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Old 08-27-2019, 06:22 PM
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Test drove a Challenger Hemi

I'm not sure what category this topic would go into, being that there's no Engineering category. Anyways...
I test drove a Challenger 5.7 Hemi.
Loved the way this car drove, and I've been drooling over the Scat Pack.
My big concern, that keeps rearing it's ugly head in the back of my mind is, why does it weigh so much? I'm starting to think they have bad engineers working at Chrysler. Given the rivalry between the Mustang and Challenger, the latter would have a huge edge if they just put lighter weight materials on the car all around. They could easily drop 500 lbs, straight from the factory- aluminum block, lighter panels, etc. Just keep the same engine, etc. It would get better gas mileage.
I even tried to send an email to the Chrysler corporation, asking if they'd come out with a "factory lightweight Challenger." I doubt I'll hear a response though....
Anyone ever try to "email" Chrysler??

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Old 08-28-2019, 04:15 AM
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The new Challenger weighs so much because it is based on the Chrysler 300 platform. That was done for economic reasons to justify the program to corporate beancounters. The alternative would have been no approval of the program. Also, as with all new cars, it has power everything because that's what buyers want, as well as a bazillion airbags as mandated by the Feds.
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Old 08-28-2019, 04:53 AM
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Ya what he said, these new Super Cars weigh a lot.
My 2012 ZL1 weighs 4,120 lbs which is insane considering how small a Camaro is. But it also handles like a go cart and you feel like your glued to the road in a solid sturdy car with extremely high tech suspension. These days they simply make it up with Technology, HP, and Gearing.

Point being don't worry about the weight, the new Camaros, Stangs, & Challengers are pretty amazing cars with a lot of technology, and if you hit a bump at 80 MPH on a curved road you wont end up in another lane
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Old 08-28-2019, 05:35 AM
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My 69 Pontiac is pushing 2 1/4 tons... heavy cars can do things light ones can't (like hold the road), and vise versa. My friend tossed his 5.7L R/T keys to me one day. I got out to the highway, laid the coal to it, and remember thinking "My GTP will do this." as I held it to the floor up a hill. I don't believe any letter will change things. Using lightweight materials would push the price to nonsensical levels. Which has pretty much already happened.
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Old 08-28-2019, 08:26 AM
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The weight is there because of all kinds of Gov't mandated requirements like structural crash protection, air bags, electronics up the wazoo for fuel mileage, and comfort stuff like A/C and plush interiors. Don't think most of us would be digging a stripped out $40k car, I know I wouldn't...

Russ
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Old 08-28-2019, 08:56 AM
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Sometimes we forget how small the original 64.5 Mustang was, it was built on the 64 Falcon platform, which immediatly had in-service structural problems. Ford started adding beef to it but replaced the platform completely for 67 with that allowed a larger body, larger engines now the FE block 390, and later 427 and 428 and matching drive trains was an option. Until the gas crisis of 1972 it got bigger and heavier not exactly in that order.

Given todays structural requirements based upon lost law suits and goverment safety standards, the fact that a push rod Hemi engine is a rather portly device under the best circumstances, and that optional power levels can be insane so there is a lot of beef in the structure to hold it all together and keep it quiet. The day of tin can light weight performance vehicles like the initial Pontiac GTO and later the Chrysler built Super Bee and Road Runner are long gone. Even back in their day in their initial light weight and compact form they like the original Mustang were not around very long the buyers wanted more features and quiet, so up to the first energy crisis cas got bigger, heavier, and more comfort options. I'd say from a market share perspective Chrysler's dabbling in light weight, stripped down performance cars was a financial failure for them as these never sold in any substantial quantity.

As died in the wool old time hot rodder I find it saddening that there is no real market for bare bones cars with lots of power and good handling, but time has proven, and did that very quickly, that the market for stripped high performance cars is very tiny and uneconomical for the manufacturers plus the resulting crashes ended in a lot of expensive law suits and eventually government intervention. We loose sight that 50 years later the goverment didn't get into car design for no reason, the public complaints, law suits, and insurance companies pushed it. If the energy crisis and air pollution issues had not come along when they did general opnion and the insurance companies would have killed or radically changed the performance car anyway.

