Hey everyone!:) Don't be afriad to comment here if you have a question or opinion about this stuff, after all, it's getting kinda lonely here.
Anyways, a look back at March of 2009 and the 12 Hours of Sebring, as it might be the last great Sebring for at least a year(2010's grid looks kinda anemic right now): http://auto-racing.speedtv.com/article/ ... f-sebring/
And on to maybe a more serious topic-large vs small as far as cars...
I know that the typical way of though is that bigger is better-not always, especially when fuel mileage and vehicle cost are factored in. But I don't think that a subcompact is a good choice for a family car, unless your immediate family is just your boyfriend/girlfriend or husband/wife. But then there are SUVs and large sedans that require large engines and cost and arm and a leg to buy and maintain.
One area that I feel that I've seen improvements in is how space is used in cars. Take newer Audi's, for example. Their cars are built as front wheel drive cars with the provision for an all-wheel drive system(sold under the trade name "quattro"). The problem is one of packaging, especially for longintudinally mounted engines, as they hang over the front wheel centerline and can unbalance the car, and to keep the car compact and lightweight, they were given short wheelbases, with the attendantly cramped rear passenger area or reduced trunk space. This was true of previous A4's. But the new A4 has a much longer wheelbase, though overall size is similar, because the clutch/torque converter and front differential have swapped places. This has also allowed for the engine to be moved towards the center of the car and the passenger space englarged without size or weight penalties.
And what of what cars are built out of. Audi is famous for building the top of the line cars(A8/S8 sedans and the R8 mid engined super car) out of aluminum-the A8 family and the R8 use an aluminum unitbody construction sold under the tradename of "Audi Space Frame"(or ASF). It allows the A8 to be a large car without being heavier, and it's construction allows the chassis to be stronger. So you have a lightweight, strong, safe, and fuel-efficent sedan compared to it's competition. One problem-aluminum is more expensive than steel and is harder to make a car body out of, which is why the Honda/Acura NSX was so expensive(though the A8 is slightly cheaper than the equivalant Mercedes-Benz S-Class or BMW 7 series). But for the mass market, there's the Audi TT-it's unitbody is make up of a mixture of steel and aluminum components.
And of course, there's carbon fiber, but right now, that's limited to trim on most cars or insanely expensive supercars(Ferrari Enzo, Maserati MC12, McLaren F1, et al), and, of course, racing cars(F1, Indy Cars, Le Mans Prototypes, and even on Super GT cars that race in Japan use carbon fiber chassis built partly around a production car chassis).
And of course, there are small cars, like the Mini, various foreign cars, and at the top of the list are the BMW 1 series and the soon to be launched Audi A1. The A1 is intended to replace the long out of production Audi A2, which used an aluminum unitbody, which gave the car excellent fuel economy(far better then the Toyota Prius), but made it too expensive for the market. Hopefully, the A1 will have more success.
With that said, what would one like to see in a car of the near future-a truly practical small car, sedans getting more poweriful but at the same time more fuel efficent and staying a practical size, or more racing bred technology trickling down into production cars(like an affordable carbon chassis cars, for instance)? What would you like to see?