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less torsional rigidity + more front end stiffness (archive)

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Posted by David on August 02, 2000 at 14:55:23:

In Reply to: I Lift Inside Front Tire. . . posted by Chris in Atlanta on August 02, 2000 at 14:19:09:

equals lift of inside front wheel. The coupe's greater torsional rigidity will transfer more weight rearward as the car tries to roll, relative to the roadster. As the roadster's body twists up, the rear stays more level relative to the front (compared to the coupe). The front rolls, keeping the rears in better contact with the road but loading the outside front tire more - more understeer relative to the coupe. When the front rolls on a coupe, the entire body structure will roll, transferring more weight to the outside rear tire than will occur on the roadster - closer to neutral than the roadster.

The flex of the roadster will detract from steering precision and tracking stability relative to the coupe, making the line less smooth and regular. And when the course srtraightens out, the roadster body unit will "unwind", further affecting stability and control. Of course, all this is fairly subtle - our cars aren't exactly MGBs.

I'm not sure of the relative weights, either. Obviously, this is a complex engineering question - and I'm not an engineer. But weight, roll geometry, torsional stiffness etc all work together to make a car handle a certain way. The factory goes through all of this in design - I've always been a little leery of second-guessing them.

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