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goretro77
01-25-2009, 08:16 PM
I had people over yesterday and it was very interesting to hear a few of the guys talk about sportscars and how they feel one should be setup for proper handling. Mind you this is over beer-in-hand hanging out at my house during a cold winter night. The wifeys were in a different room talking about crap we guys don't care about! lol!

We got into talking about mid engined cars and its funny how my friend with an rx-8 feels a car should have perfect 50/50 balance.

When I spoke out and said that in the Elise - the engine located mid-engine behind the driver, driven at speed, that weight in the back always wants to come to the front, many of the guys (EXCEPT my friend with a Toyota MR-S) looked at each other and said - isn't that a bad thing?!?!?!?

I want to comment more but for now I like to hear your feeling about that?
You like the idea of a car that has a tendency to bring the rear end around when your at the limit approaching a corner?

T-spoon
01-25-2009, 08:25 PM
Well, it's something you have to be aware of and know what to do with, but once you do... I really loved it. My MR-S was a total blast, even being a bit underpowered. Maybe it makes them a bit more "dangerous" but the only proper word for how it feels is.. Agile. Personally, I liked it, but I can see where some might not.

Kastigir
01-25-2009, 08:42 PM
Understeer is far easier to compensate for, than oversteer...IMO. So no, I don't feel a 50/50 weight balance is good for a track car.

METDeath
01-25-2009, 08:46 PM
I honestly think MR powered cars are very capable of being excellent handling machines, in the right hands with an awareness of how they are to be driven.

I know that I personally wouldn't drive an MR car very hard until I'd taken it to a track or other controlled environment and had a chance to push the car to the edge and then bring it back. That's just me not wanting to destroy a slowly rarer and rarer car. Aside from the Elise and a few exotics, I can't think of any MR cars that are still in production.

Murgatroy
01-25-2009, 08:50 PM
Theory has never held much with me.

I do things on feel. Thus it is a passion more than a science to me.

Never having driven a MR car, I couldn't tell you what it was doing. I am one of those drivers that has always felt what the car wants to do and what the tires don't want to do.

I was always fond of RWD in a 'sport' application. These have always been FR cars for me, mostly in a Camaro or Mustang variant. I found them easiest to control because you could steer with the throttle and bring the ass to where you wanted it.

I have never owned a car with a 'proper' balance. What I do like is a car that is predictable. I guess that is one of the bigger reasons I like the FWD Celica. It is not as fun, but it is predictable, and fun to toss around. Even if it won't powerslide.

goretro77
01-25-2009, 09:01 PM
^^ great responses guys - I got to run out for a bit but I'll be back with some replies and thoughts.

ok - i have a few minutes so I'm going to paste a quote from a very well respected man in the Lotus community - he competes on the National SCCA level - has owned many types of sportscars (used to own a Elise, currently owns a Noble). Below was in response to someone that PMed him asking about the difference in safety for a midengined car. I thought its perfect for this thread. Please read this as just food for thought and feel free to comment/criticize:


If you throw an object with the weight in the front forward, the object will tend to want to follow the weight. In the case of a midengined car, a lot of the weight is behind the driver. Like throwing a carpenter's hammer with the head in the back. It will rotate.

In a front engined car, when you go around a corner, the front of the car will want to stay in front. In fact, it will resist turning, so that means the car tends to "understeer" which means it turns less than you want. If you go into a corner too hot, you increase the understeer. That is not good, because you can run off the road with the front of the car. But it is somewhat controllable and you can slow the car down in the turn if you are too fast.

The physics of cars is that if you go into a corner too hot in a front engined car and hit the brakes, you slow down and actually can transfer grip to the front tires, since the car experiences more weight shift. You unweight the rear tires, so you can increase oversteer, which may reduce the understeer. In any case, if you wreck, you will probably do so nose first. But you can handle things by slowing the car down with brakes.

This is why most production cars are understeer biased. It's safer for the general public. Front engined cars are probably safer also for people who are not skilled also.

Now here is the difference in a midengined car. The weight is behind you. And it always wants to be in front. There are some good things in physics about the weight being behind you in racing. The ability of the car to rotate. Weight over the driving wheels. Launching. Weight transfer under braking. All better.

The first thing to understand is what we mean when we consider the ability of a tire to maintain traction with the road surface. To keep this under 1000+ words, I will just say that it's very important, and when you exceed the ability of the tires, you lose control. Many things come into play that determine what the ability of your tires are. These things may be:

Speed or g-forces. Sideways forces take their toll.
Weight pressing down on the tires. If you unweight the tire, it will lose grip.
Road and stickiness. Ice of course is bad, so is a patch of wet or some gravel, or even a small bump that upsets the weight balance.

