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    Thread: The car enthusiast thread. All topics are fair game - you just need to love cars (since TCL doesn't)

    1. Member Rabbit5GTI's Avatar
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      12-09-2011 01:15 PM #141
      Quote Originally Posted by pwm View Post

      /monocle wearing.


      Quote Originally Posted by iamsuperdan View Post
      I'm all about respect and grown-up discussion, that's why I rarely post in TCL.

      lol

      I'm 6'6" and weigh in around 260lb. I have not "really" driven a Miata! I've moved them around, but have never been able to take one for a proper drive.





      I've been lucky when it comes to cars. I worked for 14 years for a Porsche dealer and a BMW dealer, 5 of those in Porsche sales. I've been lucky enough to drive most of the exotics and high end cars available. Many of those cars I've been able to autocross. And I still attend autocross events, and have the ability to drive some of these cars.

      I'll be the first to admit that I am not a huge fan of Japanese cars. I don't like North American cars much for that matter. But I will give credit where it's due. European cars just have a certain feel about them. They're not perfect, they have flaws and quirks, and that's what makes them interesting and exciting to me. The Acura NSX is the easiest example for me. The NSX looks amazing. It's fast, it handles beautifully, the steering is sharp, it's completely reliable. The NSX does everything really, really well. But when driving it, it doesn't feel any more special than an Accord.

      The Corvette is another example. The early C5 Vette is a terrible car. It's uncomfortable, it rattles and makes weird noises. The interior is cheap. The seats are awful. But I kind of dig it. It handles well, and has that torque that shoves you into your seat with some drama. It's a car that you curse, but you kind of want to do it again.

      The GTR is one that I'm on the fence with. It looks pretty good, and has little competition in terms of performance. It's amazing. But there's no drama. I want to feel something when I drive, even if it's the terror of a Viper that's had turbos added. The GTR is almost too easy.

      It's hard to put my finger on exactly what makes me like a performance car, but when it comes down to it, it has to evoke and emotion from me. Whether good or bad, I need to feel something.

      It's no copout, it's how I feel. When Asia builds a sports car that can get me excited, I'll happily sing its praises. Until then, the Germans have a lock on it.
      I still think that it's partially because you're a german car fan - but, since you have the ability to craft a thoughtful response, I can't say you're wrong. (unlike so many who ignorantly trash cars in TCL )

      I hope you do give it a chance when it's out, though. I really think this could be winner. Don't get me wrong - in five years I'd love to just buy a Cayman and call it a day...but I think the wife may give me some grief for buying a 60k car. Buying one at less than half the price, that'll probably be at least 8/10ths in terms of driving feel - I can dig it. I don't need to get to 60 in 4.5 seconds, or do a 13 second 1/4 mile to have fun in a car.
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      Quote Originally Posted by bothhandsplease View Post
      You'd think this was a purse forum with all the blathering about stitching and gauges

    2. Geriatric Member Turbio!'s Avatar
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      12-09-2011 01:40 PM #142
      Quote Originally Posted by iamsuperdan View Post
      It's hard to put my finger on exactly what makes me like a performance car, but when it comes down to it, it has to evoke and emotion from me. Whether good or bad, I need to feel something.

      It's no copout, it's how I feel. When Asia builds a sports car that can get me excited, I'll happily sing its praises. Until then, the Germans have a lock on it.
      What German sports car is there that's worth owning for under $50k?

      And sorry, but I think you feel what you want to feel when it comes to cars. We all do, so it's not a personal slam, but we're not robots. We're subjective, and our prejudices and expectations color our perceptions of our experiences; it's what makes us human. I'm not denying that you feel what you feel, but I do take issue with the idea that you're approaching Asian sports cars with a completely open mind.
      IPRO Meat-Director and High Minister of Terror-Grilling

      Quote Originally Posted by Marshmallow Man View Post
      The Terror Grill: Part restaurant, part amusement attraction, part gladiator arena, all profit.
      ARE YOU NOT SATIATED?!?!?!

    3. Member simple's Avatar
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      12-09-2011 01:54 PM #143
      Quote Originally Posted by Turbio! View Post
      but we're not robots. We're subjective, and our prejudices and expectations color our perceptions of our experiences;
      Speak for yourself human. I am perfect
      If you can't measure it, you can't understand it; if you can't understand it, you can't control it.

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      12-09-2011 01:55 PM #144
      Quote Originally Posted by simple View Post
      Speak for yourself human.
      I welcome my T-1000 overlords.
      IPRO Meat-Director and High Minister of Terror-Grilling

      Quote Originally Posted by Marshmallow Man View Post
      The Terror Grill: Part restaurant, part amusement attraction, part gladiator arena, all profit.
      ARE YOU NOT SATIATED?!?!?!

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      12-09-2011 01:56 PM #145
      Thing I'm trying to figure out right now is this: can a car that's fairly pedestrian, not terribly engaging, but objectively well-suited to what I want be arm-twisted into making me feel something through aesthetic and performance modification, or not?
      IPRO Meat-Director and High Minister of Terror-Grilling

      Quote Originally Posted by Marshmallow Man View Post
      The Terror Grill: Part restaurant, part amusement attraction, part gladiator arena, all profit.
      ARE YOU NOT SATIATED?!?!?!

