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Discussion Starter #1
Today on Youtube I was watching a video featuring Chris Harris and his complaint was that cars these days are becoming to technical. That kind of got me thinking about another thread here where we all were debating the idea of a dual clutch gearbox. So, with the features that we know about in regards to the ST, like the torque vectoring system, Sport mode settings, Turbo engine w/overboost function and the desire from forum members for a DCT do you think it has to much tech? Do you think you are getting a true drivers car, or a car that was made good based on the technical features it has? Would you be happy with a mechancial LSD, and perhaps small naturally aspirated 2.5 V6 that made equal HP but less torque? I've never been a huge fan of driver aids, granted I don't want to put myself into a wall but I do like the idea of learning a car and becoming a better driver. Simplicity is always a good thing IMO, and once the car is out of warranty your not worried about those expensive sensors going bad. What are you guys thoughts?
 

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The tech is what allows the Focus ST to be such a good car at the price without heavy and expensive stuff like a V6 engine, mechanical LSD, Revoknuckle, and more. Hell, the technology is what allows the car to be FWD vs AWD and still handle well. You'll find most professional drivers will praise all of the new tech because it allows computers to handle what complex, heavy, expensive mechanical parts used to do.

That said, Hydraulic steering is so much better. I can't imagine that costing much more or weighing more, I think it just lowers the fuel economy a little.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The tech is what allows the Focus ST to be such a good car at the price without heavy and expensive stuff like a V6 engine, mechanical LSD, Revoknuckle, and more. Hell, the technology is what allows the car to be FWD vs AWD and still handle well. You'll find most professional drivers will praise all of the new tech because it allows computers to handle what complex, heavy, expensive mechanical parts used to do.

That said, Hydraulic steering is so much better. I can't imagine that costing much more or weighing more, I think it just lowers the fuel economy a little.
Interesting comments, FWD and performance has and will always be a tough market. But what is the likely hood of electrical sensors failing versus mechanical things breaking? And the second order effect of those sensors being out of harmony causing more issues or the guessing game of whats possibly wrong with my car? Everyone dreads the engine light... A mechanical LSD breakage would pretty much be catastrophic but what about something simple like those electronic throttle body sensors versus a mechanical cable unit? I know its pretty much the evolution of cars, but it sounds like the laptop is replacing the wrench in the toolbox.
 

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Interesting comments, FWD and performance has and will always be a tough market. But what is the likely hood of electrical sensors failing versus mechanical things breaking? And the second order effect of those sensors being out of harmony causing more issues or the guessing game of whats possibly wrong with my car? Everyone dreads the engine light... A mechanical LSD breakage would pretty much be catastrophic but what about something simple like those electronic throttle body sensors versus a mechanical cable unit? I know its pretty much the evolution of cars, but it sounds like the laptop is replacing the wrench in the toolbox.
If a sensor fails or something else is out of whack, the car is now smart enough to prevent catastrophic failure. If something mechanical breaks, you have little to no warning and catastrophic failure can lead to severe injury or death in the wrong circumstances.

Not to mention fixing an electronic sensor or recalibrating it is FAR cheaper than having to fix a car after a catastrophic mechanical failure like a LSD.

Making cars cheaper, lighter, safer, and easier to maintain is something people should be happy about. If you long for the good old days of mechanical stuff and whatever, buy an older car that contains what you want.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
You know, when I had my M3 fellow forum members where nervous about out of warranty repairs. This was on a car that was out of production 6 years ago and not nearly as technical as the ST. I have a strange feeling the nervousness of ownership without a warranty will follow in just about all cars on the road pretty soon. I mean all those sensors are not cheap, a blown engine is a blown engine whether its in an old car or a newer out of warranty car. Cars today are safer, but they aren't getting lighter or easy to maintain. A lot of cars require special tools that you may be hard pressed to find if you're doing your own maintenance. As far as old versus new, the BRZ/FRS are great examples of new well balanced mechanical cars specifically, mechanical LSD, 6 Speed and a naturally aspirated motor.
 

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An LSD is a bad example for this discussion. A mechanical limited slip is much less likely to experience a catastrophic failure compared to an open differential. One tire spinning and the other not over speeds the spider gears that is more likely to fail than a LSD.

FWIW, I typically keep cars 10+ years and 200,000+ miles and I have experienced very little in the way of electronic failures. The few sensor failures I have had we're easily diagnosed by the OBD and were simple to change and all cost less than $50.

I personally have no issues with the electronics in cars.
 

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The only thing I don't like is that with all this technology its getting harder and harder to be a "garage tuner" if you will. My other car can be torn apart with a 10mm socket. I have a feeling that with all this technology its not really going to be possible to do any work yourself, whether it be a simple fix or a large modification.
 

