If you had the power, how would you force/convince people to downsize their cars?

TestECull

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I would simply set a maximum weight. Any vehicles which weigh more will require a CDL to operate on public highways. Weight will be measured with a full tank and one average weight driver, engine running. Below is a table I would likely use for such a law:

Small citycar: 2500 pounds
2-seat sports car*: 2500 pounds
2-seat muscle car*: 3500 pounds
4-door sedan: 3500 pounds
light pickup: 3500 pounds
1/2 ton pickup: 4500 pounds
3/4 ton and 1-ton pickup: 5500 pounds
compact SUV: 3500 pounds
medium SUV: 4500 pounds
Large SUV: 5500 pounds
9-passenger van: 5500 pounds
7-passenger van: 3500 pounds
Super car, grand tourer and other exotics: 3500 pounds


Doing it this way wouldn't flat ban any large vehicles. Anyone wanting to keep their 2011 Suburban could do so provided they obtain a suitable CDL. Most people won't bother, though, and will just flock to a smaller car instead. Either that or we'll see the price of carbon fiber drop like a damn rock as automakers flock to it in order to keep making big cars.


* The designation between the two is the engine. A Miata would classify under 2-seat sports car. A Corvette would classify under 2-seat muscle car. That corvette would not classify under "Super car, grand tourer and other exotics" because they're mass produced in Kentucky. You can buy a 'Vette for 50 grand.
 

Spectre

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Congratulations, you just required CDLs for almost every four door family sedan out there. The current Camry weighs more than that 3500lb limit. So'd the last Camry. The Honda Fit (aka, 'small city car'), which is about as small as you can practically go, is already over that limit.

My Pathfinder, which is actually a small SUV by modern standards, weighs more than your proposed limit. Oh, and all the classic car owners absolutely thank you for making it harder to keep their cars - you are aware that CDLs are much harder to get, much easier to lose, and cost one hell of a lot more, right? And your own truck is over the weight limit, so when will you be going to get your CDL now? And I hope you like getting random drug tests - they are mandated in some jurisdictions. And forget about going out for a single beer after work with your friends, because that can put you over the legal limit for a CDL holder.

Also, guess what, CF prices aren't likely to go down much more. In fact, it's likely to rise as increased demand will be related to the increasing cost of oil. Plus what happens when the government says, "Oh, yeah, starting from next year on, you're going to need to mount another 200lbs of safety equipment onto your car and too bad if it bumps you over the limit?"

This is a boneheaded idea. I'm all in favor of increasing licensing requirements, but this is ridiculous.
 
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Momentum57

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Here is the idea no more insurance and when you have a crash they take your home all your money and sell you into slavery. You make it so bad to live after a crash that car makers make the car unsurvivable after accidents. Cars would weigh less. Then drop all drive through windows and parking garages down to 3ft... cars would be lower. Then use genetic research that all new born children at full development can only grow to 5'4... cars would be smaller

You know what why don't we all just take up a hobby than worrying about what someone else drives.
 

TestECull

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Congratulations, you just required CDLs for almost every four door family sedan out there. The current Camry weighs more than that 3500lb limit. So'd the last Camry. The Honda Fit (aka, 'small city car'), which is about as small as you can practically go, is already over that limit.
I know. They're too heavy. They don't need to be that heavy, there's no reason for it. The tech exists to make them much lighter and maintain the same safety.


- you are aware that CDLs are much harder to get, much easier to lose, and cost one hell of a lot more, right?
Yup. My dad has one.

And your own truck is over the weight limit, so when will you be going to get your CDL now?
Soon enough. Or, I can install fiberglass bodywork and shave about 1000 pounds out of it. If aftermarket parts can get the weight below spec then it would be fine.

Also, guess what, CF prices aren't likely to go down much more. In fact, it's likely to rise as increased demand will be related to the increasing cost of oil.
And as production ramps up it gets cheaper and cheaper to make. It will get cheaper.

Plus what happens when the government says, "Oh, yeah, starting from next year on, you're going to need to mount another 200lbs of safety equipment onto your car and too bad if it bumps you over the limit?"
They wouldn't. If I were ruler of all things, which I would need to be in order to implement my plan in the first place, I would mandate that vehicle safety is the driver's responsibility. The only safety items required would be A: Seatbelts, B: A good crash structure, C: two airbags, one in the wheel one in the dash, and D: Safety glass. Anything above and beyond that is optional equipment. That alone would likely drive your Camry below the weight limit.


Besides, nowhere in OP's question did it state the method had to be kind...and I could just flat ban any vehicle over the limit, that's always an option.
 
