How Fast Do We Wanna Go?
I’ve always been a fan of cars, with everything from old minis to the blazing speeds that we can now achieve with the advancement of electric drivetrains, I’m a fan of everything we’ve achieved within the space for the past century or so. Initially, like most “car guys”, my admiration for these marvelous creations came from my admiration of the way they looked. There’s no denying it! Some of these cars are just a marvel to behold and would make a great centerpiece of any mad billionaire’s mansion, much like how a grand piano would make any normal middle-upperclassmen’s home a regal feel to it. I mean, come on, you can’t deny that this Alfa doesn’t look absolutely gorgeous! You just can’t.
My affection for cars came at an early age. My father used to own a showroom, and quite a successful one at that. So as I was growing up, I had also had the great luxury of having seen or even been in these cars, though I wasn’t old enough (or tall enough) to drive any of them, but that’s okay because even just looking at them gave me a sense of happiness, not unlike the feeling that Clarkson would’ve felt when he saw that James had brought a bottle of wine on their trip to the north pole.
But as I grew up and started to grow my appreciation for mechanical engineering with things like watches, technology, and of course, cars, my fondness for these machines grew because I can now finally understand just how massively immaculate their constructions were. Everything from the innovations that manufacturers and engineers had to come up with just to make some of my favorite cars a reality was more than enough to entertain my weekend as I would go down the rabbit hole of reading into all the wiki pages so I could get a better understanding of them and in doing so, appreciate them more.
But then we started to move into the world of electric vehicles. Sure, it’s been gaining a whole lot of traction just these past 10 years, but I just couldn’t seem to take them seriously as a piece of art since their main purpose was largely utilitarian, and it doesn’t seem to be the sort of thing that you can build on your own, with a couple of friends in your garage over the weekend as a fun project to pass the time with, something that you could do with petrol-powered cars if MCM is any indication of this.
But then I saw the speeds that these machines could produce, and I have to be honest here, I’m quite amazed at just how fast they are and how much faster they can be, considering the time that they’ve been around when compared to gas-powered cars, I’d say that they can get so much faster than any gas-powered car could ever dream of. But then here’s the thing; how much faster do we want them to be?
It makes sense from a motorsport point of view to want your car to go faster than your competitor’s and it makes some sense why you’d want it to have the power and torque to go from 0–60 in 2 seconds (maybe to get ahead in traffic when you’re trying to overtake a particularly stubborn car on the other lane), but really, how fast do we want it to go?
I’m asking this simply because maybe there’s a limit to how fast we can reliably use these cars. Even if we do get them to go faster than what we can get them to do currently, can we really take advantage of that additional speed? Humans need time to react, the signals that you send from your eyes to your brain and then to your limbs take some time to get to where they need to go, and in that time, granted that our cars are then much faster than what they are now, then doesn’t that just sound like a recipe for a crash? Sure, it’d be nice to have that much speed and power (hi Jeremy) on a straight line, but can we handle the G’s that it’ll generate in the corners?
I don’t know. I’m not sure of how we’re going to do it, but there’s one thing that I do know; the next 10 years is going to be a very exciting time for motorsport and cars in general as the technology finds its way to the consumer market, and as someone who admires these engineering marvels, I’m excited to see where things go from here, even if I don’t fully understand the reasons behind it.