The main trick with some of those things is to not get too close to your limits of adhesion, because none of us are superhuman and can forsee everything possible ahead of us on the road. You can play with the limits where it is safe to do so. But a public road is not the place.

However, what typically happens is this. Driver goes into turn near the limits of the tires ability. We call that driving near 10/10ths. Most non-skilled drivers can't feel the difference between 8/10ths and 11/10ths.

Something happens. That patch of wet. Something in the road. Evasive maneuver. A squirrel. Something. Or maybe just realizing you are going into the turn too hot. Probably the most common reason.

You can do certain things BEFORE the turn. Remember, the mass behind you wants to go straight in front of you. If you are in a straight line, that is not a bad thing. If you are in a straight line, hit the brakes hard. But in the turn....now you have an issue.

The normal driver reaction is to panic. And panic is not good. If you abruptly lift on the throttle, jerk the steering wheel, or worse, slam on your brakes (which most people do).... you cause some things to happen. You transfer weight to the front of the car so now the front increases it's grip, but the rear loses grip. And the rear wants to lead. The rear end will start a very bad oversteer where the car starts to spin. Even if you can catch it, often the correction will induce a huge spin in the opposite direction.

And if you are spinning, you have *almost* no control. You will have no idea where you will end up. You can spin into things or opposing traffic.

The solution for this is to understand and learn car control. One of the best (safe) places to learn car control and what 10/10ths is, is a local autocross. Here you can spin out over and over. And many people do. Even on a safe racing track, it's not always safe to spin out and go off the track.

Famous racing quote: "Understeer is when the front of the car hits the wall. Oversteer is when you hit with the back."

VikingJZ
01-25-2009, 09:08 PM
Theory has never held much with me.

I do things on feel. Thus it is a passion more than a science to me.

Never having driven a MR car, I couldn't tell you what it was doing. I am one of those drivers that has always felt what the car wants to do and what the tires don't want to do.

I was always fond of RWD in a 'sport' application. These have always been FR cars for me, mostly in a Camaro or Mustang variant. I found them easiest to control because you could steer with the throttle and bring the ass to where you wanted it.

I have never owned a car with a 'proper' balance. What I do like is a car that is predictable. I guess that is one of the bigger reasons I like the FWD Celica. It is not as fun, but it is predictable, and fun to toss around. Even if it won't powerslide.


Celicas are extremely predictable.

One of the reasons why I loved my fifth gen.

Fuelish
01-25-2009, 10:08 PM
Celicas are extremely predictable.

One of the reasons why I loved my fifth gen. Agreed....amazingly so for fwd. I often wonder if my GT would want to understeer if I brought the rear sus up to snuff - lot's o stuff well worn back there, but it feels amazingly "neutral" taking it into some of our east TN mountain road twisties....... not the fastest by any means, but definitely one of the seemingly best handling fwds I've had the pleasure to drive.

Fox 21 Alpha
01-25-2009, 11:38 PM
I was always fond of RWD in a 'sport' application. These have always been FR cars for me, mostly in a Camaro or Mustang variant. I found them easiest to control because you could steer with the throttle and bring the ass to where you wanted it.



I couldn't agree more. I actually like my RWD 83 Celi in the winter because its far easier to control the back end, and I ussually know when and where its going to go. If my front end slides out or something of the sort, there ain't much you can do. Always being able to put the back end out if you need though is a handy trick.

Granted I just slide into a guard rail (snow) (my first time hitting something on a road actually driving in my car), that was more me being stupid and no paying attention. Been plenty of times where I came damn close to crashing (Read: Winter in PA), but simply having that control from RWD saved me many a time. I'd be curious to see how a MR handles, but I believe its much more dependent on the driver knowing his car and how it handles, then the physics of how the car handles. Everyone has their little niche.

Cavanagh
01-26-2009, 02:24 AM
I liked that article Goretro...Ever since i have had my MR2, it would/will be really hard to go back to a front engine vehicle. I love the way the car feels and how well it responds. So far, it has been the most nimble car i have ever driven. Once i got the whole how-to-control-MR down i have fallen in love with MR setup.

goretro77
01-26-2009, 03:29 AM
Celicas are extremely predictable.

One of the reasons why I loved my fifth gen.

No doubt Celicas are extremely predictable, understeer is inherent in its design and made for the majority of the driving public. In my opinion - this makes the Celica very easy to drive, at the limit 10/10ths it will understeer and lends itself to the every day driver's tendency to apply the brakes hard to regain control when the car no longer responds to driver inputs. Applying the brakes hard, at the limit is exactly the opposite to what you want to do with a mid-engined car.

goretro77
01-26-2009, 03:49 AM
I couldn't agree more. I actually like my RWD 83 Celi in the winter because its far easier to control the back end, and I ussually know when and where its going to go. If my front end slides out or something of the sort, there ain't much you can do. Always being able to put the back end out if you need though is a handy trick.

