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Is the Porsche Carrera GT Too Dangerous? 961

Posted by timothy
from the unqualified-normatives dept.
Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "CNN reports that the 600 horsepower Porsche Carrera GT is notoriously difficult to handle, even for professional drivers. Known as the car actor Paul Walker was riding in when he died, there is no suggestion anyone was to blame for Walker's crash but Top Gear's Jeremy Clarkson says drivers are on a 'knife edge' handling the car and described it as 'brutal and savage". 'It is a phenomena — mind blowingly good. Make a mistake — it bites your head off.' Todd Trimble, an exotic car mechanic in Las Vegas, says the Carrera GT is a 'very hard car to drive.' It's (a) pure racer's car. You really need to know what you're doing when you drive them. And a lot of people are learning the hard way.' The sports car has a top speed of 208 mph, a very high-revving V10 engine and more than 600 horsepower says Eddie Alterman, editor-and-chief of Car and Driver magazine. 'This was not a car for novices,' says Alterman. Having the engine in the middle of the car means it's more agile and turns more quickly than a car with the engine in the front or in the rear so it is able to change direction 'very quickly, very much like a race car,' adds Alterman. The Carrera GT is also unusual because it has no electronic stability control which means that it's unforgiving with mistakes. 'Stability control is really good at correcting slides, keeping the car from getting out of shape,' says race car driver Randy Pobst. Alterman concludes that learning to drive a car like a Carrera GT can be extremely tricky. 'Every car is sort of different. And this one, especially since it had such a hair-trigger throttle, because it changed directions so quickly, there is a lot to learn.'"
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Is the Porsche Carrera GT Too Dangerous?

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 03, 2013 @09:48AM (#45582851)

    How safe is the car when you follow all driving laws like speed limits especially through turns?

    • ... even a tricycle can become deadly.

      Stop blaming the car.

      The problem is the driver.

      That Porsche may have 600 hp, but in the hand of an excellent driver, it would be still a very safe car.

      • by jythie (914043) on Tuesday December 03, 2013 @10:01AM (#45582977)
        I think part of the point as described is that even in the hands of an excellent (professional) driver it is still a dangerous car to use. Also given its unforgiving behavior and steep learning curve, a good driver has an unusually difficult time gauging how well they are handling it and mistakes ballon. That is the problem with unstable equilibrium, one learns how to handle a vehicle by hitting edges of stability but still having enough margin to correct. It sounds like a recurring problem with this car is that band is thin enough that one goes from 'ok' to 'massive failure' with little room for learning. A highly skilled professional driver can feel the band sooner, but the implication is that even for them it is a bit too thin.
        • by somersault (912633) on Tuesday December 03, 2013 @10:14AM (#45583135) Homepage Journal

          It sounds like this guy was actually a professional race driver, or at least part of an amateur racing team. He shouldn't have been trying to push the envelope on a public road though. It's horrible and sad news, but obviously the driver was being an idiot on public roads, and the type of car he was driving shouldn't really be relevant.

          • It sounds like this guy was actually a professional race driver, or at least part of an amateur racing team. He shouldn't have been trying to push the envelope on a public road though. It's horrible and sad news, but obviously the driver was being an idiot on public roads, and the type of car he was driving shouldn't really be relevant.

            "A man's GOT to know his limitations..." - Dirty Harry

      • The professional race car drivers seem to disagree with you.

      • by multisync (218450) on Tuesday December 03, 2013 @10:43AM (#45583493) Journal

        Stop blaming the car.

        The problem is the driver

        No, the problem is the only qualification needed to drive one is having the money to afford it.

    • Agreed. If you want to drive like a lunatic, get a safety cage installed in your Carrera GT and take it to a track. If your 600 horsepower is just whipping you up to 70 mph on the highway and taking corners on a back road at the posted 35 mph speed limit, most drivers can handle the car easily.
    • by RogueyWon (735973) on Tuesday December 03, 2013 @10:11AM (#45583091) Journal

      You certainly have a point, but supercars at this level can be dangerous even at legal speeds.

