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Old 10-29-2012, 10:09 AM   #1
jm1681
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The GT86/BRZ/FR-S has taught me a lot

This weekend, while leading a convoy to breakfast (Me in my FR-S, a friend behind me in his BRZ, and another friend behind him in a Benz), my friend's BRZ bit him and the results were not pretty.

Just a few weeks before that, I turned the traction control off in the FR-S for the first time, and coming around a corner at a speed I truly thought was reasonable, the back came around and I narrowly avoided an accident with another car.

I openly admit, I don't have a lot (Read: Any) of experience with RWD (Neither did my friend), but I've always been a very cautious driver on the street. The FR-S, even with none of the aids disabled, and barely pushing at all has taught me things about driving dynamics, none of my other cars ever gave me a glimpse of. It has never failed to do anything besides bring a smile to my face, but, these cars DO bite.

For all their predictability and finesse, if you go in balls deep without the knowledge, and without the skill, and think that the amazing car is going to save you, you're just plain wrong. I'm not trying to be preachy, but I know a lot of us came from platforms other than RWD, platforms where losing control in a big way is less of an issue.

I love my FR-S. It's made me happy and made me smile more times in 3 months than any car has since I've been driving. That being said, I'm absolutely terrified of my car, and will likely never own another RWD car; I'm just not that intense, and I'm far too big a coward. I've had my little bouts of fun with it up until this weekend, but even just the few minutes I've driven it since watching my friend lose it, I've dialed myself back a LOT.

I'm treating this thing with the utmost of respect from now on, and even once she tells me how hard she likes it, I'm still going to be just a bit more gentle.
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Old 10-29-2012, 10:14 AM   #2
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NEVER again going to own a RWD?! wow that's a mistake..
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Old 10-29-2012, 10:20 AM   #3
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Bah. Just keep driving. Go out, find interesting roads and drive. Leave the aids on, and learn the car's balance, first-- it'll tell you exactly what it's up to before it all happens. you'll learn to feel what it's doing and how it reacts, -then- start to drive with the aids off, and you'll figure out exactly how much that car's neutral balance -will- save you. Try driving a totally batshit Silvia. -that- will bite.
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Old 10-29-2012, 10:23 AM   #4
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Learning is greater than fear. Learn from your mistakes and keep at it. Go do some Auto-X and learn more about the car. Don't fear it. Respect it.
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Old 10-29-2012, 10:25 AM   #5
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Give it time. It's a good thing that you respect the car now, and escaped any damage to the car. Knowing the limits of the car is a good thing. To be honest, keep the electronic nannies on when on the street. They are decent and will keep your car pointed in the right direction and will let the rear come out ever so slightly. Only turn them off when you are in a safe location. When you play around, not only will you hurt yourself, but someone who may be at the wrong place at the wrong time. Owning a RWD is fun and you should only exploit its true characteristics in a safe manner.
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Old 10-29-2012, 10:30 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jm1681 View Post
I turned the traction control off in the FR-S for the first time, and coming around a corner at a speed I truly thought was reasonable
It is NEVER reasonable to test the limits of a car in a public road. Especially around a corner where there are cars coming from the opposite direction. From your post, it seems like you disabled a SAFETY feature of the car in public roads and created an UNSAFE situation, so therefore the car is at fault for being RWD? Turning off Traction Control off is for when you're stuck in the mud, or in a safe environment like AutoX or the track. Not sure I understand your fear or your logic here. Sorry for being a tad harsh, but had you experienced a skid or spin-out in AutoX, I would be encouraging you to practice more like the rest of the posters.
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Old 10-29-2012, 10:43 AM   #7
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To enjoy a rear wheel drive sports car, one must compare it to a front wheel drive sportscar. Find a two-seater coupe int he same HP-weight ration, then compare. Civic Si comes to mind, or possibly an Integra. Take them on the track, and understand the difference it takes to set the car on the line in a corner. Older guys like me remember the first Datsun 240 Z, the first time we drove a vette, the first time we "drifted" our daddy's cruiser, the first time we discovered a wet gutter crossing...

No front wheel drive car compares to the feel of a rear wheel drive car... none. Zip, nada....

