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IPFS News Link • Transportation

When More Power's Not Enough

•, By eric

GM, for instance, is about to debut the latest ZR-1 Corvette, which will have a twi-turbo V8 and nearly 900 horsepower, if reports are accurate. On the other hand, it will have an array of driver pre-emption (styled "safety") technology in between all of that power and the driver. And it won't have or even offer a manual transmission.

It will no doubt be extremely fast. Probably – literally – three times as fast as a Corvette from the '70s, which had three (or four) times less power.

But how much more fun?

At first, as regards the new, it will be a lot – because it's a thrill to go that fast. If you've never been in a car that can get to 60 in less than 5 seconds, you'll be thrilled white-in-the-face by the experience of getting there in less than three, especially the first time you experience it. And the second and third time. But the experience becomes less thrilling the more often you experience it – as happens after your fourth or fifth trip up to the 100th floor on a high-speed elevator.

Why? Probably because you haven't got much to do except go along for the ride. In both cases. You push the button – or floor the accelerator – and the ride commences. You experience the G forces but – other than that – there's not much else to experience.

And the experience is pretty much always the same.

The experience is quite different in a Corvette from the '70s, especially one with a manual transmission – even though it's not nearly as fast. In part because there was nothing in between you and what power there was. The traction was not under control; it was up to you to keep it under control by mastering the art of balancing mashing the gas pedal with lifting off just enough- just in time – to prevent loss of control. There was also the clutch to deal with. (Yes, an automatic was available in those days; but in those days, automatics in cars like the Corvette were for girls and old men who'd either never learned how to drive or weren't especially good at it but wanted to look good in a car like the Corvette.)

1 Comments in Response to

Comment by PureTrust
Entered on:

This is silly. All that a car like this will do is break traction and wear rubber off the tires. What they need is a weight-balanced car with 4-wheel drive so that it can take of as fast as anybody might want. Think about it. Sitting at the stop sign, burning on all 4's, with the smoke rising high and fast, before she bursts off into the distance like a flash of lightening.