      At low speeds, these cars have two particular challenges for the driver; a huge amount of torque in the lower gears and a lack of the downforce that they rely upon for stability. You need an absolute feather touch on the accelerator or you will spin out - and this is much more likely to happen at 40mph than 140mph.

      This isn't a touring car like an Aston DB series or a lower end Porsche. Those are designed to be a pleasant high-end driving experience - not to provide maximum performance. The Carrera GT is effectively a road-going version of a full-fledged race car and, as such, needs a lot of skill to drive safely under any conditions. Personally, I'm not sure why you'd even want to take one onto normal roads; the concentration and restraint needed to keep it under control must surely make it much less fun than taking out a more normal high-performance car and letting it rip.

      • At low speeds, these cars have two particular challenges for the driver; a huge amount of torque in the lower gears...

        So skip first (and second, and maybe third) gear -- problem solved.

      • by adolf (21054) <flodadolf@gmail.com> on Tuesday December 03, 2013 @10:56AM (#45583649) Journal

        It doesn't matter if the car is "unstable" or not, if the driver can't control himself and his right foot.

        Anecdotally, I've driven my share of twitchy, torquey, mid-engined, high gear-ratio, non-traction-control-assisted cars on snow and ice: The speeds are lower than a Carrera GT in warm weather, but the dynamics are the same.

        It becomes an interesting exercise in self-preservation, and isn't always immediately intuitive: For instance, sometimes the most stable way 'round a banked turn is to be going faster instead of slower.

        If way too fast, the car will drift up the banking and into the ditch. If way too slow, the car will drift down the banking and into the other ditch. If at the correct speed, the banking of the road combines with the centripetal force of the turn, and results in neutral handling.

        This can mean driving at a reasonably slow speed on the Interstate (to avoid being blown off the road by wind), and accelerating before a curve (to achieve neutral balance), and then gently reducing speed again once the road straightens out (because cross-wind).

        Yeah, it's touchy and it's delicate. With a ridiculous amount of torque and a limited-slip diff, it'll get away from you if you're not paying attention.

        The answer, then, is to pay attention. It doesn't matter what kind of car it is, or what the speeds or conditions are: If operating the vehicle at the edge of grip, and you lose concentration, Bad Stuff is likely to be in your future.

    • by gl4ss (559668)

      well, depends. do you have a brick under the accelerator? because the point of the danger in having no assists is that you can get it sideways while going 40. and be in 60 under 3.5. and 60 to 0 in a little over 30 meters. but who the fuck has reactions to deal with figures like that. I guess the point I'm trying to make is that a slight tiny mistake makes you to drive it illegally(reckless driving tends to be legislated to be illegal in the west).

      on the other hand, duh, it's a very powerful exotic sports c

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by HnT (306652)

      Technically quite dangerous. Imagine you are riding a powerful motorcycle well within the speed limit, if you crank the throttle too much when cornering you will slip as many novice riders will tell you is their worst fear. Without ESP and without any other help that Porsche basically lays the same power into your hands. It could probably even spin on the spot like the old 911s did if you let go of the clutch too quickly. A "hair trigger" gas pedal and "it bites your head off" for mistakes means this car ne

      • by Quila (201335)

        I liked an idea floated around a while back about a special license being required to drive supercars on public roads. If you can afford the car, you can afford the license and special training.

    • by jitterman (987991)
      Hear hear (or is it, "here, here"?) !

      I used to race motorcycles (for fun, at a local track) - doesn't qualify me as an expert, but I've seen accidents on a track that people get up from without injury that would have probably resulted in all sorts of trauma on the street. The reasons are several - no obstructions around the roadway; everyone going in the same direction; everyone involved understanding that speed is the goal; areas surrounding the track are set up so as to minimize injury.

