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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For most shock value: something to knock the socks off everyone, a halo car that leads the way, like a gorgeous mid-engine V8 sports car, for under 35K. (Think Vette, Porsche)

Realistically: a compact 4 door sedan, high in value, most car for the buck. (Think Aveo, Accent, Yaris, etc. etc.)

Ideally: a well-equipped mid-sized car-based SUV (aka crossovers) that seats up to 7, beats competitors by thousands. (Think Santa Fe, Highlander)

What I want: is the above crossover, but with all of the luxury amenities found in luxury vehicles. (Think RX, MDX)

Dream vehicle: an S-class like full-size luxury sedan, all aluminum construction, V12 with cylinder deact (so it runs I6 during low load), mild hybrid (so engine shuts off during breaking and idling), and Lexus like 8 spd auto. That would be so sweeeeet.
 

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Engineering and building a fabulous model and setting up a dealer network and managing a car brand in America or indeed Europe, is two entirely different scope of professions.

phaeton said:
I think the Briillance Junjie due to its BMW connection, we all know Americans love BMWs ;)
 

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Ideally, it would actually be several models launched at once,

For the first platform, the following,

A 10-13k 4 door slightly larger than the Ford Fusion/ Mazda 6, with a 4 cyl making 200 hp, and rwd. Cloth interior, good quality, decent warranty. Optional V6 with 260hp. This would be a very sporty (and roomy) sedan.

A 15-20k 2 door muscle-car type, with low weight with the V6 standard. Same thing, cloth interior, low on pricey options. V8 optional with 300-330hp.
This would also be launched simutaneously with a line of aftermarket hi-po parts, cams intakes, exhaust, etc.

A 18-24k 4 door larger than the first, with V6 and V8, optional sports model with V8, manual, 18 inch rims and sports suspension.

An SUV in the 15-20k range, midsize with 5 seats (very roomy though) and 4wd standard, V6 only.

Halo-car, a 2 seat sports car with supercharged or turbocharged V8, making more than 400hp and costing 35k. This would have the most extensively reworked version of the same platform that would be under all the rest. Convertible version would be around 37.5k.


For another platform, I would propose small cars, small 2+2 hatch, with longitudinal 4cy and rwd, and a small 2 seat roadster based upon the same chassis, it could also be used for a small SUV with 1/2 doors in the rear, and optional convertible top on the small SUV. These could all be priced between 10k-15k, with a special edition roadster turbo a little higher. Convertible small SUVs with 4X4 (optional) would probably be right around 15k.

Obviously this would be too large to undertake all at once, so I would pick 4 models to launch at first, then a few more the next year, etc. THis would all be done on two platforms. The engines would be a 4cyl based upon current blocks with heads engineered by Cosworth, and the V6-V8 line would be a modular design using blocks designed by a small engineering firm, and heads again by cosworth, along with the rotating assembly. Manual Transmissions would be the good old BW T-5 for low cost and dependability. AWD would be offered on some 4 door sedans in later years.

Considering all of this could be developed for less than GM usually spends developing 1 car, this is what I would choose to launch in the US with, first with the lower priced models and work up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Whoa, your talking about bringing a lineup of cars, though with some interesting thinking...

A car on a RWD platform is much more expensive to make than one on a FWD platform, when everything is considered. RWD is also not suitable for everyday folks - smaller interior space and less traction when the road condition is not ideal.

For mass produced cars for the masses, when economy, value, and everyday utility are most considered, it's best to stick to a FWD platform, with 4WD available.

For smaller scale production, with the intent for sportiness, prestige, and reputation, then definitely go with a RWD platform, with 4WD available.

Sure, I'd love to see Chinese cars coming over on RWD platforms - 50/50 weight distribution, low center of gravity; imagine poor-man's BMW at Corolla prices - it would be hella sweet...
 

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BringIt said:
Whoa, your talking about bringing a lineup of cars, though with some interesting thinking...

A car on a RWD platform is much more expensive to make than one on a FWD platform, when everything is considered. RWD is also not suitable for everyday folks - smaller interior space and less traction when the road condition is not ideal.

For mass produced cars for the masses, when economy, value, and everyday utility are most considered, it's best to stick to a FWD platform, with 4WD available.

For smaller scale production, with the intent for sportiness, prestige, and reputation, then definitely go with a RWD platform, with 4WD available.

Sure, I'd love to see Chinese cars coming over on RWD platforms - 50/50 weight distribution, low center of gravity; imagine poor-man's BMW at Corolla prices - it would be hella sweet...

I know everyone and their brother thinks creating a RWD car is "much more" expensive, when in actuality it is not.

Let's see, the engine is in the front and has 2 motor mounts, VS. 2-3 for a FWD. About the same cost.

Second, the transaxle in a FWD is more expensive than basic RWD transmissions.

Third, there is the cost of the driveshaft. An aftermarket high quality material high labor draiveshaft for some rwd cars can be bought for 200 dollars.

Fourth then you need mounting points for the rear axle whether it is RWD or not.

Finally, there needs to be a larger hump in the floor.

Also, traction control systems now have made RWD as good as FWD in inclement weather, and much better control in dry weather. Plus mechanical traction control systems are very cheap, and most FWD cars offer some sort of traction control as well.

