta ST hitting 147 on the Autobahn.
I don't think the low-profile tires are supposed to be fashionable, but to reduce unsprung weight. And that's why almost everything has aluminum wheels.
130 mph top speed and zero to 60 in 6.7 seconds.
A couple SIGs and a few others
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