Author Topic: The Rise (and Fall) of the Suburban Main Battle Tank  (Read 5322 times)

Re: The Rise (and Fall) of the Suburban Main Battle Tank
« Reply #50 on: September 13, 2019, 12:54:13 pm »
I may have a mini SUV. It's a Fiat 500L. It's a vehicle. It's quite useful but not remotely sporty (1400cc). It is considerably larger than the old 500s but it ain’t exactly huge. It's the same length and width as the car it replaced - a Peugeot 307 - but has a higher roof. It also manages to have more room inside.
I don't think it's very intimidating.
I quite like it.
So there.

To be fair, a car like that is certainly not intimidating. I'd rather have you behind me than a BMW, Mercedes or Audi saloon, all of which will be bigger and heavier. It's a bit taller and longer than a normal Fiat 500 and the large Mini is similar. The main thread which has drifted slightly referred to the giant tanks that seem to be required by some. I'm looking outside the office window at the huge Volvo X70 with a slab of a grill my boss drives. I think it's more that type of vehicle the OP was concerned with.
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Re: The Rise (and Fall) of the Suburban Main Battle Tank
« Reply #51 on: September 14, 2019, 09:46:25 pm »
...
But on a serious point, the energy these behemoths impart in a crash is awful. And they have a secondary issue, and that's they make their drivers feel invulnerable...

It's the kinetic energy arms race.

A silly trope for sure but if you're driving Tilly and Tarquin to/from their school every day you don't want to be in a flimsy Nissan Micra if you get involved in an accident, you want to be in something that comes off least worst. That proliferates and soon the streets are awash with them.

"Have you seen Jemima's parents' car? Simply awful! How irresponsible to drive her around in a Y-reg Citroen Saxo. I don't think we should let Ptolemy be friends with her otherwise he might end up having to get a lift in that terrible thing!"

It's also a status/prestige thing.

This exactly. Someone I know made some backhanded comment to a friend for driving his family around in a Toyota Yaris; something about not putting the safety of his family first. This guy drives his family around in some massive Volvo tank or other.

Unfortunately, due to the extremely high price of these vehicles he can't afford a good one and he can't afford to maintain it properly. They are constantly having major failures, including brake failure on the motorway. You can't put a price on safety though  :thumbsup:

Cudzoziemiec

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Re: The Rise (and Fall) of the Suburban Main Battle Tank
« Reply #52 on: September 16, 2019, 12:28:39 pm »
Quote
A reported 25,000 people turned up to protest Frankfurt's IAA car show yesterday, with cyclists blocking the entrance


Sand im Getriebe, an environmental protest group, say an estimated 25,000 people turned out to protest against the German car industry at the International Motor Show in Frankfurt at the weekend, with protestors on bikes blocking the entrance on masse. With sales of large cars such as SUVs on the rise in Germany, Sand im Getriebe say on their website(link is external) they are demonstrating against the damage caused to the environment by motor vehicles, and are campaigning for "car-free cities, more space for walking and cycling as well as developed and free public transport."


MonkeyWrenchGang
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The German branch #SandImGetriebe (Sand in the engine) seems inspired by Edward Abbey.

25.000 people took over the roads and blocked the entrances of the Frankfurter Car Show.

Yeah! #Monkeywrenching the machine!


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The Frankfurt car show blockage was the latest in a number of protests that have taken place in Germany recently against pollution and the damage to the environment/danger posed by large vehicles such as SUVs. Berlin mayor Stephan von Dassel recently tweeted(link is external) that "such tank-like vehicles (SUVs) have no place on our streets" after a driver ploughed into a crowd of pedestrians, killing four. It's also been reported that anarchists have been burning luxury SUVs around Berlin in protest.
https://road.cc/content/news/266597-live-blog-australian-cyclist-dies-trying-escape-attack-swooping-magpie-driver

I haven't seen this reported anywhere else, but maybe I haven't been looking. As a titchy side point, I don't think this is really Edward Abbey-style; if that were the case, they would literally be putting Sand im Getriebe (sand in the works), or cutting things down and blowing them up.
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Re: The Rise (and Fall) of the Suburban Main Battle Tank
« Reply #53 on: September 16, 2019, 01:41:42 pm »


This guy drives his family around in some massive Volvo tank or other.


In other words sticking two fingers up at the safety of others.

