Car handling
Overview
 
Automobile handling and vehicle handling are descriptions of the way wheeled vehicles perform transverse to their direction of motion, particularly during cornering and swerving. It also includes their stability when moving at rest. Handling and braking are the major components of a vehicle's "active" safety. The maximum lateral acceleration is sometimes discussed separately as "road holding".
Encyclopedia
Automobile handling and vehicle handling are descriptions of the way wheeled vehicles perform transverse to their direction of motion, particularly during cornering and swerving. It also includes their stability when moving at rest. Handling and braking are the major components of a vehicle's "active" safety. The maximum lateral acceleration is sometimes discussed separately as "road holding". (This discussion is directed at road vehicles with at least three wheels, but some of it may apply to other ground vehicles.) Automobiles driven on public roads whose engineering requirements emphasize handling over comfort and passenger space are named sports car
Sports car
A sports car is a small, usually two seat, two door automobile designed for high speed driving and maneuverability....

s.

Center of mass height

The center of mass
Center of mass
In physics, the center of mass or barycenter of a system is the average location of all of its mass. In the case of a rigid body, the position of the center of mass is fixed in relation to the body...

 height, relative to the track, determines load transfer, (related to, but not exactly weight transfer
Weight transfer
Weight transfer and load transfer are two expressions used somewhat confusingly to describe two distinct effects: the change in load borne by different wheels of even perfectly rigid vehicles during acceleration, and the change in center of mass location relative to the wheels because of...

), from side to side and causes body lean. When tires of a vehicle provide a centripetal force
Centripetal force
Centripetal force is a force that makes a body follow a curved path: it is always directed orthogonal to the velocity of the body, toward the instantaneous center of curvature of the path. The mathematical description was derived in 1659 by Dutch physicist Christiaan Huygens...

 to pull it around a turn, the momentum
Momentum
In classical mechanics, linear momentum or translational momentum is the product of the mass and velocity of an object...

 of the vehicle actuates load transfer in a direction going from the vehicle's current position to a point on a path tangent
Tangent
In geometry, the tangent line to a plane curve at a given point is the straight line that "just touches" the curve at that point. More precisely, a straight line is said to be a tangent of a curve at a point on the curve if the line passes through the point on the curve and has slope where f...

 to the vehicle's path. This load transfer presents itself in the form of body lean.

Height of the center of mass relative to the wheelbase determines load transfer between front and rear. The car's momentum acts at its center of mass to tilt the car forward or backward, respectively during braking and acceleration. Since it is only the downward force that changes and not the location of the center of mass, the effect on over/under steer is opposite to that of an actual change in the center of mass. When a car is braking, the downward load on the front tires increases and that on the rear decreases, with corresponding change in their ability to take sideways load.

A lower center of mass is a principal performance advantage of sports car
Sports car
A sports car is a small, usually two seat, two door automobile designed for high speed driving and maneuverability....

s, compared to sedans and (especially) SUVs. Some cars have body panels made of lightweight materials partly for this reason.

Body lean can also be controlled by the springs, anti-roll bars or the roll center
Roll center
The roll center of a vehicle is the notional point at which the cornering forces in the suspension are reacted to the vehicle body.-Theory:There are two definitions of roll center...

 heights.

Center of mass

The ideal weight distribution is "50/50" (i.e. the center of mass
Center of mass
In physics, the center of mass or barycenter of a system is the average location of all of its mass. In the case of a rigid body, the position of the center of mass is fixed in relation to the body...

 is mid-way between the front and rear axles). In steady-state cornering, front-heavy cars tend to understeer
Understeer
Understeer and oversteer are vehicle dynamics terms used to describe the sensitivity of a vehicle to steering. Simply put, oversteer is what occurs when a car turns by more than the amount commanded by the driver...

 and rear-heavy cars to oversteer, all other things being equal. The mid-engine design
Mid-engine design
A mid-engine layout describes the placement of an automobile engine between the rear and front axles. Another term for this is mid-ship.-Benefits:The mid-engine layout is typically chosen for its relatively favorable weight distribution...

 seeks to achieve the ideal center of mass, though front-engine design has the advantage of permitting a more practical engine-passenger-baggage layout. All other parameters being equal, at the hands of an expert driver a neutrally balanced mid-engine car can corner faster, but a FR layout car is easier to drive at the limit.

The rearward weight bias preferred by sports and racing cars results from handling effects during the transition from straight-ahead to cornering. During corner entry the front tires, in addition to generating part of the lateral force required to accelerate the car's center of mass
Center of mass
In physics, the center of mass or barycenter of a system is the average location of all of its mass. In the case of a rigid body, the position of the center of mass is fixed in relation to the body...

 into the turn, also generate a torque about the car's vertical axis that starts the car rotating into the turn. However, the lateral force being generated by the rear tires is acting in the opposite torsional sense, trying to rotate the car out of the turn. For this reason, a car with "50/50" weight distribution will understeer on initial corner entry. To avoid this problem, sports and racing cars often have a more rearward weight distribution. In the case of pure racing cars, this is typically between "40/60" and "35/65". This gives the front tires an advantage in overcoming the car's moment of inertia
Moment of inertia
In classical mechanics, moment of inertia, also called mass moment of inertia, rotational inertia, polar moment of inertia of mass, or the angular mass, is a measure of an object's resistance to changes to its rotation. It is the inertia of a rotating body with respect to its rotation...

