Revhead Ramblings: Our Rush to Develop EVs Could Leave our Cars Lacking Charisma
- February 26, 2019
- Posted by: Alex Baker
- Category: Revhead Ramblings
Part sharing is rife in the automotive world, joint ventures like the Z4/Supra or the Volkswagen Group passing platforms between marquees isn’t a new concept.
We’ve known the demise of our ICE vehicles was coming, fossil fuels won’t last forever, and renewable energy must take its place. Despite this, it seems the vast majority of manufacturers have refused to change and are now scrambling to catch up with EU regulations.
What we have now is larger car groups building a base for each of their model ranges and handing them out to each of their brands. So, the VW Golf shares a chassis with the Audi A3, Seat Leon or Skoda Octavia. By keeping this standard across the range, engine design and transmission placement can be more uniform allowing further sharing to take place. It’s predicted that this standardisation will cut the time it takes to build a car by 30%.
Differences Are Shrinking
When two cars of a similar size and mass are fitted with the same engine and transmission, near identical suspension and are aimed at a similar market, the differences are marginal at most. The more premium car may receive some extra sound deadening or a plusher dashboard; but fundamentally they’re the same car.
It’s Getting Worse
Manufacturers are only going to become more cautious financially, the car market is as uncertain as ever and even big names like Toyota and Honda are tightening their purses and moving their production home.
This also means part-sharing is going to get more extreme, a modular chassis will be fitted with the same battery technology and identical motors, the few differences will come from the tune the manufacturer decides on and the battery capacity.
Manufacturers Can’t Buy Character
This isn’t all the manufacturers fault, there’s simply no substitute for an internal combustion engine, they may not be great for the environment and they may be responsible for our unseasonably warm February, but they give our cars character and charisma.
The McLaren 600LT and Lamborghini Huracan Performante both compete in the same class and offer similar performance, the way they produce this is completely different though. The British Marque opt for a 3.8 litre V8, relying on turbo chargers to make up the capacity deficit while the Italian instead choose a naturally aspirated 5.2 litre V10. Two very different methods that give both cars a unique character.
Buying a Car For The Wrong Reasons
It seems that soon the only thing to seperate our cars from one another will be the material that adorns the dash or the font they use on the infotainment system. The dynamic differences highlighted by fake cabin noise or boosted driving modes. The future should seem a little brighter though when you consider the plug-in hybrid tech currently debuting in the latest crop of supercars is within the grasp of the standard consumer; I’m almost looking forward to it…
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