      These factors are
    • How safe is the car when you follow all driving laws like speed limits especially through turns?

      I'm from England and currently live in NY state. I don't even think we have speed limits on turns in the UK (or if we do they're rare). Here in NY, loads of turns have speed limits on them and they're almost all unrealistically low or pointless. I have a large wagon and I can easily take these turns safely at twice the posted limit (e.g. doing 30 MPH through a 15 MPH turn). Many of the turns with posted speed limits are trivial, gradual, turns on roads that aren't particularly busy. In general US roads hav

  • No question? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rjstanford (69735) on Tuesday December 03, 2013 @09:49AM (#45582867) Homepage Journal

    "...there is no suggestion anyone was to blame for Walker's crash..." unless you follow that link which says that the police suspect that speed was involved. No question that anyone not in the car was to blame is a different sentence indeed. Looking at the pictures of the scene its hard to imagine that they were driving anywhere close to the 45mph speed limit.

    • Re:No question? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Dodgy G33za (1669772) on Tuesday December 03, 2013 @09:58AM (#45582951)

      An actor that made his millions staring in films about illegal street racing dies in a high speed car crash. Poetic justice I suppose. I wonder how many impressionable youths or their innocent victims have died trying to emulate him.

    • Re:No question? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by neurovish (315867) on Tuesday December 03, 2013 @10:49AM (#45583559)

      "...there is no suggestion anyone was to blame for Walker's crash..." unless you follow that link which says that the police suspect that speed was involved. No question that anyone not in the car was to blame is a different sentence indeed. Looking at the pictures of the scene its hard to imagine that they were driving anywhere close to the 45mph speed limit.

      And later they estimate the car was going 40-45mph. http://www.nbcnews.com/entertainment/paul-walker-was-real-hero-daughter-heart-soul-his-charity-2D11683842 [nbcnews.com]
      How about waiting until the investigation is complete before jumping to conclusions? The police comment on random shit just to comment in cases like these. For some reason nobody considers "I have no idea, we're still investigating" an appropriate answer.

      • For some reason nobody considers "I have no idea, we're still investigating" an appropriate answer.

        Actually, almost everyone involved in some official capacity gives that answer. But that is not what the press wants, so they keep asking (Reporter: "Do you suppose speed could have been an issue?") until someone says something else that the reporter considers interesting (Tired cop: "It's possible") and uses that quote, or some mangled version of it. (Press: "Speed may have led to fatal accident").

        I've been horribly misquoted by reporters and stopped talking to them about a decade ago.

    • by Xest (935314)

      "Looking at the pictures of the scene its hard to imagine that they were driving anywhere close to the 45mph speed limit."

      To be fair most the damage from the picture is simply the fire damage. The impact damage will be the dent in the car and it's surprising how little speed is required to make quite a hefty visible damage impact.

      I had a crash at only 20mph once, I lost all braking ability on a downhill in icy conditions and couldn't stop for a junction and even with the car hitting me at only 20mph it bent

  • But then again, he was a cop with a lot of driving experience.

  • Any car is dangerous if you drive fast and make a mistake.

  • by i.r.id10t (595143) on Tuesday December 03, 2013 @09:53AM (#45582901)

    However, it is a car designed to allow a driver to use its "flaws" to wring the absolute maximum of performance out of it.

    Needless to say, this requires a driver that learns how to drive, and not the driver's ed that most get in high school.

    FWIW I learned to drive in a Porsche (356c coupe) and when Dad bought a "replacement" in '88 (a '84 Carrera 3.2 factory turbo look) he immediately took a driver's course at the Sebring race track. Even the 356 with its whopping 75 horsepower is a performance car, and the rear engine design will let it get away from you if you are careless and drive it like it is a Buick.