Redlight

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Re: The Rise (and Fall) of the Suburban Main Battle Tank
« Reply #54 on: September 16, 2019, 03:26:33 pm »


This guy drives his family around in some massive Volvo tank or other.


In other words sticking two fingers up at the safety of others.

Not if he is driving safely. The ones sticking two fingers up are the ones who drive their huge cars as if they were auditioning for an oversized remake of The Italian Job. Setting aside the enivronmental impacts, of which we are all aware, there's nothing inherently unsafe about driving an oversized vehicle. 
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Re: The Rise (and Fall) of the Suburban Main Battle Tank
« Reply #55 on: September 16, 2019, 06:13:01 pm »
Although as soon as they fail to be perfect, or have to respond to the unexpected a wider, heavier, higher car leaves less space to work with, more energy in the impact and poorer handling. Or was that your point?

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Re: The Rise (and Fall) of the Suburban Main Battle Tank
« Reply #56 on: September 16, 2019, 07:29:10 pm »
We've got lots these big powerful SUVs in the Ribble Valley. That's a big centre for little complexes of barn conversion/ farmhouses. So at the end of each long approach drive there will be three of them. They do get real weather, and the owners have high-powered jobs in nearby cities and towns, so there's an argument for them. They are seen as vulgar though, anyone with taste has an Audi Allroad, or a Subaru. But they are good for towing horse boxes.

As it's also the real countryside, there are also milk lorries, and they really do take no prisoners.

Kim

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Re: The Rise (and Fall) of the Suburban Main Battle Tank
« Reply #57 on: September 16, 2019, 08:01:42 pm »
an oversized remake of The Italian Job

They did that in 2003.  It was shit.
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Re: The Rise (and Fall) of the Suburban Main Battle Tank
« Reply #58 on: September 16, 2019, 08:30:16 pm »
We've got lots these big powerful SUVs in the Ribble Valley. That's a big centre for little complexes of barn conversion/ farmhouses. So at the end of each long approach drive there will be three of them. They do get real weather, and the owners have high-powered jobs in nearby cities and towns, so there's an argument for them. They are seen as vulgar though, anyone with taste has an Audi Allroad, or a Subaru. But they are good for towing horse boxes.

Sounds exactly like the Henley-on-Thames area. real weather? yup, usually several frosty mornings every winter.
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Redlight

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Re: The Rise (and Fall) of the Suburban Main Battle Tank
« Reply #59 on: September 16, 2019, 10:02:43 pm »
Although as soon as they fail to be perfect, or have to respond to the unexpected a wider, heavier, higher car leaves less space to work with, more energy in the impact and poorer handling. Or was that your point?

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It was. They have to be driven with care - but so does a tractor  ;)
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ian

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Re: The Rise (and Fall) of the Suburban Main Battle Tank
« Reply #60 on: September 16, 2019, 10:28:25 pm »
Yes, but there's no emphasis on care because there's no need to be, these vehicles are designed to encourage the perception (real or not) of invulnerability. That's, in part, how they are marketed.
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CrazyEnglishTriathlete

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Re: The Rise (and Fall) of the Suburban Main Battle Tank
« Reply #61 on: September 16, 2019, 11:01:43 pm »
Most of my off-road driving was done in youthful driving days New South Wales, whenever I ventured beyond the Black Stump, where even the main highways were gravel roads.  All done in a Datsun 120Y (Nissan Sunny) with 110 (4 1/4inch) tyres and rear wheel drive.  If I recall correctly it weighed about 800Kg or 1/3 of the typical Chelsea Behemoth. 

There was one particular occasion where I crested a rise and hit a patch of soft gravel at speed and ended up going sideways.  The vehicle's light weight and fortunate reflexes had me back on a straight line after an impressive fishtail.  I suspect a larger, heavier, and taller vehicle would have used its extra momentum to send me rolling into the hefty gum trees on the left or right. 
Eddington Numbers 125 (imperial), 168 (metric) 518 (furlongs)  111 (nautical miles)

Re: The Rise (and Fall) of the Suburban Main Battle Tank
« Reply #62 on: September 17, 2019, 12:25:28 am »
We've got lots these big powerful SUVs in the Ribble Valley. That's a big centre for little complexes of barn conversion/ farmhouses. So at the end of each long approach drive there will be three of them. They do get real weather, and the owners have high-powered jobs in nearby cities and towns, so there's an argument for them. They are seen as vulgar though, anyone with taste has an Audi Allroad, or a Subaru. But they are good for towing horse boxes.

