"Axle of Evil" - J Bonington Jagworth
.. being the title of an excellent article about 4x4's (SUV's) in the US. See:
www.thenewrepublic.com/docprint.mhtml?i=20030120&s...3

"All the decent people who buy SUVs with the idea that they are safe or chic must recognize that their vehicles are pollution- spewing hogs.." should raise some reaction!
Axle of Evil - Dwight Van Driver
ZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzz

Sorry JBJ

DVD
Axle of Evil - J Bonington Jagworth
"ZZZZZzzz"

Yes, I know, but the significance is that even the Americans are waking up to it. I also hadn't appreciated that 'cars' had to meet much more stringent emission regulations. The oil/political implications are interesting, too, although I don't want to stray off topic too much...
Axle of Evil - Andrew-T
JBJ - why are the Yanks producing a new generation of silly cars like the 13-litre Caddy with 24-inch wheels reported in this weekend's press?
Axle of Evil - James_Jameson
Because that's what Americans do.
"Axle of Evil" - CMark {P}
I thought this article was contentious, hysterical and, as DVD points out, rather dull. The many valid points it was trying to make are diluted by the writer's wittering style.

Here are some more quotes:

"The insides of many SUVs are actually cramped! Try to wedge yourself into the backseat of the cost-no-object four-door Range Rover SUV and you will long for a regular car."

"The maximum safe load for the pre-2002 Explorer was 1,300 pounds [591 kg], the same limit as for the mid-size Ford Taurus...In this golden age of American obesity, four passengers alone can come perilously close to the 1,300-pound maximum safe load. Add lots of stuff and your SUV is over its rated weight, which adds to the risk of tire failure and loss of control." [Same thing then applies to the Taurus stuffed with four 23 stone fatsos.]

"Front-wheel-drive systems are clearly superior to rear-wheel drive for traction, because front-wheel drive places the drive wheels under the vehicle's primary weight, the engine, which is good for stickiness". [stickiness? I thought that was a measure of the adhesion of a month-old half-eaten lollipop to the back seat fabric.]

"All that four-wheel drive does is to add rear-wheel power to a front-wheel-drive setup--but it is the rear wheels that are likely to spin in the first place...In highway driving conditions, four-wheel drive offers no advantages over front-wheel drive."

"...these behemoths will begin entering the used-car market, where they will be purchased by immigrants, the lower middle class, and the poor, who generally speed, run lights, drive drunk, and crash more often than the prosperous classes. It is sad but true that the less well-off, and especially immigrants, drive more recklessly than the well-off; and the fines, the points, the raised insurance rates, the revoked licenses, and the greater incidence of crashes are all reasons that they tend to stay less well-off."

JBJ said: '...even the Americans are waking up to it' ? Hardly. Why are sales still increasing? And why is the average weight and size of SUVs bought also still increasing?

IMO, There is a massive crisis looming for the big three US auto makers due to economic reliance on SUVs and pick-ups. An unusually good piece by Jamie Kitman in CAR (December 2002) argues that "the American family car is now Japanese, and American makers have no excuse".

CMark
Chairman, Jordan 4x4 Adventure and engineer.
"Axle of Evil" - J Bonington Jagworth
Fair enough, but I didn't say I agreed with the piece!

I admit to playing devil's advocate somewhat, and I agree about the turgid writing style (sadly common to US publications). The title was the best bit, I think, although the other reason for mentioning it was the new (to me) information about emissions and other regulations being relaxed for SUV's. Once the gross weight is over 6000lb (2.67 tons) the rules seem to disappear almost completely!

Clearly the writer wasn't an engineer, or he wouldn't have claimed that: "Front-wheel-drive systems are clearly superior to rear-wheel drive for traction", although in the case of an unladen pick-up, with 80% of the weight over the front wheels, he is not wholly wrong.

BTW, if you think that "There is a massive crisis looming for the big three US auto makers due to economic reliance on SUVs and pick-ups" why do you not think that "..even the Americans are waking up to it"? Just a question of timescale, presumably.

Finally, and please excuse ignorance, but what is the 'Jordan 4x4 Adventure'?
"Axle of Evil" - CMark {P}
Hi JBJ,
re: looming crisis - I don't see much evidence of the Americans waking up to it by way of changing buying patterns. Increased fuel prices will probably be the catalyst that is required to shake them from their current habits. Then the big three will not have any suitable product to offer when they switch away from SUVs and PUs.

Jordan 4x4 Adventure is the rather grand title of the off-road driving club I co-started out here. I mentioned this to imply/ indicate that I am the owner of an SUV that does get used off-road (and also to drop the kids off at school).

CMark
"Yesterday I couldn't spell engineer, now I are one."
High Price of Petrol - puntoo
fuel economy = less petrol used = less reliance on opec = no need to bomb a certain middle eastern county and no need to drill for oil in alaska (for a few years at least)....

The one thing about high petrol prices in this country is that it does start to make you think about the economy of the vehicle you drive. If it was 10p a litre then I wouldn't give a toss if my 13 litre mud chugger only achieved 5 miles to the gallon.
"Axle of Evil" - J Bonington Jagworth
Thanks, CMark. I expect the Yanks will have to be dragged kicking and screaming from their SUV's, although a war in the Middle East might do it. The 13-litre Caddy mentioned by Andrew above is probably a symptom of the same mindset, as is the Dodge Viper engined motorbike (!) mentioned by me in another thread. Perhaps it's a last hurrah, partying while the ship goes down.

What does surprise me about the US is their protectionism towards home industries - strange for a fiercely capitalist country that ostensibly believes in free trade...

 

Value my car