When you are talking about developing a completely new vehicle, or line of vehicles, especially in a place where development costs are minute compared to the US, it would still cost less to develop the "poor-man's BMW" than it would to develop the FWD vehicle in the US.

I'm not just talking out of an undetermined place, I just think if you are going to do something, don't do it half-assed. Yes I am talking about doing the poor mans BMW without the Electrical gadgets weighing it down and hurting quality. BMW's are so popular because of the way they drive, and you won't achive that with FWD.

In actuality, when you are saying the cost is much more, you areonly talking about the components between the transmission, and rear end. Because the rear end is taking place of the drive axles in the front, you still need a differential, and you still need the suspension components front and rear.

People have been told it is so much more expensive to develop RWD vehicles because they have all their components built around FWD. if they need to make a rwd car, suddenly they need to develop a new trans instead of using the one they spent 300 million developing for FWD vehicles, so that development cost needs to be spread amongst fewer vehicles. SO yes, when most of what you have spent is on FWD, it would cost more to switch to RWD. But if you are starting with a clean slate, the costs would be close, too close to say it's too expensive, especially in a country that can develop a a new vehicle for 1/4 the price of GM's cost to make the change from the 1997-1998 Camaro and Firebird (over 200m). Just to give you an idea, that is typical money for GM, where they spent less than that to develop the new Solstice, including it's platform (very atypical for GM).
 

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Colvindesign said:
Second, the transaxle in a FWD is more expensive than basic RWD transmissions.

Third, there is the cost of the driveshaft. An aftermarket high quality material high labor draiveshaft for some rwd cars can be bought for 200 dollars.
While a transaxle cost more than a transmission 25 years ago, today it's about the same...and you don't have to pay for a driveshaft or rear axle since they're both already included.

Colvindesign said:
Fourth then you need mounting points for the rear axle whether it is RWD or not.
Because of the torque on a driven rear axle, the mounting of a RWD rear axle is more expensive.

Colvindesign said:
Finally, there needs to be a larger hump in the floor.
Slight cost advantage to the FWD since the "larger hump" requires more cross vehicle support.

Colvindesign said:
Also, traction control systems now have made RWD as good as FWD in inclement weather, and much better control in dry weather. Plus mechanical traction control systems are very cheap, and most FWD cars offer some sort of traction control as well.
Good marketing. FWD cars are still better than equal weight RWD cars with or without traction control.

Colvindesign said:
When you are talking about developing a completely new vehicle, or line of vehicles, especially in a place where development costs are minute compared to the US, it would still cost less to develop the "poor-man's BMW" than it would to develop the FWD vehicle in the US.
While the development of a RWD vehicle and FWD vehicle might not have large cost differences, production would. FWD vehicles can be assembled with the front suspension, engine and transaxle as one unit where on a RWD vehicle these would need to be (at minimum) two assemblies.

It's not correct to say that a FWD vehicle would cost the same to design and manufacturer as a RWD...the RWD vehicle will cost more. Very few companies develop their own transmissions today since there are many off-the-shelf parts that are very good. If you want a FWD or RWD or AWD transmission/transaxle, I can name you half a dozen companies who could supply them easily...but the RWD transmission will cost more than a FWD transaxle for the same quality (economies of scale favor the FWD transaxle).

As for the cost of the Kappa (Pontiac Solstice) platform, about all they had to design was the platform. Nearly every other part of that vehicle was transplanted from or adapted from an existing vehicle. Hardly any part of that car was designed FOR that car. This kept priced down...just like Chrysler did with the Viper and the Prowler; low-production vehicles built around parts adapted from their parts bins.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Your arguments are very convincing, but...

Prior to the 80's, most cars are RWD, so all the suppliers, infrastructure, etc. etc. are set to support RWD - then FWD came along and nearly everyone switched to FWD, except the expensive cars - so it seemed justifiable to switch to FWD for everyone, to me, there must be good financial reasons...

Now, currently, with nearly every single car made in China being FWD, how is RWD going to compete on price again?

Every dollar counts for car manufacturers. To put the engine and tranny into a FWD platform, you simply load them, preassembled, into the engine bay from the top. To put the same combo into a RWD platform, to have to do them separately and/or from the bottom, taking more time and labor.

There's no question in my mind making a RWD in China will cost more than a FWD, how much more, I really don't know. But if the extra cost is justifiable, which could very well be, why the heck not. RWD command a higher premium these days, so it may just be the right strategy to go with RWD. I certainly like the idea very much.
 

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Sorry to do this to you, but you asked for it,

Hudson said:
While a transaxle cost more than a transmission 25 years ago, today it's about the same...and you don't have to pay for a driveshaft or rear axle since they're both already included.
You have to pay for two axles, two CV joints, and the special spindles. Please try to tell me the basic 3 or 4 speed auto in most Chinese pickups, or the T5 manual 5 speed that has been in production since the 1970s are about the same as a fwd transaxle. Not to mention, the CV axles would most likely have to be newly designed for each application. Those, ARE expensive.

Because of the torque on a driven rear axle, the mounting of a RWD rear axle is more expensive.
Would you say equivalent to the load of a heavier car? You are talking now about the cost of a few dollars. Besides even if the cars I mentioned were FWD, the rear susp mounts and pieces would need to be bulkier to handle the heavier weight of the bigger models they would be used on as well.

