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Can Front-wheel Drive cars be sportscars?


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Discussion Starter #81
zr1fan said:
This seems like a pretty dumb argument. For one, your question wasn't "are there any FWD sports cars that are financially viable to produce and sell in today's market". Whether it was a flop or not, or whether economic, social, or technological factors have changed since a cars introduction shouldn't bear on whether it's a sports car.
I don't care that it was a flop, but was it really marketing that killed off the idea of a FWD Lotus?

zr1fan said:
Are cars from the 30's, 40's, or 50's with 0-60 times in the 7-10+ second range no longer sports cars? Are discontinued model lines no longer sports cars? The Jag XJ220 was a big flop, is it just a sporty coupe because of it? I could go on, but I assume you get the point.
*YAWN* since you're stretching on this one, I figured I'd follow suit :) Don't make ridiculous claims to try to discredit a far more reasonable one: FWD does not a sportscar make :)

zr1fan said:
However, the more I read your replies and see you ripping on specific cars (and worse, specific owners of those cars) like the SRT-4 and M100, and saying things like how FWD is fine for soccer moms, but not real drivers, the more it becomes clear that you aren't interested in a discussion of this topic. But rather you just want to assert a statement about the supremacy of the car you chose to buy.
Oh no, I just fielded an off the wall bizzaro comment from a Neon driver and injected some well-meaning but perhaps harsh sarcasm? :)

C'mon everyone knows it's far more important to be able to MacGyver a Neon into beating a stock Viper than it is to recognize that in the grand scheme of things the Viper is everything a Neon can never be no matter how many letters are in the badging or other assorted stuff you do to the Neon :)

BTW, I feel no need to tell everyone what I drive, nor do I find it necessary to confuse my identity with a possession (e.g. a car) unlike some :) I too like ZR-1 Corvettes, but didn't feel the need nor utter lack of originality to name myself thusly. >=P

But back to the point, "the supremacy of the car", singular? I choose to buy? Stretching again I see :) I have owned every type of conventional drivetrain possible with the exception of RR (rear-engine and rear-wheel-drive).

I did not ask everyone's thoughts here as some sort of virtual circle jerk. I just had my thoughts and believe others share them, somehow I don't think that those that say "no there aren't any FWD sportscars" are the automotive equivalents of "flatlanders" or luddites.

zr1fan said:
I'd ask a question of you then. Can any car modern car with a power to weight ratio worse than 10lbs/hp be considered a real sports car? How about a car with a n/a 4-banger? Or how about a car with no professional racing pedigree? If a car is a last-ditch effort to bail out a failing automaker, can it still be considered a sports car?
No idea, why not start your own poll and attract your own trolls there? :)

If you're trying in soo many words to make thinly veiled jabs at the Lotus Elise/Exige, I'm just guessing here, but you're sorta kinda in the wrong place for it. I'm sure the Elise old school will come out and ask you WTF with comments like "no professional racing pedigree" etc.

zr1fan said:
Or maybe, all those things are irrelevant to the point. Perhaps all that matters is that the car has a focus on performance over other things, that it feels at home on a road-course, an auto-cross, a drag-strip, or wherever. And that it's owners have fun while driving it and enjoy owning it.
[STEWIE_from_Family_Guy]And I want an end to hunger, abolishment of poverty, and World peace as well. How deliciously simplistic and quaint. >=P

Shall you start with the S'mores and rounds of Kumbaya or do you have other automotive Rodney King's to help out with that?[/STEWIE_from_Family_Guy]

No one is saying FWD owners can't have fun, afterall some people even enjoy being urinated upon by others, but having fun with them doesn't make FWD cars sportscars either.
 

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Discussion Starter #82
Elanlover said:
...Bottom line is this. Don't comment unless you've driven one. You're spouting off like you just KNOW there can't be any FWD sportscars and you've not even had any experience behind the wheel of the one car that broke the mold. Until then you're view is interesting, an entitlement for sure but uneducated. When someone with significantly more experience on an issue than I makes a statement, I tend to go with what they say unless I can find evidence otherwise (Edit: actually, I find this happens a lot to me....... ;) )
No problem, and thanks for the free life coaching, I had no idea that I should defer to someone with more "experience" truly a novel concept, sort of like a FWD sportscar :) LOL! I haven't driven an M100 and although it's probably a fine automobile, sadly (for you?) it still won't change my opinion that it's not a sportscar.

