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From the 60's until recently double wishbone suspension was the default racing suspension and also for road supercars and there is is so much technical literature concerning their benefits widely available, such as more negative camber giving more stability and adhesion to the tarmac, plus a more constant wheel alignment as you steer. I would say that a dedion rear axle has certain benefits over double wishbones as used by caterham who chose dedion suspension for their quite focused minimalist sports car.
macpherson struts are cheap and uncomplicated to produce and are used extensively on many cars, including my own Fiats for which they do a great job as they are not weighty and provide good road comfort. However this suspension has its own defects also and on the 4C the short travel rear suspension and ride quality was the defect commonly reported by road testers that hampered handling compared to the Renault Alpine whose rear suspension allows the car to breathe with the changes in camber allied to a much better ride quality.

Recently for road supercars many have adopted double wishbones up front and multilink at the rear to allow better fine tuning of the rear.
 

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Both the 4C Coupe and Spider are ridiculously small for the American market where Alfa probably hoped to sell well.
The Cabins of both cars are much tighter than Giulietta and Giulia Coupes and Spiders from the 1950s and 1960s.
When the cars were introduced, the average younger American drivers were considerably taller and more robust in size than in 1960, even if they are in great shape physically.
Why did they make those beautiful cars SO DARN SMALL ?
Have you ever tried on clothing from Europe? Their Large is not our Large. That might help with understanding why we need larger cars here. ;) I am not referring to being over weight either. American's are just larger folk. Maybe because we have room to stretch out over here. lol
 

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We have been and are familiar with many Japanese people, as friends, exchange students, and professional people, here and in Japan, all either Japanese or USA citizens. One thing we noticed, and they tend to acknowledge, is that when they were raised with a typical Japanese diet in Japan, they were in general of smaller stature, but for those raised on a more western diet, or raised in the West, they grew just plain larger. The younger the person, the bigger the average stature seems.

I remember riding in one of the very first Datsun pickups brought into the US (grade school chum's father had the first Datsun dealer in the States), and I could not fit into it without a great deal of discomfort, lol.

So, yes, Some of the reason for some larger cars is the increase in modern stature, but as well, it's just an ego thing. That's been written up and studied, as I've read in the Science mags we get.

Then, in comparison, lol, we have airliners, where the seats and spacing have been shrinking, thus contributing to the increased unrest and discomfort experienced when flying. Compared to the old days, we both now hate flying.

Same for ancient suits of armor in Europe. They are really small in size and the average modern man cannot fit within, having been raised on modern Western diets. It's the better diet for the most part, regardless of the junk food most tend to eat as well.


Finally: "Take off the Archie Bunker hat"

Oooh, that really hurts.
 

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Any successful sports car combines form and function. I never drove a 4C because I wouldn't even use it as a hearse. In other words, I wouldn't be caught dead in it. It has all the allure of a lug nut.

By contrast, the 8C looks invincible, as if it could cut through the wind like a missile and arrive with all the style of Milan. The 4C looks like someone from Gold's Gym whose taken w-a-y too many steroids and now can't walk or move without looking unnatural. And yet, that's the current trend among cars from Ferrari, Lotus, and other hyper-masculine brands. It's body building showboating instead of ballet power and grace.

Maserati, after the glow of the A6Gs, reached its pinnacle with the original Ghibli. Alfa had a multitude of post-war cars that merited acclaim. But the recent crop of crapulous designs has no distinction once you get beyond the grill. Even if they performed like a car being driven by Fangio, their appearance would make them unlovable. And that's what the market has made clear.
To each their own. To me, the 8C looks gorgeous from afar, but seeing one in person significantly reduced the appeal. The interior is not befitting an expensive exotic, and the whole package is a bit awkward. I honestly prefer the looks of the 4C.

