Such were the stars of the Geneva Salon … 1905.
How cars have changed in a century! Today, a car with a capacity of 35 hp will not see. Even the smallest city cars, say Toyota Aigo, Peugeot 107 and Citroen C1, the result of the joint work of the auto giants, are twice as powerful. And the engines of compact golf cars sometimes develop more than a hundred. And these are not the most dynamic modifications. Here is the "Opel Astra OPC", built according to the formula 240x240. You probably guessed that it was about horsepower and kilometers per hour.
Neither strict environmental standards, nor rising oil prices stop this jump. At least for now. New light materials, tricky combustion chambers and fancy pistons, the most accurate fuel equipment. All of this, in the first place, is designed to ensure fuel economy and clean exhaust. But it is necessary without loss (or even increase) of power!
By the way, we will return again in 1905, but this year in Geneva is the anniversary year. The speed record a century ago was 176.46 km / h. It was installed at the very end of 1905 by Emery on the Darrack. Today in the club “for over 170” there are a lot of compact and affordable cars. And the maximum speed of prestigious sedans and the more so coupe is noticeably higher than 200 km / h. The limit at which electronics "strangles" a car is 250 km / h. However, in the ranks of sports models there are many “violators”.
I wonder how long it took the brave driver of the 150-horsepower Dufot to accelerate to 100 km / h? History has not saved the data … Today, many, by no means sports cars, can compete with the racing miracle of the beginning of the 20th century. What would be the sensation of the driver of the beginning of the last century, if he controlled a Ferrari, accelerating to a hundred in 4 seconds?
But to make the car faster, a powerful engine and corresponding transmission are few. This, incidentally, was already understood by our grandfathers, who were trying to give the race cars the shape of a cigar or drop.
Today, the tasks of designers and designers are much more complicated: the machine must also be spacious, meet strict safety requirements and, of course, look no worse than competitors. Huge licked bumpers, spectacular spoilers are not only and not so much a tribute to fashion (although without it, of course, nothing!), But the elements necessary for high dynamic performance. And the fancy holes in the front panels of the fastest models? This is not at all a figment of designer imagination and not a dirt collector, but channels for cooling the brakes.
By the way, it is high speeds that gradually bring modern, even small cars, to their distant ancestors, which are pushed off the ground by huge wheels. Later, the designers diligently reduced them, so as not to take away seats from passengers and luggage. But today, 18-inch wheels are again the norm for other family cars, and 20-inch ones for sports models. Otherwise, how to fit the brakes (after all, 300 mm discs are not the limit) that can hold back the heated engine hoods?