Despite the efforts of engineers, many factors have contrived to make cars less enjoyable than in years gone by. Here are 10 of them:
Cars have to pass these crash tests if they are to stand a chance of selling and providing the systems to enable them to do so adds huge amounts of weight, which then makes them less able to avoid the accident in the first place, but nobody measures that the customer doesn’t care.
Give people the choice of a light, responsive car with minimal equipment or an overweight sluggard dripping in gadgets and most customers will choose the supersize option every time.
Increasingly, people want to be seen in big cars because it suits the image they want to project. Also, people today are generally larger than they were a generation or two ago and need more space as a result. And more space means more weight, more width and less fun.
There are engineering geniuses out there who can still make wonderful and entirely emissions-compliant cars, but all the equipment adds weight and detracts from the character of an engine.
Almost all sporting cars are turbocharged now, and although immense progress has been made, all still have poorer throttle response and make less interesting sounds than they would had they remained normally aspirated.
Adopted almost across the board, electronic powerassisted steering (EPAS) is very good at letting engineers tune the steering to behave how they want and still very bad at letting the driver feel the road.
It’s going to become increasingly necessary but electric motors and batteries add weight, sap space and, in almost all cases, make the cars to which they are attached slower than they’d be without the mass of the hybrid power pack.
Modern tyres are incredible, but you only have to drive an old MG B on terrible rubber and see how much fun results at entirely legal speeds to conclude that, in this regard if no other, not all the progress has been in the right direction.
We’re not knocking them and every car should have one, but some can’t be turned off even when the car is being driven on a private facility. And that’s no fun.
You can’t enjoy driving a car without feeling involved in the process of driving. Anything that removes you from that process therefore diminishes driving pleasure.