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Put the car in first and start it up. If the car want's to lurch forward then the clutch is working but not disengaging. Look toward the slave/master cylinders or even the pedal itself. Pontiac used aluminum clutch pedals and they bend over time, hitting the floor before giving you the full length of travel. This causes the clutch to not disengage. 50 bucks at Fierostore.com.
If the car doesn't lurch or the RPM's go up while in gear and clutch out, but the car doesn't go any faster then the clutch is slipping and needs to be replaced.
The below are improvements over the years. One thing to remember that a HUGE % of the energy the rider puts into moving forward is used to overcome wind resistance.
In terms of motion....
Lighter overall. Lighter bikes overall, lighter wheels - easier to spin up and keep rolling.
More efficent bearings all around/ wheels cranks, etc.
Better design of frames/bars, etc. Positions the rider better on the bike to convert his energy into forward motion Also - better positions the rider on the bike to cut the wind better - lower rider resistance.
better tires, skinner tires - Less rolling restiance -
When something in the car's faulty and a sensor picks it up and tells the computer, the computer will cause the car to do exactly that. Could be anything, from a damaged air intake sensor to the breaks.
Have your car connected to a computer and let the computer do the talking for you.