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      07-09-2009, 10:22 AM   #6
ChrisV's Avatar

Drives: 1998 BMW 740iL
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Pikesville, MD

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1998 740iL  [3.00]
Originally Posted by silver View Post
Ok, I understand

But there is something I do not understand

Is it possible to feel all the engine power of the cars in USA, is not your traffic rules very strict?

For example, in my country, you can do 140 miles/hour in a highway with an
e90 320d, and if you want, you can do street race or highway race with another car, (I never race but go over 125 miles/hour frequently)
That is because traffic rules are not strict, there is no dissuasive punishments)

I do not understand the mentality of having a very powerful car if I had to go with 80 miles/hour in highway and even slower in another roads...

I think that US customers give great importance to comfort, and they can buy big cars with relatively small engines... But as I understand performance is also an other issue... But with that traffic rules, I do not understand the importance of perfromance
Performance is not only top speed, dude. ANY time you have to accellerate from a stop, try to merge onto an interstate, accelerate out of a driveway or parking lot into traffic, you need accelerative power. If you pass someone on a 2 lane road, you need power to pull out and go around the slower car (say, you're on a 55 mph highway, and the driver in front of you is doing 45, when you go to pass them, you don't want to very slowly go by and sit out in the oncoming lane for ages. You want to get around them quickly, which means rapid acceleration from 45 up to passing speed, so you can get by and get back in your lane).

I rarely go 100 mph, but I CONSTANTLY have an opportunity to accellerate from a stop. you ever notice that Americans put a lot of stock in 0-60 and 1/4 mile times? We may not be allowed to go over 75-80 mph, but we want to get to 75-80 mph right now.

When you hit that accelerator pedal, you want the car to MOVE. You don't want the car to tell you, in essence, "yeah, yeah, yeah. I'll get around to it."

And that's all true even if you are a law abiding citizen. If you like to push the envelope, then there's also accelleration out of a corner when driving briskly on a twisty backroad. Or drag racing, both legal and impromptu. I've done 100 mph across Maryland before (shhhh!). And over 140 across a bunch of Montana.

Take your car now, drive 30mph (or it's equivalent). Put it in 5th, 6th, or whatever your top gear is in that car. Now, hit the gas pedal. See how that feels? Now do the same 30 mph, put the car in 2nd or 3rd. Hit the gas pedal. See how that feels? More fun, more responsive.

Now imagine that the first scenario is the MAXIMUM acceleration you can get from an unloaded luxury car, and the the second is the MINIMUM acceleration you can get from a cheaper car, even with people in it. Why would you buy the first, slow expensive car when you can get the second car, that is more fun and more responsive because it has more acceleration? You can use that acceleration every day, even if you never explore the top speed.
1998 740iL