Last post on Jun 14, 2013 at 11:22 AM
You are in the Automotive News & Views
What is this discussion about?
#9429 of 9950 Re: Poor Man's BMW... [bpizzuti]
Sep 23, 2012 (8:43 pm)
"...AWD on the other hand.."
F/awd or R/awd...?
And then which F/awd of the myriad of versions.
#9430 of 9950 Re: Poor Man's BMW... [bpizzuti]
Sep 24, 2012 (4:11 am)
I've logged about 330,000 miles on decent, sporty, FWD cars: Integra, Maxima, TL. You say FWD can accelerate through a turn better than RWD?? Is that after you have plowed into the turn with a weight transfer that puts about everything but the tailpipe over the front wheels? And is that carefully managing the accelerator so as not to induce torque steer? I can't half use the horsepower of my TL without inducing wheel hop and dangerous oversteer in a turn, so not sure what FWD sport sedan you may be driving that could handle it better. And if you do lose control in a FWD car do you just grab the bible out of the glove box because you are SOL at that point?
I don't drive on public roads with anywhere near the enthusiasm I did yesterday at Summit Point. So perhaps some of the pitfalls of FWD would not be as obvious doing the grocery store run or the daily commute. But I don't think there is a FWD car made that could make it around the track in less than twice the time as a Boxster S in the hands of the professional drivers. And the professionals don't need (or want) the extra weight of AWD as a control aid. Heck, they turned off all of the electronic nannies before giving us a "hot lap" with them in the drivers seat.
#9431 of 9950 Re: Poor Man's BMW... [wwest]
Sep 24, 2012 (7:00 am)
Well, ideally it'd be the system off of the STI, which is manually adjustable. But other than that, 50/50 split. Subie systems are the best.
#9432 of 9950 Re: Poor Man's BMW... [habitat1]
Sep 24, 2012 (7:01 am)
so not sure what FWD sport sedan you may be driving that could handle it better.
it's called a Mazda3.
#9433 of 9950 Re: Poor Man's BMW... [bpizzuti]
Sep 24, 2012 (7:44 am)
On a FWD car you can do a lot more accelerating in a turn without losing control. Much harder to do with RWD, whereas an FWD car will simply pull the rest of the car along with it.
Yes, you are right... it pulls the car right off the track. Trust me, I've autocrossed and tracked RWD, FWD, and AWD. If you apply power too early with FWD, you increase understeer and wheelspin. If you apply too early with RWD, you increase oversteer and wheelspin. AWD allows you to apply power earlier in a typically neutral manner, but you still have to be cautious with it, and you have the added weight penalty.
The advantage to RWD is that you can use the throttle (throttle steer) to adjust in a corner moreso than with FWD. If I overdrive a corner with RWD, a dab of throttle and a little tail out action can correct it. Overdrive with FWD and your only course of action is to slow down.
After some adjustments, my GTI was definitely a fantastic autocross car, but I can assure you that I could NOT put power down in a corner. Nothing but wheelspin.
#9434 of 9950 Re: Poor Man's BMW... [bpizzuti]
Sep 24, 2012 (7:47 am)
it's called a Mazda3.
O.K. then it's probably unfair of me to compare a sporty compact car to a sports car like the Boxster relative to driving dynamics. But I think if you drove something like a BMW 1-series against your Mazda3 around a track with instructor input to get the most out of each, you would quickly conclude that RWD and 50/50 weight balance offers some distinct handling advantages to FWD and a nose heavy weight distribution. At least that's what I found comparing my TL to a BMW 335i. The 2004 TL 6-speed, with a stiffer suspension and Brembo brakes not available on an automatic, is a far superior handling car than the automatic version. But it's no BMW when you are hitting the brakes hard before entering a turn and then powering around it.
I haven't driven the Mazda3, but hear that it is one of the better handling sporty compact cars available - and Mazda doesn't try to overpower the car with a high HP engine that might look good on paper, but induces excessive torque steer and wheel hop when pushed. I'm sure that for 99% of the driving I do, it would feel just fine. This isn't a debate on that, rather the laws of physics and mechanics as they apply to that other 1% of the time.
#9435 of 9950 Re: Poor Man's BMW... [qbrozen]
Sep 24, 2012 (7:59 am)
I'd look to Porsche or Lotus
For a while there the Corvette Z06 was lighter and shorter than a Porsche 911.
There is hope - the new 911 is lighter and has shorter overhangs.
Lotus appears to be bloating up, too. Will we get another Elise and Exige, or will they move up in weight and content to better meet modern desires?
#9436 of 9950 Re: Poor Man's BMW... [Mr_Shiftright]
Sep 24, 2012 (8:01 am)
Nobody can touch BMWs engine technology
Well, the smooth, naturally aspirated inline 6s are gone. The turbo 4 clatters like a diesel and start/stop makes them shake like an 80s econobox. More importantly they lost that instant throttle response they were known for.
So even BMW can't touch BMW.
#9437 of 9950 Re: Poor Man's BMW... [qbrozen]
by Mr_Shiftright HOST
Sep 24, 2012 (8:24 am)
An angry can of gnats driving front wheels is even less of a BMW.
Aside from the obvious FWD driving characteristics, as you add HP you increase torque steer, especially on a light, small car. They've come a long way to curing torque steer, but it's still there, especially with a manual transmission.
Torque steer on a supercharged MINI is nasty, for instance.
#9438 of 9950 Re: Poor Man's BMW... [bpizzuti]
Sep 24, 2012 (9:52 am)
50/50 split requires a totally open center diff'l/planetary and only "works" with equal F/R traction. Like the current WRX, and with no functional VC.