 (yaw angular inertia), thus reducing corner-entry understeer.

Using wheels and tires of different sizes (proportional to the weight carried by each end) is a lever automakers can use to fine tune the resulting over/understeer characteristics.

Roll angular inertia

This increases the time it takes to settle down and follow the steering. It depends on the (square of the) height and width, and (for a uniform mass distribution) can be approximately calculated by the equation: .

Greater width, then, though it counteracts center of gravity height, hurts handling by increasing angular inertia. Some high performance cars have light materials in their fenders and roofs partly for this reason.

Yaw and pitch angular inertia (polar moment)

Unless the vehicle is very short, compared to its height or width, these are about equal. Angular inertia determines the rotational inertia of an object for a given rate of rotation.
The yaw angular inertia tends to keep the direction the car is pointing changing at a constant rate. This makes it slower to swerve or go into a tight curve, and it also makes it slower to turn straight again.
The pitch angular inertia detracts from the ability of the suspension to keep front and back tire loadings constant on uneven surfaces and therefore contributes to bump steer.
Angular inertia is an integral over the square of the distance from the center of gravity, so it favors small cars even though the lever arms (wheelbase and track) also increase with scale. (Since cars have reasonable symmetrical shapes, the off-diagonal terms of the angular inertia tensor
Tensor
Tensors are geometric objects that describe linear relations between vectors, scalars, and other tensors. Elementary examples include the dot product, the cross product, and linear maps. Vectors and scalars themselves are also tensors. A tensor can be represented as a multi-dimensional array of...

 can usually be ignored.)
Mass near the ends of a car can be avoided, without re-designing it to be shorter, by the use of light materials for bumpers and fenders or by deleting them entirely.

Suspension

Automobile suspension
Suspension (vehicle)
Suspension is the term given to the system of springs, shock absorbers and linkages that connects a vehicle to its wheels. Suspension systems serve a dual purpose — contributing to the car's roadholding/handling and braking for good active safety and driving pleasure, and keeping vehicle occupants...

s have many variable characteristics, which are generally different in the front and rear and all of which affect handling. Some of these are: spring rate, damping, straight ahead camber angle
Camber angle
thumb|100px|From the front of the car, a right wheel with a negative camber angleCamber angle is the angle made by the wheels of a vehicle; specifically, it is the angle between the vertical axis of the wheels used for steering and the vertical axis of the vehicle when viewed from the front or...

, camber change with wheel travel, roll center height and the flexibility and vibration modes of the suspension elements. Suspension also affects unsprung weight.

Many cars have suspension that connects the wheels on the two sides, either by a sway bar
Sway bar
A sway bar or anti-roll bar or stabilizer bar is a part of an automobile suspension that helps reduce the roll of a vehicle that is induced by cornering or road irregularities. It connects opposite wheels together through short lever arms linked by a torsion spring...

 and/or by a solid axle. The Citroën 2CV
Citroën 2CV
The Citroën 2CV |tax horsepower]]”) was an economy car produced by the French automaker Citroën between 1948 and 1990. It was technologically advanced and innovative, but with uncompromisingly utilitarian unconventional looks, and deceptively simple Bauhaus inspired bodywork, that belied the sheer...

 has interaction between the front and rear suspension.

The flexing of the frame interacts with the suspension. (See below.)

Suspension travel

The severe handling vice of the TR3 and related cars was caused by running out of suspension travel. (See below.)
Other vehicles will run out of suspension travel with some combination of bumps and turns, with similarly catastrophic effect. Excessively modified cars also may encounter this problem.

Tires and wheels

In general softer rubber
Rubber
Natural rubber, also called India rubber or caoutchouc, is an elastomer that was originally derived from latex, a milky colloid produced by some plants. The plants would be ‘tapped’, that is, an incision made into the bark of the tree and the sticky, milk colored latex sap collected and refined...

, higher hysteresis
Hysteresis
Hysteresis is the dependence of a system not just on its current environment but also on its past. This dependence arises because the system can be in more than one internal state. To predict its future evolution, either its internal state or its history must be known. If a given input alternately...

 rubber and stiffer cord configurations increase road holding and improve handling. On most types of poor surfaces, large diameter wheel
Wheel
A wheel is a device that allows heavy objects to be moved easily through rotating on an axle through its center, facilitating movement or transportation while supporting a load, or performing labor in machines. Common examples found in transport applications. A wheel, together with an axle,...

s perform better than lower wider wheels. The depth of tread remaining greatly affects aquaplaning (riding over deep water without reaching the road surface). Increasing tire pressures reduces their slip angle
Slip angle
In vehicle dynamics, slip angle or sideslip angle is the angle between a rolling wheel's actual direction of travel and the direction towards which it is pointing...