Granted I just slide into a guard rail (snow) (my first time hitting something on a road actually driving in my car), that was more me being stupid and no paying attention. Been plenty of times where I came damn close to crashing (Read: Winter in PA), but simply having that control from RWD saved me many a time. I'd be curious to see how a MR handles, but I believe its much more dependent on the driver knowing his car and how it handles, then the physics of how the car handles. Everyone has their little niche.

Tracking my front engine rwd Celica - the front carries a lot of the weight so it was easy to overdrive a turn if your not careful. Turning in, applying throttle turning into the slide would induce a nice oversteer condition, back off the gas and the rear comes back in line. Finding that balance where the rear is a hung out just a bit where you feel it but to a spectator they cannot really see and hitting the late apex with a smooth track out was the best way around the track.


MR cars in winter are terrible. No steering response. :thumbsdow

Slider
01-26-2009, 04:03 AM
I've never had a chance to drive a MR car, but from what I've observed is that you do not want to lift off the throttle mid corner when you're pushing it. I think it should be easier to put the power down in a MR car when exiting out of the corner. My Miata has 50/50 weight distribution, because of the short wheelbase it can snap out on me sometimes if I get too happy with the throttle in the rain with these really crappy tires but I always catch it. I let my friend drive it and he didn't have as much fun as me, he kept on spinning out and getting aggravated.


Agreed....amazingly so for fwd. I often wonder if my GT would want to understeer if I brought the rear sus up to snuff - lot's o stuff well worn back there, but it feels amazingly "neutral" taking it into some of our east TN mountain road twisties....... not the fastest by any means, but definitely one of the seemingly best handling fwds I've had the pleasure to drive.

It's the opposite way around, stiffer rear = oversteer, softer rear = understeer.

mr2trd3
01-26-2009, 04:26 PM
MR cars in winter are terrible. No steering response. :thumbsdow

This is not particularly true.

Mid-engine cars actually have very good traction during acceleration in comparison to front-engine cars for obvious reasons. As for steering response, it really comes down to your tire selection. Most horrible winter driving experiences in MR cars are due to the fact that the these summer cars are wearing summer tires and not winter tires. As a matter of fact, a handful of MR2 owners have been very successful in ice racing. Even a FF car driven recklessly on inappropriate tires for the season will have issues.

hobbie2k
01-26-2009, 04:43 PM
Here's another, simpler way to think about it.

Stability vs Agility.

Modern fighter jets are deliberately designed to be highly unstable. So unstable, in fact, that no human could fly them without the help of a computer. The advantage of this instability is that the plane always wants to turn. The result is very high agility.

Meanwhile, GA aircraft (Cessnas, Pipers, etc.) are designed to be very stable. This makes them far easier (and safer) to control. If the aircraft is trimmed and balanced correctly, it should always settle down into a nice straight level flight path in the absence of control inputs. Unfortunately, this means they aren't very agile.

It's the same way between FF, FR, MR, and RR cars. FF and FR cars generally (there are always exceptions) trade some agility for stability. MR and RR cars generally trade some stability for agility.

Part of the reason Porsches are so popular is because they are (with a rear-mounted engine) so unstable. They are wicked fast when driven correctly, but one tiny mistake and you'll end up with an oak branch sticking out the front of your skull. Being able to drive a Porsche fast is proof that you're a skilled driver.

extremeskillz
01-26-2009, 05:26 PM
I agree with everyone on the Celica. Response is there and when you have upgrades those responses are more apparent. I could only imagine if the Celica was fr/rwd. It would of made these cars a lot more fun. Having rwd does make controlling a ass of a vehicle easier and again more fun!

T-spoon
01-26-2009, 05:45 PM
This is not particularly true.

Mid-engine cars actually have very good traction during acceleration in comparison to front-engine cars for obvious reasons. As for steering response, it really comes down to your tire selection. Most horrible winter driving experiences in MR cars are due to the fact that the these summer cars are wearing summer tires and not winter tires. As a matter of fact, a handful of MR2 owners have been very successful in ice racing. Even a FF car driven recklessly on inappropriate tires for the season will have issues.

Even so, you will always have less steering response on an MR. Yes, the weight helps squatting on launch for traction, but that's the opposite of what gives you steering since that's all done up front. In terms of weight distribution that's still a disadvantage, no matter how well someone learns to cope with it or mitigate that with proper tires. I suppose you could take out the spare and fill the Frunk with lead and that would help :hehe:

Tire selection certainly matters and can make the difference between out of control and able to control with care and a good driver, but it sure doesn't mean that MR is as good in weather as other setups given the average driver.

