Do you/Can you, really enjoy DRIVING your supercar anymore?

Do you/Can you, really enjoy DRIVING your supercar anymore?

Author
Discussion

Larry5.2

454 posts

62 months

Friday 15th June 2018
quotequote all
Bispal said:
I think, OP, that this is a very relevant post. I have just sold my McLaren after 30 months of ownership because at 75mph on a UK M-Way it could have been a Golf. If I put my foot down on B roads I would very, very quickly be doing speeds that could get me into a lot of trouble.

I adored my McLaren and would buy another. However I wanted something I could enjoy more at less worrying speeds. My dad always told me if you buy a fast car make sure its fun to drive slow. And if you buy a slow car make sure its fun to drive fast. And I think there is a lot of truth in that.

Like you I have a Mk1 MX5 which I use as a daily. It has a standard 1.8 engine but very good after market suspension. I can thrash it to the red line in every gear and it can hold its pace through the corners. All at around road legal speeds. I prefer the interaction of the manual gearbox and have time to feel the car, consider my inputs and react to the car. This was not possible in the McLaren. On a recent outing to Dunsfold with 30 McLarens it kept up no problem and we had a lot of fun and didn't get bored / frustrated at driving at or around the speed limits. Of course on track it would be eaten alive!

Instead of the Mclaren I bought a new Exige 350 sport. This is the perfect car for UK roads. Incerdibly fast and reactive but not 'too' fast. If you enjoy driving light weight manual cars are the way to go.

However Supercars are not all about driving, like having a good watch, bike, shirt, etc. For some people enjoyment can be attained by just owning the cars, They will polish their supercars, peacock them round central London and indulge in the wost (IMHO) passtime of all, static revving. I am sure these owners really enjoy being seen in their supercars but do they get the same enjoyment 'driving' their supercars as an enthusiast?

A true enthusiast driver will extract fun from any car, they won't mind being 'seen' in an MX5 or a 675LT, to them the drive is the enjoyment, interaction and feeling of the car.

Supercar owners fall into 2 main camps. The 'enthusiasts' and the 'peacocks'. Enthusiasts will enjoy any decent car on a decent road while no-one is watching, peacocks enjoy the feeling a supercar gives them and would not want to be seen in a lesser car.
Good post. That's why for me the cars built around 90's give the best compromise of performance and technological advance. The performance is enough to put a smile on your face, but you still have to stir it up to get it to go fast. Technology is high enough to be capable, but not too much to be overwhelming, and in certain aspects neutering.

My analogy for a modern supercar is flying in an Airbus 380 from Gatwick to Paris CDG - won't use all the performance capability and so comfortable that you may not realise your are in an aircraft. Pure overkill...


Behemoth

2,105 posts

85 months

Friday 15th June 2018
quotequote all
Bispal said:
Supercar owners fall into 2 main camps. The 'enthusiasts' and the 'peacocks'. Enthusiasts will enjoy any decent car on a decent road while no-one is watching, peacocks enjoy the feeling a supercar gives them and would not want to be seen in a lesser car.
+1 exactly this. One drives to be seen, the other would much prefer an empty road. There's probably a bit of both for many, but it shouldn't be hard to choose one side of the coin to fall into.

sparta6

1,703 posts

54 months

Friday 15th June 2018
quotequote all
RamboLambo said:
Long live the naturally aspirated engine !
+1
Analogue NA even better smile

sardis

193 posts

130 months

Friday 15th June 2018
quotequote all
Well, just to be contrary I completely disagree. I don’t think you have to fall into one camp or another. It’s perfectly possible to enjoy a day out at a track, a blast down a favourite road and a tootle out to a local venue, especially if you have a speed limiter in the passenger seat. I enjoy all of these things, including a bit of Corsa silliness every now and again. And I do like a good polish on a weekend too. wink

Bispal

656 posts

105 months

Friday 15th June 2018
quotequote all
sardis said:
Well, just to be contrary I completely disagree. I don’t think you have to fall into one camp or another. It’s perfectly possible to enjoy a day out at a track, a blast down a favourite road and a tootle out to a local venue, especially if you have a speed limiter in the passenger seat. I enjoy all of these things, including a bit of Corsa silliness every now and again. And I do like a good polish on a weekend too. wink
You're right, its not black and white and there is a bit of both in all of us but there are those who would never be seen in an MX5 / Elise / GT86 and would not enjoy them as they need to feel special driving an expensive luxury brand. Then there are those, me included, who can extract equal pleasure from an empty road in an MX5 or a 675LT and don't really care what others think as we are too busy enjoying ourselves.

