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HILARIOUS 348 CHALLENGE / PRIUS INCIDENT

Discussion in 'Ferrari Discussion (not model specific)' started by Juan-Manuel Fantango, Aug 19, 2004.

  1. Juan-Manuel Fantango

    Rossa Subscribed

    Jan 18, 2004
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    I must admit, my preconceived notions have been corrected today. Anyone who drives a Prius is a left wing radical nut job who would not at all be happy to see a gas guzzling 348 Challenge car with track exhaust... period! (For the record, I do indeed believe in conservation, as long as it does not interfere with my 300 plus mile per week former Challenge car driving habit. I confess, I am an addict.)

    As I am traveling back from Charleston SC to Colimbia, low and behold I see up ahead a Prius. I pull up beside him on the 4 lane interstate and glance over. We both have our windows down (I have no air, it is used as an extra oil cooler. For the record it was well over 90 today.) There was a stately scholarly gentleman wth white hair and close shaved beard puffing an english pipe. I could not resist pushing in the clutch as I was beside him and bliping the throatle twice to redline. I moved forward to around 90 mph and after 15-20 secounds looked in my miors and saw this strange car behind me. It took a moment, but I suddenly realized it was the PRIUS!! I laughed out loud at my ignorance and bias. For one, I had no idea they could move that fast, and that quickly, and secoundly, he had his hand out the window with his thumb up!! He pulled along side and put his hand behind his ear as if to hear a whisper! I don't know if you know how loud a track pipe is on the 348 Challenge, but I wear ear plugs to protect my ears while driving. (For the record, I thought my car sounded great, untill I heard Karl Troy's Lamborghini VT track car today-totally awesome. He stood 5-7 ft behind the exhaust and acted as though he was styling his hair with a blow dryer!). The gentleman gave me the thumbs up sign again, I returned the sign, hammered it and continued to smile with amazement...
     
  2. PSk

    PSk F1 World Champ

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    Yep, my father wants to buy one ... and he has lived and breathed cars since he was a little boy on a Kiwi farm.

    Petrol in many countries is now so expensive that driving is becoming an expensive exercise ... I think my father would like to continue touring around in NZ in his retirement without having to use up all his retirement money for petrol.

    Pete
    BTW: He is nearing completion of his retoration on a MGB GT, and sold his Jensen Interceptor a couple of years ago ...
     
  3. f355spider

    f355spider F1 World Champ
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    Great story!

    Cool to hear you met and saw Karl Troy and his Diablo. He's a great guy, I have bought a number of parts for my 328 from him. Wish he was closer, so I could take my car to him.

    For those that don't know Karl, here's his website:
    http://www.europeanroadandracing.com/

    Dave
     
  4. UroTrash

    UroTrash Three Time F1 World Champ
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    I'm going to be on I-26 between Cola and Charleston tomorrow at 3PM-5PM, will you make a special appearance for me????
     
  5. mk e

    mk e F1 World Champ

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    Funny. My Aunt is a Prius ower and at a family event last weekend asked me why everyone was so interested in my mustang :)
     
  6. L8Braker

    L8Braker Formula 3

    Nov 10, 2003
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    That is hilarious david! kinda funny you mention this prius thing because my neighbor with a droptop camaro ss just bought one for his daily driver. It looks kinda funny to see a big american v8 next to the hybrid car.
     
  7. Koby

    Koby Formula 3

    Dec 14, 2003
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    The new Prius is a great daily driver. Economical, huge interior, and it even looks cool.

    These hybrids are the way of the future, electric motors have 100% torque available immediately. They still need to develop a light weight battery solution, but look for this technology to appear in Japanese sports/GT cars in the not too distant future.
     
  8. lotustt

    lotustt Formula 3

    Aug 28, 2002
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    Toyota cant keep up with demand in the states here. EVeryone they send over and build is sold. Even if you are a car enthusiast it is still a good economical car for daily to and from work stuff.
     
  9. tzucc

    tzucc Formula Junior

    Jun 3, 2003
    316
    I agree. I am a 4WD offroader, motocrosser, and F owner. Just establishing that I am not a Sierra Club kook. However, I actually care to not put crap into our air or put money into the Saudi's hands, especially just to drive to work. Or take the kids to all their various activities.

    I am going to order two of them, one for me, one for the wife. We have a connection thru Toyota of NA where we will get a good deal, but likely have to wait just as long as anyone else to take delivery.
     