    6. Member simple's Avatar
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      12-09-2011 01:57 PM #146
      Quote Originally Posted by Turbio! View Post
      I welcome my T-1000 overlords.
      You will be rewarded with a swift and less painful death. You will be remembered for your love of the machines.
      If you can't measure it, you can't understand it; if you can't understand it, you can't control it.

    7. 12-09-2011 01:57 PM #147
      Quote Originally Posted by iamsuperdan View Post
      I'm It's hard to put my finger on exactly what makes me like a performance car, but when it comes down to it, it has to evoke and emotion from me. Whether good or bad, I need to feel something.

      It's no copout, it's how I feel. When Asia builds a sports car that can get me excited, I'll happily sing its praises. Until then, the Germans have a lock on it.
      I can understand the emotion side of it perfectly...its actually why I didn't buy a 2011 WRX in September. I took it for a long test drive on some awesome roads with an enthusiast salesman who was pushing me to really have fun. But when I pulled back into the lot, all my previous excitement was gone. It was a really awesome car. Capable of doing a lot of things really well. It just didn't grab me and wasn't compelling enough to take on 4 years of payments for. It didn't stir anything inside me.

      As for the German sports car thing...I'm having trouble thinking of many of them to be honest (for reference, I'm distinguishing between true sports cars and sport sedans). Yeah, Porsche has it locked down, but comparing a $20K Toyota to a Cayman or 911 isn't exactly fair. BMW? I don't really see any true sports cars (argument could be make for Z4 I suppose, and their cheapest of the cheap model is about 50% more expensive than the base Scion. MB? MB AMGs are on another planet class/price/audience wise when compared to the FT/BRZ. Same with the R8.

      I think what you are getting at but not coming out and saying is that you like more luxury in a car and don't care about pure sports cars. If thats the case, you are certainly not the target audience, and no amount of 'soul' injected into the Toyota will change that.

    8. 12-09-2011 02:04 PM #148
      Quote Originally Posted by Turbio! View Post
      Thing I'm trying to figure out right now is this: can a car that's fairly pedestrian, not terribly engaging, but objectively well-suited to what I want be arm-twisted into making me feel something through aesthetic and performance modification, or not?
      No. Like you I thought either buying a jack of all trades car would appease me. Then when I got bored I thought of modifying. That didn't interest me much. I realized I like purpose built stuff that doesn't half ass things. Enter toy car shopping and two appliances as DD each with their own purpose (Prius for mpgs, CRV for dog duty/bad weather).

      The 3 car household. You know you want it.

      You don't want a Wrangler as a daily. You want it to go camping, ride around in the snow and mud. You want to play with it because thats what you remember doing as a kid. Since a DD Wrangler isn't a necessity, I dont see why you don't pick up a used one and mod it to your liking, and then get somethingn practical, cheap, and efficient as a DD. Hell, keep the Vibe/Forrester combo and buy a used 4.0 Wrangler for half the cost of a new one, and mod how you like. If you aren't dealing with its shortcomings on a daily basis, and aren't depending on it to get you to work, you'll be more likely to mod it into how you want it and finally end this site's members' collective suffering through bi-annual car buying/stolen threads.

    9. 12-09-2011 02:04 PM #149
      Quote Originally Posted by Fritz27 View Post
      I never buy this soul nonsense. I think it's a copout for someone that doesn't like Japanese sports cars and doesn't want to admit it.
      I like Japanese sports cars but still feel them lacking. Not that I would not own another one but I prefer to have a car that has behaviors rather than just exists.

    10. Member TetsuoShima's Avatar
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      12-09-2011 02:05 PM #150
      I don't understand where this whole Japanese cars have no soul thing came from. If you're talking about cars like the Civic, Camry, Accord - okay well obvioulsy because they're just pedestrian cars whos only puprose is to go from A to B reliably and in comfort. I'm not understanding how a regular run of the mill Golf is more fun or more engaging to drive than a run of the mill Accord. What exactly make the Golf have more soul? Someone please explain this to me.

      And if you want to go back a bit more to the 80's you had econo-boxes like the AE86 that had plenty of soul and would be a blast to drive.

      Now, let's ignore the ecnoboxes and focus on sports cars. This is where the Japanese have always excelled at.

      Toyota MR2, Supra, Celica - all of these cars had plenty of soul and were an absolute BLAST to drive. Same with the Honda Prelude, NSX, Integra, Civic SI, CRX, S2000 etc..now tell me how the hell do any of those cars have no soul or any less soul compared to German cars?

      I'll be here waiting for an explanation. And if you're going to say something about better interiors or better gadgets, then don't even bother replying because those do not make soul a car have.

    11. 12-09-2011 02:09 PM #151
      Quote Originally Posted by TetsuoShima View Post
      I don't understand where this whole Japanese cars have no soul thing came from.
      I'll be here waiting for an explanation. And if you're going to say something about better interiors or better gadgets, then don't even bother replying because those do not make soul a car have.
      I think it has to do with more modern vehicles.
      As vehicles have progressed, we have gone from fun to drive cars down to easy and reliable to drive.
      I blame it on the lack of interest in driving which has been presented by the younger and older generations.
      Car companies need to remove the soul in order to appease the masses.

