What % would you allocate to car performance vs. reliability?

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I would put 100% into reliability. Any automaker in todays world can make the horsepower. I would lean towards a rock solid transmission with many gears to get the best power out of a 180 horsepower or greater engine and use a turbo if necessary. Gas mileage would be very important too. Some people will drive top shelf vehicles no matter how often they break down and like to complain about going to the dealership all the time. I like reliability and it's very important to me. The Corvette and Jeep are really not that reliable in my fleet of cars compared to the Honda and my F-150. The lowly Civic is the most reliable and it just keeps on going.
 
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OP asked: "What % of 100 would you allocate into each category?"
I answer: 95:5 (reliability to performance). Everybody's contribution here is valid.
Meritorious suggestion: Trav's limits on electric vehicles to increase range. I'll add that limiting the performance extremes would enable more electric vehicles to be built sooner.
 
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30% performance and 70% reliability on a daily drive, 70% performance and 30% on a weekend/hobby car. I owned fast car before, but cars performance was wasted because of the traffic and traffic laws/speed limits.
 
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I think this is where there is a large disconnect that occurs in humans between their brains (logic/reason) and their emotional sides. Pardon my analogy, but it's much like dating and marriage. Men and women think they know what they want, which is the ultra hot performance model. But after 50 breakups and 2 divorces, they finally tire of the lack of reliability and gravitate toward the plain model that always starts, and gets you where you need to be on time without a big price tag and breakdown hassles.

Same is true with consumers. They get easily (emotionally) sold on big over-promises, flash, power, exciting new lines and sounds and performance. But I think, in reality, a consumer would be thrilled to have a really great reliable car that lasts 20 years even if it's not the fastest or it appears dated. If it's never in the shop, the paint hasn't peeled off, the knobs and seats haven't fallen apart, etc. I can speak for myself this quality in a average performing vehicle is far more important than 500 Horsepower in a truck that's in the shop every 6 months chasing electrical gremlins and mechanical problems, consuming oil, leaking transmission, weird vibrations, etc.
My wife did some modeling in NYC as a young adult, is a Brown grad and makes more money than me. We are soulmates.
 
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I almost always lean towards reliability in my decisions on purchase. And I've found that even when I buy a high performance car, I really don't use it's capacity like I should...example...I'll buy a 500 HP vehicle and baby it/put around in it. However reliability? I'll take those capacities to the max. I'll try to get 300k out of a car/engine and it means a lot to me.
 

OVERKILL

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Maybe, but I think each of those engines, or transmissions, etc. could be improved rather than scrapped. A great example of what I'm talking about is Ford replaced a successful 30-year proven Lima V8 with the poorly designed modular Triton in 4.6L which was a great short term powerhouse but suffered significant reliability longevity problems. Everyone that knows Ford recommends avoiding those engines!
Ummm, the Modular was, and is, one of the best engines ever made. Also, the V8 you are alluding to was the Windsor, not the Lima, the Lima engines are V6's. The Modular family has been on Ward's Best list an obscene number of times all the way back to 1996, most recently with the Coyote in 2019.

But you've inadvertently, with the above gaffes, touched-on some of the necessary nuance/details that are oft missed when somebody tries to broad-brush a topic such as this.

The Modular was developed as a "modernized" version of the 427 SOHC, originally under the "Hurricane" moniker. It was designed to improve on some of the weaknesses/shortfalls of the pushrod Windsor, such as the bottom-end, so it featured a deep skirted multi-bolt main configuration along with side bolts.

It was originally a 4" bore design (like the Windsor) but because there were some plans to fit it to a FWD configuration (the Continental) the design was revised and the bore size, and spacing, reduced so that this was possible. The original design was shelved.

The first variant of this engine was introduced as the 4.6L 2V in the Panther cars. The engine was unremarkable. Power was similar to the outgoing Windsor (302). The engine was reliable. It eventually made its way into the Mustang and F-series trucks.

A taller deck height (5.4L) and V10 (6.8L) version were also introduced to provide more HP/torque for truck and SUV applications.

The PI version was introduced in the late 90's, which featured revised pistons (dished), camshafts and cylinder heads that flowed better. However, a design decision was made in order to expedite assembly on both the 32-valve (DOHC) and 16-valve (SOHC) engines that involved more of a "lead" in the spark plug holes so that they would self-centre. This reduced the number of threads that actually engaged the plug (3-4 at the bottom of the hole) and resulted in a situation where, if those threads were damaged, say during a plug change, that one could eject. This was corrected around 2002-2003 when the process was modified to be feature fully-threaded plug holes again.