Trance4c
01-26-2009, 07:45 PM
Oh.. so you had a convo with some peeps never really behind the wheel to understand under-steer/over-steer and actually deal with it huh? hehe

smog7
01-27-2009, 10:17 PM
just think of f1 cars.....they're mid engine rear wheel drive for a reason...
that combined with the insane hp and aero

Trance4c
01-27-2009, 11:23 PM
..f1 cars.....they're mid engine..

No, they ARE an engine. The engine is literally what makes the car, there is no frame. Your talking fruit to vegetable, nothing alike but they are in the juicy family.

goretro77
01-28-2009, 12:25 AM
When you look at an f1 car and the location of the engine/transmission in relation to the 4 wheels and that its behind the driver - it is the traditional mid engine layout.

Cavanagh
01-28-2009, 02:57 AM
MR cars in winter are terrible. No steering response. :thumbsdow
Well i just got back from driving my car back from work. It is usually a 15 minute drive, well with about 2 inches of snow and i couldnt get above 25 mph. Lets just say my drive turned into a 35 min. drive and i was fearing for my life the whole time! Ahhh.

balang_479
01-28-2009, 08:20 AM
MR cars in general are seen as the better performance car for RWD. There have been reasons mentioned above so im not gonna repeat them. But a MR car doesnt always have oversteer turn in or any kind of oversteer feel...

The problem is that having the engine in the back is having most of the weight on the back wheels and not enough on the front, this gives good grip for high speed corners as the weight shift is fairly slow..... but in technical slow tracks or roads the MRs weight distribution becomes a disadvantage.... the rear weight means the front wheels dont have good grip to sling the car round and good agility is when the rear of the car can rotate quickly and with all that weight in the back its hard to do and the car has to be forced round which can bite you back with all that weight shifting....
Ive seen way too many videos of Ferraris, NSXs and the likes loosing so much time in tight slow japanese chinccanes that their small advantage around the rest of the track becomes useless making the FR car with same specs be faster... Youd need to be a perfect driver and nail those corners perfect everytime, and in the real world it doesnt happen (even for Tsuchiya, lol)...
Thats why ive always been a FR car man... in the real world where pushing a car to the limit is easier in an FR, i think its faster and even on the track. Less MR sport cars and even racing cars are being made because their not faster.... in GT1 you dont see hardly in MRs because the Astons and Corvettes are faster with their FR setup, same in the SuperGT, the NSX doesnt perform as well as the GT-R and SC430...
The new California is faster round a track than the F430 even though it weighs more due to its folding roof (and its higher center of gravity due to the roof).

You could say well LMPs and F1s are still MR, but not really, ther not really cars, the whole car is based around the engine and its just not comparable to the real world.

IMHO MRs wont be produced that much in the future, apart from the exotics, simply because its an exotic fashion in a way... It works, sure, but nowadays FR and obviously 4WDs are faster.

david in germany
01-28-2009, 10:04 AM
I think there is some confusion on terms here. Mid engine car is not a rear engine car. A mid engine car refers to a car that the engine is very close to a mid (middle) point in a car. The goal is to keep it balanced.

92VertGT
01-28-2009, 10:41 AM
This thread is a good read.

balang_479
01-28-2009, 01:00 PM
I think there is some confusion on terms here. Mid engine car is not a rear engine car. A mid engine car refers to a car that the engine is very close to a mid (middle) point in a car. The goal is to keep it balanced.

If you were reffering to me, i did mean Mid engine with MR. Although most MRs will have more weight in the back even though they are going for 50 50 ratio.

goretro77
01-28-2009, 01:15 PM
Here's another, simpler way to think about it.

Stability vs Agility.

Modern fighter jets are deliberately designed to be highly unstable. So unstable, in fact, that no human could fly them without the help of a computer. The advantage of this instability is that the plane always wants to turn. The result is very high agility.

Meanwhile, GA aircraft (Cessnas, Pipers, etc.) are designed to be very stable. This makes them far easier (and safer) to control. If the aircraft is trimmed and balanced correctly, it should always settle down into a nice straight level flight path in the absence of control inputs. Unfortunately, this means they aren't very agile.

It's the same way between FF, FR, MR, and RR cars. FF and FR cars generally (there are always exceptions) trade some agility for stability. MR and RR cars generally trade some stability for agility.

Part of the reason Porsches are so popular is because they are (with a rear-mounted engine) so unstable. They are wicked fast when driven correctly, but one tiny mistake and you'll end up with an oak branch sticking out the front of your skull. Being able to drive a Porsche fast is proof that you're a skilled driver.