    12. Senior Member 6cylVWguy's Avatar
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      12-09-2011 02:21 PM #152
      Quote Originally Posted by Fritz27 View Post
      I never buy this soul nonsense. There is way too much effusive praise for the joie de vivre related to driving NSXes and even the more updated GTR to talk about soul or lack thereof. I think it's a copout for someone that doesn't like Japanese sports cars and doesn't want to admit it.
      I don't particularly have any issues with people who do or don't buy into the soul argument. But to be honest, whenever I've heard of people describe the NSX or GTR, soul is never the word that comes to mind. Both cars are excellent performance machines that I think most real car enthusiast would be happy to even see on the road, much less drive or even own. Having said that, I think in order to disapprove of the term soul, you need to define it. To me soul is best described as a purposely engineered-in emotional characteristic to a car that is independent of the ultimate performance capabilities of the car. Some people call it character instead of soul. Now, whenever I've ever heard anyone talk about the NSX it's usually about excellent chassis balance followed with the description that the car is just like driving an accord or civic around town. The GTR receives praise about how digitally brutal the car is on the track--it's a car that can really put down the numbers. I don't recall reading much else of substance about the car, especially about how the car drives off the track. None of those descriptors suggest a car that has much personality as their european competitors. Soul/character is often a subjective attribute of a car that is there both when you're driving the car on-track and around town.

      It's certainly acceptable that there are people who simply don't recognize or pick up on that distinction or frankly, don't care about it. I'm not arguing that fact at all---some people just want something that rips their face off. Some people think that a supercar that drives like a standard economy or family car around town is a huge advantage. That's cool. I think even my mustang has character. It's completely different than a German car, but there is this engineered imperfection of the car which is kind of endearing in some ways. In the end, I think there is simply a very different approach to the design and engineering of Asian cars than those from other countries. It's not right or wrong, it's just different. And you can very easily pick up on those differences by just driving the cars.
      Last edited by 6cylVWguy; 12-09-2011 at 02:23 PM.

    13. Member Rabbit5GTI's Avatar
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      12-09-2011 02:31 PM #153
      That's just it. There is no concrete definition and there never will be. it's just a term thrown around, as far as I'm concerened.

      Hell, VW knows it, and they use it to their advantage. In the new magazine they send out to owners, Soul was plastered all over the place when describing the new bug.

      I just think that there are so many old Japanese sports cars that people don't even think about now, that have the same character (or soul) of a german sports car.

      If a 240Z can't get a car enthusiast's motor running (pun intended ), nothing will.

      As for the soul argument when it comes to people movers - the Golf having more 'soul' argument than a japanese or american econocar always makes me laugh as well. Yes, they always tended to have better suspension tuning (and if that's how you define soul, that's cool) - but in the end, they're all econoboxes that get you from point a to point b.

      It's all about what you're used to, or what you have less of I guess. Since there tend to be a lot more american and japanese econoboxes sold in the US, I guess it's almost as if many people put the german one on a pedestal, because their sportscars have 'more soul'. Go ask a 20-something dude in Germany, he's driving a Golf because he cant afford the purchase price and taxes on something else, not because some domestic hatchback has more 'soul'
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    14. Member TetsuoShima's Avatar
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      12-09-2011 02:33 PM #154
      Quote Originally Posted by 6cylVWguy View Post
      I don't particularly have any issues with people who do or don't buy into the soul argument. But to be honest, whenever I've heard of people describe the NSX or GTR, soul is never the word that comes to mind. Both cars are excellent performance machines that I think most real car enthusiast would be happy to even see on the road, much less drive or even own. Having said that, I think in order to disapprove of the term soul, you need to define it. To me soul is best described as a purposely engineered-in emotional characteristic to a car that is independent of the ultimate performance capabilities of the car. Some people call it character instead of soul. Now, whenever I've ever heard anyone talk about the NSX it's usually about excellent chassis balance followed with the description that the car is just like driving an accord or civic around town. The GTR receives praise about how digitally brutal the car is on the track--it's a car that can really put down the numbers. I don't recall reading much else of substance about the car, especially about how the car drives off the track. None of those descriptors suggest a car that has much personality as their european competitors. Soul/character is often a subjective attribute of a car that is there both when you're driving the car on-track and around town.

      It's certainly acceptable that there are people who simply don't recognize or pick up on that distinction or frankly, don't care about it. I'm not arguing that fact at all---some people just want something that rips their face off. Some people think that a supercar that drives like a standard economy or family car around town is a huge advantage. That's cool. I think even my mustang has character. It's completely different than a German car, but there is this engineered imperfection of the car which is kind of endearing in some ways. In the end, I think there is simply a very different approach to the design and engineering of Asian cars than those from other countries. It's not right or wrong, it's just different. And you can very easily pick up on those differences by just driving the cars.
      That isn't even an argument? You talked about how people praised the NSX about having an excellent chassis, and it was easy to drive around town..how does that not make it have soul? How does an M3 of the same year have more soul than an NSX. This is something that you and others like you have yet to explain.

      The NSX was a well balanced sports car, was and still is insanely fun to drive...just like an M3 of that era...I'm not seeing anything in your post to back up your argument about Asian sports cars not having soul while German/European cars have more soul.

      I think what people are subconsciously doing is that they're equating the european lifestyle into their cars - which makes 0 sense but it's something people just do. Everyone knows it - Europe is a fantastic place, rich with history, really great food, everyone's always out and about and it's extremely lively. They equate this with their cars.