  10. Jerrari

    Jerrari F1 Veteran

    Jul 24, 2001
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    Jerry Wiersma
    To each his own, but I wouldn't have one of those ugly bastards stuck up my ass.
     
  11. ART360

    ART360 Guest

    Getting a daily driver that doesn't burn a lot of gas isn't that bad of an idea. But who wants one of these? The Honda Accord 6 is coming out next month, and you can order it with all the options. Mileage is a little lower but over 35mpg. Ferraris are for fun, but a work car shouldn't burn a lot of gas.

    Art
     
  12. tzucc

    tzucc Formula Junior

    Jun 3, 2003
    316
    art, for 'city' driving, which we do a lot, the Prius should do a lot better than the Honda would do. To wit, the Prius stated city mileage is higher than their Highway. Reason in part to do with the fact the electrical system is engaged relatively more during lots of stop/go and lower speeds.
     
  13. mk e

    mk e F1 World Champ

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    It's kind of funny really. As far as I can tell, a small economy hybrid actually costs more to operate and uses more fuel over it's life when manufacturing the exta parts is considered than a standard gas powered economy car. Yet people seem to believe they are doing something good for the environment. I guess it is better for the environment where it is used, but much worse where it is made and disposed of. The number might work out better for and SUV size vehicle, I've never looked at those, but for a small car, a hybrid costs about 25% more to operate. If saving fuel is what you're after, europe pretty much has the right answer. Buy the smallest car you can live with and order it with a diesel. That will save you about 15% over the same size gas powered car...and about 35% more than a hybrid.
     
  14. tzucc

    tzucc Formula Junior

    Jun 3, 2003
    316
    I don't grok your logic at all. Why does it cost more to operate? How do you get better mileage with diesel? How do you substantiate all these percentages???
     
  15. iceburns288

    iceburns288 Formula 3

    Jun 19, 2004
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    a. diesel fuel is cheaper in the states than regular gas.
    b. Prius's have a darn high price because of all the publicity and hybrid hoopla
    c. Diesel technology these days is catching up, and diesels are easier to start cold, smell better, etc. etc.

    Saw it in R&T or C&D... they tested four high mileage cars and one of the hybrids won, but another car was so much cheaper you would have to drive the cheaper car 75k miles and the other hybrid for 160k before they would even out pricewise.
     
  16. mk e

    mk e F1 World Champ

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    OK. Cost to operate is the cost to purchase the car and the fuel it comsumes over it's live divided by the life expectancy. I'll use the number for a honda civic instead of a prius because they offer the exact same car as a hybrid or gas power. So assume it lives 100,000 miles. I'll also use a fuel cost of $2.00/ gallon.

    The civiv hybrid costs $19650+6% tax where I live, = $20829. Honda says 46/51 mgp, so 48.5 average mpg. 100,000/48.5 x $2.00=$4123 in fuel. The total cost is then 20829 + 4123= 24952.

    The civic sedan costs $13000+6% tax where I live, = $13780. Honda says 32/37 mgp, so 34.5 average mpg. 100,000/34.5 x $2.00=$5797 in fuel. The total cost is then 13780 + 5797= 19577.

    Then (24952-19577)/19577= 27% more to drive the hybrid. And that is just using the basic numbers. If you also include that you are either paying interest on the money or not making interest on the money it gets worse yet.

    The diesel analysis works the same. I don't have number for the honda, But I just checked a jetta.

    Diesel numbers $18670 mpg 38/46
    Gas numbers $ 17430 mpg 24/31

    So the price goes up $1350, I'll use that. Milage goes up 52%, I'll use that as well and Diesel is about $1.60 per gallon I think.

    The civic sedan Diesel should be about $14350+6% tax where I live, = $15211. MPG = 34.5 x 1.5 = 52.4 average mpg. 100,000/52.4 x $1.60=$3077 in fuel. The total cost is then 15211 + 3077= 18288

    Then (24952-18288)/18288= 36% more to drive the hybrid.

    On a much bigger car, the % price increase to make it hybrid would be less and the fuel savings more, so it might work out, but I've never looked at that.
     