Elanlover said:
I'd be happy to discuss your opinions on why the M100 isn't a sportscar should you have any facts or stats to disprove so otherwise. And, no, the fact its FWD isn't a reason.
The very point of the discussion here is whether or not FWD cars are sportscars, not whether or not M100s are the exception to that observation/understanding/view.

3 words for you: Relax M100 Fanboi. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #83
zr1fan said:
Another odd thing to say. Have you ever owned a FWD car? If you had, I suspect you've had to change the rear tires on it. :crazyeyes

The rear wheels on a FWD car do all the same things they do on a RWD except put power to the ground. They carry weight, brake, and apply cornering force.

As far as wasteful, FWD cars generally speaking have less powertrain loss. The trannies are generally more compact, and they don't have the extra weight of the driveshaft.

To flip your point, why place all the weight at the rear of the car? The fronts do the turning and braking. Your car has a 38/62 weight bias, right? That's probably more uneven than most FWD cars. Why place all that weight at the rear of the car? Is it to better put the brutal 133lb-ft of torque to the ground?
My my, reading is fundamental, Mickey Kaus said it far better than I could so I'll let you read his article, if you like:

http://www.slate.com/id/2081194

Now as far as why weight is over the rear of the car in 111's? Amongst other reasons, I'd imagine this is to allow the weight to shift over the drive wheels during acceleration. But then again I'm no Lotus (nor Ferrari, Lamborghini, Porsche, Bugatti, McLaren) chassis or drivetrain engineer, perhaps you should start a letter writing campaign to all those companies and tell them they've got it [email protected] and that clearly FWD is superior for performance and that even the "knuckleheads" in F1 have it wrong! (Good luck with that, BTW, please do keep us updated with your progress)

Ever watch a FWD car shift it's weight backwards over the training wheels from a standing start and have to work to supress a giggle? I do, almost everyday :)

[SHAMELESS_AD_HOMINEM_ATTACK]Really, for someone who is a self-proclaimed ZR1 fan, you sure sound like a bleeding heart FWD activist ;)
[/SHAMELESS_AD_HOMINEM_ATTACK]
 

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Well, I really do hate whe posts degenerate into 2 (or in this case, 3) person conversations. So, I'll just add a little bit more before I get the chance to post some other data.

PhlypSide said:
No problem, and thanks for the free life coaching, I had no idea that I should defer to someone with more "experience" truly a novel concept, sort of like a FWD sportscar :) LOL! I haven't driven an M100 and although it's probably a fine automobile, sadly (for you?) it still won't change my opinion that it's not a sportscar.
Well, that says a lot right there. Seems it is a truly novel concept for you because people posting here who have driven the car, unlike you, and have the experience with it, unlike you, are telling you you're wrong.

Frankly, I don't care if you chnage your mind, We are all entitled to our opinions. Opinions are never right or wrong - they are simply opinions. I think its a shame that you haven't driven one for yourself and insist that it can't be a sportscar when you've never been behind the wheel are likely even read an article about the car.


PhlypSide said:
The very point of the discussion here is whether or not FWD cars are sportscars, not whether or not M100s are the exception to that observation/understanding/view.
Huh??? :huh:

I thought we were discussing whether a FWD car can be a sportscar. Others brought up the M100 as a great example. You're saying it isn't - because its FWD. I and others say it is. YOU decided there was a rule that said FWD cars can't be sportscars. I don't see anyone else in the world saying that. Sure, they are saying its the preferred layout. Therefore, we are arguing there is an exeption that your rule - the M100. Did anyone credible say it simply can be done with FWD????


I don't think so.



PhlypSide said:
3 words for you: Relax M100 Fanboi. :)
Not a chance Anti-FWD buoy :shift: :)
 

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PhlypSide said:
I did not ask everyone's thoughts here as some sort of virtual circle jerk. I just had my thoughts and believe others share them
If you didn't want opinions to the contrary, why'd you make it a poll?