Slight cost advantage to the FWD since the "larger hump" requires more cross vehicle support.
So we're counting pennies now? A cross vehicle support would add probably 3 dollars to the cost. Let's be liberal and add 6 of them, less than 20 dollars added to the cost of the car, better stick to FWD!

Good marketing. FWD cars are still better than equal weight RWD cars with or without traction control.
Marketing? Not nearly as good as yours. "Still better"? This must be your opinion because it is not a fact. In your opinion if you believe that fine, but it is a fact that modern traction control systems make rwd as controllable in inclement weather. This has been admitted by GM, Chrysler and other companies.

While the development of a RWD vehicle and FWD vehicle might not have large cost differences, production would. FWD vehicles can be assembled with the front suspension, engine and transaxle as one unit where on a RWD vehicle these would need to be (at minimum) two assemblies.
So this "two assembly" problem would be a large difference?

ok. Seriously, This just makes no sense. The entire drivetrain is put onto a dolly (all bolted together) which is positioned under the car (actually a separat line which is common process on FWD AWD & RWD vehicle assembly plants), then the chasis lowered onto it and it's all bolted together. Have you ever been to an assembly plant? You speak as if you have and you know what can and can't be done, and "it's more expensive to have two assemblies"..... I have, the plant is built around the car to make it as easy as possible. Even if it was two assemblies, you are talking about a country where labor rates are 1/25th of what they are in a US plant. Even still, it usually takes less than 7 minutes to install a powertrain into a vehicle at an auto plant. Care to break down the labor cost on that in China? And you are also saying this like the FWD car does not have a rear Axle. It does, what do you think those rear wheels ride on?

It's not correct to say that a FWD vehicle would cost the same to design and manufacturer as a RWD...the RWD vehicle will cost more. Very few companies develop their own transmissions today since there are many off-the-shelf parts that are very good. If you want a FWD or RWD or AWD transmission/transaxle, I can name you half a dozen companies who could supply them easily...but the RWD transmission will cost more than a FWD transaxle for the same quality (economies of scale favor the FWD transaxle).
yes, economies of scale are why the T-5 manual trans from Borg Warner costs under 400 dollars direct from the manufacturer, because they have sold over ten million of them. That is, BTW a RWD trans. Plus the RWD they already have in their pick ups (made in China) that are Auto, with gearing changes they would be ready for a car. "It's not correct to say". Sorry, but this IS my business. It is correct to say. Once you have put the years in that I have, go ahead and tell me that I am wrong. But I can tell you have not.

As for the cost of the Kappa (Pontiac Solstice) platform, about all they had to design was the platform. Nearly every other part of that vehicle was transplanted from or adapted from an existing vehicle. Hardly any part of that car was designed FOR that car. This kept priced down...just like Chrysler did with the Viper and the Prowler; low-production vehicles built around parts adapted from their parts bins.
Now you are just refuting any point I make. YOU must be the resident expert and know everything there is to know about the Auto industry and be a little upset because has spit in your cheerios. The Interior, the top, the frame, the front suspension, the body panels the crash structure,
Yeah, none of these things cost money to make. But you are talking about how the the cross beams in the RWD will make it too expensive to manufacture, but you are completely ignoring the entire BODY, Convertible top, the interior, etc etc when I make a point....... OK! Basically, A convertible top mechanism is no big deal, but a cross brace on a floor is. :rolleyes: If you are going to argue with someone, at least be fair. Otherwise, you invite point by point disputes like this where your side just does not hold up.

Let's say, hypothetically, you're right, and it costs 10, hey even 15 percent more to develop the RWD instead of the FWD. This takes my 10k car to 11,500. Even though cost differences would be less than 500, and it might swing in favor of RWD. Starting with a clean sheet of paper, you have to develop an entire car, no matter what layout it is. This is like when they tell you those exotic shapes on an exotic car cost more to stamp out in the metal. Wrong. it costs more because there are less made, or in csome cases they are made by hand. Sometimes companies can't make extravagant shapes and curves, because they don't have the equipment for it. If you are determined to believe that RWD is that much more expensive than FWD, go ahead, you are entitled to that. But don't tell me I am wrong when I have done the research and I have done the work.
 

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BringIt said:
Your arguments are very convincing, but...

Prior to the 80's, most cars are RWD, so all the suppliers, infrastructure, etc. etc. are set to support RWD - then FWD came along and nearly everyone switched to FWD, except the expensive cars - so it seemed justifiable to switch to FWD for everyone, to me, there must be good financial reasons...
The main reasons were economy and traction. Yeah, when they make a cheap FWD with a solid beam rear axle and a couple of coil springs for asuspension, it is cheaper, but you can't get the handling and ride out of that, that people want today.

Now, currently, with nearly every single car made in China being FWD, how is RWD going to compete on price again?
Like I stated above, even if it was 15% more to develop (think about the number of parts and systems in a car and think about that number, plus you are taking out FWD components and development) you are talking a minimal difference, one that buyers WILL pay for.

Every dollar counts for car manufacturers. To put the engine and tranny into a FWD platform, you simply load them, preassembled, into the engine bay from the top. To put the same combo into a RWD platform, to have to do them separately and/or from the bottom, taking more time and labor.
toploading would require much more labor. Actually almost all engine assemblies are installed from the bottom up. It is faster cheaper and more efficient.