I also agree with Larry5.2 where he states the sweet spot is the 1990's. Most of my cars are mid 90's, My F355, MX5, WRX and the Elise I just sold. The suspension tends to be conventional, the wheels smaller, the cars lighter & smaller, manual, hydraulic steering and NA.

The power to weight ratio in the 90's was also spot on. Now many cars are over powered and over stiff and the chassis's can't cope with the power. In the 90's the cars were also built to a higher standard and had less to go wrong but are modern enough to be fast, reliable and comfortable.

MOST important of all you can see out of them, the glazing area is so important. A pillars and mirrors are now so thick / big that visibility is dreadful. Combined with cars that are so much larger they cant be placed with accuracy. For me a 675LT / 720S is about as large as I would go, I could never own an Aventador, I really would not enjoy driving it one bit and although I like the look of the AMG GTR I would not buy one for the same reason.





isaldiri

6,561 posts

122 months

Friday 15th June 2018
quotequote all
It's a very individual thing surely, no need for people to self justify their choice of cars whether expensive supercar or not. As long as the car still works for you whether to drive, polish or such, that's all that's needed?

Ferruccio

1,137 posts

73 months

Friday 15th June 2018
quotequote all
sardis said:
especially if you have a speed limiter in the passenger seat;)
Love that!
One of my favourite bits about supercar ownership, is when my speed limiter says “are you trying to kill me!?”

carspath

Original Poster:

613 posts

131 months

Saturday 16th June 2018
quotequote all
Maybe I was not clear enough at the start of this thread , but by highlighting DRIVING , I was specifically talking about the enjoyment of driving supercars at the rev ranges and speeds (linear and lateral) that they truly come alive at .

I totally accept that they can be lovely at 0 mph for various reasons , and that it might thrill some to take their supercar down to Tesco ( although I do have to ask why ?) , but this is not what I was aiming at , in starting this thread . My apologies for not having made this completely clear , right at the very beginning .





Bispal - There is not a single word of your post that I do not entirely agree with . (Well , if I was really trying , I might try and push the merits of the 1.6 vs the 1.8 !!)

In particular your points about fast cars needing to be good to drive slowly , and vice-versa , and the importance of sight lines and width , are so pertinent to this thread.

Ditto static revving --the only thing worse must be revving of a cold engine -- that really makes me cringe even more.

I can totally believe your comment about the MX5 keeping up with the McLarens in real world driving .
That was my experience too ( but vs a M3 ) on a really early morning run on the Route Napoleon 4 years ago .
The Stelvio , which was OK in the MX5 , must be terrible in a Countach or Murcie --- the hairpins are just too tight for supercar turning circles and widths -- again that's real world realities !
I think that a fast bike ( I've never ridden a bike , as my wife says that I would definitely fall off) would really bring out the joy of the Stelvio , and I find it hard to believe those that say that they have really enjoyed DRIVING their supercars on that road (unless they have had the wherewithal to have the road closed just for them ) -- again the sightlines with regards to oncoming traffic is just too poor = danger .


Finally , I , yet again , entirely understand you going for the Exige .

It seems that I must have gone through pretty much the same thinking process as you , before buying my last car .

I was/am shallow enough to want something unusual and dramatic to look at , and also wanted something that was light , with minimal electronic driving aids to enhance driver interaction , and was open to the elements for the same reason .
I only rarely do track work , and then always use the circuit's own cars , rather than my own cars on those occasions -- so this was not a consideration .