PhlypSide said:
perhaps you should start a letter writing campaign to all those companies and tell them they've got it [email protected] and that clearly FWD is superior for performance and that even the "knuckleheads" in F1 have it wrong! (Good luck with that, BTW, please do keep us updated with your progress)
Apparently reading isn't fundamental for you. Where in my posts do you see me claim FWD is superior or that RWD cars have it wrong?

My point, more or less, is that there is no standard definition of "sports car" and cars have not reached the final evolution point. All cars are a series of compromises, and a product of the technology, engineering, and production ability of the time. There's nothing to say a FWD car couldn't perform given the right technology or engineering. There's nothing fundamental about it.

Since you brought up F1 while totally missing the point, I am quite sure that if F1 imposed a requirement that cars be FWD, you'd see some pretty impressively performing FWD cars show up. They are RWD because they are required to be. They have four wheels because they are required to. They have a 2.4L displacement because they are required to. Not because all of these things are unequivocally superior to any other possible way of being.

I think I've made my points fairly clearly, and I'm not interested in getting into a pissing match. I'm quite sure you can take all comers as far as that goes. In regards to the Elise/Exige, how old-school can the owners be? The car's only been around a few years. However, I'd certainly be interested in its professional accomplishments, as I find most any car to be interesting.

As to the jabs, I didn't even think they were thinly veiled. Kudos on putting the pieces together though. I think the Elise and Exige are interesting enough cars. They aren't my cup of tea, but so what? Really the point wasn't to jab the car, but to jab you. You were as rude or ruder to the SRT-4 owner. Why? It's a car made to accelerate fast for low cost, and it does that well. Why should that guy take a bunch of crap from you about it just because it's not your cup of tea? Why would you try to give someone crap about it just because the car doesn't do it for you?
 

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Discussion Starter #86
Elanlover said:
Huh??? :huh:

I thought we were discussing whether a FWD car can be a sportscar. Others brought up the M100 as a great example. You're saying it isn't - because its FWD. I and others say it is. YOU decided there was a rule that said FWD cars can't be sportscars. I don't see anyone else in the world saying that. Sure, they are saying its the preferred layout. Therefore, we are arguing there is an exeption that your rule - the M100. Did anyone credible say it simply can be done with FWD????


I don't think so....
No worries, you can continue on your quest to "elect" the M100 Elan as the only FWD sportscar ever made, I won't interfere, but I won't agree either.

BTW, you're giving me far more credit than is rightly due, I'm not the source of the idea that sportscars aren't FWD, I just happen to agree. And I certainly didn't make a "rule" LOL!

Seriously though, this is all in good fun to me, and I'd hate to make another Lotus owner feel badly, even if they're an M100 Fanboi :)
 

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Sorry, but I just had to................

PhlypSide said:
My my, reading is fundamental, Mickey Kaus said it far better than I could so I'll let you read his article, if you like:

http://www.slate.com/id/2081194
Fundamental reading?????

Mickey Kaus??????

WTF??

Oh yea, that must be the famous Mickey Kaus, 3 time F1 tour winner. Driver of the most exotic cars, automotive engineer of unparalleled skill and knowledge, master of FWD vehicular design

Oh wait. That's the OTHER Mickey Kaus. This Kaus is a political writer for Slate. THAT makes him a reputable source on FWD sportcars, suspension and chassis design and track day driving skills.

Maybe HE has driven an M100...............


PhlypSide said:
Ever watch a FWD car shift it's weight backwards over the training wheels from a standing start and have to work to supress a giggle? I do, almost everyday :)
Hmm...again, this tells me much. A "sportscar", by the way, is never designed to be a straight line dragster. That's not sporting the car. Turns, corners, hairpins, strretches, etc. are what sportscars are designed for.

Ever see a F1 oval course or do they have lotsa corners?

Dragsters are RWD. Ever see one step on the gas full out from a standing start? Hard to keep it on the road and the wheels spin freely.....blah, blah, blah. You get the point.

Anyway, this isn't mean to be an arguement. If you want to decide there's a rule you want to live with that says RWD or nothing at all then fine. I'm not here to convince you otherwise and I'm fine with you maintaining your position. I just think that you lack any real experience with a car that could possibly change your mind and because of that you're being just a bit narrow minded and missing out on some great cars - one in particular especially.