There's no question in my mind making a RWD in China will cost more than a FWD, how much more, I really don't know. But if the extra cost is justifiable, which could very well be, why the heck not. RWD command a higher premium these days, so it may just be the right strategy to go with RWD. I certainly like the idea very much.
It's my job to know. If, and only if you are starting with a clean sheet design, the differences would be nominal. Live axle rear ends can be set up for great ride, and great handling. So it would not even need to be IRS. Is it worth it to make it RWD? Of course. As long as you have the design and quality to back it up, you will be starting something big. People who can barely afford a focus but want a BMW will have an alternative.

Picture a V6 entry level RWD sedan with comfortable seating for 5, with 260 hp, a 5 speed manual, with sporty interior (racing type seats) and 17 inch rims for 15k or under, even at 20k with leather and 18s, this would be a steal in the US. How much is a WRX? Plus this car would have room under the hood for the V8, and people would do it in the US, which would only make the car that much more popular, along with the other vehicles in the line up.
 

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Since it's your "job to know," you should understand these things more. Since it's MY job to know, let me help you.
Colvindesign said:
You have to pay for two axles, two CV joints, and the special spindles. Please try to tell me the basic 3 or 4 speed auto in most Chinese pickups, or the T5 manual 5 speed that has been in production since the 1970s are about the same as a fwd transaxle. Not to mention, the CV axles would most likely have to be newly designed for each application. Those, ARE expensive.
We're talking apples to apples here, not 1970s technology vs 2006 technology. A "modern" RWD transmission would cost MORE than a "modern" FWD transaxle when all of the anciliary parts are added in. The automotive industry has changed from a RWD-based market to a FWD-based one, and this makes the supplied parts less expensive for FWD of the same quality.

Colvindesign said:
Marketing? Not nearly as good as yours. "Still better"? This must be your opinion because it is not a fact. In your opinion if you believe that fine, but it is a fact that modern traction control systems make rwd as controllable in inclement weather. This has been admitted by GM, Chrysler and other companies.
FWD is easier to drive in marginal weather, especially when you get in lighter vehicles...anyone with any experience in these vehicles can tell you this. While it may seem to be my "opinion," it's more fact-based than your opinion that drivers can't get the "handling and ride...that people want today." Modern front-drivers can handle very well and ride extremely well...far beyond the needs or wants of the average driver.

Colvindesign said:
So this "two assembly" problem would be a large difference?
Yes. On the assembly line it would require twice as many installations and more connections. And then there are the suppliers who need to build and deliver two different modules instead of the one needed in a front-driver. Nothing's free...even in China.

Colvindesign said:
ok. Seriously...Even still, it usually takes less than 7 minutes to install a powertrain into a vehicle at an auto plant. Care to break down the labor cost on that in China? And you are also saying this like the FWD car does not have a rear Axle. It does, what do you think those rear wheels ride on?
There are additional suppliers involved...additional labor...and the labor on the assembly line isn't free either. When you're competiting on the global market, adding steps to the assembly process that add time and cost (any time and any cost) are a waste, especially in a market that will see little or no benefit in the vehicle you're creating. RWD vehicles get a premium when sold as moderate to premium vehicles. And these cars need name recognition and history.

Colvindesign said:
....Sorry, but this IS my business. It is correct to say. Once you have put the years in that I have, go ahead and tell me that I am wrong. But I can tell you have not.
Been there...done that. And done that again. And once again...you are wrong.

Colvindesign said:
Let's say, hypothetically, you're right, and it costs 10, hey even 15 percent more to develop the RWD instead of the FWD. This takes my 10k car to 11,500...
Good luck on that.
 

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you aren't seriously suggesting a live rear axle?

Colvindesign said:
It's my job to know. If, and only if you are starting with a clean sheet design, the differences would be nominal. Live axle rear ends can be set up for great ride, and great handling. So it would not even need to be IRS. Is it worth it to make it RWD? Of course. As long as you have the design and quality to back it up, you will be starting something big. People who can barely afford a focus but want a BMW will have an alternative.
You aren't seriously suggesting a BMW competitor with a live axle are you? My comments on the FWD RWD debate would be:

Majority of the population can't understand/ can't tell the difference between a good FWD and a good RWD car. I'm not talking sports car guys here, just the 90% of people who drive to and from work and get the shopping etc.

Majority of the population can feel the difference in ride quality, especially when sat in the back, between an IRS and a live axle suspension.

On the cost, I haven't tried to work it out, but I am sure RWD would be more expensive and more space consuming (look at BMW 1 series) if IRS is used.

It is probably still more expensive, heavier and space inefficient if live axle is used.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I think we can put the debate to rest that RWD is more expensive and less practical than FWD. (We can continue to argue "by how much" but what's the point, no one can prove anything here.)

That's not to say introducing RWD cars is a bad idea. When properly targeted and marketed in certain car segments, RWD can sell like hotcakes. Think Mustang, 300M, Miata, 3 series, 350Z, G35, etc. etc. But to sell in segments where Civic and Camry rule, I dunno... though I really like the idea of a "poor-man's BMW"; same specs head to toe, but with a I4/V6 (to save more space) and without all the fancy electronics and luxury items, and sell for under 15K! It would totally rock! (And be more profitable than a cheapo FWD for under 10K.)
 