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thedguy

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Congratulations, you just required CDLs for almost every four door family sedan out there. The current Camry weighs more than that 3500lb limit. So'd the last Camry. The Honda Fit (aka, 'small city car'), which is about as small as you can practically go, is already over that limit.
Personally I'm in favor of the minimum requirements to get a license be as rigorous as getting a CDL minus the drug tests and some punishments.

I know. They're too heavy. They don't need to be that heavy, there's no reason for it. The tech exists to make them much lighter and maintain the same safety.

Soon enough. Or, I can install fiberglass bodywork and shave about 1000 pounds out of it. If aftermarket parts can get the weight below spec then it would be fine.
You might want to revise that number. Only way you'll do that is if you convert to a top fuel drag car body and rip everything out but the absolute requirements to use the car.

Lemons teams have completely removed all remnants of a body (and some chassis structure) and any creature comforts and have been lucky to shave nearly that much weight.

And as production ramps up it gets cheaper and cheaper to make. It will get cheaper.
Not if demand goes as sky high as you'll make it. You see aluminum getting any cheaper with the proliferation of aluminum block engines and bodies?

They wouldn't. If I were ruler of all things, which I would need to be in order to implement my plan in the first place, I would mandate that vehicle safety is the driver's responsibility. The only safety items required would be A: Seatbelts, B: A good crash structure, C: two airbags, one in the wheel one in the dash, and D: Safety glass. Anything above and beyond that is optional equipment. That alone would likely drive your Camry below the weight limit.
This is about what NHTSA/DOT require now... it's the details of the "good crash structure" that you have to write in the law that cause the trouble.
Besides, nowhere in OP's question did it state the method had to be kind...and I could just flat ban any vehicle over the limit, that's always an option.[/QUOTE]
 
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prizrak

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Congratulations, you just required CDLs for almost every four door family sedan out there. The current Camry weighs more than that 3500lb limit. So'd the last Camry. The Honda Fit (aka, 'small city car'), which is about as small as you can practically go, is already over that limit.

My Pathfinder, which is actually a small SUV by modern standards, weighs more than your proposed limit. Oh, and all the classic car owners absolutely thank you for making it harder to keep their cars - you are aware that CDLs are much harder to get, much easier to lose, and cost one hell of a lot more, right? And your own truck is over the weight limit, so when will you be going to get your CDL now? And I hope you like getting random drug tests - they are mandated in some jurisdictions. And forget about going out for a single beer after work with your friends, because that can put you over the legal limit for a CDL holder.

Also, guess what, CF prices aren't likely to go down much more. In fact, it's likely to rise as increased demand will be related to the increasing cost of oil. Plus what happens when the government says, "Oh, yeah, starting from next year on, you're going to need to mount another 200lbs of safety equipment onto your car and too bad if it bumps you over the limit?"

This is a boneheaded idea. I'm all in favor of increasing licensing requirements, but this is ridiculous.
Yes was going to say that exact same thing, my car with me in it is like 4900lbs, it is hardly big....

FTFY. You can get Camries that are well under 3500lbs.
Base model (4cyl) Camry has a CURB weight of 3263lbs. It will be very easily over 3500 with all the fluids in it. As an example my car's Curb is ~3600lbs and gross is ~4700 (I weigh 220). As an example a V6 Tiburon is around 4200lbs gross and the A3 is 4400 IIRC. Both of these are way smaller than a normal family sedan.
 
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BerserkerCatSplat

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Soon enough. Or, I can install fiberglass bodywork and shave about 1000 pounds out of it.
WTF are you smoking? 1000 lbs saved via fiberglass bodywork is completely ridiculous unless you're driving something that currently has armor plating installed.
 
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marcos_eirik

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If I were to do that? Offer massive tax breaks on smaller/more efficient cars, and "penalize" bigger/heavier cars with progressively higher taxes. For instance there could be a good idea to come up with a basic formula; about 1300 kg and 7l/100 km fuel consumption. Then offer progressively lower taxes on everything lighter and less thirsty, while adding progressively higher taxes to everything heavier and more thirsty. Then say if it's more than 2000 kg and drinks more than 15l/100 km on the combined cycle, let the taxes increase exponentially...

The emphasis should be on lower fuel consumption though, and weight being secondary by a rate of two or three to one...
 

Spectre

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FTFY. You can get Camries that are well under 3500lbs.
Not with an average male driver (defined as 6', 180lbs, just as in crash tests) and full of fluids, you can't. I show curb weight of the base I4 (full of fluids but empty of gasoline) at 3307lbs. Add in 180lbs of driver and 80lbs of fuel, and you're well over this guy's arbitrary limit.

