Last time I lamented how the beautiful ATTS technology in the Prelude seemed to have died out. Not so! In fact it appears to be almost identical to the Quaife Differential which is in the Ford Focus RS, which is responsible for it being such a fantastic handling FWD car (except that it seems they goofed a bit and didn't get it quite as right, or the Focus's much higher torque is just harder to control). (all that mechanical technicalia about struts and diffs is fascinating but gibberish to me).
Sadly we don't get the Ford Focus RS here. Or the Scirocco GTI. Or the VW Golf R. Or the Civic Type R. Basically car companies see America and think "there's a load of fat gits who only buy rubbish cars, no need to sell any good ones there".
One of the annoying things about buying something like Porsche is that they are severely price-inflated and quality-deflated by the devoted van boys who grew up dreaming of having one and will pay outrageous sums for a shitty product just because of the brand and the image. I on the other hand, just want a car that feels good and actually would really rather not have the brand, but I have to pay for it anyway.
It sucks when you are trying to pick something based on merit and find that the best thing is this brand which causes you to overpay. It happens all the time in clothes; I just want the jeans that look good and fit well, I would hapily buy Sears brand jeans if they were good, but I wind up buying Diesel or Seven for All Mankind or whatever the fucking thing is now just because it's the only one that's actually a decent quality product - but then I'm paying a 50% markup for the damn brand which I don't care about at all. (and in fact I try to hide the label as much as possible because it's embarassing)
I think the new hatchbacks are fucking fabulous. Unless you are buying a super high end sports car, there is absolutely no reason to buy anything but a hatchback. They are way more practical, and you sacrifice very little in weight or handling. The only possible reason to buy a sedan over a hatch these days is for vanity. And it's stupid vanity, it's trying to look boring and fit in to some old fashioned idea of what looks good which makes you totally uncool. I don't love the long hatches like the BMW 1 hatch or the Mini, a key part of the advantage is having a tiny wheel base, which makes them so nifty and fun to drive and easily parkable.
I was thinking how much I hate all the new turbo engines for their lags, and it occured to me that of course the obvious thing to do would be to have some kind of supercharger that took care of your boost before the exhaust pressure was sufficient, and then you switch to turbos after that. Of course this has been done, see for example the VW Twincharger ; the newer solution is Variable Vane Turbos ; BTW these come from the stonkeringly good Autozine Technical School ; my god that web site is good.
Today I was parallel parking my shitty rental car and of course bumping it against the cars on each side and thinking to myself how not fun that would be in a fancy car. I would much rather park a tiny thing like a Golf GTI and hell, I'd like a rubber ring all around the car like a bumper car. So anyway, for random amusement, I present some parking-related youtubes : how to repo parallel parked cars , french car bumping , FWD torque steer parallel parking