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fightingtorque said:
You aren't seriously suggesting a BMW competitor with a live axle are you? My comments on the FWD RWD debate would be:

Majority of the population can't understand/ can't tell the difference between a good FWD and a good RWD car. I'm not talking sports car guys here, just the 90% of people who drive to and from work and get the shopping etc.

Majority of the population can feel the difference in ride quality, especially when sat in the back, between an IRS and a live axle suspension.

On the cost, I haven't tried to work it out, but I am sure RWD would be more expensive and more space consuming (look at BMW 1 series) if IRS is used.

It is probably still more expensive, heavier and space inefficient if live axle is used.
BringIt said:
I think we can put the debate to rest that RWD is more expensive and less practical than FWD. (We can continue to argue "by how much" but what's the point, no one can prove anything here.)

That's not to say introducing RWD cars is a bad idea. When properly targeted and marketed in certain car segments, RWD can sell like hotcakes. Think Mustang, 300M, Miata, 3 series, 350Z, G35, etc. etc. But to sell in segments where Civic and Camry rule, I dunno... though I really like the idea of a "poor-man's BMW"; same specs head to toe, but with a I4/V6 (to save more space) and without all the fancy electronics and luxury items, and sell for under 15K! It would totally rock! (And be more profitable than a cheapo FWD for under 10K.)
Yes, and yes.
 

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Hudson said:
Since it's your "job to know," you should understand these things more. Since it's MY job to know, let me help you.

We're talking apples to apples here, not 1970s technology vs 2006 technology. A "modern" RWD transmission would cost MORE than a "modern" FWD transaxle when all of the anciliary parts are added in. The automotive industry has changed from a RWD-based market to a FWD-based one, and this makes the supplied parts less expensive for FWD of the same quality.
Modern? A t-5 is modern. It has been in use since 1970's yes, but the latest version in the 2007 Mustang base coupe is a completely modern transmission. Ancilliary parts? You act as if the FWD has no ancilliary parts, but the RWD does. You want to compare apples to apples, then do so. You can't skip things for your side of an argument then bring them up against the person you are arguing with. Thanks for the offer but you are the one who needs the help in how to discuss something fairly. Also, if it were your job, you would know that a rear axle assembly is required if a car is RWD or FWD. A car has 4 wheels.

Also, look at the transmissions in most RWD American cars, other than the Chrysler LXs, most are transmissions that have been around and changed for well over 15 years (some date back 30 or so). So this low priced RWD car would have to have a more modern transmission than the competiton that is much more expensive? Only recently are we seeing switches from nearly ancient 3 and 4 speeds to 5 and 6 speed autos.

FWD is easier to drive in marginal weather, especially when you get in lighter vehicles...anyone with any experience in these vehicles can tell you this. While it may seem to be my "opinion," it's more fact-based than your opinion that drivers can't get the "handling and ride...that people want today." Modern front-drivers can handle very well and ride extremely well...far beyond the needs or wants of the average driver.
Ok, again, with a I-beam and a couple of coils you can not get the ride people want today. Please show me a nice FWD car that is competitve in the US, that is known for good handling and ride, that has a simple I-beam and coil rear suspension. FWD cars in the US with good handling and ride, have all wheel independent suspension. What's the cost on that? Must still be cheaper cause it's FWD huh? If you are saying that I am wrong because I said you can't get the ride and handlign from FWD, you need to read what I said, I said you can't get the ride and handling people want today from a cheap set up, the whole meaning behind your argument, that FWD is cheaper. Yes, when you make it as cheap as possible, it is not as expensive as RWD, but also it will not handle a good amount of power, and will not ride well. If you are spending the dditional money to develop the FWD into something that handles and rides well, you might as well invest that into RWD and start a foundation that is more desirable.

And again, it has been said by industry professionals that todays traction control systems are make the RWD vehicle just as controllable in inclement weather. If you want to use your personal experience to counter this then fine, I will use mine as well, I have driven late model mustangs in very slick weather without any problem. I have driven even late model trucks (both examples had rear live axle and traction control) in inclement weather without problem. Not even hard to drive or requiring more attention (other than watching other drivers). Additionally, I HAVE driven FWD vehicles in the snow here in Chicago and they are no better, they also get stuck, they powerslide except when you do, you cannot control the front wheels, and when you brake you lose traction AND steering. SO no, anyone who hase driven late model modern RWD cars and late model FWD cars will NOT agree.

Also, it is a FACT that you cannot get comparible handling and ride out of a solid I beam and coil rear suspension. It is a fact. go and talk to any race car builder who has experience working on different types of suspension and ask him what type of handling you can get out of it. It is not a fact simply because I am saying it, it is a fact because suspension designers, engineers and professionals say so. It is not my opinion, it is the opinion of professionals in that exact department.

If your side is "more Fact-Based", I would like to see those facts. All you have said is "it's more fact based than your opinion". Which it is not my opinion. Even tell me, what do you do for a living? You can look in my profile and see what I do.

Yes. On the assembly line it would require twice as many installations and more connections. And then there are the suppliers who need to build and deliver two different modules instead of the one needed in a front-driver. Nothing's free...even in China.
right, because on the assembly line you don't have to attach the rear Axle on a FWD car, it just magically appears. So for the FWD car you do not count the rear axle assembly, but for the RWD one you do. :rolleyes: No wonder you can't be wrong, you cheat.