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Asking this question here is like asking Henry if there is too much blue in the oval.

I think if you're a committed ST buyer, you've had this internal debate. I know I did. There were rumors that the next RS would offer AWD but it would be a performance hybrid to do so. Something about powering the rear wheels with electric motors. That would be where I draw the line. Didn't like the sounds of it at all.
 

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Technology is the difference between the ST being a decent car...for a hatch...and being a driver's car. As one reviewer said, there's no way as a driver that you could apply brakes on just the inside wheel, just the right amount, to defeat the understeer inherent in FWD cars.

If I had the choice of a mechanical LSD or the system the ST has, I'd take the system the ST has. It can do 90 percent of what an LSD can, with a lot of other tricks that are dynamics dependent, a necessity for a FWD car. If the choice were between an electronic clutch mechanical LSD, I'd prefer that. But it would still need some of the tricks of the ST's current system.

I draw the line at manual shifting autos. That is a piece of technology that takes away much of the fun of manual shifting.

Take away the technology, and you're left with an MS3, which is an unwieldy terror of a car.
 

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Technology is a GREAT thing! My car has a fair amount of tech for the year it was made.
I have a Hemi Charger. It weigh MORE than a 1969 Hemi Charger by 300 pounds BUT:
The engine make MORE power
It gets 22 MPG versus 8
Less than 1/4th the pollutants
Less contrary to drive
I can walk away from a crash that would have been surely fatal in the 1969 model

The 2006 makes the 1969's handling look horrible and pathetic.

I have a Diablosport Programmer tool and I can fix this car EASIER than I can the 1969

I know this because I have had BOTH cars. The old car looks a little cooler...but thats about it ..

I am a 45 year old dinosaur and I would not have my car any other way.
 

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Very interesting thread, philosophically speaking. I can only really answer from the performance perspective.

Interesting comments, FWD and performance has and will always be a tough market. But what is the likely hood of electrical sensors failing versus mechanical things breaking? And the second order effect of those sensors being out of harmony causing more issues or the guessing game of whats possibly wrong with my car? Everyone dreads the engine light... A mechanical LSD breakage would pretty much be catastrophic but what about something simple like those electronic throttle body sensors versus a mechanical cable unit? I know its pretty much the evolution of cars, but it sounds like the laptop is replacing the wrench in the toolbox.
FWD as a performance standard only lags behind from a consumer perspective for the same reason that some insane percentage of people still think Honda is the top marque for quality/reliability. Because conventional wisdom holds on far longer than reality. FWD cars are just as capable if not moreso from a performance perspective in real-world stress. Just look at the GrandAm Continental Tire standings from any given week. And for every thing that a RWD car can do better in that series, a FWD car can do something *different* better. So it becomes a game of exploiting strengths and weaknesses. Even on the consumer level, at a track day, this is still true. The FWD as the weaker drive setup myth is exactly that. Its an historically-based myth, but still untrue.

In a race, mechanical failure/damage is much more likely than sensor failure. Almost no question. Not saying the latter doesn't occur, but not at nearly the same rates as mechanical failure.

If a sensor fails or something else is out of whack, the car is now smart enough to prevent catastrophic failure. If something mechanical breaks, you have little to no warning and catastrophic failure can lead to severe injury or death in the wrong circumstances.

Not to mention fixing an electronic sensor or recalibrating it is FAR cheaper than having to fix a car after a catastrophic mechanical failure like a LSD.

Making cars cheaper, lighter, safer, and easier to maintain is something people should be happy about. If you long for the good old days of mechanical stuff and whatever, buy an older car that contains what you want.
The answer to which one is more dangerous depends entirely on the circumstance. On the track, you may avert catastrophic failure, but you're still done. On the street, a malfunctioning electronic braking system is just as deadly as a blown tire, or can be, at least. There is no easy answer to that particular dilemma, but mechanical failures aren't inherently more dangerous than electronic ones. Again, historically speaking, that may be the case, but as we move forward, it is no longer normative.

I agree that, in general, cars are being made much, MUCH better by technology. More on that later.

I think technology is good. It's why cars are getting better not worse.
I agree.

Technology is the difference between the ST being a decent car...for a hatch...and being a driver's car. As one reviewer said, there's no way as a driver that you could apply brakes on just the inside wheel, just the right amount, to defeat the understeer inherent in FWD cars.

If I had the choice of a mechanical LSD or the system the ST has, I'd take the system the ST has. It can do 90 percent of what an LSD can, with a lot of other tricks that are dynamics dependent, a necessity for a FWD car. If the choice were between an electronic clutch mechanical LSD, I'd prefer that. But it would still need some of the tricks of the ST's current system.