The most important considerations for me was that it should have good low speed acceleration ( and top speed was really irrelevant ) , and be able to pull high lateral G .
I had never had a carbon monocoque car previously ( and RamboLambo's praises seemed to be with good foundation , esp for open cars ), nor one with real downforce , so putting all these things together , I got a KTM X-Bow R .
I call it my ''round-about car ''.

But I did take a 380 Exige Roadster for a test-drive beforehand ( as well as Nissan GTR , an Atom , a Gallardo , a 220 Elise cup, an AMG GT , an NSX and a 1990's Heffernan and Greenley Bentley Continental R and an Azure --- yes , a diverse selection with almost no common thread running through them , other than the fact that all these intrigued and attracted me for one reason or another , and so were genuine possibilities ) , and was seriously attracted to it .















LotusJas

997 posts

185 months

Saturday 16th June 2018
quotequote all
Can you still enjoy a supercar? Yes absolutely!


Can you really exploit its performance on road. Absolutely not! But that is not required to enjoy them.


(720S incoming, and currently own 2 full carbon tub cars, ex Lotus and Caterham owner)

Edited by LotusJas on Saturday 16th June 20:24

Oilchange

6,061 posts

214 months

Saturday 16th June 2018
quotequote all
carspath said:
Hello again everyone, and thank you for all your responses.
But what is more troubling is that I am now finding that I am getting an increasing proportion of pleasure from my cars, from the activities above, rather than from driving them. And that surely is a trend in the wrong direction .

....Disagree, I like tinkering and doing basic service stuff, makes owning it less expensive and makes me feel more involved with the car.


More than a few of you have stated that you enjoy your classics. Well, I couldn't agree more. I drive a 140,000mile MX5. Others have spoken about the joys of engine, induction and exhaust music, and again I am all there with you. Surely sound is such an integral part of the whole experience, and such a major contributor to the enjoyment .

....I too drive a 140,000 mile oldie, an Alfa 2.5v6. I put a rather well made stainless exhaust on it and it sounds glorious but not too antisocial at low rpm so I don't feel too daft in town!

To move on to the next step then , what should we be telling the manufacturers we want ?

-Well a good torque to weight ratio........Y
-Throw away all the unnecessary diver aids.........Y
-high revving small capacity V6/V8 petrol engines, and hang the emissions..........Y
-sensible gear ratios , designed for driving pleasure rather than fuel economy.........Y
-safe grip and thicker profile tyres ............Y
-great engine and exhaust sound ---- mandatory but not too loud at low rpm/put a valve in.............Y
-Pop up headlights. Bring them back!................Y



Sleep tight everyone
.............ta

carspath

Original Poster:

613 posts

131 months

Saturday 16th June 2018
quotequote all
So LotusJas , please help me understand your logic , because I am failing to do so .

You anticipate enjoying DRIVING a 720S ( which I presume you will use largely on road , as it is not a track dedicated car like some other supercar variants , which you would otherwise have chosen ) , but not because of its on-road performance capabilities .

So its not the performance of the 720S that attracted you to it .

If we are talking about the DRIVING experience (which we are by definition of the thread title ) , what else is there to a supercar, than a supercar's performance ?

Surely it's not the luxury seats or the stereo system that made you want a 720S.
So why bother ?

isaldiri

6,561 posts

122 months

Saturday 16th June 2018
quotequote all
Is it that hard to understand? Not everyone necessarily needs to be thrashing a car within an inch of it's life and using all the possible performance to enjoy driving it. You can't anyway most if not all of the time on the road no matter whether you are driving an mx5 or a 720. If a sports car is decent and provides reasonable feedback/fun/involvement at semi sensible/legal speeds, that's more than enough to still enjoy driving it and in many respects a lot more sensible than trying to go round every corner on the limit of grip in a gt86 or mx5. At the end of the day, there's more than one way to enjoy driving after all.

