Car sales are all about numbers and the marketing gurus live and breathe them. If they could give their car a little more horsepower, a little more room, a little better fuel mileage, or one more cup holder than the competition without raising the price, you can be sure they would do it. They are also bound by emissions laws.
Dollars mean everything. Manufacturing cars is a very competitive business. If adding ten more horsepower means they would have to beef up the transmission at a cost of a few dollars per car, they are going to do what allows them to sell more cars which means a lower price. Few people will buy one model because it has ten more horsepower but thousands of people will buy one model over another because of ten dollars less on each monthly payment.
That's not to say you can't make improvements over what came as original equipment but those improvements always come with a cost. What are you willing to give up to get the extra horsepower, fuel mileage, and / or handling. Naturally one of those things will be money. Now your car won't be as economically attractive as it was when you bought it but if you're willing to give that up, that's fine. You may end up with increased emissions. Your car will still be very clean compared to cars of 20 years ago but if you have emissions testing in your area, consider the ramifications of any modifications. Remember, the manufacturers spend a lot of time and money on research and development to meet the emissions laws and now you may be throwing that all away.
You might be giving up reliability too. Increased horsepower puts added strain on the transmission, cv joints, tires, and suspension components. The manufacturer knows they would have had to strengthen those parts if they wanted to add horsepower. What would be the point if they already offered a different model that had those things already designed in? Your model was designed for a specific purpose. It is not intended for pulling a large trailer or hauling a load of construction material. It's not built for racing. It's not a limousine or taxi. If you need it for something other than personal transportation, the better choice is to buy a vehicle that fits your need.
My choice would be to go for increased fuel mileage but with all the computer controls built in, there's very little you can do other than lightening the car. That means throwing out the back seat, or in my case, waiting for the rust to fall off along the highway!
Sunday, August 12th, 2012 AT 12:17 AM