    • Re:No, it isn't (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 03, 2013 @10:19AM (#45583183)

      The Porsche has a very counter intuitive trait which helps to make it dangerous in the hands of an untrained driver. They exhibit oversteer when you lift your foot off the throttle. This means that as you begin to slide taking your foot off the throttle is exactly the wrong strategy as it will make the slide worse leading almost immediately to loss of control. At the point where the tires begin to bite again you will either dart quickly in a random direction or roll the car.

      • Re:No, it isn't (Score:5, Informative)

        by Scootin159 (557129) on Tuesday December 03, 2013 @10:43AM (#45583501) Homepage

        Lift off oversteer isn't exclusive to Porsche - pretty much any car that adheres to the laws of physics will do it. It stems from the weight transfer off the rear wheels when you lift off the throttle (due to less forward acceleration pushing the body of the car "back"), this decreases the normal force on the rear tires, causing the total grip to decrease in the rear (while the exact opposite is happening at the front end), and shifts the grip balance towards the front.

        The only reason most "other" cars don't exhibit this behavior as strongly is that they aren't setup (from the factory) with such a neutral balance - they're setup to understeer so strongly that the balance window you play in goes from "more understeer" to "less understeer" - not "understeer" to "oversteer".

  • Wrong subject (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sarten-X (1102295) on Tuesday December 03, 2013 @09:54AM (#45582917) Homepage

    Cars don't kill people. Stupid people driving cars kill people.

  • by larry bagina (561269) on Tuesday December 03, 2013 @09:59AM (#45582961) Journal

    You know, some of us remember driving cars that didn't have airbags, antilock brakes, traction control, rear view cameras, auto felch, auto transmission, etc. Neither then nor now were those cars "too dangerous".

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by bazorg (911295)

      auto-felch? hmmm, this thread is getting very technical. I'll check in the dictionary what felching [urbandictionary.com] means.

      erm... OK... no chance I'll be buying this car!

    • by clickety6 (141178)

      You know, some of us remember driving cars that didn't have airbags, antilock brakes, traction control, rear view cameras, auto felch, auto transmission, etc.

      Some of us remember, but there would be even more of us to remember if cars back then had had those safety features... well, except the auto felch maybe..

    • You know, some of us remember driving cars that didn't have airbags, antilock brakes, traction control, rear view cameras, auto felch, auto transmission, etc. Neither then nor now were those cars ''too dangerous.''

      In 1972 there were 54,589 traffic deaths in the U.S., population 201 million.

      In 2012, 34,080 traffic deaths, population 314 million.

      In 1972, 4 deaths per 100 million miles travelled.

      In 2012, 1 death per 100 million miles travelled. List of motor vehicle deaths in U.S. by year [wikipedia.org]

  • Porsche (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Krneki (1192201) on Tuesday December 03, 2013 @10:00AM (#45582967)

    Every car behaves differently once it's over the edge.

    Porches are notorious for "biting your head off" when you make a mistakes (of course not all of them). But the road is not the place to pull this stunts and if you want an "easy" handling car you should do your homework first.

    Besides the Carrera GT is an iconic car and should be kept on a pedestal and not driven on the edge on the roads. Especially if you don't have the skills and the focus required to drive above the edge.

  • by Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) on Tuesday December 03, 2013 @10:08AM (#45583051)

    Fast and Furious actor gets killed in a car accident... Sort of like if Arnold Schwarzenegger got crushed by an industrial robot.

  • by shadowrat (1069614) on Tuesday December 03, 2013 @10:09AM (#45583057)
    This isn't a warning. This is an advertisement for people who fancy themselves awesome drivers. All the salesperson needs to say is, "You know, this is a very dangerous car. Paul Walker couldn't handle this car. You look like you could." Sale!
  • In aviation (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Deadstick (535032) on Tuesday December 03, 2013 @10:14AM (#45583137)

    ...we have a fair number of accidents involving wealthy men in airplanes that exceed their training and skill level, which they bought on the assumption that "If I can buy it, I can fly it." This would seem to be similar.

