Would you rather drive a slow car fast, or a fast car slow?
It's an age old question that will have a different answer for each person...
It’s generally believed that there’s more fun to be had in ragging a slow car than exercising restraint in a supercar. It’s a viewpoint that is grounded in the delight you can reap through exploiting 100 percent of a car’s potential the majority of the time, as opposed to a slither depending on the road and conditions. But then, in reference to this subject, I heard a journalist say that she would rather hold back a thoroughbred than kick a donkey. And for me, the sentiment behind that statement brought the whole issue back into question.
It’s easy to see why driving a slow car fast is enjoyable. The moment your foot hits the floor in even a modestly powerful car, the sweet nectar of adrenalin starts to pour into your system - despite the speed that typically inspires it not being present in its usual quantity. This sensation is supported by the knowledge that you can accelerate hard for a while and still remain within the bounds of the law. Not to mention that a slower car allows you the opportunity to focus a higher portion of your consciousness onto other factors that make driving enjoyable.
There are a number of elements that define a performance car that transcend the outright performance itself - primarily, the way a car communicates with you and the way it reacts to your inputs. This feeling of being truly at one with the machine - of feeling like the car is a limb you weren’t aware was missing until you drove it - can be more pleasurable than any amount of acceleration. Speaking personally, while I’ve driven cars that have close to a thousand horsepower, the most engaging experiences I’ve had have been in cars with less than 150bhp.
On the other side of the argument, you have the might of the supercar glitterati, and the infrequency of which you can truly utilise their potential. But it’s the things that we aren’t able to do all of the time that provide the most pleasure when we indulge in them. Not to mention that when such an opportunity arises, the impermanence of the occasion immediately primes our excitement for the following golden chance.
When you thread a modern supercar through the corners, you needn’t bother trying to concentrate on the minutiae of steering feel, because each ounce of your consciousness will be involuntarily dedicated to the rather important job of keeping you alive. But even when you’re not travelling quickly, a supercar can be a special place to just sit and exist. With each trait of the machine crafting an overall experience that really is unlike any other.
As this debate will depend significantly on people’s own preferences and lived experiences, it’s impossible to come to a definitive answer. For me personally, there’s more fun to be found in driving a slow car fast than vice versa. But what about you guys? Would you rather pull back on the reigns of a thoroughbred, or kick that donkey? Let me know by voting below, and feel free to elaborate in the comments.
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