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By Kenneth C. Hoffman
Expert Author Kenneth C. Hoffman
As a long time Honda owner, I appreciate their solid construction and long life on the road .
Of course I would like to see some improvements and I have made a few myself. An easy change would be in the air cleaner from a paper filter to a washable foam filter would save the owner money and provide an improved engine performance .
While saving weight by eliminating sound deadening materials is a worthy goal, I think the average consumer would gladly pay the difference to be able to drive in relative quiet. The trend to wider wheel rims seems to ignore the reality that wider rims means a harder ride with little benefit to handling .
In the wishes category, there are a few attainable improvements which would take an appreciable cost and time to develop but could mean considerable improvement .
One change would be an A-post of less than 3.5 inch thickness. This would make the pillar virtually invisible, aiding the driver to see ‘through’ the blind spot. Modern strength materials could be used while not impacting the required safety crash needs .
A better suspension system would utilize an advanced torsion bar arrangement, freeing up usable storage space and also provide a smoother ride. The benefits of a smoother ride include less wear and tear on moving components and better tire wear .
The main component would involve the use of torsion bars connected to a diagonally opposed wheel connection. The energy generated by wheel hop would be dissipated through heat in the torsion bars instead of bouncing the chassis up and down .
In the hybrid category, the main stumbling block seems to be the time and equipment needed to charge the batteries for a longer ride on one charge. Many drivers do not have the possibility of charging the car at home or at work. The scientists are feverishly working on improving the battery charge life but appreciable improvement is still in the future .
One energy source heretofore ignored is the energy that could be captured from the resistance to the air at highway speeds. With a few changes in body construction which would concentrate the rushing slipstream air through a turbo/ generator could easily keep the batteries charged without the necessity of a charging built in motor .
Of course for drivers who rarely drive outside the city limits, a separate motor for charging would be necessary. A third possibility would be the slipstream configuration without a charging motor and an outside receptacle for home or commercial charging .
For safety purposes, I believe that all GPS and entertainment screen be relegated to the passenger side only. The GPS screen could be detached for driver use only when stopped. The same goes for smart phones. The careless attitude by many drivers is making it extremely dangerous for all the safe drivers in the world .