My thoughts on Alfa's failure to (re)launch in the U.S.:

I think the biggest mistake on the 4C was going with a carbon chassis on a car at that price point. There's a reason why carbon had only been attempted on much more expensive cars. They blew the budget on the chassis and had little left over for everything else. Plus, U.S. regulations requiring an additional 300lbs to be added certainly didn't help the impression. It was certainly a small car, but nobody buys a 2-seat roaster for uitility. But I don't think going bigger or more plush with the 4C would have helped either. The only 2-seat cars that sell in any serious volume are the Miata and the Corvette. Both have dedicated built-in followings that will be hard to lure people away from. A 2-seater was never going to be a volume seller- the point was a rolling advertisement to announce the return. It did that to a degree, but they needed to sell in greater numbers to really make a splash.

Rather than the 4c, what they really should have done is reintroduced the Alfa Spider as a genuine up-market Miata-platform car. It should have had a motor with significantly more power than the Miata, along with the swoopier Alfa styling. The Fiat Spider we got was nothing more than an "alt" Miata. It had barely more power and lacked a truly distinctive look.

I think the Giulia itself is stunning, but they needed to be a lot more careful about making sure the bugs were worked out before bringing it to market. They knew (or should have known) that Alfa was working against a reliability stigma, and the early software issues cemented that stigma for the current generation. Even most car-folks I know who love the idea of driving a Giulia Quad are scared of actually buying one. It becomes a self-reinforcing cycle as frightful depreciation sets in, creating one more reason to be wary of buying one new.

The Stelvio was a shameless money grab given the strange obsession we collectively have with SUVs (and tall station wagons meant to look like them), but I don't thing the strategy was bad. I don't expect the new "Tonale" to go anywhere- it's the answer to a question few were asking. Plus, that name really needed to be run by a few more native English speakers who would have told them that Americans are going to say "Toe Nail."

Finally, I think the death of Sergio Marchione may have spelled doom for Alfa - he was a booster of the brand. Without him, I don't see the powers that be in FCA allocating it much resources, especially in light of recent performance.
 

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The 8c (modern) is just a Maserati wearing different clothes. I'm amazed that Alfisti don't get upset about that.

Would we rave about an Alfa Romeo built on a Toyota Corolla too?

And yes I know my 156v6 uses a FIAT platform but it has a 100% Alfa Romeo engine which the 8c (modern) does not.

It upsets me that the modern Guilia QV has a Ferrari engine with 2 cylinders cut off (and before you start saying it doesn't, lets be real. Same designer, same bore and stroke, same included angle ... and it makes engineering and financial sense).

Yes I understand I'm sort of saying there is no such thing as a true Alfa Romeo anymore, but no I'm not saying that. But picking another car and just changing the body, and slapping an Alfa badge on it does not make it an Alfa to me.

The Guilia was atleast designed as an Alfa, even though it uses FIAT and Ferrari based engines. You cannot say that about the 8c (modern).
Pete
 

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It's the future. No engine to maintain. I drove a model S the other day. Pretty amazing. Fast as ****!
Yep
Pete
 

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Electric vehicles cannot be the future. The power generation requirements for that to happen are technically and economically insurmountable.

For "back of the envelope" calculations* just compare the energy stored in the average ICE powered vehicle's fuel tank to the same stored in an EV onboard battery. Then multiply that by the number of ICE powered vehicles you intend to replace and convert that to generating capacity and transmission.

No matter how you manipulate those numbers there wil be no answer that can be implemented.

I M P O S S I B L E.


* you will need to download the PDF file from here:

https://www.manhattan-institute.org/green-energy-revolution-near-impossible
 

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Electric vehicles cannot be the future. The power generation requirements for that to happen are technically and economically insurmountable.

For "back of the envelope" calculations* just compare the energy stored in the average ICE powered vehicle's fuel tank to the same stored in an EV onboard battery. Then multiply that by the number of ICE powered vehicles you intend to replace and convert that to generating capacity and transmission.

No matter how you manipulate those numbers there wil be no answer that can be implemented.

I M P O S S I B L E.


* you will need to download the PDF file from here:

https://www.manhattan-institute.org/green-energy-revolution-near-impossible

It is the future. You're not looking at the bigger picture here you're still riding on the oil gravy train mentality. Once all manufacturers move to Electric there will be the progression to another fuel type. Solar Hydrogen or whatever. It's going to overlap, ICE vehicles will move on to recycling and Battery will become the new, then there will be an overlap of other alternative fuels that will come to the market as it will be a race who can come up with the next best fuel. This will be similar to and maybe parallel the demise of Capitalism.