      Japan on the other hand is so far from Western culture that people here can't really identify with it. All they know from Japan are electronics/robotics - which to people here are regarded as non-cultural, very sterile etc.

      The argument about how cars have more soul is completely stupid and it's just something that people are mixing in culture with - nothing to do with driving dynamics.

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      12-09-2011 02:49 PM #155
      Quote Originally Posted by Mosbius Designs View Post
      That's just it. There is no concrete definition and there never will be. it's just a term thrown around, as far as I'm concerened.

      Hell, VW knows it, and they use it to their advantage. In the new magazine they send out to owners, Soul was plastered all over the place when describing the new bug.

      I just think that there are so many old Japanese sports cars that people don't even think about now, that have the same character (or soul) of a german sports car.

      If a 240Z can't get a car enthusiast's motor running (pun intended ), nothing will.

      As for the soul argument when it comes to people movers - the Golf having more 'soul' argument than a japanese or american econocar always makes me laugh as well. Yes, they always tended to have better suspension tuning (and if that's how you define soul, that's cool) - but in the end, they're all econoboxes that get you from point a to point b.

      It's all about what you're used to, or what you have less of I guess. Since there tend to be a lot more american and japanese econoboxes sold in the US, I guess it's almost as if many people put the german one on a pedestal, because their sportscars have 'more soul'. Go ask a 20-something dude in Germany, he's driving a Golf because he cant afford the purchase price and taxes on something else, not because some domestic hatchback has more 'soul'
      I'm starting to realize that "soul" is the 21st century "sporty." A few decades ago, "sporty" was used to imply that a car was more engaging, exciting, and interesting than its competitors. Of course, "sporty" gets applied to Priuses and Camrys now so the industry had to find a new word. Now it's "soul."

      I think Japanese sports cars are at a disadvantage because of the image their manufacturers have built for themselves. Safe+comfortable+economical sells them a ****-ton of cars, so they want people to equate Japanese = appliance (in a good way, in the minds of their potential customers). So when something like the BRZ comes along, even enthusiasts have a tough time giving it a fair shake because of pre-conceived notions about Toyota and Subaru. It can be just as "soulful" as their American and European rivals, but people still see a Toyota sports car as "meh-ish."

      That is completely wrong, of course, as I'm head-over-heels in love with the BRZ as well.
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      12-09-2011 02:52 PM #156
      Quote Originally Posted by TetsuoShima View Post
      The argument about how cars have more soul is completely stupid and it's just something that people are mixing in culture with - nothing to do with driving dynamics.
      I just want to add that I had a '98 civic lx. That thing was reliable, nothing was broken, drove very well. Gave it to my uncle and picked up a '98 jetta gls. ac broken, cruise control broken, starting to rust, etc. However the driving feel is different. The heavier steering, heated seats, and general solid feeling makes me enjoy driving it more than the civic. Not to say I dislike japanese cars, I also have an MX5, and mazda3 that are great, but I understand that there are intangibles that some people may call 'soul'.
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    17. Member Rabbit5GTI's Avatar
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      12-09-2011 02:56 PM #157
      And to the general public, I get that. I could see joe schmuck seeing a toyota sports car and thinking "man, I thought they only made that there camry" type of response.

      However, we're here because we love cars. We remember the Supra, AE86, MR2 - we know Toyota can do it.

      Even moreso for Subaru - even to joe schmuck they've always had the image (in the US, at least), as being the reliable, but quirky people mover. They're for a different type of cat - either lesbians, new englanders, enthusiasts that need a car to drive their kids in, or lesibans

      Since I'm harping on the BRZ so much - that's why I bring that up. We're enthusiasts - we know it has the 'soul' of Toyota sportscar engineering that has been in hibernation for 15 years, as well as the quirkiness (another term for soul) of a Subaru. What's not to love?
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      12-09-2011 03:00 PM #158
      Quote Originally Posted by TetsuoShima View Post
      I think what people are subconsciously doing is that they're equating the european lifestyle into their cars - which makes 0 sense but it's something people just do. Everyone knows it - Europe is a fantastic place, rich with history, really great food, everyone's always out and about and it's extremely lively. They equate this with their cars.

      Japan on the other hand is so far from Western culture that people here can't really identify with it. All they know from Japan are electronics/robotics - which to people here are regarded as non-cultural, very sterile etc.

      The argument about how cars have more soul is completely stupid and it's just something that people are mixing in culture with - nothing to do with driving dynamics.
      I think you're mixed up here.

      Robert Frost once said "No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader."

      Basically that means that the car is the product of the culture. It's part of their culture. There's no way any country's "persona" is absent in their vehicles.

      Germans over-engineer cars. They over-think, pore over small little details, and tweak to the brink of stupidity. Take my R32 for example. It made sense. It was the Golf body, a big ol' motor, a 4wd system, and a great transmission. Cool right? Yeah.

      Except the 4wd was overly complex, that big ol motor was like driving around with a ship anchor strapped to the front of your face, the amazing comfortable and gorgeous seats were 2x bigger than the car was designed for, and the cupholders had 2 different depths. Neither of which worked for holding any type of drink.

      That's soul.

      The Japanese PERFECTLY engineer cars. My MR2 didn't have cupholders. What it did have was a space between the seat bolster and center console that would snugly hold any drink of any size, under any circumstance. Every single control, radio button, window control, shifter, pedals was perfect. I barely had to move to operate that car. It didn't take any effort, or circumventing the design to have things work. It just worked.

