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Why not make cars that make sense?

Updated on January 30, 2011

Speed limits.

Making a car faster than the speed limit is a waste of fuel and resources. It must stop or we will waste most of our fuel reserves.

Detroit and others have sold the idea of faster is better and now we need a new sales pitch if the auto industry and ecology are to survive.

Audi, Porsche, Mercedes Benz and Honda all have super cars as their flagships, as have GM, Chrysler and Ford.

Why don't GM or Chrysler who are financially strapped change their flagship to the most sensible and practical car? Because the market won't buy a car without sex appeal? Why not spend less and have a car that will be able to do the speed limit, will not accelerate near the speed of light, but does 100mpg?

Advertising is the biggest problem. How do the big car makers suddenly do an about face and change tactics by aiming a little further up the evolutionary chain.

Years and years of barking up the wrong tree by promoting the lowest common denominator is competing in a self made dinosaur market governed by who is faster from zero to 62mph.

It would seem to me that they would do better educating buyers towards smaller cars, many of which are recyclable to a large degree as well as using far less raw materials to manufacture and cheaper to buy, run and maintain.

Bring back the T Model Ford!

Powerful ignition spark always started first time, auto transmission and simple to work on.
Powerful ignition spark always started first time, auto transmission and simple to work on.

Mini cars alone are not going to provide the whole market and apart from size and weight the biggest problem is too much unneeded horsepower in larger cars.

Today's cars have the potential to be very much more efficient and economical than at any time in the past. With electronic engine and drive train management systems already fitted to newer cars the opportunity to double fuel mileage is here right now.

Why is the technology being wasted on making cars become faster, with more horsepower instead of building cars that have very high fuel economy ordinary speed and a very low cost to manufacture, through providing less power and better fuel economy?

Fat arsed thinking is my guess. No conspiracy theories, as humans we are already dumb enough to just screw it up.

An engineering marvel and a waste of resources.

Honda Hydrogen

Weight size and safety.

Australia has produced some of the world's fastest road cars.

We have many 500 hp v8 Utes and sedans running around the city and suburban streets usually with no load and carrying just the driver. I have driven the locally made Utes or pickups and they have more than enough power to pull 2 tonne or more even with the smaller less powerful motor fitted. To fit all the luxury in the cabin the rear loading area has been reduced in size so much you would have to load it with house bricks to carry a full tonne!

To transmit all that power to the road without bending the body and chassis it has to be heavy. It is the horsepower that dictates how much weight has to be in the vehicle, not the size of the vehicle alone.

The same vehicles could be built much lighter with a smaller power plant and return phenomenal mileage.

You would think that more people would opt for the smaller engined Japanese utes of 2.4 - 2.7 litres with the same carrying capacity.

OK they won't climb mount Everest with 2 tonne onboard and gain speed on the way up, but who needs all that for a one ton ute?

Cars can be made from many materials. Like Food product waste from manufacturing processes, waste products from grain production, the skin off bananas or almost any fibrous material.

Edible car!

A new car concept.

The design of a concept car for this century is a simple matter. We already have the technology built in to all modern cars, we only need to up the power/rate ratio by applying the electronic power management systems we are currently using. we only need to scale down the excessive top end speed and useless illegal over-performance.

Let's see what a new concept car that could achieve results that make a real difference to responsible motoring would look like.

  • Top speed 110kph or 68mph. This leaves enough extra speed to ensure safe passing when mistakes are made and the best decision is to accelerate rather than brake.
  • 40% less Horsepower. Taking in to consideration the reduction in corresponding weight and other trade offs this should result in an acceptable performance being maintained without being excessive.
  • More interior space. As the powerplant and transmission will be physically smaller, more space is available to interior space gains.
  • Manufactured from organic waste. Many experimental cars have been made from anything from banana skins to newspaper, and many were made for a very low cost yet did not take off. This does not mean they would not sell well today in a world that needs everything to be recycled and recyclable.
  • Engine heat should be reintroduced in to the cars power output and this should include hot gasses from exhaust as well as engine cooling. Heat is energy and harnessing it is a lot easier every year with new materials like ceramics now available for conversion with low heat losses during transfer.

Would you buy a car that had less power and better economy?

See results


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    • profile image


      3 years ago

      Beryl , what an Beryl , what an amazing riecpe, I followed your directions to the T and it was amazing my wife and 2 children 3 & 5 yrs old all ate it up. AMAZING , That night the kids slept wit my wife & I because they do that some nights and all 4 of us were in our king size bed and Laughing because those beans gave us some wonderful anal artillary. I will check out some of your other video's as wellBlessings and Grace,Warren Tibbs , KC Missouri

    • Phyllis Doyle profile image

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 

      4 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      I so agree with the concept of a sensible car. What good is the higher speed cars when it is illegal to go over the speed limit? Great hub and very intelligent concepts. Well done, Earnest.

    • Ruby H Rose profile image

      Maree Michael Martin 

      4 years ago from Northwest Washington on an Island

      Wonderful article, points well taken. Many more electric cars now, I support that. Living in the country and extended freeway travel to get any place leaves me supporting 70 to 80 miles an hour though. LOL

    • earnestshub profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      Thank you for this comment. I wish the automotive marketing divisions would join us in this century!