If the plans for most cities to move to more Solar and wind power electric will be even more clean. No reliance on coal.

The Manhattan Institute is know as being biased to the right. I am not interested in a neoconservative "paper". They keep a foot in the libertarian camp as well, mainly through work with the network of laissez-faire think tanks funded by Koch Industries

Everything I have studied and read over the past 6 years or more (2 1/2 years in a Sustainability Master's Program) has said the opposite of this.
 

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Neither science nor engineering is left or right. Apolitical. Numbers are numbers. I will say that left leaning politicos tend to be more sceptical about the objectivity of science, engineering and mathematics. Numbers do not lie. Facts remain facts despite any form of political persuasion.

There is no other " fuel source". Hydrogen and so on are energy storage systems as for batteries. The energy has to be captured somehow in order to manufacture these "alternative fuels" all of which are misnamed.

Biofuels would work as a method of storing solar energy. Most require diversion of food production to create the biofuel. There is potential to convert waste into heat and then electricity.

You have geothermal which extracts heat energy from subsurface, cooling the planet below ground. You have hydro electricity which utilizes solar energy lifting water from sea level to some elevation where it is recovered as the water flows back down to sea level. You have direct solar capture either light or heat. You have nuclear power currently used to generate heat which is converted to electricity.

The underlying problem is currently insurmountable. Fossil fuels are ancient solar energy stored at very high density. Biofuels are fossil fuels not going through that metamorphosis and convert current solar energy to portable energy. All the other "alternative fuels" rely on generating electricity. That requires staggering amounts of new generation infrastructure. Truly staggering. Ain't happening.
 

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You know, Michael, you are sometimes somewhat of a 'downer/naysayer' person, lol. All I'll say is that the centuries are full of statements by well meaning people saying, "it's impossible or nothing new to know" but later, scientific inquiry/ingenuity, perceptive invention, and even serendipity end up sometimes making it possible, one way or another.

To be sure, time will tell, but I for one am always hesitant to always say "it's impossible", since so many otherwise well educated people have ended up getting it wrong.
 

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Neither science nor engineering is left or right.
That's not what I am referring to. Papers and studies can be funded by folks who want a specific outcome to influence in a political way and if you dig deeper The Manhattan Institute is one of those. Science is Science. But science papers can be manipulated. Was that paper peer reviewed? Doubt it. Although they mention Bill McKibben, who I have met and talked with extensively a few times mostly about divestment from fossil fuels, I am not sure their motive here. I have also talked with Naomi Klein with Bill McKibbens about all of this and a few others.

I was born into a science family, I do not deny numbers and facts. I agree but it's how it is presented and who presents it is typically the issue.

There are many fuel alternatives already out there, problem is oil lobbying. If Tesla is out selling competitors with ICE or Hybrids or electric, those manufacturers will need to step up and offer what Tesla is offering. If Tesla moves to a new technology, others will follow suite. This will be the progression of a better fuel and our path towards true zero emissions.

I think Biofuel could be a stellar way of using up waste from food which produces huge amounts of carbon dioxide, 3.3 Billion tons of CO2 globally. That food waste could be used for fuel. In Italy they do this. When I lived in Sienna Italy, they have a special pick up on Tuesday's for food leftovers which they use to make Bio-diesel.

"An Exercise in Magical Thinking" this just threw this article for me. Red flags! You have to be dense to not see where this article is headed.

To the report itself, it's main argument is that '"some people" are saying energy can evolve in the way that computing and communications have under Moore's Law and software innovation, therefore since energy can't evolve that fast we should just keep using fossil fuel.' That is a "straw man" argument.

The intent behind the analysis in the article is to preserve the fossil fuel business model, plain and simple So the Manhattan Institute and their cronies are arguing that instead of writing down the assets of fossils in the ground, pipelines, refineries and infrastructure, that everyone else should write down their real estate assets. Their other argument is that fossil fuels are cheap and renewables are expensive.

