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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Where can I get skidpad numbers for present and past cars? I've done some searching online and i get conflicting numbers or numbers that make zero sense.

I got drawn into a arguement with this guy on my floor over how FWD cars(specifiaclly a Integra) can out handle and out run a RWD car on a road course. He was argueing with another guy on the floor who has a '86 Z28 with a LS1 and T56. I had to step in to help the fellow F-body guy out. The Integra owner is the typical r!cer. He kept arguing that even though the Z28 would take his car in a drag race, the integra would kill the Z28 in a road course. He said that FWD cars outhandle all RWD cars. We counter that FWD cars tend to like to plow the front tires when turning, also that the weight distribution on his cars lends to bad weight transfer when entering and exiting a turn. I thought read RWD cars actually have some advantage in turns. All this made me think and now i want real proof on what actually handles better. I figure skidpad numbers could prove it.

On a side note: We had too explain to him that the 5 inch exhaust pipe didnt MAKE 25-30 HP, it free'd up hp that was already there, but was lost do to the restriction his exhaust system made, and it maybe let free 10 hp at most. We also explained that the 3 ft wing isnt functional, and if it was it would direct traction away from the wheels that needed it most.

OK, I dont want to be flamed if some of what i said is not true,. From what I know it is, but if i am wrong on something, then I am and I appreicaite being corrected.

Matt
 

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In Sport Compact Car a while back they compared an ITR and a Mustang GT, and the ITR won. It was down about 60hp, but kicked the Mustang's *** in the road course
 

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The Integra is a really sweet handling FWD car, and it'll corner much better on a road course than the Camaro or Mustang with their outdated suspension. I've driven both and seen track times for both... I'm convinced the Integra will outhandle the pony cars.

However, I totally disagree that the average FWD car will outhandle the average RWD car. It's all about the suspension, tires and weight balance. For instance, you're going to get better handling out of a Corvette Z06 or a BMW M3 or a Honda S2000 than you are out of an Integra.

The FWD/RWD deal if simple physics. If you accelerate, weight transfers to the rear of the car.
- If you have a FWD car, you're now getting less weight over your drive wheels.
- In a RWD car, more weight has just put put on your drive wheels.
- In a turn, a FWD car has almost all of it's driveline in front of the wheels, making it want to push through turns, whereas a RWD car will have the driveline weight distributed better through the car to help it pivot through a turn. Also, it's much easier to send the rear end out in a turn and "steer with throttle".

Skid pads are deceptive... track times are a better indicator. That said, I don't have track times in front of me for those cars... just past experience and memories of what had better track times.

- Tooth
 

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I've said this before under other topics, but it seems relvant here: FWD advantages are mainly that it allows better packaging of people and mechanicals, better low speed traction in snow and slush and potentially lower driveline losses.

If you use these advantages to build a smaller, lighter car (and the Integra isn't a bad example of how much smaller a car can be for a given interior space with FWD compared to RWD sporty cars), it will have handling advantages. Not because its FWD - as Tooth says, FWD has a number of significant disadvantages in terms of weight distribution and how it overtaxes the front wheels with power, braking and cornering forces. The advantage simply comes from the ability to build a smaller, lighter car.

A smaller, lighter car has a number of advantages all aspects of performance - cornering, acceleration, braking -- it is much easier to accelerate a smaller mass than a larger one. It's one of the main reasons that most racing classes have a minimum weight rule -- and why high buck racing teams will spend huge amounts of money on light weight materials like carbon fibre. If you optimize your engineering to maximize these weight and packaging advantages and minimize the (significant) limitations of FWD, you can end up with a decent, well rounded performance car.

But, as power and torque levels go up, the limitations of asking the front wheels to do most of the work become a real problem. That's why most factory cars with serious power are rear or all-wheel drive. Weight and automatic transmissions can minimize torque steer, but it seems (looking at current cars) that around 250 hp is about the limit for FWD. Of course, if you can keep the weight down low enough, you can have quite a fun car with less than 250 hp!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the replies. I thought FWD cars were reaching there hp limits. And being that the public seems to want more and more power it seems RWD is gonna come back big. My dad, who works at the Ypsilanti, MI plant, said all the trannys and tranny parts bein built there are for mostly the 4L80's and appartantly the T56 is bein brought in to his plant.

Anyway thanks for clearing some things up. If anyone else has a opinion or something to add please do.

Matt
 

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Originally posted by matto'85ta@Jan 23 2004, 01:14 AM
If anyone else has a opinion or something to add please do.

Matt
Well since everyone else has cleared that up - i'll add my 2 cents.

One thing FWD can't do that RWD (and AWD) can do is DRIFTING!
 
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