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      12-12-2011, 02:26 PM   #215

Drives: fat cars are still boats
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: compensating a fat car with horsepower is like giving an alcoholic cocaine to sober him up.

iTrader: (0)

Originally Posted by Red Bread View Post
You realize that a 50/50 weight balance is not ideal, right? A rearward bias is preferential, but most front engine cars can't achieve that, so just getting half of the weight on the back is considered beneficial. More weight in the back helps with traction, braking and can allow narrower front tires which can help greatly with drag coefficient and also allows smaller and lighter suspension components.
You can look at the Cayman as having the perfect weight distribution for a racing car (and a low center of gravity due to the boxer engine).

The BIG advantage of having the engine in the middle of the car (between both front and rear axles) is initial turn-in. It's like the car would be perfectly able to rotate around an imaginary vertical axis passing through its center of gravity between the driver and passenger seats. However, due to the absence of the weight of the engine on the front wheels, once you start applying the throttle and the weight shifts to the rear, provided you don't have enough power to break the rear wheels traction, you will start to understeer. Thus, you loose some of the capacity to use the throttle to corner despite the fact that you are actually carrying more speed into the corner in virtue of the better turn-in.

So, another concept has to be accounted for - car's dynamic weight distribution. With Toyobaru's less than ideal weight distribution at 53/47 front to rear, the weight distribution shifts rearward under acceleration and becomes dead even at near-perfect 50/50 balance despite of the initial understeer due to a worse turn-in ability. This means you can get back on the throttle earlier allowing the car to accelerate with neutral weight distribution. The car's balance prowess lays on the right amount of rotation you get from the transition between braking and getting back on the gas. And, if things are done right you can essentially use the throttle to corner and the steering wheel to initially turn-in and opposite lock. That's the reason why precise, fast throttle response is so important and turbo-lag so detrimental.

That's the reason why drifting cars are front-engined rwd.

That's the difference between effectiveness and fun!

Last edited by GoingTooFast; 12-12-2011 at 02:38 PM.