There are additional suppliers involved...additional labor...and the labor on the assembly line isn't free either. When you're competiting on the global market, adding steps to the assembly process that add time and cost (any time and any cost) are a waste, especially in a market that will see little or no benefit in the vehicle you're creating. RWD vehicles get a premium when sold as moderate to premium vehicles. And these cars need name recognition and history.
And again the rear axle suspension assembly for a FWD must appear magically, since it couldn't come from a supplier. :rolleyes:

Been there...done that. And done that again. And once again...you are wrong.
Please explain to me anywhere where you have actually countered any point I made better than I have countered your points? If you have been there and done that, you would have the same information I have.

Good luck on that.
You have stated your arguments like they are common knowledge, everyone knows, etc. Everyone knew that the earth was flat at one time as well.

So what we have established is that a FWD car's rear axle assembly costs nothing, and when you by the Transaxle, the axles, the special spindles and all the ancilliarys are free. No wonder the FWD is cheaper.

In actuality you take out
1. Transaxle
2. Complicated Spindles
3. CV Axles
4. CV Joints
5. Rear suspension and non-drive axle set up

and you add
1. Transmission
2. Simple spindles
3. Drive Shaft
4. Rear axle assembly and Rear suspension
5. those extensively expensive cross braces in the floors

If the Transmission is comparible to the transaxle in price, then the rear axle assembly is comparible to the CV axles and Joints, then the Spindles are simpler on the RWD, therefore cheaper, then you have the additional cost of the driveshaft. Considering the cost of a driveshaft, if you sway 20 dollars here, 15 there, etc etc, you could break even, that is if the transaxle is the same amount as the transmission, or close.

I mentioned the Borg Warner T5, plus I know they have the RWD pick up truck auto's being made in China today, which could be improved to handle the additional power and better gearing. You mentioned you could list how many transmission makers that could supply a cheap transaxle? But did you? Did you give an example of the price? I did.

As for the "modern" argument, that is a matter of opinion. Do you think the GTO from 04+ is modern? Say, more modern than the 1998-2002 Camaro?

Listen, I am sure you are an intelligent person and think you have your points. However applying things to someone elses arguments and then not applying them to your own, pokes holes in everything you say. Additionally, I am sorry you have decided to stay on the bandwagon, but in order to learn, sometimes you need to question conventional wisdom, and find out if it is true or false on your own.

Please find me a manufacturer that will sell a manual transaxle that will handle 200 hp for less than a T-5. Also, I am not sure of an exact price for a Auto trans from China, since I have not tested or driven any. I did however get a price of under 400 for one, and I know of a company that can do the engineering to make it handle more than 350hp without a large investment.

Then I will shut up and apologize.
 

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BringIt said:
I think we can put the debate to rest that RWD is more expensive and less practical than FWD. (We can continue to argue "by how much" but what's the point, no one can prove anything here.)

That's not to say introducing RWD cars is a bad idea. When properly targeted and marketed in certain car segments, RWD can sell like hotcakes. Think Mustang, 300M, Miata, 3 series, 350Z, G35, etc. etc. But to sell in segments where Civic and Camry rule, I dunno... though I really like the idea of a "poor-man's BMW"; same specs head to toe, but with a I4/V6 (to save more space) and without all the fancy electronics and luxury items, and sell for under 15K! It would totally rock! (And be more profitable than a cheapo FWD for under 10K.)
The idea (for me) is not to sell 500k units in any segment. Today, very few cars sell in high volume. Everything is Niche dominated. The 2 door 4-5 seat segment used to be dominated by the GM G-bodies. On average they sold over 500k combined some years. Today that segment is over 600,000 units. The biggest seller in that is the Ford Mustang, which is less than 1/3 of the sales. And it sells 4 times as many units as the next best seller.

The benefit of the chinese market is low cost, and low production capability. They can make 10,000 units and make a profit on each vehicle. They can even make a profit on 5,000 units. If you make cars people want, then extensive advertising will not be as necesary. Therefore, RWD. Then your advertising budget is cut down drastically, making the cost to come to the US even less.

If you come to the US with FWD, cheap cars that you expect to sell 100k units in the first year, you will fail.

If you come to the US with cool looking sporty RWD cheap cars, and expect to sell less than 1/3 of the closest competition, you will succeed.

Sure, everyone wants to have the volume leader, but is that practical for a new company? Is that even possible for a new company? I would say most likely no.



The problem with the big companies today are the fact that they need to sell 100k of everything. They have to invest billions to develop a new car. They can not change quickly enough. If a company can come in to the US and sell 50,000 combined units (5-6 models) within a few years and make 1000 dollars per vehicle, guess what, they are making more than 1000 dollars more per vehicle than GM.
 