  17. iceburns288

    iceburns288 Formula 3

    Jun 19, 2004
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    Charles M.
    'Wearing a Toyota Prius has become such a sought-after badge among the greenies that some dealers have been asking $5000 over the $21,290 sticker.
    Does this make economic sense? Buy some other frugal car for 20 large- say it gets only 30mpg of $2 gas instead of the Prius's 55mpg and that 5-grand premium on the pice of the car applied to gas will take you 75,000 miles. The Prius wil have been driven 165,000 miles by the time enough dollars are saved on gas to overcome that extra starting cost"
    -Car and Driver, September 2004

    Let's say I buy the non-special car in their lineup, the Echo. Brand new I pay 13,975 (as tested, not base) and it averaged 42mpg on their tests (not including track, but who tracks an Echo?)

    The Prius as-tested was 22,523. Add 4k for premium and it's 26,523.

    Here are the numbers...

    BTW gas is 1.80 a gallon here, about.

    After driving the Echo 200,000 miles it costs me 22,546. That's pretty much the same price as my brand new Prius, minus the premium (I know a guy who knows a guy ;))

    If my guy can't get me a good deal, and I have to pay the premium, I can get another 90k out of the car. So, before my wife gets to drive her Prius, I've literally driven around the world 12 times with 292,797 miles on the odo. :D

    EDIT

    Bah. Screw it. :D
     
  18. tzucc

    tzucc Formula Junior

    Jun 3, 2003
    316
    guys, thanks for posting the math, I appreciate the time you took.
    I suppose the numbers are correct, though a bit optimistic. It's fair to say gas prices could head much higher, and certainly not any lower. So I would like to rerun these calcs at $3 a gallon, for example.

    I wonder what the real gas mileage is for a Prius where that batt is kicking in a lot, vs a light and efficient all gas Civic. Maybe it's more than 2x-3x.

    But your point is well taken. More clearly stated, the point is that from a long term cash outlay perspective, the gas cost savings do not overcome the cost premium of the cool and sought after hybrid. Point well taken. However, over those 100,000 miles, the social cost hasn't been added in with your approach. Clearly the hybrid burned 30% less fuel, hence putting that much less crap in the air. And less money lining the terrorist mid east pockets. Hard to quantify the social costs, but the bills are coming due fast.

    Interesting to read the other day of significant increases in brain illness in the UK due to contact with pollutants and other man made toxins. We may reach a tipping point soon where all of a sudden, the whole ecosystem just falls apart. Well, this post went way off topic, so I'll stop here.
     
  19. mk e

    mk e F1 World Champ

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    Here it is at $4.00 per gallon.

    The civiv hybrid costs $19650+6% tax where I live, = $20829. Honda says 46/51 mgp, so 48.5 average mpg. 100,000/48.5 x $4.00=$8247 in fuel. The total cost is then 20829 + 8247= 29076.

    The civic sedan costs $13000+6% tax where I live, = $13780. Honda says 32/37 mgp, so 34.5 average mpg. 100,000/34.5 x $4.00=$11594 in fuel. The total cost is then 13780 + 11594= 25374.

    Then (29076-25374)/25374= 15% more to drive the hybrid. So the gap is half what it was. It looks like about $6 pre gallon is were the price needs to go to make it work out even.

    That is a pretty tough one that I've struggled with. I've just never been sure how to get at the number to do the math. The best I've come up with is this. Cars are a commodity build in factories that are pretty well designed. I think the last I saw labor is about 20% of the cost and profit 5%. The other 80% is material and overhead, like electricity and heat. The materials are also commodities, so again 20% labor and 5% profit with 75% buying energy or tooling. And this continues right to the point of the ore being dug out of the ground, 75% is the fuel and the trucks. So in the end, about 75% of the cost of a car is the cost of the energy that went in to building it. That means if one want to you what car burns the least amount of fuel from the time it’s created to the time it dies, you take 75% of the selling price plus the fuel it burns during it’s life and I think you are about there. I'll be conservative and say 50%, So:

    The civiv hybrid energy is $19650 x .5= $9825. Honda says 46/51 mgp, so 48.5 average mpg. 100,000/48.5 x $2.00=$ 4124 in fuel. The total cost is then 9825 + 4124 = $13949.

    The civic sedan energy is $13000 x .5 = $6500. Honda says 32/37 mgp, so 34.5 average mpg. 100,000/34.5 x $2.00=$5797 in fuel. The total cost is then $6500 + 5797 = 12297.