The 2V modular engines enjoyed a very long production run and had a reputation for dependable service. The million mile Ford van is but one example. The obsession with the panther cars, many which were former LEO, taxi or Limo service tells that story well. An extremely robust powertrain that's relatively simple to work on and will go obscene distances with minimal maintenance.

Along with the 2V modular, its DOHC siblings, mainly the 5.4L in the Navigator, 4.6L in the Continental, 4.6L in the Mustang Cobra and the supercharged variants also saw excellent service. The 4.6L DOHC mill was eventually replaced by the 5.0L Coyote, which was the next generation of this platform.

Somewhere around 2005 Ford introduced the 3V engines which were an SOHC design that had variable cam timing. These engines were designed to improve performance but experienced problems with the phaser system as well as spark plugs that would break-off in the heads, requiring considerable effort to remove. This variant does not have the reputation for reliability of its predecessors. This engine is no longer in production.

Hurricane was eventually renamed "BOSS" and introduced as the 6.2L in the Raptor, eventually making its way into other trucks.
GM's 7.4L and 5.7L motors put on the scrapheap I believe long before their time, I could be wrong. But just looking at their various configurations is a dizzying array of engines. One would think, let's take a size, say a 5.7L and make the most perfect long-living engine in every respect we can. Why do we need a 5.3L, a 5.5L, a 5.9L, and so forth? Make one perfect widget in that size with every design and material consideration improvement feasible...
Because not everybody wants a gas-sucking 6.0L engine, so different sizes, which make different amounts of power, are produced to satisfy that need. Same reason Ford produced 4.6L, 5.4L and 6.8L versions of the Modular.

The venerable SBC (5.7L and 5.0L/350 and 305) engines were replaced by better ones, just like with the Windsor, that addressed similar deficiencies. The LSx engines are better in every respect than the old SBC.
Instead we get engines with really poorly thought out designs, like the C4 Corvettes had their ignition coil low under or near the water pump in a place prone to get wet. Who would design this so poorly? Fix that design problem from the start, or fix it later, and work the bugs out of that system rather than just dumping the engine entirely and going to the LT1 or whatever.
The C4 featured different performance variants of the SBC, the same engine you just lamented the loss of above. The L98, LT1 and LT4 are all 350ci SBC's. The SBC saw numerous "tweaks" over the years, such as different fuel injection systems, as those evolved, and different ignition systems, such as going from HEI to Optispark, where the distributor was moved from the back, squeezed under the cowling at the firewall, to the timing cover, where it was driven off the cam gear.
Take the modern variable cylinder technology that many companies employ under different names. These save very little fuel economy at the expense of poor reliability and expensive repairs. I think Chevy calls it AFS, Honda VTEC, Toyota VVTI, Chrysler MDS, etc. I read a lot of forums and these are near the top of the complaints and consumers seem to really hate this feature....
Chrysler's MDS system has been extremely reliable. While there have been some lifter failures, that's a supplier problem with the lifters themselves and has nothing to do with the variable displacement system and has impacted non-MDS engines as well. GM has had a similar problem with their AFM engines, also lifter failures, likely the same supplier. However, GM also had a problem with their AFM engines consuming oil, a problem FCA hasn't had.

Honda's VTEC is their variable valve timing (not displacement) system. Their variable displacement system was called VCM and because it didn't alternate cylinders and some other poor choices, had a tendency to create sludge/varnish. @Trav has a lot of experience dealing with this in the Honda V6's.

The main complaints about MDS are the "stumble" you might experience if you kick it out of MDS when it's trying to shift or accelerate at low RPM, the rumble, which in some platforms that don't have the active isolators, you can feel, and the exhaust note, which, if you have aftermarket exhaust, gets a bit funky when it's running as a 4-pot. I own two MDS equipped vehicle and other than the exhaust note, it is mostly imperceptible on the RAM because of the active isolation system which uses frame-mounted electronic dampening devices that cancel out the MDS "rumble". The SRT, I'm sitting much closer to the engine and it lacks that feature, so you can feel a bit of a rumble when it goes in and out of MDS, though you can't really hear it in the exhaust because that's factory.

I've owned 4x 6.4L MDS vehicles and 2x 5.7L MDS ones. We also have a small fleet of RAM 1500's at work. We've had absolutely zero issues with the system over roughly a combined fleet mileage of ~1.4 million miles (2.1 million Km) and only one case of lifter failure.
 
