James May, our favourite Captain of the Slow, once mentioned that it is fun to drive a slow car fast. That coming from him, seemed normal as it referred to driving ‘slow’ cars fast and not just any car. Driving a fast car, slow would be his style for sure. But, if you think about it, he actually makes a lot of sense, as usual.
The thrill of revving an engine at its maximum RPM in town limits can be achieved only if it is slow and underpowered. But doing so does fill inside you with a sense of achievement and fulfillment.
Get a little deeper into this riddle and you realise that not only is it good fun, but it is also the cheapest way to go bonkers in a car without breaking the bank for it. Slot it into fifth gear (or sixth gear if it has one) and see it do 90 mph at max rpm all day and yet, it will start at one go the next morning.
Things rarely go wrong with low compression engines in slow cars. They don’t run too hot, they have fewer sensors and electricals which could mean they’ll probably last longer than the owner himself.
Those challenges however are more pronounced in fast cars because they have hot, high revving engines, plenty of sensors, more electronics and gadgetry that makes them function in a complicated manner
So, one is always fearful when putting their foot down. Will I burn the clutch sooner? Will the pistons fry if I continue driving fast? Those are the kind of thoughts one usually encounters. As a result, one attains peace and happiness if they drive a fast car, slow.
Here are some popular slow cars that you rev your heart out with:
- VW Cabriolet 1986: 98 Horsepower mated to 5 speed gearbox can take you places at full speed without getting you a ticket!
- 2011 Honda Fit/ Honda Jazz: They came with a 1.2L engine which produced around 90 horspower. Thanks to a lightweight body, you could throw them into a roundabout with full throttle without crashing.
- 2005 Ford Focus: Though this one had a bigger engine and around 130 horses, it behaved like a go cart given its size and weight.
- Maxda MX-5 / Miata: A compact rear-wheel drive convertible with a 1.8L engine that produced a generous 140 horspower that would most probably never see a flatbed. What more can you ask for?
- 2001 Toyota MR2: Speaking of the Miata, we were also reminded of this reliable roadster with similar specifications. You could take the roof off this one, too!
What slow car do you covet?