Behemoth

2,105 posts

85 months

Sunday 17th June 2018
quotequote all
isaldiri said:
Is it that hard to understand? Not everyone necessarily needs to be thrashing a car within an inch of it's life and using all the possible performance to enjoy driving it. You can't anyway most if not all of the time on the road no matter whether you are driving an mx5 or a 720. If a sports car is decent and provides reasonable feedback/fun/involvement at semi sensible/legal speeds, that's more than enough to still enjoy driving it and in many respects a lot more sensible than trying to go round every corner on the limit of grip in a gt86 or mx5. At the end of the day, there's more than one way to enjoy driving after all.
I don't think anyone suggests you need to be thrashing & max out every corner, but with too much grip/power/nanny aids you're pretty much doing the opposite in every corner.

If you enjoy short shifting to oblivion, I guess it's fine. If you're ok never being able to experience anywhere near the full potential of the engine & chassis (not every straight & every corner, just when the occasion suits and you feel like it), that's fine too.

MaserCoupe

123 posts

42 months

Sunday 17th June 2018
quotequote all
Hmmhh intersting post and the trajectory its going. Really valid points and contributions. Piston-headers what a varied bunch we are.....

Here's my two cents worth and I hope you enjoy it....

Do you/Can you, really enjoy DRIVING your supercar anymore? A Poem for all you Piston headers.....

A question is asked about whether we really enjoy driving our supercar anymore,
I say, my simple joy begins with the opening of its door!

I turn the key and watch the dash light up and glow,
Those anticipated moments, before the big get up and go!
I twist the key further and the starter motor whirrs,
Then all of a sudden, she sparks into life and the four-cam stirs!

A bark, a snarl, and for a few minutes the beast idles loudly,
So I walk around her, enchanted and captivated profoundly!
I study her elegant lines, so pretty and sublime,
And now with her top down, she is even more divine!

As I watch the needle rise ever closer to warm, I resist her siren call and continue to patiently wait.
Those first few minutes are never boring, mesmerised I am, listening to that magical five-valve V8.

What adventure will you take me on, this wonderful sunny day?
As I snick the chrome lever home and trickle her slowly away.
Excited as ever now, many years on & as much as the first day,
Like a Christmas morning, with new presents to open and play!

Fuel is good, as are oil and water temps, not forgetting the all-important glance for the oil pressure check.
It’s good and ready to go so I brace myself, then push the fast pedal down, right to the deck!

The revs pickup and the V8 begins to howl then scream,
Prompting me to ask, if all this is just a vivid dream!
My ears now drowning, saturated by its mechanical symphony,
Stirring my soul, while edging me closer to high speed infamy!

Through the tunnel we go and another facet of it to discover,
The aspirated engine singing & my mind, has yet to recover!
I never tire of that, as I turn around for another pass,
Another lasting memory made on a journey that’s simply a blast!

Happiness aplenty and pure is my joy, approaching redline or not,
Fast or slow, seen or un-seen, I care not even a jot!
A challenging set of bends ahead, lets just see how you do,
Remember though, you have absolutely nothing to prove!
It’s up to you in taking it fast or just taking it slow,
As long as the car you have, gives you that really special glow!

Sitting so low is thrilling and feels so exotic,
Dare I say it really is, almost erotic!
The mid-engined car to behold, is truly a bundle of joy,
However a smile is a smile ,no matter what your driving toy!!

Let us not argue but celebrate these amazing petroleum cars,
When outrageous was possible, they’ll soon be written in the stars!
Enjoy these moments with your beautiful fast and loud,
Each is special, if it makes you happy and proud!

I’m sure the same forum debates will rage in a, millennia from now,
With the petroleum car consigned, having finally taken a bow.
Electric self-driving supercars will be the future trend-setter
But I’m sure they won’t be saying, that they had it better!

The other greatest moments in my car that I enjoy and most relish,
Is the sharing with others, the passion we hold & so rightly cherish!


Edited by MaserCoupe on Sunday 17th June 02:50


Edited by MaserCoupe on Sunday 17th June 02:53

sparta6

1,703 posts

54 months

Sunday 17th June 2018
quotequote all
^^ excellent ^^
smile

RamboLambo

4,843 posts

124 months

Sunday 17th June 2018
quotequote all
MaserCoupe said:
Hmmhh intersting post and the trajectory its going. Really valid points and contributions. Piston-headers what a varied bunch we are.....

