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how many horses in a car to be powerful enough?

how many horses in a car to be powerful enough?

Feb 19th, 2000, 08:14 PM
  #1  
mast
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how many horses in a car to be powerful enough?

Hi guys!
Is a 1.6 cc car good enough to drive city to city in Germany or a 2.0 cc car is a minimun requirement? and is a manual car much better than a auto car?
also, I have never experience driving in a snowing condition before, who will/can help me to instal the 'snow-chain(?)'?

regards,

mast
 
Feb 19th, 2000, 08:46 PM
  #2  
alan
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Hi! What are you driving now? Most engine sizes are given in cc's. My vw is 1.8 cc, and I have no problem at all.
alan
 
Feb 19th, 2000, 09:28 PM
  #3  
mast
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Last year I rented a 1.6 auto in south africa and found that it was rather tedious when driving uphill. In my country we do not have any mountain road so even a 800 cc car is good enough. but I would think that to drive an auto car should be more convenient as we might need to refer to the map very often.

mast
 
Feb 20th, 2000, 04:01 AM
  #4  
bo_jack
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What is your home country? And, are you accustomed to driving a manual transmission? Your thought about map reading while shifting does not really make sense to me. You are best off going with a larger, rather than smaller engine; and, the savings of manual over automatic will much more than pay for the difference. If there are two people in the car, then one navigates and the other drives; even if not, there is little difference in map reading whether in a manual or automatic. With regard to show chains, they are easy to install, you will just need to get the car rental agency to show you how. But, how about getting a car with snow tires if you are driving in winter conditions? Unless you are going for skiing, so that driving in snow conditions may be required, it is best to stay off roads where chains are needed.
 
Feb 20th, 2000, 07:18 AM
  #5  
Bob Brown
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Hi Mast. I usually think of 1.6 or 2.0 being 1.6 liters or 2.0 liters of cubic engine displacement. To me 1.6 cc says 1.6 cubic centimeters. Most automotive magazines refer to the engine displacement that way. Or else it will be phrased as 1600 cubic centimeters. (or maybe 1.6K cc)
If the car has a good manual transmission that yields maximum torque for the engine displacement, which is really the measure of power, I think a 1.6 liter compact car would be ok except in Switzerland. Of course some cars have a supercharger that boosts horsepower, so that displacement is not always a true indicator. Also, the weight of the car is vital factor. Most 4 cylinder engines are very sensitive to the total weight of the car because there is not much reserve power.
We drove a compact Fiat one year over the Grimsel Pass. It had a sweetheart of a 5-speed manual gear box so acceleration was adequate and downhill engine braking was perfect. I recall it being a 1.8 liter engine. With only two people in it, with less than 100 pounds of luggage, it did not feel weighted down.
Last year we had an Opel Vectra with automatic shift and a 2.0 liter engine.
It seemed a little sluggish at times, particularly uphill, but it handled nicely and hugged the road securely.
The pairing of a good suspension and excellent Michelin tires were welcome.
When I lived in snow country ( Ohio ), I had a good set of snow tires. But I have no knowledge of them in Europe. I don't think I want them on a front wheel drive car for freeway type driving anyhow. As for chains, I would not want to learn to drive with them on a road that required them! It is a different ball game when chains are needed because of ice and snow. I agree with Bo Jack. I think I will go elsewhere if the road requires chains!!
I will let my northern friends do the chain bit. We very rarely need them in piedmont Georgia. (The mountains are a different story.)

My own personal car is a Toyota Camry, 5 speed gearing, and a 2.0 liter engine.
It has adequate acceleration and a top speed of over 100 mph. The car weighs something under 3000 pounds, but if I have 4 full sized people riding in it, I can feel a definite decline in acceleration. I do feel that small 4 cylinder engines suffer when coupled with an automatic transmission. Fuel efficiency declines, as does power.
On the other hand, my wife's Camry has a 3.0 liter V6 engine with an automatic shift. This drive train yields good acceleration. But it tends to use gas -- we get less than 30 mph out of it. If gas costs $4.50 to $5.00 a gallon, one starts to pay attention to fuel efficiency a little more.
 