In the vernacular of the day, "tough titties, that's the way the cookie crumbles".

Bogie
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Old 08-28-2019, 07:02 PM
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Rember cars of the late 80's early 90's. They weighed nothing, had fuel injection, just enough power to go highway speeds and got 40+ mileage.
My faviorite car is a 91 metro. Easy to work on, nothing you don't need, and light. But far from safe.

I grew up in a body shop. Seeing what works and what does not.
A FR car has a few disadvantages. unlike a fwd car it can not spread its engine and transmission across the front to act as crash barrier. A FR also has the added weight of a crossmember, driveshaft , and rear axle or at very least a diff.
Suspension tends to be heavier as it needs to cover all four corners better then in a fwd where the rear is dead.

You generally have greater twisting forces in a FR layout. So the same weight unibody as a FF will tear when used with FR(bmw).

Biggest thing is crash "protection". A fender to fender hit is the worst kind of accident you can get in. Airbag, curtains, and padding don't do much when your head slides off the bag and strikes the door glass. Or when the tire is pushed back against the firewall pinning your ankles in the car.
With a FF you have suspension and A arms which generally remain stock. With a FR people will want to lighten the A arms so more bracing is used in the fender areas.



If you want light and safe you need a monocoque frame. The downside is no crush zones so safety equipment such as belts, seating, neck brace, helmet,
etc becomes what stops your momentum.

End of the day anything above 40 your risking a injury depending on where the strike is.
I have been in over a dozen accidents. All myself usually involving a winding country road or a large hill, excessive speed, a loss of traction or landing wrong.
When you get into that moment when you realize you pushed it a bit to hard you will be glad you have that weight. That being said chargers are not terribly safe from the dealership. If you plan on doing something fun a "family" cage or even adding foam might be the diffrence between a bruise and a break.

Dont be concerned with the weight. That just gives you an excuse to add more power.
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Old 08-28-2019, 07:24 PM
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Those 4200 pound cars burn up a 2k set of tires in less than a years sport driving.
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Old 08-28-2019, 08:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BogiesAnnex1 View Post
The day of tin can light weight performance vehicles like the initial Pontiac GTO and later the Chrysler built Super Bee and Road Runner are long gone. Even back in their day in their initial light weight and compact form they like the original Mustang were not around very long the buyers wanted more features and quiet, so up to the first energy crisis cas got bigger, heavier, and more comfort options. I'd say from a market share perspective Chrysler's dabbling in light weight, stripped down performance cars was a financial failure for them as these never sold in any substantial quantity.
Bogie
I liked your post, I really did. You made a lot of really solid points, but I do have a comment about your quote above. You made a solid point, but then negated it.
The Road Runner, actually was a "runaway" success in sales. It appealed to the high school student looking for pure straight line performance for a low relatively low cost.Where this intersects is, I see tons of Challengers out on the road, which says to me that folks still want to have fun when they drive.
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Old 08-28-2019, 08:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by idrivejunk View Post
My 69 Pontiac is pushing 2 1/4 tons... heavy cars can do things light ones can't (like hold the road), and vise versa. My friend tossed his 5.7L R/T keys to me one day. I got out to the highway, laid the coal to it, and remember thinking "My GTP will do this." as I held it to the floor up a hill. I don't believe any letter will change things. Using lightweight materials would push the price to nonsensical levels. Which has pretty much already happened.
Using things like a fiberglass hood, aluminum bumper, lightweight seats, etc goes back to the early 60's (at the least, probably earlier). So this knowledge that shedding weight makes the car go faster has been around for over 50 years. Now as to why these concepts haven't made their way over to the standard car manufacturer's assembly line is anyone's guess. This "evolution of performance" should have become standard by now, thereby nullifying the need to jack up the prices beyond the means of the average driver. What is says, is that Detroit auto manufacturers have been relatively lazy.
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Old 08-28-2019, 10:28 PM
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It has made its way over around 20 years ago.
Foam bumpers covered in plastic.
Entire plastic doors, fenders, etc.
Aluminum or lightweight boxed frames.

