A new trend
going around these days in the auto industry is a feature that goes by the name
of ‘driving mode’. This option of a driving mode started with the German luxury
manufacturers and is now tricking down to the smaller cars. Let me explain what
a driving mode is. A car like the BMW offers its customers three different driving
modes in their car….Eco Pro, Comfort, and Sport. Volvo cars have something similar
as well and so do many others. Audi lets you choose Comfort, Auto or Dynamic.
Tata Motors are marketing their Zest with their new Revotron engine saying its
3 engines in one (which it isn’t).
I realised that there is a huge problem. Let me explain. Eco mode: What it
basically means is that lesser fuel will be consumed. In the case of BMW, they
have a regenerative braking system that powers the car to a speed of 40kmph
after which you cross that limit, the engine kicks in and the braking energy is
harvested by charging the battery from the heat generated from the brakes. So
that covers that.
Sport mode is
where everything becomes sporty so you can have a bit of fun with the car, as the
throttle is more responsive, engine performance improves, the steering gets
heavier and suspensions get stiffer, which in return also uses more fuel.
Now here is
the problem. The comfort mode is what I find puzzling. Who is that for? In fact
what is that button for? What happens in Comfort mode is that you ride
comfortably by using a little more fuel. Who in their right mind would say to
themselves, “No I will not drive economically as it will save me some fuel and
dare anyone to sit beside me blind folded in a car of their choice, which has
that Comfort feature, and tell me without looking if I’m driving in Eco or
Comfort mode. He or she will never be able to tell the difference. Comfort
wise, both these modes don’t really have any amount of difference, it’s not
like you get a park bench in Eco mode. Nor can the seats add mode padding to
themselves in Comfort mode. Suspension wise, both modes are more or less the
same and talking about performance, maybe the engine isn’t as powerful in Eco
mode, so where in the world do you need to go 20 kmph faster for some added
comfort? Even in a Bentley, the really big expensive ones, you can cut half the
cylinder from firing and just use the other half to save fuel. If you want to
go faster you set it into full proper
crazy fun mode.
What I will
admit is that the modes in Audi are a bit more sensible with only Comfort and Dynamic
with an option for the computer to decide what to change automatically
depending on how you drive in Auto. The engine itself is enough to be as
economical as it can be.
another question, why not make the standard engine economical and call it Comfort
mode all together like Audis.
where I’m getting at is that you either want to save fuel and money by being
economical, which is most of the time, and sometimes you put it into sport if
you want to have a bit of fun. So there is no need for an “In the middle”
button at all.
millions of Dollars and Euros down the drain. Back to the drawing board chaps.
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