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Car Questions (1 Viewer)

Scott L

Senior HTF Member
Feb 29, 2000
I have a few nagging questions that I keep wondering about cars, and I'm curious to see the replies on this forum. I'd ask them in an Auto forum but I think the posts here will be a bit more enjoyable and down-to-earth. :)
1) Why do cars accelerate slower when you turn on the A/C?
2) Are manuals really that much faster than automatics? Everytime I gas my auotmatic after a stop light, the guy next to me in his manual seems to really slow down every time he changes gears. Automatics seem so smooth and it also seems that their speed isn't affected as much when switching gears. Plus automatic transmissions are getting better with 5-speeds available...
3) What are the differences & benefits between rear-wheel and front-wheel drive?
4) What are the differences between unleaded gasoline engines and diesel engines?
These next questions are just what you think. If the ones above are already answered you can always talk about these:
5) What is the next car you plan to purchase and/or dream car you'll probably never drive? (sorry, had to ask this one here. Oh my dream car is a McLaren F1. 0-60 in 3.2 seconds, yikes!)
6) What's the fastest car you've been in? And the most expensive?
7) Which car do you think sounds the best? (I like the deep gutteral rumble of a souped-up Mustang myself but am not a really big fan of the car)
8) Which car company do you love and which do you hate?
9) If you were to spend $6000 on your car, would most of it go to performance modifications, the exterior, or the audio system?
10) Which new car would you rather get- A Subura Impreza WRX or Nissan Maxima?


Stunt Coordinator
Aug 13, 2001
I'm no expert, so I'll try to do my best.
1) When the A/C is on, the engine has to do more work. It is forced to not only power the drivetrain but also the A/C. This is why you see some power loss.
2) Manuals are only faster than automatics if the driver really knows how to use them. Professional drivers know exactly when to shift to get the most power/acceleration out of the car. Also, with a manual you can choose to shift at higher RPM's, which typically means more power. Automatics shift a little earlier (I would assume for gas mileage reasons).
3) From http://www.rearwheeldrive.org/rwdbenefits.html :
- Rear drive has better weight balance, acceleration, road holding, stopping, ride and feel, serviceability, and NO torque steer.
- Front drive has better traction in ice and snow, lower cost, and creates more room for trunk space.
4) Unleaded vehicles are cleaner, faster, and quieter. Diesel vehicles have more torque (better for towing) and get better mileage. The emissions are worse however.
5) I probably won't buy another car until I get out of college (2 or 3 years). My last car was a 1967 Camaro, I would like to get a 1969 model the next time around! Dream car...I've always had a thing for Porche 911 Turbos!
6) Fastest...my dad's 99 Vette. Most expensive...my friends dad's Mercedes S600.
7) I don't really like the way most new cars sound. I much prefer the sound of a muscle car with flowmasters!
8) Love BMW, hate Honda.
9) Performance!
10) I really like the new Maxima's. Last commercial I saw for one said they have 255 horsepower!


Senior HTF Member
Nov 13, 2000
I would contend that automatics are less efficient and lose more horsepower through the torque convertor than a manual. Most cars have a few tenths difference 0-60 and even more in the 1/4, but like mentioned, it takes a very good driver to take advantage of that.
he nailed the AC, the clutch engages the compressor which robs horsepower. I'm guessing the greater load from the fan causes the alternator to rob a bit more HP too (negligable tho)
fastest was a 94 RX-7 TT, most expensive was a 911 of the same year I drove once :)
sound.. depends on the exhaust... BMW M5's sound AMAZING.
love bmw hate GM
for 6 grand I'd turbocharge in a heartbeat.
new car? MAX all the way. Are you kidding? you'll leave a WRX like it's standing still with (260 HP in the '02?) one, plus the interior is much nicer and more refined. I would also look at a V6 altima with 240 horse (0-60 in like 6.6 for about 22 grand) and even a sentra SE-R spec V at 180 horse and more torque than a rsx type s
[Edited last by Philip_G on September 07, 2001 at 10:54 PM]

Jin E

Second Unit
Nov 19, 2000
10) Which new car would you rather get- A Subura Impreza WRX or Nissan Maxima?
Tough choice... it's hard to compair the two since they differ so much in price and target audience. The Sub is a lot smaller car then the Maxima. I'd love to have either one.
My Theater

Bill Catherall

Aug 1, 1997
If you were to spend $6000 on your car...
Audio, video (DVD), GPS, computer system. I'm a gadget geek. If there's money left over and it's an off-road car I'd put the rest into performance/off-road handling.


Chris Bedard

Stunt Coordinator
Sep 14, 1999
5) Dream car would be a Vector W8 Twin Turbo.
6) Fastest car I've been in is my friend's 98 Viper GTS. Most expensive car I've been in is my old neighbors Lamborghini Countache 5000s, way back in the day.
7) Well, I love the sound of a 427 Cobra engine, but I also love the sound of a Ferrari V12.
8) Love Toyota, hate Daewoo, Kia, Suzuki, GM (except for the New C5 Vette).
9) Probably some form of forced induction. I already have a race suspension, so....
10) Well, not too thrilled with either. If Suburu had left the Impreza with the same body style as the last couple of years, I'd have jumped on a WRX, but I absolutely hate the new versions' looks. Of course, it's still quite a performer, so I may have to take the WRX and spend my $6000.00 on image enhancement. Cause I'll take the 4wd turbo any day.
My HT and 2000 Celica Site
Site updated 07/09/01

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