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

Spectre

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Really? So the US Caterham dealers basically get the parts and assemble them for you?
Yup, and if you look at the invoice, it will clearly delineate the Caterham 'kit' and the labor fee to assemble it - or it will in the dealer's books at the very least. (I know the local one here.)

That's the thing, all else is rarely equal. GM products from the 90s, for example, are made of spit and kleenex, so no matter what size you're getting it's not going to be a safe product. The Mercedes S-Class doesn't have statistically tiny fatality numbers solely because it's big - though that doesn't hurt, of course - but because Mercedes also pours billions into safety research on that car. Hell, the XJ is actually a relatively light car, as executive sedans go, and it still does quite well.

Small cars can be, and are, perfectly safe, with the right engineering. Sure, it's not going to be easy, and you're fighting powerful forces, but with proper engineering you'll survive most times. However, if manufacturers are encouraged to cut safety for price reasons or to offer stripped out models, small cars will not be safe. Which is why any attempts to relax safety regs on smaller vehicles are going to chase people away from them, because that's the market segment that needs safety engineering the most - and we can agree on that, I'm sure.
Yes, but I suspect that if you look back, you will find that at least the same percentage of small cars were just as badly designed. So in that sense, everything is equal. You can't say that every time a larger vehicle hits a smaller one, the larger vehicle will be something like a GM W-body and the smaller car will be 'properly engineered' like an S40 or something. You have the same luck of the draw each time - next time it could be one of my XJs versus a Toyota Tercel. This is where the stats come into play.

I would also point out that it should be left up to the market and the individual buyer as to how much safety one wants beyond (perhaps) a certain minimal level. If one chooses no safety and is killed because of it, well, that's evolution in action.
 
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prizrak

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I would also point out that it should be left up to the market and the individual buyer as to how much safety one wants beyond (perhaps) a certain minimal level. If one chooses no safety and is killed because of it, well, that's evolution in action.
This is EXACTLY how I feel. Cars got air bags, ABS, ESP, OMG WTF and BBQ without regulation requiring them. The Benz has that active braking system, seats that will move into the center of the cabin and windows that will roll themselves up, none of this is required. My friend's 550 has lane assist, I saw some ads for Volvos and Fords with brake assist which is a warning light HUD + sound to alert you of impending doom. Most people WANT safety, people bought Volvo back in the day because it was the safest car money can buy.

If you take away ALL regulation for safety for cars you will still have all that safety equipment in volume models because otherwise the market will kill them off pretty quickly. All it would do is allow for the manufacturer to give you a Genesis Coupe that weighs 2000lbs because all the safety crap is removed.

It should work like efficiency grading. There are no specific requirements on per model basis as to how many MPG it will return (there is CAFE which is dumb but its not the focus here). So the customer can vote with his wallet. If I want a big truck that does 1mpg on the highway its really up to me to do it and no one will stop me. If I want a 40mpg Prius I can do that as well. All cars will have that data available either from EPA or the manufacturer and is always prominently displayed on the vehicle if new or can be found with minimum research. Same could EASILY be done for crash safety, cars are already being tested for crash safety, just have each car display the safety information or have it available elsewhere (manual, internet, 800 number, w/e). Let the customer vote with their wallet...
 

2Billion

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The thing is I'm not saying small cars as a rule are safer than large ones - I was careful in the language I used - but instead that small cars can be safer than some (not all, but some) larger ones if properly designed. Yes, one of the best selling small cars in the past decade was designed in a lunch break by an alcoholic and given away for free with the purchase of any GM pickup - J-body, yo - but that doesn't mean you can't have a smaller vehicle that's perfectly safe.
 

narf

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I think four-point. The point is, not three-point seatbelt. Point :lol:


PS: Yup, four. Here's a shot off audi.de:

 
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narf

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That's the R8 GT with the optional race package (5850? extra, 193000? list price :cry:).

The Aston and Lambo as driven by May and Clarkson on the greatest driving roads road trip also had 4+ points. And numberplates, obviously.
 
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devil500

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Let the free market dictate what people drive. It's their money I have no say in what they do with it.
 

katwalk

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This is EXACTLY how I feel. Cars got air bags, ABS, ESP, OMG WTF and BBQ without regulation requiring them. The Benz has that active braking system, seats that will move into the center of the cabin and windows that will roll themselves up, none of this is required. My friend's 550 has lane assist, I saw some ads for Volvos and Fords with brake assist which is a warning light HUD + sound to alert you of impending doom. Most people WANT safety, people bought Volvo back in the day because it was the safest car money can buy.

If you take away ALL regulation for safety for cars you will still have all that safety equipment in volume models because otherwise the market will kill them off pretty quickly. All it would do is allow for the manufacturer to give you a Genesis Coupe that weighs 2000lbs because all the safety crap is removed.

It should work like efficiency grading. There are no specific requirements on per model basis as to how many MPG it will return (there is CAFE which is dumb but its not the focus here). So the customer can vote with his wallet. If I want a big truck that does 1mpg on the highway its really up to me to do it and no one will stop me. If I want a 40mpg Prius I can do that as well. All cars will have that data available either from EPA or the manufacturer and is always prominently displayed on the vehicle if new or can be found with minimum research. Same could EASILY be done for crash safety, cars are already being tested for crash safety, just have each car display the safety information or have it available elsewhere (manual, internet, 800 number, w/e). Let the customer vote with their wallet...
Seriously, thousands of dollars and pounds of safety crap and lots of people still don't wear seatbelts. I for one as someone who's only a few inches away from needing a booster seat would at least like a a button to turn off the fucking airbags as if mine go off I will take it in the face.
 

smib

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I would rather buy this, which is better in every possible way:
Holy hot potatoes, that is sexy. Maybe even enough so to distract me from my obsession with the Street Triple...




Nope. Solid effort from Honda though.
 

_HighVoltage_

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I said car, not French joke that will flip itself over and go on fire for no apparent reason if no 'youths' are around to help it do that.

I would rather buy this, which is better in every possible way:
I am having a hard time following your logic here. So a french Renault with FOUR wheels is bad because it can flip over, but some bike on only TWO wheels is "better in every possible way."

Are you saying it is physically impossible for a bike with TWO wheels to fall over? :p
 

Spectre

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You missed the part about "on fire." As we all know from Top Gear and from the French press themselves, the final destiny of ALL French cars is to be upside down and on fire. Most of the time this is carried out by 'helpful neighborhood youths,' but as more than one FG member can attest, when such 'youths' are unavailable to perform this service, the cars will attempt to flip themselves over and/or self-immolate (as some members can and will attest) anyway.

Strangely, I do not consider a vehicle whose normal designed end state of operations is "upside down and on fire" as a good idea. Therefore, a vehicle that does not want to spontaneously flip itself on its back and/or burst into flames is inherently superior. Last I checked, most bikes don't go on fire at random intervals, while French cars do.
 

katwalk

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What if it's a french motorcycle?
 

Spectre

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What if it's a french motorcycle?
There's a reason there aren't any of those any more. Oh, there's a couple of little custom shops and the like... but no makers of any size, and the custom makers' product... goes on fire too.
 

_HighVoltage_

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My point was that a bike isn't better in every possible way compared to a car.
 
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