I think this is a very good post but I take exception to the Porsche reference.
Yes, they definitely like to rotate but have the luxury of LOTS of power.
Keeping pace with one in a momentum, comparatively low powered car is more of a driver's car in my opinion. A different flavor if you will, more raw.

Videos, my friend taking on his buddy's P-car: :wiggle:
Round 1 190HP Elise vs. 600HP P Car
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-965329456271555029

Round 2 190HP vs. 600HP P car - note the driver stating he is very tired keeping up with the P Car, has to work harder but is rewarded for his efforts - thats sounds like a driver's car to me.



http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=7494062077706465578&q=source%3A006812494152366287710&hl=en

goretro77
01-28-2009, 02:11 PM
If you were reffering to me, i did mean Mid engine with MR. Although most MRs will have more weight in the back even though they are going for 50 50 ratio.

The interesting thing is - this depends when the weight is measured.
Lets say most MR cars are 65% rear weight and 35% front sitting still.

Do you want 50/50 weight balance when the car is sitting still? Or when it is at speed with brakes being applied? With the weight shifting forward it can achieve a near 50/50 balance and allows all 4 wheels/brakes to participate in braking.

The 50%front/50%rear car that was sitting still will have most of its weight towards the front at speed during braking.

hobbie2k
01-28-2009, 02:55 PM
I think this is a very good post but I take exception to the Porsche reference.
Yes, they definitely like to rotate but have the luxury of LOTS of power.
Keeping pace with one in a momentum, comparatively low powered car is more of a driver's car in my opinion. A different flavor if you will, more raw.

Videos, my friend taking on his buddy's P-car: :wiggle:
Round 1 190HP Elise vs. 600HP P Car
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-965329456271555029

Round 2 190HP vs. 600HP P car - note the driver stating he is very tired keeping up with the P Car, has to work harder but is rewarded for his efforts - thats sounds like a driver's car to me.



http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=7494062077706465578&q=source%3A006812494152366287710&hl=en

That's true, a 190hp Elise keeping up with a 300+hp Porsche is more of a challenge for a driver, and I would agree that it is more rewarding, but Porsches haven't always had 300hp engines.

I was referring to Porsches of the 60s and 70s, back when your mid-engine choices include a couple outrageously expensive and tempermental supercars, and a some top-level racers (before the Elise, MR2, Clio Sport, MGF, Fiero [I think], etc. made MR available to most anyone). Porsches nowadays are far more tame thanks to decades of incremental improvement. But they can still bite.

Luni
01-28-2009, 08:43 PM
A couple of things.

1) MR2s dont suck in the snow. If yours sucks in the snow, you have the wrong tires on it. Ive driven mine through about 7 winters now and with the right tires on one, theyre just as good, or better, than anything else out there

2) Its all about polar moment of inertia. Goretros article talked about it but didnt address it or call it anything. It just talked about it. If you were to take a pole and mount a car on it in the middle so the car could rotate around the pole, you could get a feel for the way the car is going to want to handle.

Theres a couple of different types of 50/50 weight distro too by the way. Lets look at the way BMW achieves their 50/50 weight distro. They ADD weight to the rear to compensate for the front. They make their rear differentials heavier and weighted so it offsets the front weight and thats how they get their 50/50.

Now, my MR2 for example, it isnt 50/50, but close enough, theyre like 45/55. So if you stick a pole in the middle of the MR2 and a pole in the middle of the BMW, youll have 2 "50/50" cars mounted on a pole. If you were to push the BMW into rotating motion, youd notice that it would take quite a bit of force to get the car to spin, and once spinning, it would take quite a bit of force to get the car to stop spinning. If you were to push on the MR2, youd notice it wouldnt take near as much force to get it to spin and it wouldnt take as much force to get it to stop spinning.

The BMW in this discussion could be replaced by the RX8 because of the nature of the car is the same idea. Its engine is in the front, its counterbalanced by the rear differential, its not the same as an MR2s MR status or 50/50 weight distro.

So, the point is, its all about polar moment of inertia. A low polar moment of inertia reduces the window between excellent driving at the limit and loss of control. That can make the difference between driving very fast through a corner or spinning out. Driving at the limit in an MR vehicle requires a higher minimum amount of skill than driving an AWD or FR car at the limit.

Also, MR cars, like the MR2, that dont have perfect 50/50 weight distro usually will outbrake their competition. Under braking an MR platform has a distinct advantage over nearly all other platforms. When braking, a car's weight shifts to the front of the vehicle. In FR and AWD vehicles, this means that the front tires are significantly more loaded than the rear tires. In an MR platform however, the weight distribution under braking is closer to 50/50, equally loading the tires and better using all of the traction they offer.