      That...while awesome and "perfect", doesn't show character.

      It's a weird phenomenon that I've noticed after owning these two VERY different cars.

      Honestly if I had my way I'd have the German car as my daily, and when (notice I said when and not if) it broke, I'd take my little Japanese princess out and beat the crap out of her. Knowing full well that if that car is put away wet, it'll be ready for action without a hiccup the next time my lovely, soulful, German car decides that it's just not feeling up to starting today.
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      12-09-2011 03:09 PM #159
      Quote Originally Posted by Slipstream View Post
      I think Japanese sports cars are at a disadvantage because of the image their manufacturers have built for themselves. Safe+comfortable+economical sells them a ****-ton of cars, so they want people to equate Japanese = appliance (in a good way, in the minds of their potential customers). So when something like the BRZ comes along, even enthusiasts have a tough time giving it a fair shake because of pre-conceived notions about Toyota and Subaru. It can be just as "soulful" as their American and European rivals, but people still see a Toyota sports car as "meh-ish."
      And to add to that, I think "soul" is something that comes at least as much from you as it does from the car. I think a lot of "soul" is how you, consciously or otherwise, engage with the car - your positive memories of doing stuff in it, your expectations and prejudices going in, how receptive and positive you are about the car. I know people who love boring appliance cars beyond all apparent reason - my wife calls her Fit her "little baby car" and loves the sound it makes when it revs and worries about it when it needs an oil change, pats its dashboard when it's trying to merge... And I know people who regard 911s, Corvettes, Miatas, and so forth with all the emotion they regard their vacuum with.

      So I think soul is where you choose to find it - maybe to even a greater extent than it's a property of the car. If you're not expecting soul, you probably won't find it. If your car is something you're proud of, have a relationship with and fond memories of, it's going to feel like it's got more soul than a car that's not yours, that you settled for, or that you bought for entirely pragmatic reasons.
      Last edited by Turbio!; 12-09-2011 at 03:13 PM.
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    20. Member TetsuoShima's Avatar
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      12-09-2011 03:11 PM #160
      Quote Originally Posted by TheDarkEnergist View Post
      I think you're mixed up here.

      Robert Frost once said "No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader."

      Basically that means that the car is the product of the culture. It's part of their culture. There's no way any country's "persona" is absent in their vehicles.

      Germans over-engineer cars. They over-think, pore over small little details, and tweak to the brink of stupidity. Take my R32 for example. It made sense. It was the Golf body, a big ol' motor, a 4wd system, and a great transmission. Cool right? Yeah.

      Except the 4wd was overly complex, that big ol motor was like driving around with a ship anchor strapped to the front of your face, the amazing comfortable and gorgeous seats were 2x bigger than the car was designed for, and the cupholders had 2 different depths. Neither of which worked for holding any type of drink.

      That's soul.

      The Japanese PERFECTLY engineer cars. My MR2 didn't have cupholders. What it did have was a space between the seat bolster and center console that would snugly hold any drink of any size, under any circumstance. Every single control, radio button, window control, shifter, pedals was perfect. I barely had to move to operate that car. It didn't take any effort, or circumventing the design to have things work. It just worked.

      That...while awesome and "perfect", doesn't show character.

      It's a weird phenomenon that I've noticed after owning these two VERY different cars.

      Honestly if I had my way I'd have the German car as my daily, and when (notice I said when and not if) it broke, I'd take my little Japanese princess out and beat the crap out of her. Knowing full well that if that car is put away wet, it'll be ready for action without a hiccup the next time my lovely, soulful, German car decides that it's just not feeling up to starting today.
      True, but in terms of actual driving dynamics people don't take into account that Japanese cars are really fun to drive - they're mixing in the culture of a society with actual driving dynamics which skews their perception, which isn't really fair and doesn't really make sense.

      I guess it's more accurate to say that there are different types of "soul". The soul that I'm talking about and that I think most people are talking about here is the way the car operates and drives, from the sound it makes to the way it handles, steers etc. Other people equate soul with good looks.

      Let's go back to the NSX/M3 I was talking about earlier. Both can be regarded as beautiful looking cars and both can be described as canyon carvers. What makes the M3 have more soul than the NSX?

      I have driven 2.0's, 1.8T's and VR6 Golfs and they are a hoot to drive - no doubt about it. When I switched to my Prelude, it was a completely different experience. I would say that the actual driving dynamics in the Prelude were no less fun(except for the VTEC cross-over and the higher redline) than the Golf's. I wouldn't say either car had more soul than the other.

    21. Member TetsuoShima's Avatar
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      12-09-2011 03:14 PM #161
      Quote Originally Posted by Turbio! View Post
      And to add to that, I think "soul" is something that comes at least as much from you as it does from the car. I think a lot of "soul" is how you, consciously or otherwise, engage with the car - your positive memories of doing stuff in it, your expectations and prejudices going in, how receptive and positive you are about the car. I know people who love boring appliance cars beyond all apparent reason - my wife calls her Fit her "little baby car" and loves the sound it makes when it revs and worries about it when it needs an oil change, pats its dashboard when it's trying to merge... And I know people who regard 911s, Corvettes, Miatas, and so forth with all the emotion they regard their vacuum with.