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Depends on the consumer, for a normal 35k car I’d say 80% reliability and 20% performance. As long as you’ve got a decent interior and tech most normals don’t care about 0-60 times. Car just has to hold 75 down the interstate on cruise control and even the crappiest econo box can do that. Luxury cars are different probably 70/30 performance to reliability. If you’re buying a new 60-70k car regularly you should be making probably low 200s or more and you can eat the massive depreciation or pay the maintenance costs to have a nice vehicle. One of the reasons I tell people car shopping for used cars to not buy something that at MSRP new wouldn’t be remotely attainable for them. A new Corolla buyer isn’t going to be able to afford running a used BMW at the same purchase cost because that BMW was designed to be owned by someone much wealthier than them.
 
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CharlesInCharge

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the marauder was laughably slow lol

Sure bud. 300HP, 320 TQ in a 4100 pound car with 0-60 at 7 seconds and 1/4 mile at 15 seconds stock, for 2003 era, I don't think it's "laughably slow." YMMV.

The 2008 Mustang with the 4.6L produces roughly those numbers in a car about 800 pounds lighter. And that Mercury is roughly the same speed as a 1990 Corvette, 2003 Ford Mustang Mach I, the 1999 Z28 Camaro, 2001 Camaro RS, 2011 Dodge Challenger SE, and faster than the much coveted 1985 Buick Grand National, per 0-60 times website postings. Those times put a driver squarely in performance car ranges for the era.

Otherwise, this has been a lively informative conversation. Thanks everyone for participating and sharing knowledge.
 

CharlesInCharge

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Some of those cars that were cancelled were because of government regulations. Fuel economy, pedestrian safety, crash rating, etc. Plus some of them were selling slow. The companies didn't just kill them off for poop and grins. There were likely very real business cases to be made for not pouring money into aging platforms that couldn't meet regulations without a full redesign.

The Grand National was a dated platform when it was brand new. There's no way GM could have carried that forward with the Japanese coming on as hard as they did in the 80's.

Eh, I disagree. A 34 year old, low mileage, GN recently sold at auction for over $205,000. There's nothing special about that car today regarding performance or styling, other than it's rare. That was a $30,000 car in 1985. Adjusted for inflation it's around $70k, or about the same as a high end modern muscle car. And think of the performance $200k might buy, today. Two Hellcats or Demons, or a supercar that puts down unbelievable performance numbers.

Albeit one example, GM had an absolute gem on their hands and was moronic to kill it in the name of "progress." They should have made it a flagship American muscle car for the ages. Poured resources into reliability and improvements. History confirms this would have been a successful venture - just look at the bursting demand for performance cars - Camaros, Mustangs, Challengers, Nissan 350 and 370, and dozens of others today. In its era there was very little competition for it. The Foxbody Mustang was not impressive. The Corvettes in the mid-1980s were dogs. The GN was faster or as good performer as many of the Euro sports cars like the Porsche 911 and Ferrari 308.

Personally I love the "dated" look, and it has a huge following. However GM could have easily made appearance and performance modifications.
 
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As a boater, and car/ toy guy its 100% reliability. With a car you can get away with cheaper parts but you cannot in a boat.

No one cares how much power a broken mill makes, nor does one do you any good.

I suspect the OP may be referring to safe overhead say build a mill for 500 out of a possible 600 with a given set of parts.
 
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80% reliability 20% performance
I think the large majority of BITOG has high reliability expectations of vehicles, in general.
I would prefer to buy a commuter executed to 6 sigma reliability ( safety and drivetrain ) to 5,000 engine hours.
There are trucks designed and achieving that, but not commuter vehicles.
There are commuters that used to get to just shy of 6 sigma (w/ 5k), but I don't believe that's a pursuit anymore.
I believe that the bulk of these expectations, on the majority beyond BITOG, are shifting to lower and lower engine hours, trading for lower MSRP.
 
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45/55 Performance reliability. Forced to drive an anodyne appliance with 100% reliability would induce me to park it in the garage and leave the motor running.
 
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OK, but the GM, Ford and Mopar smallblock engines have all been ridiculously reliable and all make great power (though they aren't necessarily great on fuel). The HEMI has been in production for close to 20 years now, it's pretty sorted. 485HP, naturally aspirated, port injection, pushrods, it's pretty basic but still makes some great power. The Hellkitty mill is similar, but with boost.

You put one of those in front of the bomb-proof ZF8 and you have a pretty fantastic powertrain that's both powerful, and reliable.

Of course there's more to it than just the powertrain, but some of these "compromises" are being presented as larger than they actually are.
The ford 5.4 three valve is one of the worst engines ever made. The ford 4.6 v8 two valve from the lincoln town car / grand marquis and crown vic is almost the best engine ever made. Same company.
The chevy 350 v8 5 liter is awesome. The 6.2 pretty good.. and the buick 3.8 v6 is amazing.. yet the modern cylinder deactivation stuff is a nightmare.
 
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