PhlypSide said:
Seriously though, this is all in good fun to me, and I'd hate to make another Lotus owner feel badly, even if they're an M100 Fanboi
Me too. M100 owners don't feel badly. We just want (NEED) our Elan to get some rightful respect :)

p.s. Should I change my login to M100 Fanboi?????
 

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Elanlover said:
Well, I'm into it now and there's no turning back. :eek:

Slade, not sure what you're saying from that wik quote. FWD can or can't be a sportscar???
I wasn't really making a judgement - just getting an 'expert' definition stating that FWD cars can be considered sports cars. they even listed several examples with the elan being one of them.

It cracks me up how these threads escalate on the definition of 'sports car'.

In my opinion (agreeing with how bhtooefr put it) there are fwd sports cars. Not really much of a debate really.
 

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Discussion Starter #89
zr1fan said:
If you didn't want opinions to the contrary, why'd you make it a poll?
To see the margin of difference? :) I'm not saying everyone should agree, I'm just thinking most would agree that there aren't any FWD sportscars.

zr1fan said:
Apparently reading isn't fundamental for you. Where in my posts do you see me claim FWD is superior or that RWD cars have it wrong?

My point, more or less, is that there is no standard definition of "sports car" and cars have not reached the final evolution point. All cars are a series of compromises, and a product of the technology, engineering, and production ability of the time. There's nothing to say a FWD car couldn't perform given the right technology or engineering. There's nothing fundamental about it.
Wow no need to backpedal now, big guy, your sarcasm and pointed questioning did not go "unheard" by me. C'mon if you pull the forum equivalent of farting in the elevator, at least own up to it! LOL!

zr1fan said:
Since you brought up F1 while totally missing the point, I am quite sure that if F1 imposed a requirement that cars be FWD, you'd see some pretty impressively performing FWD cars show up. They are RWD because they are required to be. They have four wheels because they are required to. They have a 2.4L displacement because they are required to. Not because all of these things are unequivocally superior to any other possible way of being.
So you're going to go with a weaksauce argument like "because it's in the rules", I'm going to go with an easier to defend argument called "Physics" as already mentioned in the Slate article I linked earlier :) Care to offer any odds that even IF in "Bizzaro" world they allowed FWD cars into F1 that any sane, educated, F1 team would campaign such a farce?

zr1fan said:
I think I've made my points fairly clearly, and I'm not interested in getting into a pissing match. I'm quite sure you can take all comers as far as that goes. In regards to the Elise/Exige, how old-school can the owners be? The car's only been around a few years. However, I'd certainly be interested in its professional accomplishments, as I find most any car to be interesting.
You seem to forget that the Elise has been around since 1996/97. Ooops, we're dealing with a car that originates across the pond. Please do better research before claiming that Elises/Exiges have "no professional competition pedigree" or whatever nonsense you decided to call it :)


zr1fan said:
As to the jabs, I didn't even think they were thinly veiled. Kudos on putting the pieces together though. I think the Elise and Exige are interesting enough cars. They aren't my cup of tea, but so what? Really the point wasn't to jab the car, but to jab you. You were as rude or ruder to the SRT-4 owner. Why? It's a car made to accelerate fast for low cost, and it does that well. Why should that guy take a bunch of crap from you about it just because it's not your cup of tea? Why would you try to give someone crap about it just because the car doesn't do it for you?
Well detecting sarcasm doesn't seem to be a strong suit for you, but that's just my opinion.

I slammed Neon-boi because he equated this thread as a direct affront on his beloved, hotted-up grocery getter. Perhaps in some ways it is, but I hardly called him out to begin with :) He mentioned fantastic penis-lengthening claims like his SRT-4 beat out a Viper, I merely retorted with a much more polite version of wh00pd33f*ckingd00 :)

Honestly, I don't have anything against that kid, I don't even know him, but I do think he's spending an aweful lot of time and money on a MacGyver'd econobox. I dare say that after he's done killing his budget by inches (paying bit by bit) that he may well have approached (or likely exceeded) the cost of a foxbody Mustang or F-body, or turbo G-body with modifications that would smoke his Neon in the "all important" 1/4mile ET, and still manage to be RWD :)

I've seen geniuses spend more on their Cavalier than it would have cost for them to have picked up a bone stock C5 Z06 (at the time). I can't knock them for enjoying (IMO) the automotive equivalent of "watersports", but I can with clear conscience think it's silly just the same.
 

