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      11-15-2011, 03:42 PM   #1
TMR013
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More Power

Was responding on another post about the power of one car vs. another, and it made me wonder about something. So rather than hijacking that thread, thought I would start a new one and see what my fellow Addicts think.

How much power in a car is enough?

Understanding we are all enthusiests, and we all like speed. I have often wondered what I would do with something like a ZR1 or a Shelby Cobra or other 500+ HP car. I mean, unless you track, a lot, how often are you going to use 500+ HP? I find that I love the power of my 135, especially after the PPK, and think it's just about right. My kind of fun is running the twisties and using the power to pull me around the corners. So anything more than I have right now would be a waste. Don't get me wrong, I'm no shrinking violet, I rarely drive at or under the posted speed limit, but you don't necessarily need power just to speed on the streets or highways

So, how much is enough for you, and what are you going to do with it? Bravado (best word I can come up to describe what I'm thinking)? Racing the local ricer boys to the next light??
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      11-15-2011, 04:08 PM   #2
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If you can't get the power to the ground effectively via tires and a LSD, then no point adding more IMO.
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      11-15-2011, 04:45 PM   #3
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I agree...pointless to go well beyond 400 whp if you dont track and dont have an LSD. I am comfortable at what I have with Cobb Stage 2. I dont really care too much about the ricer boys, but its the Mercedes guys that hold their noses up high (not all do as some of my buddies have MBs) I always come across one in my area (E550) and he always stares and revs his engine. That said, I just read about the new GT500 with maybe 600 hp, or the Vividracing turbo kits for the 135....wow !
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      11-15-2011, 05:01 PM   #4
RnmEvo9
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I need a minimum of 400whp for a daily driver. Don't ask me why, I just need it. And I have it lol...
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      11-15-2011, 06:02 PM   #5
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I'm fine with 300hp, more than plenty for me. Between slow lane hogging drivers and pesky law enforcement sometimes its tough to take full advantage of all 320. But i gotta admit merging into traffic is alot easier with all this power.
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      11-15-2011, 07:37 PM   #6
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For me, I was in love with the fast launch on my evo. 400awhp with launch control set at 6k rpm. Consistent 1.7, 1.8 60footers on stock tires and no burnouts.
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      11-15-2011, 08:39 PM   #7
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My father has an 06 M6 and honestly 500HP in less than 4,000lb is just stupid outside of a track. It's a cool car, don't get me wrong, but just stupid. Stupid and thirsty. But that's why it's cool, and why I'd never want it.

Overall I'd rather a car FEEL fast then BE really fast. Because really you still have to do something resembling the speed limit most of the time, and even a Ford Fiesta can do that. The 135's 300hp and 300Ft/Lb@1400RPM for it's weight is a pretty sweet spot. It feels Faster than the M6 because for all it's power the M6 has no low end. And really, especially in the twisties and getting on the on ramps, it's that initial burst of force that really makes you feel like speed racer.

For me though it was a little too sweet. Already leery of the turbo engine I knew the third time I hit 100 on a main street after pulling out of the dealer lot on the test drive that the 135 was going to cost me my licence. And while I miss the power on track days, I otherwise never really notice it too much. But then I tend to consider the redline to be a target rather than a warning. So with my mill running over 4k most of the time I'm having fun, it's more than good enough.
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      11-15-2011, 09:14 PM   #8
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I've owned a Corvette with 430 HP, and it really is too much, unless you're going to do track days. In fact, both my 135i and my Miata are fine for 98% of the street driving that I'm normally doing. If you're getting close to the limits of those two cars on the streets, you're overcooking it. NOTE: I'm not trying to compare the relative merits of the 135 with the Miata, just pointing out that both of them can get in over their heads on public roads.
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      11-15-2011, 10:51 PM   #9
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I always thought that the more power the better. However after owning an E92 335xi (with a mild mod - JB1), I started to become frustrated since you really can't use the power for more than 1st gear and then you are immediately over the speed limit. It started feeling like a caged animal.

As others have stated, unless you track the car or live in a country where speed limits aren't an issue, it really becomes frustrating to have a car with too much power (did I just say that?!?)

Problem is, I have too much petrol in my veins and my heart will never allow me to conform with something that has "just enough" power.
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      11-15-2011, 11:25 PM   #10
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I'd like to feel a 400whp 135i.
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      11-19-2011, 02:12 PM   #11
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The most fun I have in a car is when I take out my 1954 Healey 100 with bias ply tires.

Not much power, but just enough to try and break the tires loose. I love the sound of the tires beginning to squeal just at the edge of grip.