Feb 20th, 2000, 04:31 PM
  #6  
mast
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sorry about the confusion guys. yes, what I meant was 1600 cc car vs 2000 cc car.
should I say that if auto transmission is needed, then at least a 2000 cc car will be better without sacrificing too much power?
I will be travelling in december, and cover the Bavaria Alps area as well. I am not quite sure whether we will encounter any snow or not, so some precausionary measures might be required.
As for reading a map while driving, this happens especially when we turn into a wrong road and can't really pull aside. or to make a decision when reaching a junction which we have overlook while planning the route.
perhaps the better choice is to get a 1800 cc car with manual transmission, am I right?

regards,

mast
 
Feb 20th, 2000, 05:08 PM
  #7  
Bob Brown
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I guess my experience has been is that you take what you can get when you rent a car. I usually don't end up with what I reserve! I know that is not encouraging, but it often happens.
Last year in Lausanne we had reserved a compact. The Avis agency had none so we drove off in an upgrade -- that is how we got the Opel Vectra. (And on an on with this type of thing both in the States and in Europe. I once ended up in a Cadillac rather than a mid sized Ford. Never again. I was not quite ready for the reception I got when I pulled up in a Sedan de Ville. People thought I was rich.)
Technically you are correct about the size of the engine. 1.8 should be ok as long as you don't put 130 Kilo people in it.
As for the map reading. That makes me shudder. Driving at 100 mph on the Autobahn trying to read a map??
I pass totally on the snow tires. I have not driven on them since 1967!!
And I know zilch about chains. And at my age, I don't want to learn.
Where I live snow is an occasion to call off the world. (The schools cancelled classes this year because they THOUGHT it was going to snow. So everybody stayed home and had a good time. No snow ever came. My Finnish friends had a good laugh over that one! Call of school because you think it might snow??
Come on! I agree. College professors aren't the world's best administrators. Acting on academic knowledge and acting on practical reality are two different things that professonal egg heads have trouble seeing. At least I got a day off! At least the rationals for a silly decision were entertaining fantasy.)
 
Feb 21st, 2000, 03:11 AM
  #8  
Paulo
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If I'm not wrong, Mast, 1.6 liter engines in western Europe usually develop more power than the same engines in the US (and South africa for thet matter). Furthermore, there are 1.6 engines with 8 or 16 valves, turbo-compressed, etc. For instance, I own a 2 liter Vectra here in Brazil which develops only 115HP ... In Europe, any 16 valves 1.8 should develop more!

What car type are you renting? Chances are that if it's a VW Golf you're ok with the 1.6 liter engine. I estimate that it should develop around 95HP which's reasonable considering the weight of the car. A couple of years ago, I rented a 1.6 Opel Vectra in Germany. This was ok on the German freeways (it developped a max speed ofabout 190km/h) but was kind of sluggish at low engine speeds (till about 2,000 rpm).

So, if you're renting an Opela Vectra, I recommend you ask for a 16 valves - 1.8 powered car.

You certainly don't want an auto car ... I understood you're basing yourself in Garmish and with the possibility of snow a manual shift car if safer.

Spike tires are out of question ... you wouldn't be allowed to use them outside the area with snow conditions. Should you need the chains, albeit tedious, it's not difficult to install them. Just do it once at your "home base" in Garmish as a test.

Paulo

 
Feb 21st, 2000, 06:53 AM
  #9  
mast
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Thanks guys! I really learned something about cars after these postings! problem is when I make a booking from my country (singapore), you can only request the category that you want (e.g 1600 cc manual) but most of the time you can't request which model of car to rent. the answer will always be: there is no promise of the model but you will get the car with the horse power requested. so we can't really be that precise as to which model to rent.
or maybe I shall book it thru internet?

regards,

mast
 
Feb 21st, 2000, 11:14 AM
  #10  
Paulo
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Well, Mast, I think you may do a little better than this ... If you're renting through AutoEurope, you're renting either a SUB-COMPACT (as the VW Polo), a COMPACT (as the VW Golf) or a MIDSIZE (as the Opel Vectra). When I rented with them, I new which car cathegory I was renting. Of course, once you get there, the car rental company may "offer" you an "upgrade" (which is always to a more expensive car - e.g., size and confort - but not necessarily with a better performance).

What I wanted to make clear in my previous message is that if you're renting either a sub-compact or a compact, you should do ok with the 1.6 engine. If you're renting a midsize or you're offered an "upgrade" to a midsize, the car will be a little sluggish at low engine speeds (unless it has got an 1.8 engine). Nothing dramatic, though.

Paulo
 

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