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Colvindesign said:
Modern? A t-5 is modern.
You're right that it's been around since the 1970s. It's old. Updates have made it passable in Western markets, but it's hardly "modern." Not when 6-speed manuals have been in use in cars for more than a decade...in equivalently priced vehicles. And the Mustang can get away with it because it has just about no competition.
Colvindesign said:
Ancilliary parts?
You know how these cars work, don't you? A rear axle in a FWD car is an easy installation compared to a rear axle in a RWD vehicle which needs to be attached to the driveshaft and requires more substantial mounting due to the torque on the suspension. This isn't everyday knowledge?
Colvindesign said:
Also, look at the transmissions in most RWD American cars...
So now you're making a car to compete against the Crown Vic? If we're talking mainstream sedans (FWD or RWD doesn't matter), most of the major players have 5-speed (or 6-speed) automatics...it's the price of entry. Ford Fusion, Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, Dodge Charger...all have 5-speed or 6-speed automatics.
Colvindesign said:
...it will not handle a good amount of power, and will not ride well.
Odd, but I've been driving FWD cars that BOTH ride well and handle more power than most people ever use. Do you really think the average driver needs (or even USES) more than 200hp? FWD cars can handle 250hp and more without a problem.

And ride? FWD cars ride extremely well...well beyond the demands of most of the buying public. What's more important to most buyers is isolation from the road, and it's less expensive to islolate the passengers from the outside when you don't have a driveshaft running through the cabin or the rear passengers sitting on a powered rear axle. Saying that RWD is the "a foundation that is more desirable" is more to YOUR desire than 90% of the buying public.

Colvindesign said:
And again, it has been said by industry professionals that todays traction control systems are make the RWD vehicle just as controllable in inclement weather.
Yes...professional industry marketeers. And you've apparently bought into it. Having driven some of the "best" RWD cars in bad weather, I've come to a dramatically different conclusion than you. FWD is far better.

Colvindesign said:
Also, it is a FACT that you cannot get comparible handling and ride out of a solid I beam and coil rear suspension.
Even cheap FWD cars have IRS. And most FWD cars on the road today have more than adequate ride for the vast majority of drivers. And most of those buyers won't pay extra for the marginal improvement you're talking about.
Colvindesign said:
Even tell me, what do you do for a living? You can look in my profile and see what I do.
Your profile doesn't tell anything about what you do for a living. I can't just go around discussing my background since I get paid by major automakers and suppliers to help them. I offer my knowledge and background on sites like this as an exchange for information I can use in my work.

Colvindesign said:
Please explain to me anywhere where you have actually countered any point I made better than I have countered your points? If you have been there and done that, you would have the same information I have.
Colvindesign said:
....Sorry, but this IS my business. It is correct to say. Once you have put the years in that I have, go ahead and tell me that I am wrong. But I can tell you have not.
Your statement about my qualifications shows that you're clutching at straws. I would hope that you've become more experienced from when I picked apart your sports car design and business plan. Back then you believed that things cost nothing...and today you think that things cost nothing.
 

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Colvindesign said:
The idea (for me) is not to sell 500k units in any segment. Today, very few cars sell in high volume. Everything is Niche dominated...The benefit of the chinese market is low cost, and low production capability. They can make 10,000 units and make a profit on each vehicle.
To make money on 10,000 units a year, you need to share a platform with enough vehicles to sell 300,000 or 500,000 or 1,000,000 units. IN THE US, there are no cars that sell 500,000 units a year. Worldwide, there are a number....and how many platforms sell in the 500,000 range?

You can't make money on 10,000 units built in China for the US if you're not sharing that platform with production volumes hundreds of thousands of units.

How many MODERN vehicles are being produced in China today with volumes of under 20,000 units a year?
 

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Hudson said:
You're right that it's been around since the 1970s. It's old. Updates have made it passable in Western markets, but it's hardly "modern." Not when 6-speed manuals have been in use in cars for more than a decade...in equivalently priced vehicles. And the Mustang can get away with it because it has just about no competition.
So, a car under 15k could not be competitive with a T-5?

You know how these cars work, don't you? A rear axle in a FWD car is an easy installation compared to a rear axle in a RWD vehicle which needs to be attached to the driveshaft and requires more substantial mounting due to the torque on the suspension. This isn't everyday knowledge?
Are you serious? YET AGAIN you mention how difficult it is to mount a driveshaft (WHICH IT IS NOT DIFFICULT) but FAIL TO MENTION the CV axles for your side of the argument. Compare installing a driveshaft to installing 2 CV axles.

So now you're making a car to compete against the Crown Vic? If we're talking mainstream sedans (FWD or RWD doesn't matter), most of the major players have 5-speed (or 6-speed) automatics...it's the price of entry. Ford Fusion, Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, Dodge Charger...all have 5-speed or 6-speed automatics.
Did I say I was competing against the Vic? Did I say what cars I would be competing against? Besides, competing for a car that sells in extremely high numbers.... would that be dumb?

Odd, but I've been driving FWD cars that BOTH ride well and handle more power than most people ever use. Do you really think the average driver needs (or even USES) more than 200hp? FWD cars can handle 250hp and more without a problem.
So, you have been driving nicer FWD cars with better suspension systems than the "cheap FWD systems" that took over from RWD back in the day. Wow, you mean a mid-range FWD drives nice, I hope so.

And ride? FWD cars ride extremely well...well beyond the demands of most of the buying public. What's more important to most buyers is isolation from the road, and it's less expensive to islolate the passengers from the outside when you don't have a driveshaft running through the cabin or the rear passengers sitting on a powered rear axle. Saying that RWD is the "a foundation that is more desirable" is more to YOUR desire than 90% of the buying public.
Again, if you are driving in nicer cars, then it should ride better. Yes, it is my perception that RWD is more desirable, it is also fact that a large number of enthusiasts prefer RWD, as well as the people who drive BMWs but don't know it is RWD but know it drives better than the acura. Niche markets are where it's at, if you are an industry pro, you'd know this. Sports cars are a big part of the niche markets.