So is 400rwhp fun..of course...is 120HP in the proper set up..of course.
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      11-19-2011, 03:04 PM   #12
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Not that my Elise had a ton of power, but power to weight was crazy on this car. I had it fully setup for track use and it was indeed amazing on the track. But day in day out drove me crazy not being able to enjoy it. Time for track days became thin so it sat in the garage and I drove my Fit. Eventually sold it, got an old Miata, and had a blast. Feels fast but not so fast.

Looking for a 135i and hoping it has that same balance of fast and fun without being over the top. From what I'm reading here, they may've achieved that balance well. Now if I could just find that 6 speed....
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      11-20-2011, 08:56 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alejotrujillo View Post
It started feeling like a caged animal.
I refer to mine as a caged animal on a regular basis! So fun, and I love it, but so frustrating when you can't open it up.
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      11-21-2011, 04:16 AM   #14
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I don't like to speed. However, I like to get up to speed fast.

In any case, with bolt ons (intake/exhaust/fmic/dp) and a tune we make gobs of extra power. Its so tempting with our amazing N54's.

Last edited by sparkyblue; 11-21-2011 at 04:23 AM.
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      11-21-2011, 03:09 PM   #15
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400hp in a street-able car would be nice...I had 400rwhp in a ram-air Trans-Am, but if you didn't concentrate 100% of the time it was always trying to kill you...500hp in an M5 or E63 I bet would be great...
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      11-21-2011, 03:37 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark16q View Post
Not that my Elise had a ton of power, but power to weight was crazy on this car. I had it fully setup for track use and it was indeed amazing on the track. But day in day out drove me crazy not being able to enjoy it. Time for track days became thin so it sat in the garage and I drove my Fit. Eventually sold it, got an old Miata, and had a blast. Feels fast but not so fast.

Looking for a 135i and hoping it has that same balance of fast and fun without being over the top. From what I'm reading here, they may've achieved that balance well. Now if I could just find that 6 speed....
Having had both, the 135i really is the perfect mix. I LOVE this car and I've also done some minor tweaks that have made it even more enjoyable. This car is perfect at around 350hp. I would not go beyond a COBB tune as even with that, it doesn't have enough rubber to transfer it to the pavement. My buddy from work just got a 997 Turbo and the grip and composure that car has at speed makes my 1er seem like an untamed stallion.
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      11-21-2011, 03:53 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edogg218 View Post
I refer to mine as a caged animal on a regular basis! So fun, and I love it, but so frustrating when you can't open it up.
Story of my life every day with this car. But that's also why now I'm starting to focus more on suspension mods than "faster in a straight line" mods. Don't have any interest in drag racing all the kids in evos and stis that rev at me on the streets, and I made a pact with myself to not REALLY track the car til warranty's up, so I'd rather put the mod money into stuff that will just plain make the car feel good to drive (plus be helpful when I eventually do start doing all-out track activities with the car).
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      11-21-2011, 11:55 PM   #18
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it's hard to say what's enough, on the street the 128 is probably all you'll ever need.

Heck the best ride i've had recently was in a cab in AC going back out to the borgata from downtine. With 430k miles on a crown vic through the twisting tunnel at 50-60 mph was about as white knuckled as you could ever hope to be.

My tuned 135 is nice, the vette with 565 rwhp constantly puts a smile on my face for the 4 seconds or so you can open it up. The one thing i'll say is i never have the need to prove anything with the vette, as i know it's there...the 135 always seems an underachiever that when challenged needs to fight back, even if it may get beat. It's those times i feel the need for downpipes, stage 2 cobb and maybe even meth and 400+ rwhp.
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      11-22-2011, 12:26 AM   #19
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Enough is when it scares you, until it doesn't scare you anymore!

Really though, adrenaline feels real nice.... so once you get bored the mod bug continues.
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      11-22-2011, 02:51 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RnmEvo9 View Post
I need a minimum of 400whp for a daily driver. Don't ask me why, I just need it. And I have it lol...
i agree
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      11-22-2011, 03:23 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TMR013 View Post
...

How much power in a car is enough?

...So, how much is enough for you, and what are you going to do with it? Bravado (best word I can come up to describe what I'm thinking)? Racing the local ricer boys to the next light??

Many moons ago I got to "elvaluate" a C4 Porsche with a turbo kit on it. With California "pump gas" it was making 470ish Hp. With race gas it was making 530 Hp. It had a four puck race clutch from a 917 race car and a ton of other mods. It was quite the beast.

Man was that car fast! But you know what? After a few days driving around in it...(We had the car for one week, for a magzine test) it felt slow! Really, you adpat to speed - and after a few days/miles, any car no matter how much power will feel slow.

I think the best thing is to have a 2nd slower car to drive... that makes your "fast car" feel fast when you drive it!


I am quite happy with my (near)400 Hp 135i. But I am sure 500 Hp would feel even better.
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