most of you might heard, great-handling cars often possess the
But I bet few of you
actual theories behind them. For many years, I've heard many magazine
said misleading rubbish like "Mid-engined helps achieving 50/50 weight
distribution, hence the car is more stable." This is of course
Therefore I will explain the correct theories in this Chapter.
or at least RWD
front to rear
close to 50/50
low center of
a rigid chassis
downforce, or at
least minimum aerodynamic lift.
Handling is perhaps the
complicated yet most interesting aspect of cars. To optimize handling,
engineers have to involve many areas - chassis, suspensions, weight
transmission system, steering, tyres and aerodynamics. On the other
they have to compromise with other requirements about packaging, cost
practicality. Even though the design seems perfect, the car has to be
extensively on different kinds of roads and weather, under different
style, then progressively tune to deliver desirable result.
What is handling ?
let me ask you in this way, how do we comment a car's handling as good
In my opinion, good
means the combination of two things :
High cornering speed
- that means the car generates a lot of grip in corner, and
the grip optimally such that it can corner at very high g-force.
this does not equals to Car and Driver's skidpad test result. We need
cornering speed under dynamic conditions, no matter under braking or
the car is changing direction or not, in various kind of corners and
not only the tidy 300-foot test ground.
Adequate steering - It is not
"neutral", because sometimes we need oversteer and understeer. The
should be responsive, well weighted and have sufficient feedback.
Then we are going to
in these 2 directions.
1998-2000 by Mark Wan
to AutoZine home page