    • by SIGBUS (8236)

      Two words: Beechcraft Bonanza. The early version became known as the "fork-tailed doctor killer" for precisely that reason. The people who can afford them often don't have time to keep their skills current.

  • by argStyopa (232550) on Tuesday December 03, 2013 @10:17AM (#45583173) Journal

    ...so someone doesn't accidentally buy a $335,000 600hp sports car without realizing IT MIGHT BE DANGEROUS.

    In other news: the government has banned running with scissors.

  • by sunking2 (521698) on Tuesday December 03, 2013 @10:18AM (#45583175)
    And blaming the driver. A little background. While not professional drivers Walker and the driver were on a race team together and did plenty of circuit races. The guy driving has a GT3 so is more than familiar with the class of cars in question. Each had many more hours logged racing than any pilot would have flying before being able to get his flight license. It's easy to blame the driver, and it could rightly end up that way. However, the question of whether the car malfunctioned or should not be considered street legal should also be asked. Point being, if you believe these guys had no business driving this car then nobody shy of an F1 driver should be able to by them, hence they are too dangerous to sell to the general public.
    • by d3m0nCr4t (869332) on Tuesday December 03, 2013 @10:29AM (#45583311)

      And blaming the driver. A little background. While not professional drivers Walker and the driver were on a race team together and did plenty of circuit races. The guy driving has a GT3 so is more than familiar with the class of cars in question. Each had many more hours logged racing than any pilot would have flying before being able to get his flight license. It's easy to blame the driver, and it could rightly end up that way. However, the question of whether the car malfunctioned or should not be considered street legal should also be asked. Point being, if you believe these guys had no business driving this car then nobody shy of an F1 driver should be able to by them, hence they are too dangerous to sell to the general public.

      They had no business racing that car on a public road. If you want to race, do it on a race track.

    • by c (8461) <beauregardcp@gmail.com> on Tuesday December 03, 2013 @10:57AM (#45583659)

      And blaming the driver.

      Actually, I think most people are looking at a picture of a lump of scorched metal that used to be a car which was going fast enough to be completely wrapped around a small tree, and blaming the driver.

      You don't need to know the technical specs on the engine or the portfolio of the driver to spend a whole lot of time coming to that conclusion.

    • by caveat (26803) on Tuesday December 03, 2013 @11:28AM (#45584039)

      Looking at the pictures, it's pretty freakin' obvious the driver went "Lemme show you what the car can do - I got skillz yo, no worries!" and pegged it on a public street. Regardless of any risk to others, it's insanely moronic to drive like that off-track simply because there's zero margin. You fuck up, you die. No nice kerbs or runoff or gravel pits or SAFER walls to hit...just trees and lightposts. At 45mph, that car was perfectly safe, probably safer than anything else on the road that day because it's designed to go, and crash, much faster.

      But it wasn't exactly going 45 now, was it? Even IF something in the car broke, and that was why there was a loss of control - there was a loss of control at MASSIVELY EXCESSIVE SPEED. The gearhead-hooligan in me is sad, but the Responsible Adult is pleased these idiots sanitized the gene pool.

    • by Anubis IV (1279820) on Tuesday December 03, 2013 @11:47AM (#45584263)

      There's a distinction here that you're missing. We're blaming the driver, not because he was lacking for skill or training, but rather because he was lacking for the common sense that says you shouldn't drive a car dangerously on public roads.

      While his inability to control the car under extreme conditions certainly had a role in all of this, the fact is that he never should have had those skills tested in the first place on a typical street. The only reason he did is because he chose to drive it dangerously, contrary to the posted speed limit and other rules of the road. Go look at the photos of the crash. Read the reports. It's apparent he wasn't following safe driving practices. This isn't about a driver losing control of a temperamental car under normal driving conditions. This is about a driver pushing things to the edge when he had no business doing so, and getting himself killed as a result.