I draw the line at manual shifting autos. That is a piece of technology that takes away much of the fun of manual shifting.

Take away the technology, and you're left with an MS3, which is an unwieldy terror of a car.
As far as LSD is concerned, I feel like with the exception of inclement weather, a traditional LSD isn't getting much of a workout anywhere but the track. Honestly, they are overrated as a factory option, except in the cases where competition will be the norm. My buddy with a non-LSD MX-5 could still run faster than my LSD unit at the track...because he was a much better driver. It wasn't until the upper level of performance that he started to suffer for the lack of it.

As far as the inside braking is concerned, I absolutely LOVE the idea, and think it could be WAY better than an LSD. Especially on the street. However, as I've mentioned elsewhere, I am withholding judgment on the track because I think there will be undue stress on the braking system, depending on how involved the system is. I may be proven wrong, but I'm skeptical. But I think you're being conservative on the 90% of a mechanical LSD. I think its actually way better.

I disagree with you on the manual-auto tranny (at least a true clutched or sequential system), but that's another story. It is incredibly useful and better in a performance setting, and doesn't lose you any control at all.

I agree in the case of the ST that it would not/could not be the car it is without the tech available today, and I probably wouldn't be buying it. So from that perspective, for Ford, this is a win.

On a more universal level, I fear that tech is a double-edged sword that is heavily weighted in favor of idiocy, ignorance, and irresponsibility in public-sector driving. There are a lot of passive safety techs that have been very problematic for me in the recent past. From non-defeatable nannies on some makes (or very difficult to disable - I'm looking at you Toyota/Lexus), to TC systems that will literally KILL you if you forget to turn them off and they activate with too much sensitivity when pulling out into moving traffic (Thanks, BMW/MINI for my close calls in the early 2000s), to electronic aids that make driving numb, disconnected and separated from the road. To entertainment/convenience techs that let you make breakfast while talking on the phone, checking your e-mail, streaming your music, and telling you where to go. These continue to cater to consumers that don't really know how to drive anyway, and intrude with stability management and auto slush boxes that disallow drivers that DO know how to drive to get themselves out of a situation of their own control.

But to be fair, as with any tool, this is not the fault of the tool, but of the greater flippancy and laziness of the population, and the absolute neglect and abuse of their children in not teaching them how to better learn how to use the weapon that is their automobile.

There's my soapbox. lol.
 

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Technology is a GREAT thing! My car has a fair amount of tech for the year it was made.
I have a Hemi Charger. It weigh MORE than a 1969 Hemi Charger by 300 pounds BUT:
The engine make MORE power
It gets 22 MPG versus 8
Less than 1/4th the pollutants
Less contrary to drive

I can walk away from a crash that would have been surely fatal in the 1969 model

The 2006 makes the 1969's handling look horrible and pathetic.

I have a Diablosport Programmer tool and I can fix this car EASIER than I can the 1969

I know this because I have had BOTH cars. The old car looks a little cooler...but thats about it ..

I am a 45 year old dinosaur and I would not have my car any other way.
If you indeed have a 1969 Hemi Charger, AND your '06 makes more power, you need to find a new tuner for those carbs......an "Air Hammer" intake is gonna do nothing for that '69.....
 

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If you indeed have a 1969 Hemi Charger, AND your '06 makes more power, you need to find a new tuner for those carbs......an "Air Hammer" intake is gonna do nothing for that '69.....
For a bit of historical info:
I said that I HAD a 1969 Charger. I HAVE a 2006 Charger NOW.
on a dragstrip and on the saloms I have tested and seen tested side by side BOTH vehicles.
BOTH vehicles were prepped and checked to be sure that they both were top notch and perfectly tuned, NO add-on parts stock VS stock.
The NEW Charger was BETTER in all classes and tests. IF you know about the AirHammer, then you know about me. If you know about me. Then YOU know what I know when I am talking about these cars.

Also the NEW cars will LAST a lot longer without rusting out, give better performance over time as it ages, the parts are far cheaper.
 

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For a bit of historical info:
I said that I HAD a 1969 Charger. I HAVE a 2006 Charger NOW.
on a dragstrip and on the saloms I have tested and seen tested side by side BOTH vehicles.
BOTH vehicles were prepped and checked to be sure that they both were top notch and perfectly tuned, NO add-on parts stock VS stock.
The NEW Charger was BETTER in all classes and tests. IF you know about the AirHammer, then you know about me. If you know about me. Then YOU know what I know when I am talking about these cars.

Also the NEW cars will LAST a lot longer without rusting out, give better performance over time as it ages, the parts are far cheaper.
a bit of history:
I know you
I know Air Hammer
and I know the new "pseudo" Hemi as well as a REAL Hemi
 
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