Revhead Ramblings: How a Car Makes You Feel is Crucial
- August 7, 2018
- Posted by: Alex Baker
- Category: Revhead Ramblings
When it comes to discussing cars, often the first questions we ask relate to speed and power. There’s something exciting about hearing a heavyweight horsepower figure. But why?
Pounds feet, cylinder configuration and brake horsepower are just theoretical terms that could potentially indicate a car is interesting, but the benchmark for a good car should really be how it makes us feel.
A good sounding car isn’t necessary but it’s certainly a bonus. We’re rapidly slipping away from sonorous V12s and even V8s, moving instead deep into the silent depths of electrification. Despite the option of pumping your cabin full of artificial car sounds, nothing can compare to dropping gears when you reach a tunnel or lifting off to create a series of bangs and pops; it’s like a drug. Obviously, sound doesn’t make a great car, but it’s certainly desirable and produces an indescribable feeling!
Good design is something that causes delight, a positive functional surprise, embedded within an emotional uplifting feeling. It should do it time and again without taking too much attention. Sometimes good design is very utilitarian, take the McLaren Senna for example, the way the car looked was disregarded from the off, it’s solely focused on lap times and driving feel. When you take that into account and take a second look at it, you start to understand it more, every curve and every line has its purpose.
Sometimes it’s more flamboyant and artistic, The E-Type Jag for example, it’s not second, but it is in the top two best looking cars ever… The roadster version is one of only three vehicles to be admitted to the MOMA permanent design collection, Enzo Ferrari himself described it as ‘the most beautiful car in the world’. Need I say more?
Yes, fear can make a great car. I’m not talking about the fear you feel when your 17-year-old mate is trying to demonstrate opposite lock too close to a parked car, this is the fear you feel when you get behind the wheel of a truly fast vehicle. This is particularly present in cars such as the Ariel Atom or a Caterham. The feeling of being so susceptible to the elements at such high speeds is intoxicating. Driving cars on the edge is a fine art, but when you push it just enough without killing yourself; there’s very little that can compare.
More than just a car
I’m still on my first car, the memories I’ve made in it will last a lifetime and I’ll be genuinely upset when it leaves. According to a survey conducted in 2013, 70% of car owners said they feel “very attached” to their cars, more than a quarter also said they feel sad when even thinking about parting ways with their motor. This relationship is deeper than the money you’ve paid, cars live with us through the high and lows of life. So yes, fast cars are great, but an emotional connection will make even the slowest cars feel special every time you go out.
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