If you look at the energy content of oil, it's priced at about $.03 US/ kWh at $50/barrel wholesale, not including externalities: health and military costs, saying nothing about the cost of climate change. Current oil price is $60-80. So fossil fuels even without pricing in externalities are not cheap compared to renewables.

We already have a problem with weather disaster costs, paid for by the federal government and private insurance companies. Very expensive real estate will need to eventually be written off, and there will be increasing loss of life. Florida is an example. Seawalls and even Netherlands-style levees are not going to help if you can't get drinking water and dispose of sewage https://www.climatecentral.org/news/the-future-is-now-for-sea-level-rise-in-south-florida. Even fossil fuel central, Houston had terrible flooding in 2017. New York and New Jersey are revising flood maps. Nebraska is experiencing it now. The floods in Venice this year provide a graphic example of the future: https://www.euronews.com/video/2019/02/03/high-tide-floods-parts-of-venice-s-historic-centre

The military studies climate induced conflicts. One on the horizon is Bangladesh which is primarily Islamic and surrounded by primarily Hindu India and primarily Buddhist Burma-Myanmar. https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=9162438.

It is within our capability to phase out fossil fuels. If the "magical thinking" of carbon capture and sequestration happens, all the better.

The Department of Energy NREL has innumerable studies of exactly how we can increase renewables using current technology. The most inexpensive energy source is efficiency, which is a huge job generator for residential retrofits.

Tesla will change everything. Watch and see.
 

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You know, Michael, you are sometimes somewhat of a 'downer/naysayer' person, lol. All I'll say is that the centuries are full of statements by well meaning people saying, "it's impossible or nothing new to know" but later, scientific inquiry/ingenuity, perceptive invention, and even serendipity end up sometimes making it possible, one way or another.

To be sure, time will tell, but I for one am always hesitant to always say "it's impossible", since so many otherwise well educated people have ended up getting it wrong.
The inspiration of genius is an illusion caused by our perceptions of time.

Each time I examine some apparently brilliant inspiration I find it is nothing of the sort. Take evolution for example, a brilliant insight revealed to the world in 1859. Not only did two people concurrently discover this phenomenon, Darwin had most of it figured out 20 years before that, or more. Then we find out that his grandfather probably had it figured out in the previous century.

Flight took at least 500 years to figure out, and possibly a millennium if the myth of Icarus has any basis in fact. Steam power? 150 years not counting Heron's device. And so on.

"Moores Law" has been compared to battery storage efficiency without any foundation, leaving aside the fact that Moores Law isn't anything more than a lucky prediction which is just now petering out.

Autonomous driving isn't even a theory yet.

There's a difference between optimism about what may be possible, a cure for cancer perhaps, and what is impossible based on what science tells us today. EV are certainly possible, obviously. Replacing fossil fuels with "alternative fuels" is clearly impossible based on any accumulation of knowledge we have today or can conceive of ever having.

So, have no fear that the ICE is going away anytime soon.

Just btw, there is no "oil industry model" dominating the world's energy supply systems. Consumer demand drives every business enterprise. Business merely responds to that demand. This has always been the case. Innovation may create demand but only because the innovator seeks to do so.

Ask me how women drove the invention of iron and steel, pottery and the power loom. The men who thought they were inventors were actually seeking happy wives.....
 

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Whatever, let's get back on subject.

No, it's not the end of Alfa. Yet...
 

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I agree. And Jason, I hope your capitalistic enterprise is doing well! :grin2:

Just kidding.. no offense meant, my friend.
Haha. Have to work within the system to get out of it. ;) Someday maybe!
 

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WSJ reported today that several car makers, GM, VW, etc, are giving up entirely on hybrid cars, concentrating on pure electric as the path to the future. Interesting. No mention of FCA.
 

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I am so glad they made this car. From the 80's 2 Alfetta sedans and one coupe, a GTV-6, 3 164's, and then a 94 164Q -- what a great car.
My 2018 Ti Q2 sport everything (I think) is my first new car (63 yo) and it is like I am Rip Van Winkle. Sure lidar and adaptive cruise control but (electronic suspension) the car turns into a corner so sweetly. I never use the paddle shifters -- the AT is that good. I think it is a good size and a good looking MF to boot.

-Mark
 
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