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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So I was reading an article in this months issue of racecar engineering about the prospect of a twin engined car. They made a specific point that when a car is turning, and developing a slip angle on the front tires, the tires will attempt to decelerate the car. This means that in a rwd (assumed to be the best handling platform) the rear tires must transfer power through the tarmac and up through the front tires contact patch to keep the wheel moving at a constant velocity, thus using up a portion of the front tires friction circle. I believe the quote was something like "we need to realize, no matter what, the front wheels must be driven" (even if its by the rear wheels through the tarmac). It then went on to say that because awd (or fwd) cars drive the front wheels there is actually more total available grip (larger friction circle) at the front wheels in a turn in an awd car than a rwd car which (and here comes another pseudo quote) "explains why awd cars handle so well despite the inherent weight disadvantage. This literally blew my mind for about 50 seconds while i tried to wrap my brain around this fact.

Recently I have been doing very well with my gc in autocross, generally turning the fastest times on dot tires at every event, but long for rwd and better steering feel. I have really been considering getting a miata which would entail a serious shitload of work to bring my car back to stock and then bring a miata up to a competitve level and really had no trouble doing so until I read this article. I had always assumed that rwd was the purest form of handling, with the maximum possible corner speeds. I guess my world has been turned upside down.

On another note, to me this explains why a front lsd makes such a huge handling difference in an awd car (eg. wrx vs. sti) as it can power the outside front loaded wheel which in effect actually increases the available grip at the tire, unlike an open front diff which would power the unloaded inner wheel.

oh and also... ditch the gc and get a miata? I have a new dd now and can have a dedicated track/autox car. The miata seems like a better platform than the gc aside from this freak awd technicality.
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