Sounds exactly like the Henley-on-Thames area. real weather? yup, usually several frosty mornings every winter.

Admittedly we are in the Ribble Valley constituency, rather than the district, until the next election at least. But Ribble Valley tops out at about 1,400 feet in terms of mountain passes. There'll be some idiot with a job in Lancaster who bought a house in Summer the wrong side of one of those. We live in the bit that's about 75 feet above sea-level, a mile from the M6/M65/M61, so we have little sympathy, although we are deeply empathic, obviously.

ElyDave

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Re: The Rise (and Fall) of the Suburban Main Battle Tank
« Reply #63 on: September 24, 2019, 08:59:21 am »
I've spent some time driving a friends volvo xc90 and it's terrifying until you get used to the momentum - 2.5 tonnes, a big engine and an automatic gearbox means almost no engine braking. It's also stupidly wide and almost impossible to park. She bought it because 'nobody has died in an XC90'

It did take 2 adults & 4 big teenagers and a weeks worth of surfing gear to cornwall with almost no complaints though.

Interesting you mention the engine braking.  we have a 30mph limit in our village, reduced last year from 40.  In my aging LR Disco 2, I know that if I'm at 50 coming up the road, adn take my foot of the loud pedal at a particular point on the road I'll be at 30mph at the sign. In my wife's new Seat Alhambra MPV, also automatic, that just doesn't happen.  Seems to me to be more aerodynamics than engine braking.

I know I'm not necessarily in the mainstream here, but I want a large car with large loadspace and am extremely conscious of the scale and momentum of the thing when I drive it, i'd say that I've become much more cautious since I've had this due to that. I'm now contemplating replacing it, but also considering a larger vehicle, not necesarily quite this big, but still big enough for a camping load with a bike on a towbar-rack.
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Re: The Rise (and Fall) of the Suburban Main Battle Tank
« Reply #64 on: September 28, 2019, 04:05:37 pm »
At the risk of being ostracised from yacf, nowadays my four wheeled vehicle is a full fat range rover (L322), which is shorter and only an inch or so wider than our other four wheel vehicle, MrsH's LWB T5 Transporter. The T5 is WAV converted with tail lift and capable of taking two chairs in line in the back plus three other seats alongside them - she bought this as she is a teacher in a SLD/PMLD school. It is easier if she can use her own vehicle sometimes as the high top school minibuses won't fit into many car parks and the school car only takes one chair. Bizarrely the RR is the more fuel efficient of the two on a run.

Mine does spend more time with mud or grass under the wheels than tarmac. Within a couple of days of buying it it was pulling a loaded trailer weighing about 3000kg across a field. There's not much else that can do that, other than Land Rover. Air suspension makes hitching things up effortless, without needing to crank on a jockey wheel. Drop the RR low, back up, raise the suspension to full to engage the hitch, drop it to normal and drive off.

The 150kg nose weight limit on the tow hitch means I can carry a small motorbike on a rack on the hitch rather than using a trailer - so I can use the RR to cross the country then use it for what it does best (carrying loads in the back and pulling things off road), leaving it where I'm working and using the bike as a runaround if I'm too far from anywhere to manage with a pushbike thrown inside.

Used for what they designed to do in the 70s, they are a very practical vehicle and older ones aren't massively expensive to buy or run if you are happy with spanners. For commuting, the school run or trips to the supermarket, not so much - even with 360 degree cameras they are a bit of a handful to park in small spaces if you aren't used to driving a van (which is pretty much what they are). I'm struggling to find any reason to own a Velar or Evoque, as even the badge snobbery doesn't exist now anyone can own one on PCP. I still prefer to use the right tool for the job, so the vast majority (>90%) of my annual mileage is on two wheels powered or unpowered as I don't need people, load carrying or off-road capability. The RR only comes out when I need to pull or carry.

Re: The Rise (and Fall) of the Suburban Main Battle Tank
« Reply #65 on: September 28, 2019, 04:27:08 pm »
FWIW, for some time, many years ago, I used a RR for work.
It is something that they do remarkably well.
Work.
ETA - Mostly towing.