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PhlypSide said:
I slammed Neon-boi because he equated this thread as a direct affront on his beloved, hotted-up grocery getter. Perhaps in some ways it is, but I hardly called him out to begin with :) He mentioned fantastic penis-lengthening claims like his SRT-4 beat out a Viper, I merely retorted with a much more polite version of wh00pd33f*ckingd00 :)
Ok. Have to admit that I'm laughing a bit at that one.

But, the M100 is no Neon.

M100 Fanboi out...........
 

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Discussion Starter #91
Elanlover said:
Sorry, but I just had to................

Fundamental reading?????

Mickey Kaus??????

WTF??

Oh yea, that must be the famous Mickey Kaus, 3 time F1 tour winner. Driver of the most exotic cars, automotive engineer of unparalleled skill and knowledge, master of FWD vehicular design

Oh wait. That's the OTHER Mickey Kaus. This Kaus is a political writer for Slate. THAT makes him a reputable source on FWD sportcars, suspension and chassis design and track day driving skills.

Maybe HE has driven an M100...............
Bahaha! Hey way to attack poor Mickey Kaus (rhymes with Mouse? Wait for it :)). No matter, I just didn't feel like duplicating efforts which I think he did an admirable job of in the first place. If it makes you sleep better at night, in the article he consulted a GM suspension expert, Ed Zellner :)

C'mon now, don't try to discredit what he's saying because he's not an F1 driver :) If a homeless drunk told you it's bad for your liver to drink alcohol, would he be wrong simply for being a homeless drunk?

Elanlover said:
Hmm...again, this tells me much. A "sportscar", by the way, is never designed to be a straight line dragster. That's not sporting the car. Turns, corners, hairpins, strretches, etc. are what sportscars are designed for.

Ever see a F1 oval course or do they have lotsa corners?

Dragsters are RWD. Ever see one step on the gas full out from a standing start? Hard to keep it on the road and the wheels spin freely.....blah, blah, blah. You get the point.
Agreed, but seeing you say this, did you even RTFA (Read The F*cking Article)? :) Don't take my word for it if not, but there is considerable talk in there about cornering, as told from even, as you pointed out, an automotive layman's perspective.

Elanlover said:
Anyway, this isn't mean to be an arguement. If you want to decide there's a rule you want to live with that says RWD or nothing at all then fine. I'm not here to convince you otherwise and I'm fine with you maintaining your position. I just think that you lack any real experience with a car that could possibly change your mind and because of that you're being just a bit narrow minded and missing out on some great cars - one in particular especially.
For the record:
1) Have I driven an M100? No.
2) Do I think that an M100 is a sportscar? No.

Wait, what was the point again? :)


Elanlover said:
Me too. M100 owners don't feel badly. We just want (NEED) our Elan to get some rightful respect :)

p.s. Should I change my login to M100 Fanboi?????
Lotus love all around :) but didn't someone else who owned/drove an M100 mentioned being underwhelmed here (in this thread)?

There's nothing wrong with being a sporty car versus a sportscar, and I certainly would much rather throw around an M100 than an Integra/RSX/Civic , etc.

I'd like to end my exchanges with you (in peace) on this note: I don't think there is such a thing as a FWD sportscar, but if there were, it'd be the M100, then again it's not so much that it's a FWD car, its that it's what happens when you let Lotus loose on an FWD idea.
 

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PhlypSide said:
You seem to forget that the Elise has been around since 1996/97. Ooops, we're dealing with a car that originates across the pond. Please do better research before claiming that Elises/Exiges have "no professional competition pedigree" or whatever nonsense you decided to call it :)
I guess it depends on your definition of "a few". :nanner2: Ha ha, but yup I forgot it's been around a while before it made it over here.

As to the pedigree, the comment was made to jab you, how much research should I have done? As I said, I'd be genuinely interested in info to the contrary.

A google search reveals an Elise-only series in the UK, and an aborted attempt at the ALMS a few years back. Though that was in a prototype category, not the GT categories, so I suspect it had little in common with a production Elise. Not that it matters as it only made it 7 times around Sebring and doesn't appear to have shown up for any subsequent ALMS races that season.