Capiche?

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Old 10-29-2012, 10:47 AM   #8
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RWD can be intimidating for those with little to no experience. Don't fear it, practice(in a safe place please). And I'd keep the safety aids on, it's not an AWD/FWD car.



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Old 10-29-2012, 10:55 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jm1681 View Post
That being said, I'm absolutely terrified of my car, and will likely never own another RWD car; I'm just not that intense, and I'm far too big a coward.
Aren't you overreacting abit? My ae86 has bitten me in the ass several times. But i've learned from it and adjusted my driving style. I'm sure a few auto-x days will help you improve your skills.

And older rwd cars don't have nannies and people managed to drive those.
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Old 10-29-2012, 10:55 AM   #10
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The FR-S is the most neutral-balanced RWD car I've owned. Definitely have to respect it, especially on the street. You never know when, for instance, a deer will jump out and force you to hit the brakes mid-corner or someone will swerve into your lane on the highway and cause you to steer/brake quickly at high speeds. You also have to pay attention to hazardous conditions (sand, gravel, ice, etc.) and specific details like road camber.

When you think about all of the uncontrollable factors on the street, it's probably best to leave the VSC in sport at the very least. The sport setting is very good about letting the rear slide out a couple of degrees, while preventing a full spin.

Personally, I don't plan on turning VSC off except in controlled environments (track, autocross, etc.). I understand that may not be everyone's viewpoint, but that's out of respect for those that ride with me and other drivers on the street.
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Old 10-29-2012, 11:01 AM   #11
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I come from a racing background, go-karts and drag cars, so to me the FR-S is a very tame little car. You have a chance to learn to really drive with this one. Even if you feel somewhat cowardly, this car will teach you to enjoy RWD. Find a local track. Hook up with an instructor... your FR-S is not just a comuter, it's also a toy. Lots of fun can be had with the right instruction and direction.
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Old 10-29-2012, 11:16 AM   #12
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I find these cars do bite back more so then other RWD cars, even more then cars with almost triple the horsepower. But thats no excuse not to buy a other RWD car, i love RWD. You just gotta go to a track and learn, simple as that.
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Old 10-29-2012, 11:19 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raul View Post
It is NEVER reasonable to test the limits of a car in a public road. Especially around a corner where there are cars coming from the opposite direction. From your post, it seems like you disabled a SAFETY feature of the car in public roads and created an UNSAFE situation, so therefore the car is at fault for being RWD? Turning off Traction Control off is for when you're stuck in the mud, or in a safe environment like AutoX or the track. Not sure I understand your fear or your logic here. Sorry for being a tad harsh, but had you experienced a skid or spin-out in AutoX, I would be encouraging you to practice more like the rest of the posters.
this.

I've never driven the streets with all of the aids off, yet 1/2 my tires are already gone. Find the sweet spot in vsc sport.... mmm... drift g spot

Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkSunrise View Post
The FR-S is the most neutral-balanced RWD car I've owned. Definitely have to respect it, especially on the street. You never know when, for instance, a deer will jump out and force you to hit the brakes mid-corner or someone will swerve into your lane on the highway and cause you to steer/brake quickly at high speeds. You also have to pay attention to hazardous conditions (sand, gravel, ice, etc.) and specific details like road camber.

When you think about all of the uncontrollable factors on the street, it's probably best to leave the VSC in sport at the very least. The sport setting is very good about letting the rear slide out a couple of degrees, while preventing a full spin.

Personally, I don't plan on turning VSC off except in controlled environments (track, autocross, etc.). I understand that may not be everyone's viewpoint, but that's out of respect for those that ride with me and other drivers on the street.
the thing about vsc sport that i like, it can identify how fast your car is gaining angle, if it snaps, the stability control goes wild, if its gradual, you can drift a whole corner without it stepping in
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Old 10-29-2012, 11:27 AM   #14
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It's okay, u are learning, rwd can be intimidating at first but as u learn to drive it u will respect it enjoy it and no longer fear it. Auto X will make a huge difference as u can safely push ure car to the limits there.

My rwd car has no TC. It's my daily driver and i have no issues in fact I enjoy my daily. Commute
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