      Put differently, the problem isn't that the car is too dangerous: it's that the car attracts dangerous buyers.

  • by Overzeetop (214511) on Tuesday December 03, 2013 @10:18AM (#45583177) Journal

    And they would have gotten out alive, or at least not burned to a crisp. Tesla's don't burn their occupants in a massive fireball when they hit a street sign (and a tree, and a light pole).

    And 600HP is nothing. I've got a good friend from college who gets almost 1200HP in his GTR (1192 WHP / 1402 crank, actually). I don't see him wrapping it around vertical objects.

  • by Daetrin (576516) on Tuesday December 03, 2013 @10:19AM (#45583189)
    This is all an overreaction. Everyone knows that a single isolated incident of a car bursting into flames after some kind of impact is no big deal. We shouldn't be concerned until at least three reports surface in the news. At which point it instantly becomes SERIOUS BUSINESS and must be investigated! [slashdot.org]
  • oblig: (Score:4, Insightful)

    by lq_x_pl (822011) on Tuesday December 03, 2013 @10:19AM (#45583201)
  • Yes. (Score:5, Informative)

    by yoduh (548937) on Tuesday December 03, 2013 @10:30AM (#45583315)

    As someone that's driven 1,000+ HP cars, worked over a decade around high performance cars ... yes.

    There are some cars that have a reputation of trying to kill you, but the Carrera GT is on the far side of that spectrum. Clutch engagement range compared to a light switch and no ground clearance makes this car difficult to drive on the street.

    This isn't a 911, or anything remotely streetable. Many crazy high performance cars come with very advanced stability controls and AWD for a reason.

  • by MaWeiTao (908546) on Tuesday December 03, 2013 @10:37AM (#45583395)

    Don't forget, we're dealing with wholesale ignorance on the part of the media.

    Having recalled stories from back when the Carrera GT was introduced there weren't many reports that the car was particularly dangerous. This is a track-oriented high end sports car. Most cars in that performance category are challenging to drive near the limits. I do have to admit a caveat; most in the automotive press gush over every new model that comes along, saving criticisms for when the car is well past it's prime. But the fact remains that there are a multitude of performance cars out there that are notorious for being difficult to drive.

    Just because a car handles well doesn't mean it does the driving for you. Unfortunately, this is where the vast majority of people display massive ignorance, because they do believe that a car will save you from mistakes and incompetence. And they're convinced that the better it performs the better it will do the job.

    The two guys in that Carrera GT were supposed to be more competent than most given that they have race cars. But given that they weren't career racers doesn't mean they were actually competitive, let alone any good at it. There are gentleman races all over the country where rich men bring high priced toys to the track and many show an embarrassing lack of skill.

    But let's assume these guys were decent. That still doesn't change the fact that they were on an unpredictable public road, engaged in a dangerous activity. These guys crash all the time at tracks, even when they're good; they aren't pushing hard enough to win if they aren't risking a crash. So take that mentality to the open road and problems ensue. There's a reason why car insurance rates are higher for race car drivers.

    All this doesn't consider the possibility that the Carrera GT might have been modified by Paul Walker's shop. I don't think that's particularly relevant, because the stock car was fast enough. But if it were the car would likely have been even more difficult to control.

    Unfortunately, we've got all this ridiculous analysis when the reality is actually quite simple. A couple of guys went out for a joyride, wrecked and died. It's no different than when some kid does the same in a Honda Civic.

  • I've Driven One (Score:4, Interesting)

    by dcw3 (649211) on Tuesday December 03, 2013 @10:50AM (#45583579) Journal

    Driven under normal conditions, other than the extremely touchy clutch at launch, there's nothing difficult or dangerous about it. The vehicle belongs to my uncle, and in the proper settings is a blast to drive. But, you have to know that when someone hands you the keys to 600hp, and more torque than anyone rationally needs, you have to respect it. My daily drive is a 470hp Charger SRT8, but even with that, I was amazed what a kick in the pants the Porsche is.

