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Old 09-27-2006, 11:52 AM   #1
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Why do so many people argue about numbers?

I just find it odd that so many users on this forum (and others like it) focus so heavily on the numbers published in car magazine road tests.

This car is slow because it has a 7 second 0-60 time or this car handles well because it pulls .90 on the skidpad. What ever happened to test drives?

Isn't there more to driving a car- even sports car- than just the performance numbers?

Clearly the test results do help give you an idea of how a car will perform, but it seems that some treat these test results as if they were untouchable scripture.

Aside from that, unless you take your car to the track (or live on Montana) you can't legally push it to it's performance limits anyway.

Keep in mind I am NOT talking about racecars. I don't race so I don't feel capable of addressing your needs.

To me, a great car is one that makes driving enjoyable. If you are having fun, why worry whether or not some other car can beat you in the 1/4 mile?


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Old 09-27-2006, 11:56 AM   #2
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Not only that, you have to be a good enough driver to push those numbers, even on the track. 0-60 times in a mag mean nothing if you miss a shift point, skid pad numbers mean nothing if you miss the apex...
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Old 09-27-2006, 11:58 AM   #3
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Its all us young kids and our internet access. People my age (I'm 22) or so didnt grow up as activly I think as previous generations. Remote access to information is our God, I know it's mine. I'm betting its a tendancy that we've grown into. Course I could be way off base, I'm young, what do I know. Maybe people got into shouting matches in parks (or whatever existed before internet forums, if there was such a "before" as some claim ) based on magazine reviews.
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Old 09-27-2006, 02:13 PM   #4
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"you can't legally push it to it's performance limits anyway."

You make a valid point for sure. But don't forget that sometimes a car is pushed to it's performance limits under unusual circumstances, such as an accident happening in front of you, a child running in front of the car, a stalled car in your lane as you come around a corner, a frost heave or major pothole on a road, etc. In these circumstances you may push the performance limits of the car, and one which does .90 on the skidpad vs. one that pulls .80 on the skid pad might make all the difference in the World, as might one which brakes from 60 to 0 in ten feet less. And it is rather difficult to get anyone to allow you to test panic braking distances in a test drive, much less in a consistent manner such that an individual could compare braking distances between two vehicles in a meaningful way.

But I certainly agree with you that "the numbers," should be secondary to a test drive, and only a part of a person's evaluation of a vehicle.
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Old 09-27-2006, 02:23 PM   #5
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Because they like to argue, about most things.
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Old 09-27-2006, 02:26 PM   #6
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^^ and the fact that it's the internet AND a forum, those go hand in hand.........
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Old 09-27-2006, 02:26 PM   #7
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I said this type of thing before also. People take to heart the numbers they see printed as set in stone. Theyre not people. Too many factors play into any cars test, like they said, test drive a car for yourself. Like the svt's numbers, EVERY test i have ever seen was on a northen car which everyone had traction control and you cant launch one. I have seen completely stock svt's without T/C run more than 1/2 second quicker than that. Some people do push their cars to the limits of the cars ability even if theyre not in Montana, lol. I do.
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Old 09-27-2006, 02:32 PM   #8
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Ouch, hidden shot at Doug huh....
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Old 09-27-2006, 02:37 PM   #9
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I would just like to say that the comfort part is a nice comment. As others have said, most individuals cannot get close to getting their cars to perform the same numbers. But if you don't get in and drive the car who knows. Maybe the STI that you're thinking about buying doesn't have the shifter in the right spot for your body build and you have trouble cycling the gears, but the EVO across the street is fits you just right. The STI might have better "numbers" but you can drive the EVO better than the STI. What do you choose?

My dad used to say, anybody can beat anyone else, on any given day. The numbers are in ideal, or near ideal conditions for weather, traction, driver whatnot. But if you're driving your good numbers car in a bad conditions world, you better be good at driving, and comfortable doing so.
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Old 09-27-2006, 02:40 PM   #10
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Nah, Doug's my buddy, lol.
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