Cavanagh
01-28-2009, 09:51 PM
Wrongs tires then. :)
Good read guys.

T-spoon
01-29-2009, 02:34 AM
Also, MR cars, like the MR2, that dont have perfect 50/50 weight distro usually will outbrake their competition. Under braking an MR platform has a distinct advantage over nearly all other platforms. When braking, a car's weight shifts to the front of the vehicle. In FR and AWD vehicles, this means that the front tires are significantly more loaded than the rear tires. In an MR platform however, the weight distribution under braking is closer to 50/50, equally loading the tires and better using all of the traction they offer.

Well, this part is certainly true and contributed to my 93 MR2 getting crushed from behind while not hitting the car that stopped in the freeway in front.


I still don't agree about the snow. I still say a good AWD car - like an Alltrac for instance - is going to deal with those conditions better than an MR2. Sorry, but your personal experience doesn't trump everything in this case Luni, I think if you were as familar with an alltrac as you are with your MR2 and drove both in snow with the same tires, you just wouldn't think that. Joel was towing cars out of snow/ice with his 88 trac and I'm pretty sure he doesn't even have snow tires. I never drove my MR2s in snow, but I drove them in tropical rain storms and I just don't see how you can claim they're just as good as an AWD vehicle in inclement conditions. All it proves is you're a good driver. I'd hate to see 95% of drivers get out there in an MR car with snow tires and think it's going to be as forgiving as an AWD platform.

Luni
01-29-2009, 07:33 AM
I wasnt comparing an MR2 to an alltrac. However, my MR2 will outperform any FWD car Ive ever driven in the snow. I didnt say its the best. However where I live, snow is a way of life. You HAVE to drive in it. You guys rarely get it enough to have to drive in it down there, in the pacific northwest most people dont even know how to drive in it because its such a rarity.

Point being, maybe Im just that damn good. Maybe I am. But I know my car is good in the snow. I hate it when pople say MR2s are no good in the snow. Its something that gets me every time. MR2s are if you have the right tires on them. Thats the thing. Tires will make or break it.

92VertGT
01-29-2009, 07:38 AM
I wasnt comparing an MR2 to an alltrac. However, my MR2 will outperform any FWD car Ive ever driven in the snow. I didnt say its the best. However where I live, snow is a way of life. You HAVE to drive in it. You guys rarely get it enough to have to drive in it down there, in the pacific northwest most people dont even know how to drive in it because its such a rarity.

Point being, maybe Im just that damn good. Maybe I am. But I know my car is good in the snow. I hate it when pople say MR2s are no good in the snow. Its something that gets me every time. MR2s are if you have the right tires on them. Thats the thing. Tires will make or break it.

Blizzaks. For the win.

T-spoon
01-29-2009, 08:11 AM
I wasnt comparing an MR2 to an alltrac. However, my MR2 will outperform any FWD car Ive ever driven in the snow. I didnt say its the best. However where I live, snow is a way of life. You HAVE to drive in it. You guys rarely get it enough to have to drive in it down there, in the pacific northwest most people dont even know how to drive in it because its such a rarity.

Point being, maybe Im just that damn good. Maybe I am. But I know my car is good in the snow. I hate it when pople say MR2s are no good in the snow. Its something that gets me every time. MR2s are if you have the right tires on them. Thats the thing. Tires will make or break it.

I hear ya, just saying.. I personally love MR2s, but if I had both, there wouldn't be a single day of bad weather I'd drive the MR2 instead of the alltrac, that's all :) Also.. wouldn't be a single beautiful day I'd drive the alltrac over the MR2, so yeah :hehe:

Luni
01-29-2009, 08:18 AM
I would never take MR over AWD in bad weather either. Im just saying MR2s are NOT bad in the snow. Period. It doesnt even take a set of SNOW tires, just a good set of allseaons.

Last winter I drove my car JUST FINE, on 205/40/17s and 225/40/18s in the flavor of kumho ecstas. ASTs in front, ASXs in back. GOOD allseason tires, on 17 and 18 inch wheels. I did fine. This year Im on stock 15 inch MR2 wheels, but honestly my fatties did just as good with the tires I had on there.

KoreanJoey
01-29-2009, 09:00 AM
I would never take MR over AWD in bad weather either. Im just saying MR2s are NOT bad in the snow. Period. It doesnt even take a set of SNOW tires, just a good set of allseaons.

Last winter I drove my car JUST FINE, on 205/40/17s and 225/40/18s in the flavor of kumho ecstas. ASTs in front, ASXs in back. GOOD allseason tires, on 17 and 18 inch wheels. I did fine. This year Im on stock 15 inch MR2 wheels, but honestly my fatties did just as good with the tires I had on there.

