As the race to produce faster cars continues, Jasmine wonders whether the continued quest for instant power is as important as many would believe it to be.
Is it possible for a car to be too powerful? Sure enough, modern performance cars are packed with all the safety systems and aids you could ever need, but they are still equipment and therefore susceptible to glitches. The way things are going, you really don't need to do much other than point in the general direction you'd like to keep moving to have your car doing dizzying speeds. And while cars that are able to think for themselves could come as a welcome relief to anyone who's had a narrow escape or six, how sensible is it to entrust your life, and perhaps those of your passengers, to a machine?
Still, driving at speed under adverse conditions - since most "speed fiends" insist on testing their skills on public roads - is no easy feat. As they are often seen blasting about in ancient clapped out cars, things are bound to go pear-shaped at some stage or another, as shards of plastic and glass left by errant late night/early morning revellers will bear testament.
And while these guys would scoff at the more sophisticated models, referring to their own cars as "drivers ' cars" they too have become accustomed to a life of doing less and receiving more. In general, I have found that drivers are becoming lazier, and prefer instead to just put foot, without being required to really do much else.
Some people just don't realise that, fast as their Opel Corsa Lite, VW Citi Golf and Chev Spark (I swear...) may be, these cars were not designed for the use of "go-faster" turbochargers, exhausts and body kits. And trying to prove to the Mercedes E 55 AMG or even the Chrysler Neon alongside you just how much faster and more powerful your car is, is more likely to get you seriously injured or worse.
Besides, who really cares if your car's engine is capable of delivering 908 kW and 3 000 N.m of torque - isn't the main objective to get from A to B while keeping the car on the road?
I'll admit that my Sunny is not really the safest or fastest thing on wheels, but I do occasionally have the urge to just stomp that poor right pedal to feel the rush, before coming to my senses. I certainly won't allow the "rush" to get the better of me in peak hour traffic - ducking and diving between cars setting off of streams of expletives and bright tail lights is not my style.
It seems drivers need to remember that, regardless of how many airbags, crumple zones and side impact beams their cars may have, they remain machines with their own limits. Remembering your limits as a driver (unfortunately all of us are not gifted invincibility, or even just inherently good driving skills), those of your car, and trying to find common ground is key.
Fortunately for some, modern manufacturers insist on producing more powerful engines at an alarming rate, and as consumers and enthusiasts continue to lap these things up, the more intense the power race becomes. Keeping up with the Joneses may soon take on a whole new meaning...
Alternatively, you could always build a private race circuit on your property or upgrade your daily racer to something a bit more substantial. A Chev Aveo should do the trick!
Catch you on the freeway