WTF are you smoking? 1000 lbs saved via fiberglass bodywork is completely ridiculous unless you're driving something that currently has armor plating installed.
He also forgets that the fiberglass has zero value for crash safety, which is why the Corvette still has a substructure of metals. Which means that manufacturers aren't going to be able to use that on safety-mandated new cars.
 
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narf

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Not with an average male driver (defined as 6', 180lbs, just as in crash tests) and full of fluids, you can't. I show curb weight of the base I4 (full of fluids but empty of gasoline) at 3307lbs. Add in 180lbs of driver and 80lbs of fuel, and you're well over this guy's arbitrary limit.
Toyota.com gives the curb weight of a Camry as 3263lbs, with your standard driver that's 3443lbs. Toyota.com also defines curb weight as including the maximum amount of any liquid including fuel.
 

Canuck

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My truck is about 5500 pounds, I frequently drive around with 4 people in it, and most of the winter there's a 500lb snowmobile in the back.

Amidoinitrite?
 

Spectre

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Toyota.com gives the curb weight of a Camry as 3263lbs, with your standard driver that's 3443lbs. Toyota.com also defines curb weight as including the maximum amount of any liquid including fuel.
Unfortunately, one reason why you're going to get varying numbers is that the weight is going to vary from individual car to individual car. The one reviewed by Automobile tipped the scales at about 3300 and IIRC they drain the fuel out first. If you check four or five magazines that measure it themselves, you will find varying answers, and they rarely match with what the manufacturer claims. More to the point, the local dealer, who is the first to be sued for 'false advertising', lists it as 3307.

At one point some of the local Jag types decided to weigh our Series IIIs on a truck scale. Despite the fact that base US XJ6 Series IIIs were all built to the same spec and had no options to select, weight with full tanks and no driver or cargo varied by as much as 500lbs among the twelve examples (all 83 and newer). More modern and precisely manufactured cars will get that margin way down, but you're still looking at weight differences from individual example to individual example as parts are at different points in the manufacturer's tolerances.
 
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narf

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Unfortunately, one reason why you're going to get varying numbers is that the weight is going to vary from individual car to individual car. The one reviewed by Automobile tipped the scales at 3307 and IIRC they drain the fuel out first. If you check four or five magazines that measure it themselves, you will find varying answers, and they rarely match with what the manufacturer claims.
The weight goes up with any optional extra fitted. For example, the automatic version is those 3307lbs you quote - 44lbs extra for the transmission.

Also, :no:. Automobile gives the Camry 2009, 2010, 2011 as 3263lbs curb weight.


PS: I'm not saying this arbitrary weight scale is a good thing, I'm just putting Spectre's claimed facts straight.
 

Spectre

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I suppose, but I've got a copy of Automobile in my lap and it says 3300 as-tested for a base model. I went with the Toyota dealer's number, though.
 

narf

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I suppose, but I've got a copy of Automobile in my lap and it says 3300 as-tested for a base model. I went with the Toyota dealer's number, though.
The dealer one is an automatic, see my post stating an automatic will be 44lbs heavier - same number as on toyota.com. Also, 3307 + 180 < 3500.
 

Spectre

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Entirely aside from whether anyone buys the base Camry (they don't, and the local dealer only stocks two base manuals, which will probably be there until they clearance them this fall), with a margin that thin (13lbs) and even assuming it's full-fuel, what clothes the driver is wearing is going to make or break whether the car requires a CDL under that system. Hell, the boots I wear weigh almost 5lbs by themselves. And I guess the theoretical driver under this system better not have had lunch that day. :p

Unless, of course, you assume the person is naked, as the government does. :p But that doesn't seem likely with the proposed system, since he wants us to go to the trouble of weighing it with the engine running.
 
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narf

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Entirely aside from whether anyone buys the base Camry (they don't, and the local dealer only stocks two base manuals, which will probably be there until they clearance them this fall), with a margin that thin (13lbs) and even assuming it's full-fuel, what clothes the driver is wearing is going to make or break whether the car requires a CDL under that system. Hell, the boots I wear weigh almost 5lbs by themselves. And I guess the theoretical driver under this system better not have had lunch that day. :p

Unless, of course, you assume the person is naked, as the government does. :p But that doesn't seem likely with the proposed system, since he wants us to go to the trouble of weighing it with a driver, engine running, and a full tank.
I don't care whether anyone buys a base Camry. I don't care whether you consider 13lbs margin as too little, just buy a manual for a 53lbs margin. I also don't care that you don't understand the way standardized weights work - no need to weigh the individual driver every day.

All I'm saying is you can get a fueled current-generation Camry with driver that is under 3500lbs. Nothing more, nothing less.
 
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