    • vox vocis profile image


      8 years ago

      I definitely agree with you on this one! Cars should be properly recycled, more economical and less harmful when we talk about ecology.

    • earnestshub profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      Thanks eric2112.

      The "lets appeal to their lowest instincts" marketing has been over the fence for too long I reckon!

    • eric2112 profile image

      Eric Hartman 

      9 years ago from Greensburg, Pennsylvania

      Bravo on this article. I share your opinions and will as well back up your facts. Our hunger for more and more power in automobiles outweighs our need to survive financially and needs to change. I agree entirely that we have and have had the technology for higher milage vehicles for some time now and we need to get on the right track and make it happen.

      I have been following the progress of Tesla Motors and have been very impressed by the Model S. A purely electric vehicle, yet it has all of the comforts that almost anyone could want.

      Once again, great article and I hope to read more!



    • earnestshub profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      agvulpes. Yes some manufacturers never learn. The timing belt on some Renaults is still buried inside the second housing, and hiding the inhibitor switch inside the gearbox as on many common gearboxes is crazy!

    • agvulpes profile image


      9 years ago from Australia

      earnestshub, I agree with what you and ColdWarBaby have been saying and would just like to add something on my pet rant about motor vehicles.

      It is the idiotic way most assembly line cars of today are designed. There appears to be no consideration given to the practicality of maintenance. A classic example is the "inhibitor switch" on the auto gear box. It is concealed in the gear box. try fixing that in a hurry and at a reasonable cost!

    • earnestshub profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      Thanks ColdWarBaby, between us me may be able to shed light on a few unspoken truths about transport

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      earnest, I'm happy to contribute when I can. It's a lot easier to do so when talking to someone with whom you're not at odds.

      Certain topics just push my buttons I guess and the car culture is one of them. Thank you for providing a forum where an important topic can be discussed.

      I agree completely that virtually all the vehicles available to the public address "performance" from all the wrong angles. I also think the "bigger is better" mentality has hit the wall. About time. 

    • earnestshub profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      ColdWarBaby, this comment is so complete it could have been a couple of hubs! Thank you for your input, but more importantly thank you for caring enough to inform. I really like your thinking. Your Honda Civic is a great vehicle for low cost operation. I run a little Honda too, but even these small cars have got more power than needed. The race to own bigger and better is a madness that will only change if the economy collapses, or people run out of money.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      earnestshub, I appreciate and applaud the message although, as you already know, I don't think it goes far enough.

      That being said, conspiracies don't necessarily require careful and constant orchestration. People who share the same ideology tend to conspire incidentally. I do doubt, however, that groups such as the Bilderbergs, the Trilateral Commission or the Rothschild family and friends stay in such close contact just because they’re all so fond of each other.

      I have a 2000 Honda Civic. It gets around thirty mpg. I drive it only when absolutely necessary. If I can help it, I will not buy another car unless I can afford one that is fully electric.

      High performance cars, meaning fast, powerful and dangerous, use more fuel and oil and require more maintenance than a practical, efficient and safe vehicle.

      They cost more to buy, insure and operate.

      All the capitalist enterprises involved in a car owning you make more profit if it is big, fast, dangerous and expensive.

      People who have been conditioned to believe that being owned by such a vehicle makes them superior also tend to feel the need to have a new one more often in order to stay ahead of the imaginary curve.

      This type of indoctrinated personality also tends to believe they require an entire “lifestyle” appropriate to the vehicle they drive. Expensive clothes, jewelry, residence, food and all manner of leisure pursuits including designer drugs and the most expensive brands of alcohol.

      This type of image seems to elicit a very high response rate from people who can’t actually afford it. Therefore, it contributes greatly to the crime rate.

      If an inner city or rural youth is convinced that not being owned by these things makes him/her less than human then he/she will go to any lengths to obtain them. The absolute need some people feel to be possessed by things will push them over a line. Once crossed it is often very hard, if not impossible, to get back to the other side, which can easily lead to a plethora of unpleasant consequences.

      Is this then the intended goal of General Motors when they manufacture a vehicle like the Escalade?

      I don’t know.

      I’m reasonably sure marketers are aware of these consequences. I also know that profit, regardless of where the money comes from, is the only concern of capitalist enterprise. They are incapable of focusing their vision beyond the next quarter.

      I also understand that financial institutes, which lend money for such purchases aren’t overly concerned about the real source of the payments they receive.

      I am also aware that such institutes turn a great deal of profit each year laundering drug money.

      When one purchases expensive goods with cash or, better still, a valid credit card few if any questions are asked.

      Then one must factor into the equation the fact that our prison system is now almost entirely a for profit enterprise. The more guests they accommodate, the more they profit.

      I could probably elaborate much further but that’s potentially another hub.

      So, does this unconditional pursuit of profit constitute conspiratorial activity? If so, is it with intent?

      Alternatively, are these just the natural consequences of a system that is driven by unbridled, unthinking greed?

      In any case, is it excusable or even tolerable?


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