    Then (13949 + 12297)/12297= 13% more energy to build and drive the hybrid. And I think that is very conservative. Buying and drive a hybrid burns more oil than driving a gas power car. It is worse for the environment, it burns more oil and makes more polution. What a hybrid does do is make about 30% less polution in the city where it is driven at the price of 50% more polution in the city where it it and it's parts are made. Youy get more total polution, it's just spread more evenly around the world instead of concetrated in the US for us to see. Kind of like a "don't ask don't tell" plan for dealing with polution. I just have to lauch every time a see a tree-hugger type get into a hybrid :)
     
  20. Challenge

    Challenge Formula 3

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    mk e-
    Good analysis. I've always wondered about the cost/benefit of these cars, just not enough to do the math (because I'm not considering one) :)
     
  21. tzucc

    tzucc Formula Junior

    Jun 3, 2003
    316
    Mk e, great attempt at quantifying the social cost. I think it's as fair approach as any.

    However, you are taking a percentage of the cost premium and implying a (polluting) energy consumption cost. Well, the cost premium here may be tied much more to the higher cost of production due to both amortized R&D cost recovery as well as costlier parts used (because of less volume) on the factory floor.

    Which imply much less direct connection to energy consumption. In other words, just because it costs more, doesn't *necessarily* imply producing the costlier car actually incurred more energy consumption.

    Let me try again: if the special parts on the Prius cost more due to the R&D needed to make it and because much fewer are made, it doesn't mean it cost more energy at the marginal unit of production.

    Anyway, I like your attempt at looking at first order analysis. I think if we really looked into it from a different approach, the results might be reversed. I don't know... my intuition says it's a good thing to burn less gas per mile, and I think most of the cost premium is not traceable to production energy consmption.
     
  22. mk e

    mk e F1 World Champ

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    You're right, it's definately a first order analysis and can only be correct if the item in question can be considered a commodity. Electric motors, batteries, motor speed controlers and such I think would all qualify, but as you say, tooling and such may be distorting the results. More data could easily swing the result the other way, but I don't think by much. A hybrid just plain has a lot more parts in it, so more time and materials go into maufacturing it, so it has to consume more energy to build it. I just am not sure how to get at exactly how much more.

    I think they do make some sense in a place like LA where getting polution out of the city is key even if it means more total polution. Although a better solution would be getting people to just move out of the city and take their car with them. Maybe tax credits to move to Montana. Anyway, I don't think they are everything they are claimed to be, but at least they beat the pants off anything a fuel cell could ever do.

    I truely believe the best thing anyone who is concerned with the environment can do is talk a freind out of buying and SUV.
     
  23. DGS

    DGS Three Time F1 World Champ
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    Which is the "normal" reaction -- if you don't consider the energy cost to produce more complex parts, to replace more complex parts more often, and the problem of disposing of worn out, environmentally disasterous batteries.

    These hybrids are good PR, and the car companies had to start somewhere, but I think we're still waiting for the technology that will displace the internal combustion mill in the future.

    Maybe a Tesla turbine or fuel cells juiced by hydrogen peroxide? (Insert blonde joke here.) ;)

    And, with EFI controlled valve timing and variable ratio gearboxes still to come, we haven't really exhausted the capabilities of the gas engine.
     
  24. tzucc

    tzucc Formula Junior

    Jun 3, 2003
    316
    To get to the real truth on the net net effect of hybrids you guys are right. You have to look well past the MPG. And you may very well be right. However, if the tables turned and most production started to focus on hybrids, then economies of scale would suck most of the inefficiencies that you point out could offset todays advantages. You still have the lead acid battery disposal/recycling issue. Maybe recycling can get really efficient and enviro clean.

    Certainly, for any every day driver, we should all dump the SUVs and trucks and get something that does 30mpg or better. The effect on the the enviro would have to be huge.
     
  25. PSk

    PSk F1 World Champ

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    mk e,

    One problem with your maths in countries like Australia ... diesel is almost as expensive as petrol, thus your running costs of a diesel go right out the window.

    In the end for ONLY city driving (which is hardly driving is it ... ie, you move every minute) surely the economy and pollution benifits are great of these hybrids.

    Yes I fully understand that they cost more to make (but that will get better, as I guess will diesel technology) but I DO like the idea of not polluting at all when I sit in a traffic jam.

    One day the Aussie government might actually stop taxing diesel so much ... but as they hate the trucking industry, I doubt it!

    Pete
    ps: My sisters family in NZ have run diesel cars for years (and her husband is an ex-rally driver) ... but again over there you get large road tax (based on mileage like trucks) ... but atleast the fuel is cheap.
     

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