Here's my two cents worth and I hope you enjoy it....

Do you/Can you, really enjoy DRIVING your supercar anymore? A Poem for all you Piston headers.....

A question is asked about whether we really enjoy driving our supercar anymore,
I say, my simple joy begins with the opening of its door!

I turn the key and watch the dash light up and glow,
Those anticipated moments, before the big get up and go!
I twist the key further and the starter motor whirrs,
Then all of a sudden, she sparks into life and the four-cam stirs!

A bark, a snarl, and for a few minutes the beast idles loudly,
So I walk around her, enchanted and captivated profoundly!
I study her elegant lines, so pretty and sublime,
And now with her top down, she is even more divine!

As I watch the needle rise ever closer to warm, I resist her siren call and continue to patiently wait.
Those first few minutes are never boring, mesmerised I am, listening to that magical five-valve V8.

What adventure will you take me on, this wonderful sunny day?
As I snick the chrome lever home and trickle her slowly away.
Excited as ever now, many years on & as much as the first day,
Like a Christmas morning, with new presents to open and play!

Fuel is good, as are oil and water temps, not forgetting the all-important glance for the oil pressure check.
It’s good and ready to go so I brace myself, then push the fast pedal down, right to the deck!

The revs pickup and the V8 begins to howl then scream,
Prompting me to ask, if all this is just a vivid dream!
My ears now drowning, saturated by its mechanical symphony,
Stirring my soul, while edging me closer to high speed infamy!

Through the tunnel we go and another facet of it to discover,
The NATURALLY ASPIRATED engine singing & my mind, has yet to recover!
I never tire of that, as I turn around for another pass,
Another lasting memory made on a journey that’s simply a blast!

Happiness aplenty and pure is my joy, approaching redline or not,
Fast or slow, seen or un-seen, I care not even a jot!
A challenging set of bends ahead, lets just see how you do,
Remember though, you have absolutely nothing to prove!
It’s up to you in taking it fast or just taking it slow,
As long as the car you have, gives you that really special glow!

Sitting so low is thrilling and feels so exotic,
Dare I say it really is, almost erotic!
The mid-engined car to behold, is truly a bundle of joy,
However a smile is a smile ,no matter what your driving toy!!

Let us not argue but celebrate these amazing petroleum cars,
When outrageous was possible, they’ll soon be written in the stars!
Enjoy these moments with your beautiful fast and loud,
Each is special, if it makes you happy and proud!

I’m sure the same forum debates will rage in a, millennia from now,
With the petroleum car consigned, having finally taken a bow.
Electric self-driving supercars will be the future trend-setter
But I’m sure they won’t be saying, that they had it better!

The other greatest moments in my car that I enjoy and most relish,
Is the sharing with others, the passion we hold & so rightly cherish!


Edited by MaserCoupe on Sunday 17th June 02:50


Edited by MaserCoupe on Sunday 17th June 02:53
Can't beat a naturally aspirated engine in a SUPERcar

Trev450

5,912 posts

126 months

Sunday 17th June 2018
quotequote all
RamboLambo said:
Can't beat a naturally aspirated engine in a SUPERcar
+1 to that. Had the thumbs-up from a group of council workers the other day after one had cupped his hands to his ears, so I naturally had to oblige.

LotusJas

997 posts

185 months

Sunday 17th June 2018
quotequote all
carspath said:
So LotusJas , please help me understand your logic , because I am failing to do so .
I suspect you are trying not to understand?

I am saying you don't need to be at 10 10ths on the road to enjoy such a car. Simple.

Secondly, I do plan on using it on track too.


carspath

Original Poster:

613 posts

131 months

Sunday 17th June 2018
quotequote all
Thanks for clarifying LotusJas
Enjoy the 720S -- saw one a few weeks ago , and thought it was lovely

Bispal

656 posts

105 months

Monday 18th June 2018
quotequote all
carspath said:
I got a KTM X-Bow R .
I call it my ''round-about car ''.
Congratulations, great choice. I am sure you will have loads of fun :-)