what makes a car feel "quick"

Messages
11,656
Location
NorthEast
For me it is very simple. If on the highway (in the top gear), it instantly responds to even slight throttle modulation and on level road it accelerates quicker than it decelerates when I take the foot of the pedal. If 65-80 is much quicker than 80-65, I am happy with the vehicle. Now if itcan accelerate briskly on slight uphill without shifting down, that is icing on the cake. Some cars are eager to accelerate while others need to be pushed to move. I presume horsepower, torque, gearing, weight need to be balanced. Some some car may have more horsepower but might not feel "quick" to me as the other which has less horsepower given everything else. Too simplistic?
 
Messages
40,828
Location
Great Lakes
Too subjective and personal to quantify, IMO. That "quick" feeling is often a result of transmission and throttle programming, if we are talking about automatics.
 
Messages
11,849
Location
PA
1. Throttle response 2. NVH 3. Low curb weight 4. Engine changes pitch drastically as you accelerate Basically, there has to be drama when you accelerate. A manual transmission also goes a LONG way in this respect. If you have all of those things, a really slow car can feel quick (e.g. mine). If you don't, a really quick car can feel slow (e.g. Mercedes CLS550).
 
Messages
1,462
Location
East Mountains, NM
The human body is more sensitive to change in acceleration more so than actual Gs. So, the higher the torque at the rear wheel, and the lower the weight of the vehicle, the more discernible change in acceleration. This part of the reason CVT trannies feel so slow.....No gear changes to give you a kick in the gas.
 
Messages
2,219
Location
CA
50-80mph WOT on a hill response. That's where I'll be cursing the car if it doesn't have it. I don't need the engine to make mountains of noise while doing it, but it needs to be done. Also, I don't want wallowing suspension. Vehicle should be designed for it. On a motorcycle, I like top-gear roll-on torque, but I've never ridden a pocket rocket. As long as I can pass Vikas without breaking a sweat I'm good smile
 
Messages
36,515
Location
ME
Sometimes I wonder why cars are geared so short. My mazda 323 for example could do 5th gear anywhere at 30MPH plus, and spun 3500 RPM on the highway. You'd think it was quick. wink (I'm happy with my saturn, neon, and dad's escort with tall 5th gears that have to drop to 4th for hills.) The human ear is very sensitive to pitch, the pitch of your engine. If you're cruising at 65 and have to slow to 55, the low pitch says, "something's horribly wrong". It's addicting and some (luxury) cars dare you to go faster and faster just to feel like they're running right. But, IMO, they don't "feel fast" even though they cruise effortlessly. So you really need a junky compact car buzzing along to feel quick, I think. cheers
 
Messages
40,828
Location
Great Lakes
Originally Posted By: eljefino
It's addicting and some (luxury) cars dare you to go faster and faster just to feel like they're running right. But, IMO, they don't "feel fast" even though they cruise effortlessly. So you really need a junky compact car buzzing along to feel quick, I think. cheers
There's something to it, for sure. At 70 mph, wife's truck runs below 2k rpm, and since I'm not used to it, it does feel strange, and I feel like punching it just to get the rpms up.
 
Messages
16,259
Location
N.H, U.S.A.
Originally Posted By: d00df00d
If you have all of those things, a really slow car can feel quick (e.g. mine).
I dont think your RX, which runs in the mid 90MPH trap in the 1/4, is "really slow". Unless you are a SCCA trackstar and trying to overtake Carrera 2 and M3 and 350Z one class up smile Ill tell you my Nissan Rogue feels dog slow though its deceptive. I will second: 1) low curb mass under 1 tonne; short, close ratio gearing, snicky shifter, light flywheel, taught damping and direct steering make it feel quick. Add a nice engine note and you're "THERE", baby smile
 
Messages
8,859
Location
Texas
For me, its acceleration WITHOUT drama (or as dishdude and CT8 said: torque). If I blip the throttle and feel a clear sensation of acceleration *without* downshifting, then it feels like a quick, responsive vehicle (In my case, the SRT8 and the '69 Coronet R/T both feel this way). If nothing happens until either the automatic downshifts or unlocks, or if I have to downshift to feel a response then the car feels sluggish to me. That said, its an awful lot of fun to flog a small, light, underpowered vehicle around. But part of the fun is that you're pushing the car to do something it really doesn't feel like it wants to do.
 
Messages
7,256
Location
USA
Oddly our 2005 Legacy GT wagon with 2.5L turbo(250 HP/250 ft-lbs torque) feels extremely quick coupled to manual transmission. I think its the way the vehicle builds boost and lets it out hard starting at 3000RPM and pulls very strongly. Also the noise/feeling of engine, driveline whine, turbo spool noise, and slight press back in seat just feels quick. I have driven cars with better 0-60 times and way more HP, but they don't feel quick.....
 
Messages
1,845
Location
SW Ontario Canada
Soft, deep foam on the driver's seatback. Actually, IMHO, it is the initial reaction to throttle input + overall torque available at given road speed for automatics. A little bark from the exhaust helps too.
 

Nick1994

$50 Site Donor
Messages
13,417
Location
Phoenix, AZ
Originally Posted By: dishdude
Low end torque!
Yup, my car isn't fast, but it can feel pretty quick sometimes. To me what makes a car feel quick is effortless mountain climbing. The Beetle climbing the mountains doesn't slow down and I pass everyone on the way up. Only 177 lb ft. of torque but at 1,800 RPMs works out great.
 
Messages
40,828
Location
Great Lakes
Originally Posted By: Nick1994
To me what makes a car feel quick is effortless mountain climbing. The Beetle climbing the mountains doesn't slow down
Somewhat of a low standard, isn't it? Can't most cars climb mountains without slowing down these days? At least have them fully loaded. smile
 
Messages
2,789
Location
Indiana
Two comments: The most driving excitement (and fun) for me comes from driving ANY vehicle right to its limits. That being said, it's DANGEROUS to drive a new Corvette or Viper to it's limits. You gotta be going CRAZY fast and cornering HARD. No thank you. But to drive a lightweight vehicle that was really never meant to go much faster than 75MPH, and drive that thing hard....it's a lot of FUN!! Even my Honda Ruckus, all 49cc's of it, you can take street corners at 40-45MPH....laying it nearly on its side. It's a RUSH. I'm not a fan of tuner imports, but the smile on my face when I race around the streets in my friend's 4 cylinder boosted Civic wagon pushing 400HP, it's insane. The car weighs in at 1850 pounds!! Going from 30-120MPH is all anyone needs in that thing. But on the other hand, it's a "luxurious ego blast" to drive a twin turbo charged V12 Benz and accelerate QUICKLY from 30-120 in a giant 4 door sedan, and you can drive it with one finger on the steering wheel while drinking your coffee.
 
Top