      So I think soul is where you choose to find it - maybe to even a greater extent than it's a property of the car. If you're not expecting soul, you probably won't find it. If your car is something you're proud of, have a relationship with and fond memories of, it's going to feel like it's got more soul than a car that's not yours, that you settled for, or that you bought for entirely pragmatic reasons.
      If soul is something that comes from the person then the argument that european cars have more soul than japanese cars isn't valid then. Any car from any manufacturer can have soul if it's up to the owner.

      Another reason why this debate is kind of stupid.

    22. 12-09-2011 03:27 PM #162
      Quote Originally Posted by TetsuoShima View Post
      That isn't even an argument? You talked about how people praised the NSX about having an excellent chassis, and it was easy to drive around town..how does that not make it have soul? How does an M3 of the same year have more soul than an NSX. This is something that you and others like you have yet to explain.
      .
      The answer is easy. Soul is an emotional attachment to a car. When you have to learn its quirks (of which German cars have many) you begin to appreciate them. Not me, but some. Look at Alex's post on the bottom of page 3. Knowing a car inside and out creates an emotional attachment.

      How does this relate to Japanese cars and their lack of soul? They don't have as many quirks and are more reliable. Their sports cars can be as reliable as their appliances. Unless tuning them you are less likely to wrench on one out of necessity. No blood, sweat and tears invested...no soul.

      Now try and think of Japanese cars that are most likely to have the 'soul' tagline thrown around. Hard eh? Think of the notoriously unreliable/maintenance intensive ones. I'm looking at you TT RX-7 and RX-8. The fact that owners have to invest so much time and money into them (in general) creates the attachment to the car. Its your car. You take care of it. It costs you your money. The fact they drive well and are rewarding is what makes the relationship work. For example, I loathed my MKV GTI as often as I loved it. I still took it out for a good beating the day I was going to trade it in, and still miss it whenever I drive my favorite roads.

      Easy peasy.

      My horribly overgeneralizing TL;DR
      Soul is created when you have to invest time and money.
      German cars require both as they are often unreliable and/or quirky.
      Japanese cars do not.
      Last edited by pwm; 12-09-2011 at 03:32 PM.

    23. Senior Member 6cylVWguy's Avatar
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      12-09-2011 03:30 PM #163
      Quote Originally Posted by TetsuoShima View Post
      That isn't even an argument? You talked about how people praised the NSX about having an excellent chassis, and it was easy to drive around town..how does that not make it have soul? How does an M3 of the same year have more soul than an NSX. This is something that you and others like you have yet to explain.
      You pretty much nailed the crux of the argument. For those of us who believe in the soul argument, the ease at which something drives around town isn't soul. It goes back to the very basics of the argument, to be honest. Both a civic and Golf are easy to drive around town, but the Golf, IMO simply offers a better experience from behind the wheel. I drove a 2011 Corolla back to back with a 2011 Jetta and frankly the Jetta was a noticably better car to drive around in. The corolla is a very nicely engineered car that might be assembled to a higher standard than the Jetta and yet the Jetta still felt like a nicer car and gave a better overall experience.

      The fact of the matter is that just because I can't personally quantify what "soul" actually is, it doesn't mean that the engineers at various companies can't either. It's certainly not by accident that BMWs, VW, Audi, and Porsche's drive like they do. There is clearly a certain formula that the engineers manipulate to give the car a certain experience and allow that experience to continue through successive generations and successive improvements in technology. Really, what I think it comes down to is the attention to detail given to all the dynanic qualities of a car--how it feels, how it sounds, etc. This same type of detail has never been given to any asian car I've driven.

      Just because I can't nail something down by looking at a spec sheet doesn't mean that it doesn't exist. The driving experience isn't something that can really be described by looking at the features of the car--and the detailed minutia that comes together to give a car its overall feel is a bit too complex for most people to know what to make of it or how it all comes together.

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      12-09-2011 03:32 PM #164
      Good to see the German fapfest of TCL runs strong in OT. To celebrate this, I will now go fix myself a glass sandwich. With cheese.
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    25. Member TetsuoShima's Avatar
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      12-09-2011 03:35 PM #165
      Quote Originally Posted by pwm View Post
      The answer is easy. Soul is an emotional attachment to a car. When you have to learn its quirks (of which German cars have many) you begin to appreciate them. Not me, but some. Look at Alex's post on the bottom of page 3. Knowing a car inside and out creates an emotional attachment.

      How does this relate to Japanese cars and their lack of soul? They don't have as many quirks and are more reliable. Their sports cars can be as reliable as their appliances. Unless tuning them you are less likely to wrench on one out of necessity. No blood, sweat and tears invested...no soul.

      Now try and think of Japanese cars that are most likely to have the 'soul' tagline thrown around. Hard eh? Think of the notoriously unreliable/maintenance intensive ones. I'm looking at you TT RX-7 and RX-8. The fact that owners have to invest so much time and money into them (in general) creates the attachment to the car. Its your car. You take care of it. It costs you your money.

      Easy peasy.

      My horribly overgeneralizing TL;DR
      Soul is created when you have to invest time and money.
      German cars require both as they are often unreliable and/or quirky.
      Japanese cars do not.
      I get what you're saying but I don't think it's valid - or more accurately, it's not the only answer. Some might regard reliability as something that is valuable to them. To experience a great deal of performance and fun - while still mainintaing reliability is something that I and I'm sure many find valuable - which adds to the emotional connection to the car. Never lets you down, always takes you where you want to go.

