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      07-02-2012, 01:00 PM   #21
First Lieutenant
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Drives: '15 M3
Join Date: May 2012
Location: SF Bay Area, CA

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2015 M3  [0.00]
2009 BMC Pro Machine  [5.00]
This was an excellent and timely discussion and I think they nailed it on a couple of key points:
  • Manufacturers seem to be substituting performance for driveability
  • The vast majority of people couldn't care less

The horsepower wars are in full effect. Shift once and blink twice and cars are bombing along at hyper-legal speeds. Joe and Jane Driver needn't worry though, because if they drive beyond their capabilities the car will send up a cacophony of warnings, apply the brakes, reduce power, and bring them neatly back in line so they'll live to terrorize another stretch of rush hour traffic without spilling so much as a drop of their Starbuck's coffee.

Perhaps that's a good thing though, because the vast majority of drivers could care less about things like progressive handling limits and steering feel. After all, steering feedback is just something that distracts people from the text message they were banging out. Regrettably, the trend is likely to continue because human beings are "maximizers". Need proof? Look at all the GLOWING reviews of the BR-Z and then consider the biggest complaint: lack of horsepower. It does 0 - 60 faster than my e46 fer Pete's sake.

In a quest to continually push an apathetic driving public from the perfectly capable car they have into the manufacturer's "latest and greatest", cars have become homogenized products that are expected to be all things to all people. At the end of the day, for whom should the manufacturers build cars? The 10 "every man" consumers who want more features and power, or the 1 enthusiast driver who wants 3 pedals and RWD? Exactly. So new cars have more doo-dads, more power, and more electronic nannies that make Joe Driver feel like an auto-x champ when he's running to the grocery store for diapers.