Last 10 years
Small light weight 4 cylinder engines able to make near or at the power of the v8 ones while being reliable for 150k.

Last 5 years. Direct drive electric motors at the wheels lowering CG with a battery pack(which will only get lighter) being incorporated into the chassis.

They need to have a product a majority of people want. They need safe, comfortable, somewhat efficient, able to drive in any weather, with a bit of convience on top. Yet still be able to be manfauctured quickly.

They also need to engineer for modification on some models. You can have a 600hp engine in a rx7 or such. But that stock lightweight transmission and diff will be replaced by heavier parts. Not to mention the frame and body twist which will require bracing such as through a cage.

Technology has come along way in increasing longevity. Many modles have exceeded 250k. Even performance packages carry a 100-150k warranty.


3000 to 4000 lbs is enough to provide good traction, maintains something a majority of people want to buy, be safe, and get mileage in the high 20's.

You can get into the 2500lb range in FF layouts. Even into the 2000lb range with a MR layout. But at the cost of safety.

There is a reason we are not all driving RR setups such as a classic beetle. A classic beetle built today could make 300hp and still run for 150k. But the thing would be a deathtrap unless the thing had a increased strength throughout moving its weight weighed close to 3500lbs.
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Old 08-30-2019, 06:35 AM
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I don't think it's bad Engineers at all, it comes down to compromises and economics. The cost to drop 200 lbs from the car is probably about the same as an upgraded infotainment system: which one will sell more cars? I think the appeal of these cars is the big power at a low price. Weight reduction is not cheap, even the new Corvette gained weight...
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Old 08-30-2019, 08:42 PM
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I don't think it's that difficult to drop weight. The Mustang is basically the same size as the Challenger, yet it's 500 lbs lighter, so....how difficult can it really be?
Car advertisers fool the public with horsepower numbers- "the Hellcat has more horsepower, etc" but what they really should be talking about is the power-to-weight ratio; that's the real indicator of performance.
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Old 09-03-2019, 12:54 PM
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I rented a 2018 R/T hemi while visiting the kids out in rural PA close to Pocono. It didn't want to light up the tires. I turned off the traction control, it barely did it. Plus, with drive by wire there is a big delay in throttle response. With cylinder de-activation it did get 26 mpg driving up the interstate.

Finally, I found track mode, that quickened up the throttle response and downshifts plus seemed to add to it's growl. I took my grandson to pre-school, my daughter commented on the fact that I kept slowing down on the 2 lane road to leave a gap to the car in front of me just so that I could romp on it again.

After I found track mode, my average fuel economy dipped into the mid teens. But I had a lot more fun driving it. Plus, I didn't have to worry about buying the tires.

I pulled into a big empty parking lot, did a Dukes of Hazzard sideways slide into a parking space and was facing a little car with a sign on the roof, "Student Driver". I could imagine the teacher instructing the student to not attempt parking like that. Again I noticed the delayed response of drive by wire. Mash the throttle, wait, it goes, let off the throttle, over rotate some, then it backs off. Takes a little getting used to the delay.

On the way to the airport at 4:30am, it was snowing, had 5" on the road. Not the car I would have chosen to drive for an hour in the snow. But thanks to the cylinder de-activation, and the traction control we made it to our flight home. Everyone enjoyed our time with that car. It was a lot easier to see, and had more room than my stepsons late model Camaro, I liked it better.



Sent from my moto x4 using Tapatalk
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Old 09-03-2019, 09:54 PM
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that's interesting. I didn't know you could do cylinder deactivation (whatever that is) and drive on the expressway.
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