  • by Scootin159 (557129) on Tuesday December 03, 2013 @11:22AM (#45583973) Homepage

    Since Slashdot is supposed to be a place for nerds... and nerds like to know the technical details more than just sensationalizing the latest headlines (or at least like to think so).... here's some technical information on why cars like the Porsche Carrera GT is so difficult to drive. I unfortunately don't have time to write out all the details here, but here are some basic principles of automotive suspension tuning to keep in mind:

    • There's nothing special about it being a "Porsche" in this scenerio. It's more a factor of being an aggressively tuned high-performance sportscar. Your Toyota Camry will have a VERY different handling profile than the ones you see circling at the Daytona 500 - despite both being "Toyotas". To lump the precieved "dangerous" handling of a Porsche 930 (the car that started the sensationalizing of being a "dentist killer") with a Carrera GT, just because they're both "Porsches", is almost equally absurd.
    • There's nothing unique about the Porsche Carrera GT that could cause these crashes - other than perhaps that they're headlines when they happen. It's more a factor of it being an agressively tuned chassis than anything unique to "Porsches". Most of the top-level modified "race cars" you'll see at any amateur racing event will have much the same "issues" of being hard to drive.
    • Pneumatic tires require a "slip angle" to work properly. This is defined as the angle between where the tire is pointing, and where the car is heading. Even when you're driving your Prius at 20mph around a casual bend, there will be some flex between the angle of the tire and the angle of the car (this is why your Prius tires don't last forever) - it's a very, very small angle in that case, but it critically exists.
    • In any suspension design, you'll have something resembling a basic bell curve that describes the ratio between slip angles and the amount of grip available. As you increase slip angle, you'll have more grip in your Prius... to a point, at which it will start to fall off
    • The more aggressively you tune a suspension (stiffer components, stickier tires, etc), the higher the peak of this bell curve will be.... but at the same time the steeper the drop offs on either side of that peak will be as well. This bell curve is how drifting works, and why drifting isn't the fastest way around a corner. At very high slip angles you'll have much the same grip level as at very low slip angles - meaning that your cornering speeds at large yaw angles will be very similar to our casual Prius driver.
    • Aggressive race cars will want the absolute highest peak possible, even if that means sacrificing the area under the curve. Drift cars conversely will look for maximum area under the curve, as it will allow them a larger window to play in. Street cars will be tuned for a very flat curve, as it's the most natural to the average person - they'll also need to compromise total area under the curve in the quest for comfort.
    • The stiffer components in a suspension will improve the suspension's consistency (input x = output y) and responsiveness. This increased responsiveness will also make things happen quicker (duh), so you had better have a quicker reaction time if you hope to "catch" any mistakes. In high-strung race cars (open wheel formula cars for instance), this responsiveness can become so quick that you almost have to predict the mistakes as you can't move your hands quick enough to "catch" them if you wait for them to happen before trying to adjust. Likewise, your "catches" need to be more precise, as you've got a smaller peak in that bell curve above to aim for.

    As you can see... the more aggressive you tune a chassis (which the Carrera GT was designed to be very aggressive, as that's the market they were after), the less compliant the car will be, and the more apt it will bite you if you make a mistake. Is this unsafe, or just a fact of the physics involved that you can't drive an aggressive sports car and expect it to handle like your Camry?

  • by Lumpy (12016) on Tuesday December 03, 2013 @11:37AM (#45584147) Homepage

    All mid engine cars have another quirk, when you are in a hard turn and you are having under steer, you actually have to hot the gas and not slow down for the turn and then you have to know the car very VERY well, because the point of no return where the rear let's go is like a knife edge.... grip,grip,grip, slide and if you are not ready for it the car will spin out. so drifting in one is for 10,000hour driving experts only. I know this,as I own a 400hp RWD mid engine custom car that is set up very much like this car.

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