      So just because German cars are unreliable and break down and cost a lot to fix makes them have more soul? That's where you're wrong. Japanese cars have other things that make them have soul - reliability mixed in with excellent performance is one thing - how about Honda and their high RPM redlines? How about the RX-8 and the Rotary(which sadly, is dead for the time being)? What do you have to say about that?

      You didn't answer the NSX/M3 question still. I haven;t heard of many reliability problems with the E30 - so what makes the M3 have more soul than the NSX?

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      12-09-2011 03:37 PM #166
      The M3 requires very frequent valve adjustments - I guess that inconvenience (for some) is considered character.


      I love the E30 M3, for the record.
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      12-09-2011 03:40 PM #167
      A few people bring up a good point. Modern cars seem to be losing that certain something. I call it soul.

      I'll be the first to admit that because of a few experiences, I'm biased against japanese cars. But go back in time, and there was some awesome stuff coming out of Japan, that was really fun. The 70s Datsun Z-cars and (for me) mid80s Mazda RX7s are good examples of this. Not the fastest or best handling cars out there, and they had their quirks. But they are still fun cars to drive.

      It's not just the new Japanese cars that offer performance without character. Someone mentioned the newer M3. I'll agree 100% with that. Awesome performance, but I just don't have fun in those. I'd expand that to include the last gen V10 M5 and the M6. Now go back and drive an E36 M3 or an E30 M3. There's a certain feel those cars have that puts a smile on my face.

      Good points pwm! For me, it is definitely the quirks and foibles a car has that give it character. New cars have fewer and fewer of those "flaws."




      I like this thread.
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    28. 12-09-2011 03:41 PM #168
      Quote Originally Posted by TetsuoShima View Post
      I get what you're saying but I don't think it's valid - or more accurately, it's not the only answer. Some might regard reliability as something that is valuable to them. To experience a great deal of performance and fun - while still mainintaing reliability is something that I and I'm sure many find valuable - which adds to the emotional connection to the car. Never lets you down, always takes you where you want to go.

      So just because German cars are unreliable and break down and cost a lot to fix makes them have more soul? That's where you're wrong. Japanese cars have other things that make them have soul - reliability mixed in with excellent performance is one thing - how about Honda and their high RPM redlines? How about the RX-8 and the Rotary(which sadly, is dead for the time being)? What do you have to say about that?

      You didn't answer the NSX/M3 question still. I haven;t heard of many reliability problems with the E30 - so what makes the M3 have more soul than the NSX?
      I should have clarified...I believe Japanese cars can and do have soul ( I wasn't clear...my bad). As a huge Honda fanboy, screaming redlines, NSXs, S2000s, ludes, integras and early 90s Civic hatches are all good for me.

      What I should have said from the get go is that I think an emotional attachment to a car is what creates the perception of soul. If reliable performance is what creates that attachment for you, then the S2000 has soul. If having to wrench on your cars and learn the quirks creates the attachment, then the Germans are for you.

    29. Geriatric Member Turbio!'s Avatar
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      12-09-2011 03:42 PM #169
      Quote Originally Posted by TetsuoShima View Post
      If soul is something that comes from the person then the argument that european cars have more soul than japanese cars isn't valid then. Any car from any manufacturer can have soul if it's up to the owner.

      Another reason why this debate is kind of stupid.
      Pretty much.
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      12-09-2011 03:43 PM #170
      Quote Originally Posted by 6cylVWguy View Post
      You pretty much nailed the crux of the argument. For those of us who believe in the soul argument, the ease at which something drives around town isn't soul. It goes back to the very basics of the argument, to be honest. Both a civic and Golf are easy to drive around town, but the Golf, IMO simply offers a better experience from behind the wheel. I drove a 2011 Corolla back to back with a 2011 Jetta and frankly the Jetta was a noticably better car to drive around in. The corolla is a very nicely engineered car that might be assembled to a higher standard than the Jetta and yet the Jetta still felt like a nicer car and gave a better overall experience.

      The fact of the matter is that just because I can't personally quantify what "soul" actually is, it doesn't mean that the engineers at various companies can't either. It's certainly not by accident that BMWs, VW, Audi, and Porsche's drive like they do. There is clearly a certain formula that the engineers manipulate to give the car a certain experience and allow that experience to continue through successive generations and successive improvements in technology. Really, what I think it comes down to is the attention to detail given to all the dynanic qualities of a car--how it feels, how it sounds, etc. This same type of detail has never been given to any asian car I've driven.

      Just because I can't nail something down by looking at a spec sheet doesn't mean that it doesn't exist. The driving experience isn't something that can really be described by looking at the features of the car--and the detailed minutia that comes together to give a car its overall feel is a bit too complex for most people to know what to make of it or how it all comes together.
      What? Sorry, but you're dead wrong on that one. So, the amount of engineering, testing and attention to detail that went into the 86 and BRZ to make the car FUN and tossable isn't detailed for you? Sorry, but from your post it just seems like you don't like Japanese cars - and that's fine and dandy but to make to put it quite frankly stupid arguments like that just makes you look ignorant.

      The amount of testing engineering and time/effort that went into the sound of the LFA isn't detailed enough and makes it lack soul?