Honestly NO car is specifically bad in the snow. Tires will probably make the biggest difference on the car in adverse conditions. BUT taking that into effect a FWD car w/ snows VS an MR2 w/ the same tires will still be more predictable (abet less fun) in snow.

85gtsblackman
01-29-2009, 09:15 AM
interesting read, even the rwd 82-85 celica have a 51/49 split

but i have driven a duce and theyhandel damn good with minor upgrades although a mk1 duce with a fully built suspension was on par with my shifter kart i had years ago :eek:

balang_479
01-29-2009, 11:54 AM
The interesting thing is - this depends when the weight is measured.
Lets say most MR cars are 65% rear weight and 35% front sitting still.

Do you want 50/50 weight balance when the car is sitting still? Or when it is at speed with brakes being applied? With the weight shifting forward it can achieve a near 50/50 balance and allows all 4 wheels/brakes to participate in braking.

The 50%front/50%rear car that was sitting still will have most of its weight towards the front at speed during braking.

its interesting what you say here and i understand your point of view, but i do believe its best to have 50 50 at speed rather than breaking.
Breaking time round a track is or should be small compared to everything else.... and youd much rather have balanced car round corners and chiccanes... when the car brakes youd want more weight on the front so that they can exert more stopping power.. If you have exactly the same stopping power front to back youd have some oversteer problems (unless your running Slicks) when turning into a corner and breaking (which could be a good thing depending on driving style)... a more front bias weight and brake balance (when breaking) will keep the car more stable and when turning in and breaking...
Now this obviously varies alot from car to car and what sort of tires and stance one is running.. someone can still have 5050 when breaking and understeer, i think there are too many factors and settings to consider to give a general rule for all cars...

mr2trd3
01-29-2009, 04:08 PM
Wrongs tires then. :)
Good read guys.

Yay. We finally agree that MR's don't suck in the snow.





Don't drive your MR2's during the winter, especially if the roads are salted. It makes them cry.

Cavanagh
01-29-2009, 10:06 PM
Ehh, sadly i have no choice. :(

goretro77
01-30-2009, 02:41 AM
its interesting what you say here and i understand your point of view, but i do believe its best to have 50 50 at speed rather than breaking.
Breaking time round a track is or should be small compared to everything else.... and youd much rather have balanced car round corners and chiccanes... when the car brakes youd want more weight on the front so that they can exert more stopping power.. If you have exactly the same stopping power front to back youd have some oversteer problems (unless your running Slicks) when turning into a corner and breaking (which could be a good thing depending on driving style)... a more front bias weight and brake balance (when breaking) will keep the car more stable and when turning in and breaking...


Actually, I beg to differ. I rather not have a stable car around turns. Please read post #27 where I quote hobbie2k. He hit it exactly right. Some cars are more stable/predictable and others are setup to inherently want to rotate.

Front engine cars are more stable and MR cars are ready to rotate with the weight behind the driver ready to come to the front. Some might say a MR setup makes for a twitchy/ nervous vehicle in nature. This willingness to rotate should be embraced, not shunned by the driver. :burn:

Nervous/twitchy can be good:
Recently I drove a kart that had a certain amount of toe-out dialed into it. It made the kart 'nervous' and would easily spin on people compared to the other karts. I had the good fortune to get behind the wheel of this kart. It willingly held a very tight line and transitions from left to right and vise-versa was lightning quick. The only thing is to be very careful is where you apply the brakes and to stick to the rule of 'Never Lift' during a turn. This setup was so effective I broke a personal best laptime! :naughty: It just took more driver effort to manage its sudden reactions to any steering input. More driver effort but more fun and rewarding.

KoreanJoey
01-31-2009, 11:04 PM
Actually, I beg to differ. I rather not have a stable car around turns. Please read post #27 where I quote hobbie2k. He hit it exactly right. Some cars are more stable/predictable and others are setup to inherently want to rotate.

Front engine cars are more stable and MR cars are ready to rotate with the weight behind the driver ready to come to the front. Some might say a MR setup makes for a twitchy/ nervous vehicle in nature. This willingness to rotate should be embraced, not shunned by the driver. :burn:

Nervous/twitchy can be good:
Recently I drove a kart that had a certain amount of toe-out dialed into it. It made the kart 'nervous' and would easily spin on people compared to the other karts. I had the good fortune to get behind the wheel of this kart. It willingly held a very tight line and transitions from left to right and vise-versa was lightning quick. The only thing is to be very careful is where you apply the brakes and to stick to the rule of 'Never Lift' during a turn. This setup was so effective I broke a personal best laptime! :naughty: It just took more driver effort to manage its sudden reactions to any steering input. More driver effort but more fun and rewarding.

