Sofa King Awesome
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: New York
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|View Poll Results: Will cars become "lighter"?|
|Maybe, Just not in the immediate future.||9||64.29%|
|I like technology. I don't care if it becomes heavier.||0||0%|
|Voters: 14. You may not vote on this poll|
I don't think I'm confusing anything honestly. The two go hand in hand. It's the principle that if your car and my car were to get into a fight, who would win? I'm trying to come up with a good example of a light, cheap feeling SUV but I doubt we'll get very far on that point. Fact is, people like the feel of a heavy beast of a machine...people who don't enjoy turning.
As long as steel continues to be more affordable to use in car manufacturing compared to aluminum and carbon fiber, and as long as people want more features and comfort options in their cars, they're not going to get lighter anytime soon. Plus, there's the safety factor. Most cars nowadays have at least 6 airbags, and that alone adds a lot of weight, but if it helps get or keep a 4 or 5-star crash ranking from NHTSA (which, along with features and MPGs, is a selling point for any new car), then adding those extra pounds is a no-brainer for automakers.
So automakers turn to other MPG-improving means like diesel engines and gas/electrical hybrid systems, among other things. Reducing weight is pretty much the last thing on the list because, like someone posted before, people tend to associate "light" with "small", "cheap", "unsafe" and "not enough features"....once automakers attempt to change that kind of mindset on the consumers we may start seeing lighter cars...
I think you are confusing 'size' with 'weight'. People don't buy SUVs because they are heavy, they buy them because they are BIG. Making future cars lighter will come from the result of making the frames lighter. That would also make SUVs lighter without effecting there appearance of safety, imo.
Its also important to note, that this "big=safe" mindset is pretty much exclusive to the US. Europe definitely does not think like that, as there are plenty of small, premium cars that are very popular. But they also have very high gas prices.
A few years ago with the fuel spike in the US, you definitely started to hear about the US makes wanting to produce small, premium cars. But that went away after the price of gas came back down.
My prediction...the US will be forced to change their mindset once gas goes back up to $5-7/gal (and it definitely will). This will also push the development of weight saving technologies.
The US automotive buying habits will never change automatically. It will be forced to change. Higher gas prices will get us back to smaller cars, and it will also make the smaller cars even lighter to get better MPG. Win-Win with expensive oil.
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|Thread||Thread Starter||Forum||Replies||Last Post|
|Finally! A concerted effort to make cars lighter.||jruhi4||The Garage||3||08-08-2006 05:14 PM|
|Anyone Having A Meet Anytime Soon??||kevint||West||9||01-12-2006 10:16 PM|
|Anytime soon||Brownkid300||Mid-West||6||06-29-2005 08:04 PM|
|meets anytime soon?!?||Intensa03Lex23||North-East||4||05-10-2004 10:26 PM|