Since they are marketed as this amazing track car for the street, I was curious as to their performance in SCCA racing, though I've not been able to discover any information about their performance in it (not that this means it doesn't exist).
 

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PhlypSide said:
C'mon everyone knows it's far more important to be able to MacGyver a Neon into beating a stock Viper than it is to recognize that in the grand scheme of things the Viper is everything a Neon can never be no matter how many letters are in the badging or other assorted stuff you do to the Neon :)
Hmm, strip the neon down, have Prodrive or another reputable race/rally fabrication and tuning firm convert it to AWD, and tune the engine, and it'll compete on the Viper's level; throw enough money into it and it can/will beat the viper. Sure it's based on another car, but hell, that's one fast car. Is it a sports car? You better hope so, because you're legendary sports car could have trouble keeping up.

So saying that "the Viper is everything a Neon can never be" is referring to what unique point about the viper?

Perhaps the engine performance? Nope, that can be replicated. Downforce? Easily modified. Wider, stickier tires? Widebody + DOT legal R compounds. Oh I know what it must be, THE LOOK! So you must be saying the 'sports car' title is based purely on looks then? Of course not, you can't be that silly.

Perhaps you mean that the Viper was built as a no compromise sportscar from the ground up? Oh wait! Omigosh! Is that a truck engine under the hood?

Basically, all you have left is 'status.' If this is what you mean by "everything," then you're basing "sportscar" definition based on how others see the car.

EDIT: While typing, he did try to end it peacfully, so I withdraw the hostility.
 

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zr1fan said:
My point, more or less, is that there is no standard definition of "sports car" and cars have not reached the final evolution point.
Actually, there is, and part of that definition is "RWD". Of course, I think the definition predates the M100 Elan, so :shrug:

zr1fan said:
All cars are a series of compromises, and a product of the technology, engineering, and production ability of the time. There's nothing to say a FWD car couldn't perform given the right technology or engineering. There's nothing fundamental about it.
Well, the fact of the matter is that the dynamics of FWD inhibit the sport of driving. While a safer setup for novice drivers, FWD decreases the ability of the car by shifting the weight away from the driving wheels during acceleration, and eliminating the ability for controlled oversteer, both of which are beneficial to driving on a road course. Therefore, a FWD car is inately less able than it could be if it were RWD.

For this reason, there has never existed a single FWD sportscar.

Until the M100 Elan.

Which didn't last long.

Which is why we have to assume that it was a fluke and discount its importance.

:shrug:
 

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transio said:
Well, the fact of the matter is that the dynamics of FWD inhibit the sport of driving. While a safer setup for novice drivers, FWD decreases the ability of the car by shifting the weight away from the driving wheels during acceleration, and eliminating the ability for controlled oversteer, both of which are beneficial to driving on a road course. Therefore, a FWD car is inately less able than it could be if it were RWD.
Thank you (though I'm sure that a bunch of people here will still argue with you even though you speak the truth)!!!
 

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Varien said:
Hmm, strip the neon down... Is it a sports car? You better hope so, because you're legendary sports car could have trouble keeping up.
While educating myself, I noticed both the Lotus Elise and Dodge SRT-4 are in the SCCA's T2 category. Looking at the results from this years runoffs, no Elises were invited in that category, while an SRT-4 finished in the top 10 in the T2 class.

:shrug:
 

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transio said:
For this reason, there has never existed a single FWD sportscar.

Until the M100 Elan.

Which didn't last long.
What about "Fiat Coupé, Fiat Barchetta, Saab Sonett, and many Berkeley cars."?

So Transio, you voted -Yes- then, right? -poke-
 

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transio said:
Well, the fact of the matter is that the dynamics of FWD inhibit the sport of driving. While a safer setup for novice drivers, FWD decreases the ability of the car by shifting the weight away from the driving wheels during acceleration, and eliminating the ability for controlled oversteer, both of which are beneficial to driving on a road course. Therefore, a FWD car is inately less able than it could be if it were RWD.
Well, you are defining vehicle handling. The thread is about "sports cars". I bet just about any car you consider a sports car would be innately more able if only something were different about it.

If your definition of sports car precludes FWD cars, hey it's your definition. Is there anything in your definition about being able to perform at a certain level? I mean, does actual performance matter, or just the notion or possibility of performance?
 
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