Re: The Rise (and Fall) of the Suburban Main Battle Tank
« Reply #66 on: October 02, 2019, 04:51:17 pm »
This thread is generally about the inability of the populace to choose the right vehicle for the job. Sounds to me like you have MattH.  :thumbsup:

FifeingEejit

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Re: The Rise (and Fall) of the Suburban Main Battle Tank
« Reply #67 on: October 02, 2019, 05:25:34 pm »
I spent a period of around 10 minutes last night sitting in an autotest spec Toyota Starlet with a dead alternator being dragged along the road by a Mitsibushi L200.
The lack of big bumpered SAABs was then keenly felt as I had to shove the thing up the drive way where once we would just have shunted it.

Sometimes it's handy to be the neighbour with the ridiculous vehicles...

Zipperhead

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Re: The Rise (and Fall) of the Suburban Main Battle Tank
« Reply #68 on: October 03, 2019, 02:25:05 pm »
From this article in the Grauniad -
Collision course: why are cars killing more and more pedestrians?

And more Americans than ever are zipping around in SUVs and pickup trucks, which, thanks to their height, weight and shape are between two and three times more likely to kill people they hit.

Our son does know who Boz Scaggs is, we've done ok as parents.

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Re: The Rise (and Fall) of the Suburban Main Battle Tank
« Reply #69 on: October 03, 2019, 03:21:00 pm »
No great surprise there.  Fnord are stopping sales of "cars" over there altogether, barring the Mustang, to concentrate on SUVs, pickups and "crossovers".
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Re: The Rise (and Fall) of the Suburban Main Battle Tank
« Reply #70 on: October 03, 2019, 04:41:33 pm »
When I was on holiday in America last year we got a 4.6 or similar size engine pick up. It was classed as a mid sized vehicle

ian

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Re: The Rise (and Fall) of the Suburban Main Battle Tank
« Reply #71 on: October 03, 2019, 09:23:23 pm »
From this article in the Grauniad -
Collision course: why are cars killing more and more pedestrians?

And more Americans than ever are zipping around in SUVs and pickup trucks, which, thanks to their height, weight and shape are between two and three times more likely to kill people they hit.

Yes, but soon there will be no pedestrians, so all will be good. We'll all be greasing up and levering our wheezing, wobbling, ventripotent bulks into our wheeled behemoths so we can struggle to megastores surrounded by an airport-sized car park to buy tortilla chips in bags big enough to sleep in.

But to be serious, any decline in road deaths and injuries these days seems to come about from scaring off more vulnerable road users. Or killing them. They'll learn one way or the other.

Frankly, unless you've a genuine need to tow an elephant or something, I think the average urban owner of one of these massive vehicles is probably being a bit of a cunt. And if it's a marque of Range Rover, definitely a cunt.
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Re: The Rise (and Fall) of the Suburban Main Battle Tank
« Reply #72 on: October 03, 2019, 09:58:34 pm »
The genesis of SUVs in the US and EU is actually fairly complex. SUVs were a replacement for the 'full size' US cars following the Corporate Average Fuel Economy legislation. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporate_average_fuel_economy#SUVs_and_minivans_created_due_to_original_mandate

In the UK a four door pickup with a capacity of one tonne has 'Benefit in Kind' advantages for the self-employed, hence lots of high-spec trucks of that type.

Those two factors have made vehicles of the type widely available, and 'style conscious' buyers have found them widely available, and affordable. I'm in a tiny segment of buyers who go for ex-utility 4x4s. Those used to be Land Rovers, but are now Fords or Toyotas, the ones made in South Africa, not Thailand.

Steph

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Re: The Rise (and Fall) of the Suburban Main Battle Tank
« Reply #73 on: October 04, 2019, 07:40:37 am »
Two minor points.

My former brother in law has a Toyota Hilux Surf. Usable interior space is zero.

The Graun used to do a Saturday 'random statistic' map. Once, the stat was "Likelihood your first car was 4WD"

High probability in rural Scotlandland, Powys, Northumberland, etc. And Chelsea.
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ian

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Re: The Rise (and Fall) of the Suburban Main Battle Tank
« Reply #74 on: October 04, 2019, 10:41:15 am »
My theory is that you're planning to, say, invade the Crimea, you need a tank. If you're planning to go shopping at Sainsbury's, you don't.
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