What the Hell Do You Need THAT Much Power For?

Posted: February 8, 2011 in Rants
Tags: , , , , , ,

Often in conversations with friends, colleagues, random people, and shocker-stickering-flat-brimmed-DC-hat wearing-dudebros, I encounter the topic of power. Raw power. Someone is always talking about how when their Nippon Motors DR20T gets a Garrywell TripleZ turbo, they’re going to be super fast and win mad street races, yo!

While that may be an unfriendly overgeneralization, the fact is, all gearheads are obsessed with power to a point. More power is always a good thing, right? You NEED that twin turbo Gallardo because the guy down the street just purchased a 599 GTB Fiorano and it can do over 205 mph.  Or maybe you just need it to feel alive.  Who knows.

Here’s what I do know.  This isn’t Europe.  I live in one of the least driver friendly states in the country, and let me tell you, going more than 10 mph over the limit on any major highway will get you a ticket.  So what’s the point?

If you have a car that can do over 200 mph, but you never do more than 10 over the limit, you’re just a poseur.  Sure, you may be able to justify your behavior if you do actually have a sports car and you do use it for its intended purpose – sport driving, but most of us are relegated to the occasional DE or autocross, and we never actually engage in wheel to wheel racing.  I know I most certainly don’t, but that’s because I don’t have a brain irregularity (or maybe my balls just aren’t big enough).

But what about the folks with those fantastic GT cars?  The true shame is that the vast majority of them spend their time in a garage and get toddled around for a Sunday drive now and then.  Hell, half the people in Manhattan with these kinds of cars can barely drive them in that city – they become posturing tools and this makes me die a little inside.

Now, I would admit, sure, if I could afford it, I probably would have one of these absolutely insane cars.  But, the reality is, almost all of us could actually afford to purchase a reasonable sports car and build it to run 200+ mph.  We just don’t.  Because what’s the point?

The biggest offenders, of course, are kids.  Despite my youth, I still can use that term, by the way.  Anyways, you know the kind – they started out with their Mom’s Accord which they proceeded to modify with an eBay cold air intake and some PIAA bulbs, then graduated to their own torqueless sport compact and still yearn for more.  They need an Evo (or an STI – you know what I’m talking about – AWD is clearly a panacea in their mind for FWD shitboxes – but that’s a rant for another day . . . ).

They’ll never actually compete with their car, but dammit, they NEED that car for street cred.  And these cars are cheap nowadays – its very easy to modify them to stupid levels of power and engage in supralegal speeds without even trying hard.  But these kids might drive irresponsibly now and then, but usually they’re too busy obeying the law to avoid being profiled by the police – and again, I ask – what do you need that much power for?  Nobody does.  In order to go 70 mph in a modern day car we need maybe 25 or 30 horsepower.

So why?  Why do we do it?  I’m seriously asking you, my readers, because I don’t know.

All I know is, it sure as hell is fun.

  1. Eric says:

    Its not about why, its about why not.

    Sure we don’t need 700hp but we like it and life is about what we enjoy.

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