Unbelievably, American Automakers Used To Brag About Their Cars Being Heavier Than The Competition. Look At Th – Jalopnik

Image: American Motors Corporation

Everyone knows that weight is the enemy of car design, and yet oddly, in the 1970s, American automakers actually bragged about their vehicles being heavier than the competition. The whole thing is unbelievably idiotic and serves as just another reminder of the sad state of American cars during that era.

At Chrysler, where I used to work, folks would often talk about “Vehicle Demand Energy,” or the energy needed to move a vehicle down the road at a given speed and in different conditions. Things that affect VDE are aerodynamics, rolling resistance, and weight.

Minimizing VDE was the goal of damn near everyone in the company while I was working there. Make the car slippery, reduce drivetrain friction, and for god’s sake, keep all the unnecessary weight out. Do this, and you can maximize not only fuel economy but acceleration and handling performance. As long as you do it in a strategic way that doesn’t significantly affect NVH, crash performance, or overall cost, these moves were a win for everyone.

That’s why it’s so utterly baffling to me that automakers used to brag about their cars being heavier. That’s like saying “Our car is less efficient than it could be, handles worse than it could, and accelerates worse than it could. But that’s somehow a good thing.

Basically: “Our car is compromised because we’re lazy bastards. But we think you’re so dumb that we can convince you that somehow this incompetence is a feature.”

Back in the mid-1960s, Chrysler was showing off its newly-revised small “A-body” sedan, the Plymouth Valiant. This car was hot stuff, with its cool styling, push-button automatic transmission, “Torsion Air” front suspension, optional V8 (a slant six was standard), and low asking price.

Image: Chrysler

The video above shows how Chrysler trained its dealers to sell the Valiant to customers, noting its advantages over a key competitor, the Rambler American. You can see at the end of the film (see screenshot above) that Chrysler also mentions the Valiant’s larger sibling, the Plymouth Fury, saying:

Plymouth Fury has a …….


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NASCAR’s Symmetrical Next Gen Cars Are Getting Skewed In Practice – Jalopnik

NASCAR’s newest Next Gen cars may be designed to make these vehicles as symmetrical as possible, but some teams have already found a way around the rules. During this week’s test session at Daytona International Speedway, some cars have been running some fairly excessive skew — and right now, it could very well be totally legal.

Basically, skew refers to the angled nature of the NASCAR Cup Series car. The front end looks like it’s pointing in a different direction than the car is actually going, which gives the whole thing a sort of crab-walk look. The rear axle is mounted on a skew when compared to the whole chassis. For…….


Is Norway the future of cars? – Kathimerini English Edition

The speed by which electric vehicles have taken over Norway has stunned even the cars’ enthusiasts. [Asya Demidova/The New York Times]

Last year, Norway reached a milestone. Only about 8% of new cars sold in the country ran purely on conventional gasoline or diesel fuel. Two-thirds of new cars sold were electric, and most of the rest were electric-and-gasoline hybrids.

For years, Norway has been the world leader in shifting away from traditional cars, thanks to government benefits that made electric vehicles far more affordable and offered extras like letting electric car owners skip some fees for parking and toll roads.

Still, electric car enthusiasts are stunne…….