Yes...professional industry marketeers. And you've apparently bought into it. Having driven some of the "best" RWD cars in bad weather, I've come to a dramatically different conclusion than you. FWD is far better.
I'm sorry I didn't consult with the great Hudson before believing the industry professionals. And what were the "best" rwd cars you mention? I at least mentioned the cars I drove.

Even cheap FWD cars have IRS. And most FWD cars on the road today have more than adequate ride for the vast majority of drivers. And most of those buyers won't pay extra for the marginal improvement you're talking about.
Yes, when this whole FWD is cheaper stuff started, it was all I-beams and coil springs, and therefore cheaper. Well as time went on they invested more and more money into making FWD ride better, and therefore made it more expensive than the original cheap I-beam set up. The industry people said it was cheaper then, but are they still saying it now?

Your profile doesn't tell anything about what you do for a living. I can't just go around discussing my background since I get paid by major automakers and suppliers to help them. I offer my knowledge and background on sites like this as an exchange for information I can use in my work.
Ahhh, so your an internet BSer. I can't go around blah blah blah. I don't even know your name. You offer your backround?? So what is it? I'll accept it as a typo that you said you can't go around discussing your backround right before saying you offer your backround.

Your statement about my qualifications shows that you're clutching at straws. I would hope that you've become more experienced from when I picked apart your sports car design and business plan. Back then you believed that things cost nothing...and today you think that things cost nothing.
It does huh? I would think that it shows that I stated this is what I do and you stated you have put in the years I have, so therefore I would ask "oh yeah, well then what do you do?". Please send a link to the mentioned "picking", I don't remember being taught anything by someone like you. I do however remember arguing with you. I never said it costs nothing. It is cheaper. If you can't accept that and you think that it would cost just as much to develop a car in China as it would in the US, then there is simply something wrong with you. Labor, all accross the board is cheaper. From labor to management to executive. Even overhead costs such as insurance, building, maintenance, all cheaper. Also, go talk to your industry insiders and see what it'd take to make a regular old manual 5 speed out of one of these Chinese pickups geared and built to handle 300 hp and 350 tq in a car. Then go to a company that makes high performance gears and rebuild kits for manuals in the US, and ask them the same question. You will get two extremely different numbers.

You've proved Jack Squat, you are probably ticked that you couldn't school me back then, and can't now.

You see, when you use certain things against me, but don't apply them to yourself, you make yourself look........

Also, when you skip over certain parts of someone's argument and reply to the points you feel secure in arguing, you make yourself look..........

And when the strength of your argument is "your wrong" you make yourself look ........


I'm not just another part of the herd that accepts the fact that GM and Ford spend over 1b developing a new vehicle so thats the way it has to be. That's moronic. For 1b you can put a person on the moon. if you accept that fact and see nothing wrong with that, great for you, the herd is over there ->

I don't think it can be done for nothing. I think for a quarter of that someone can go to China and build a line up of extremely successful low priced cars. Yes, I have grown to realize I can't build a car company for 50m, unless I want to make about 50 supercars, then try to sell them for 500k and go BR. I do realize it takes money, and a ton of it, but it would cost a fraction of that in China. That is the only reason China is being called the next Japan or Korea. They don't make great cars, they make cheap cars. That's the draw.

Here, I will save you the time and effort of replying, I know "you're wrong" I am a blah blah blah, I know everything, so I don't have to give any facts.

I love this one "You know how these cars work, don't you? A rear axle in a FWD car is an easy installation compared to a rear axle in a RWD vehicle which needs to be attached to the driveshaft and requires more substantial mounting due to the torque on the suspension. This isn't everyday knowledge?" the driveshaft installation is seriously, a 5 minute job to a person who has never done it before. That's how long it took me my first time. I was taking my time as well. YOu can guess how long a CV axle install takes. And when the rear axle is lined up in place by a machine or dolly, it requires boilting up regardless of the weight or the drive shaft. So, no, installing a RWD Axle in a car at the assembly line is not an extravagant cost compared to installing a FWD one. Regardless of if it is installed on a module or installed onto a car, the CV axle needs a lot more effort and installation than the RWD axle and Driveshaft. This isn't everyday knowledge?

You're a bean counter aren't you? Your probably one of those guys who worked in detroit and killed off RWD cars because the FWD econo box could be made for 12 dollars less, "every dollar counts", right? You're probably also a Republican, I can tell by the way you argue. You cheat.

What about the break down of parts I listed? Decided not to address that because it was too difficult?

To make money on 10,000 units a year, you need to share a platform with enough vehicles to sell 300,000 or 500,000 or 1,000,000 units. IN THE US, there are no cars that sell 500,000 units a year. Worldwide, there are a number....and how many platforms sell in the 500,000 range?
So the solstice (projected sales of about 20k) needs to hare a platform with enough vehicles to sell 300-500k? You better go tell GM that.

I said about 10k units, meaning about 10k units per model, on 1-2 platforms. Multiple vehicles, so you are looking at up to 50-60,000 units a year, with a life span of 8-12 years for the platform itself. IF and only if, the sales average 50k units, that is 400,000 units over 8 yrs.
 
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