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Revhead Ramblings: Why Do We Sacrifice Comfort For Performance?

We all want our cars to be as light as they need to be for performance and emission, but not when it means sacrificing creature comforts!

It’s common knowledge that weight matters on the track, a lower total weight is the virtuous thing that keeps on giving. This is why I’ve got no issues with the likes of Porsche and McLaren releasing special driver’s packs that remove the radio or air conditioning.

These few kilograms may not seem like much, but they can make all the difference when your lap times are milliseconds apart from the person behind you.

Creature Comforts

To add these features back in is usually a no-cost option, one that’s very rarely not taken. Yes, a Porsche 911 GT3 RS without a radio or air conditioning system is pretty much the ultimate track car, but it’s also incredibly sweaty and loud.

I’d much rather fly around a Spanish track a few milliseconds slower at a comfortable temperature, than cook myself in a tin can for the sake of less than a second.

The Issue

So yes, we all like our cars to be light, but we’re less inclined to strip them down if it means inconveniencing ourselves or ridding our cars of creature comforts. This isn’t just seen in cars however, our environment would benefit if we used less energy, but are you going to do without heating and put an extra layer on? No, I didn’t think so…

Never Ending Additions

With each new model of car, manufacturers have an increasingly difficult job of reducing weight. Crash regulators are calling for more technology to keep you safe in a collision, but of course this adds unnecessary weight with it.

Your massaging, heating, cooling and ejecting seats also weigh about as much as three small children too. Packaging all of this technology while reducing the overall weight of a growing car is becoming a nearly impossible task and I for one salute the designers tasked with the conundrum.

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