      So then tell me, what made the M3 have more soul than the NSX? Did the engineers of the M3 give more of their blood sweat and tears than the engineers of the NSX or something? Does the M3 not drive easily around town? Because I bet it drives extremely easy around town - so uh oh I guess it doesn't have soul

      You still aren't backing up your argument very well at all.

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      12-09-2011 03:45 PM #171
      Quote Originally Posted by pwm View Post
      No. Like you I thought either buying a jack of all trades car would appease me. Then when I got bored I thought of modifying. That didn't interest me much. I realized I like purpose built stuff that doesn't half ass things. Enter toy car shopping and two appliances as DD each with their own purpose (Prius for mpgs, CRV for dog duty/bad weather).

      The 3 car household. You know you want it.

      You don't want a Wrangler as a daily. You want it to go camping, ride around in the snow and mud. You want to play with it because thats what you remember doing as a kid. Since a DD Wrangler isn't a necessity, I dont see why you don't pick up a used one and mod it to your liking, and then get somethingn practical, cheap, and efficient as a DD. Hell, keep the Vibe/Forrester combo and buy a used 4.0 Wrangler for half the cost of a new one, and mod how you like. If you aren't dealing with its shortcomings on a daily basis, and aren't depending on it to get you to work, you'll be more likely to mod it into how you want it and finally end this site's members' collective suffering through bi-annual car buying/stolen threads.
      That's what I keep coming back to. There's just not a single car in my price range that does everything I want a car to do, in a way that I'll feel fulfilled by as a car guy. But if I kept the Vibe around as a beater....
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    32. 12-09-2011 03:53 PM #172
      Quote Originally Posted by Turbio! View Post
      That's what I keep coming back to. There's just not a single car in my price range that does everything I want a car to do, in a way that I'll feel fulfilled by as a car guy. But if I kept the Vibe around as a beater....
      You know what made my wife finally decide to go along with it?

      1 - Years of my complaining and indecision (you've got that covered )
      2 - Getting her the car she wanted first. It was almost a good faith move, as she was concerned that once I got a toy I wouldn't want to give up the basket case GTI. She wanted a Prius even though she has a 13 mile round trip commute and took over 5 years to hit 50K miles in the CRV. Once she realized my 3 car plan involved her getting the exact car she wanted, she was all for it. The only conditions she's given me is 'don't spend all our money' and 'I don't want to hear about it...just buy one.'

      Now my indecision (see point 1) is coming back to bite me. I can't decide what to get.
      Last edited by pwm; 12-09-2011 at 03:55 PM.

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      12-09-2011 03:58 PM #173
      Quote Originally Posted by pwm View Post
      You know what made my wife finally decide to go along with it?

      1 - Years of my complaining and indecision (you've got that covered )
      2 - Getting her the car she wanted first. It was almost a good faith move, as she was concerned that once I got a toy I wouldn't want to give up the basket case GTI. She wanted a Prius even though she has a 13 mile round trip commute and took over 5 years to hit 50K miles in the CRV. Once she realized my 3 car plan involved her getting the exact car she wanted, she was all for it. The only conditions she's given me is 'don't spend all our money' and 'I don't want to hear about it...just buy one.'
      I think that's why my wife suggested me doing a two for one deal on the BRZ. She now has a new car, and she's been listening to me whine for five years now.

      But then on the occasions when we take a weekend drive in the GTI (and it's behaving), we both talk about how much we still like the car. She's almost as bad as me
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    34. Senior Member 6cylVWguy's Avatar
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      12-09-2011 04:02 PM #174
      Quote Originally Posted by TetsuoShima View Post
      What? Sorry, but you're dead wrong on that one. So, the amount of engineering, testing and attention to detail that went into the 86 and BRZ to make the car FUN and tossable isn't detailed for you? Sorry, but from your post it just seems like you don't like Japanese cars - and that's fine and dandy but to make to put it quite frankly stupid arguments like that just makes you look ignorant.

      The amount of testing engineering and time/effort that went into the sound of the LFA isn't detailed enough and makes it lack soul?
      I can't at all speak to the BRZ/FRS as I've never driven one or even read a detailed enough article about the car. I think what you're getting all worked up over is that you seem to think that I'm saying that asian cars aren't engineered as well as european cars. I'm sorry if that's the impression I've given, but what I mean to say is that asian cars and european cars are engineered with slightly different end goals in mind. To say that an NSX drives like a civic around town is not doing the NSX an favors in my mind. I don't find a civic to be nearly as compelling to drive as say a golf, for example. If the NSX was described as a vehicle as easy to drive around town as a civic, but so much more engaging, even at rational legal speeds when one isn't going for a lap record, then I'd say the NSX is an exception to the rule. Yet I have in the, what 20 years or so, that the NSX was released never heard it dscribed quite like that.
      Last edited by 6cylVWguy; 12-09-2011 at 04:09 PM.

    35. 12-09-2011 04:03 PM #175
      Quote Originally Posted by Mosbius Designs View Post
      I think that's why my wife suggested me doing a two for one deal on the BRZ. She now has a new car, and she's been listening to me whine for five years now.

      But then on the occasions when we take a weekend drive in the GTI (and it's behaving), we both talk about how much we still like the car. She's almost as bad as me

      BTW...I blame you for my looking at 944s during my toy search. I think the reliability (or lack thereof) will keep me away though.

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