Exactly, more performance oriented, with a mind set towards rapid transitions. But, there's a difference between an eagerness to rotate and instability.

goretro77
02-01-2009, 06:31 PM
Exactly, more performance oriented, with a mind set towards rapid transitions. But, there's a difference between an eagerness to rotate and instability.

yes, i agree! Eagerness to rotate <> Instability.


eagerness to rotate is still predicable and a lot of it comes from the seat of the pants feel from the car letting you know what is happening. If you notice in this video a lot of time is made up in the transitional areas:
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=5189272943734466056&hl=en

celica91gts
04-09-2009, 04:50 AM
never lift off in the middle of a turn? when im slightly underseering i lift off to correct it. was this not correct?

mr2trd3
04-09-2009, 06:17 PM
In an MR vehicle, if you lift off the throttle in the middle of a turn/corner, you will spin. No doubt. Best thing to do is to keep on the throttle.

I've had my experiences with this :)

renegadex
04-09-2009, 06:17 PM
never lift off in the middle of a turn? when im slightly underseering i lift off to correct it. was this not correct?

That is in regards to mid engined cars. With a mid engine car if you lift off around a corner at the limit, the back will come out quickly. FWD is diffrent.

celica91gts
04-09-2009, 08:14 PM
my mistake. good read though.

RedRkt01
04-09-2009, 08:53 PM
Gotta question: I used to hear when I was a kid that the MR stood for Mid-engine RWD. But I've recently heard that it was short for "Midship Runabout". Enlighten me please!!!

goretro77
04-09-2009, 09:18 PM
"MR2" stood for Mid-engine Rear Wheel Drive 2 seater.

RedRkt01
04-09-2009, 09:23 PM
Right. That's what I've heard for years........but then I ran across this "runabout" deal. Thanks for the confirmation.

KoreanJoey
04-09-2009, 11:01 PM
Well the front trunk cover on an MR2 Spyder actually says "Midship Runabout"

Luni
04-09-2009, 11:07 PM
Actually, MR2 did stand for Midship Runabout.

It actually says Midship Runabout on one of the MR2 badges.

Edit, Joey beat me to it.

KoreanJoey
04-09-2009, 11:25 PM
Actually, MR2 did stand for Midship Runabout.

It actually says Midship Runabout on one of the MR2 badges.

Edit, Joey beat me to it.

Pwned.

goretro77
04-09-2009, 11:46 PM
ahhh, learn something new everyday.

RedRkt01
04-10-2009, 01:32 PM
Well after all these years of thinking about it being "Mid-engine......2 seater"....yadda yadda yadda I actually DID learn something new! Ha! Thanks for the confirmation in the other direction ;)

Slider
04-17-2009, 10:42 PM
Ooops

http://www.youtube.com/watch?gl=GB&hl=en-GB&v=YgXieZTHqq8

KoreanJoey
04-22-2009, 10:12 AM
Driver fail.

goretro77
04-22-2009, 10:43 AM
Driver=failed. Also wonder if his tires were still cold, etc...

Yes, looks like that Elise is totaled. Front clam is obviously gone and wonder about the crash structure underneath too.

Hipster Lawrence
04-23-2009, 01:15 AM
I own a MK1 mr2. Completely stock except for sticky hancooks maybe its the tires but my car is more "stable" than any other car I have ever owned. I have a 03 honda civic si with sticky yokos and it plows like a john deere. I also had a GSR integra with fully built and tuned suspension and toyos. It handled awesome BUT my bone stock mk1 would smoke it on the dragon. The only FF I ever owned that compared was the CRX. so maybe alot of it has to do with the mass of the car.

And thats with me not really knowing how to drive an MR (I've only had my car for 2 years)

I think it has more to do with the driver than anything else. If you had Micheal Shumacer and Ayrton Senna on the dragon one in a MK1.5 and one in an alltrac or even a 3sgte 8-6 the mr2 would likely come out on top each time.

And as for that vid. MR IMO had nothing to do with that crash. That bump would upset the balance of ANY car. He went in too hot but that could have happened to anyone. I had the exact thing happen to me in my old corolla sedan.

renegadex
04-23-2009, 07:25 AM
Driver failed. He did a number of things wrong there. High revs, not being on the gas, not counter steering fast enough. Going in to that corner with just a little bit of throttle there he probably would have been ok. That would be hard to get out of though, especially on a road that narrow.

KoreanJoey
04-23-2009, 08:48 AM
Just too fast for the elevation drop, notice how the road dropped away half way through the corner. He would have crashed if it was FWD too, except he would have plowed off the road instead of spun.