, but lessening the contact area is detrimental in usual surface conditions and should be used with caution.

The amount a tire meets the road is an equation between the weight of the car and the type (and size) of its tire. A 1000 kg car can depress a 185/65/15 tire more than a 215/45/15 tire longitudenally thus having better linear grip and better braking distance not to mention better aquaplaning performance, while the wider tires having better (dry) cornering resistance.

The contemporary chemical make-up of tires are dependant of the ambient and road temperatures. Ideally a tire should be soft enough to conform to the road surface (thus having good grip), but be hard enough to last for enough duration (distance) to be economically feasible. It is usually a good idea having different set of summer and winter tires for climates having these temperatures.

Track and wheelbase

The axle track
Axle track
The axle track in automobiles and other wheeled vehicles which have two or more wheels on an axle, is the distance between the centreline of two roadwheels on the same axle, each on the other side of the vehicle...

 provides the resistance to sideways weight transfer and body lean. The wheelbase
Wheelbase
In both road and rail vehicles, the wheelbase is the distance between the centers of the front and rear wheels.- Road :In automobiles, the wheelbase is the horizontal distance between the center of the front wheel and the center of the rear wheel...

 provides resistance to front/back weight transfer and to pitch angular inertia, and provides the torque lever arm to rotate the car when swerving. The wheelbase, however, is less important than angular inertia (polar moment) to the vehicle's ability to swerve quickly.

Unsprung weight


Ignoring the flexing of other components, a car can be modeled as the sprung weight, carried by the springs, carried by the unsprung weight
Unsprung weight
In a ground vehicle with a suspension, the unsprung weight is the mass of the suspension, wheels or tracks , and other components directly connected to them, rather than supported by the suspension...

, carried by the tires, carried by the road. Unsprung weight is more properly regarded as a mass
Mass
Mass can be defined as a quantitive measure of the resistance an object has to change in its velocity.In physics, mass commonly refers to any of the following three properties of matter, which have been shown experimentally to be equivalent:...

 which has its own inherent inertia
Inertia
Inertia is the resistance of any physical object to a change in its state of motion or rest, or the tendency of an object to resist any change in its motion. It is proportional to an object's mass. The principle of inertia is one of the fundamental principles of classical physics which are used to...

 separate from the rest of the vehicle. When a wheel is pushed upwards by a bump in the road, the inertia of the wheel will cause it to be carried further upward above the height of the bump. If the force of the push is sufficiently large, the inertia of the wheel will cause the tire to completely lift off the road surface resulting in a loss of traction and control. Similarly when crossing into a sudden ground depression, the inertia of the wheel slows the rate at which it descends. If the wheel inertia is large enough, the wheel may be temporarily separated from the road surface before it has descended back into contact with the road surface.

This unsprung weight is cushioned from uneven road surfaces only by the compressive resilience of the tire (and wire wheels if fitted), and which aids the wheel in remaining in contact with the road surface when the wheel inertia prevents close-following of the ground surface. However, the compressive resilience of the tire results in rolling resistance
Rolling resistance
Rolling resistance, sometimes called rolling friction or rolling drag, is the resistance that occurs when a round object such as a ball or tire rolls on a flat surface, in steady velocity straight line motion. It is caused mainly by the deformation of the object, the deformation of the surface, or...

 which requires additional kinetic energy to overcome, and the rolling resistance is expended in the tire as heat due to the flexing of the rubber and steel bands in the sidewalls of the tires. To reduce rolling resistance for improved fuel economy
Fuel economy in automobiles
Fuel usage in automobiles refers to the fuel efficiency relationship between distance traveled by an automobile and the amount of fuel consumed....

 and to avoid overheating and failure of tires at high speed, tires are designed to have limited internal damping.

So the "wheel bounce" due to wheel inertia, or resonant motion of the unsprung weight moving up and down on the springiness of the tire, is only poorly damped, mainly by the dampers or shock absorber
Shock absorber
A shock absorber is a mechanical device designed to smooth out or damp shock impulse, and dissipate kinetic energy. It is a type of dashpot.-Nomenclature:...

s of the suspension. For these reasons, high unsprung weight reduces road holding and increases unpredictable changes in direction on rough surfaces (as well as degrading ride comfort
Ride quality
Ride quality refers to the degree of protection offered vehicle occupants from uneven elements in the road surface, or the terrain if driving off-road. A car with very good ride quality is also a comfortable car to ride in. Cars which disturb vehicle occupants with major or minor road...

 and increasing mechanical loads).

This unsprung weight includes the wheels and tires, usually the brake
Brake
A brake is a mechanical device which inhibits motion. Its opposite component is a clutch. The rest of this article is dedicated to various types of vehicular brakes....

s, plus some percentage of the suspension, depending on how much of the suspension moves with the body and how much with the wheels; for instance a solid axle is completely unsprung. The main factors that improve unsprung weight are a sprung differential (as opposed to live axle
Live axle
A live axle, sometimes called a solid axle, is a type of beam axle suspension system that uses the driveshafts that transmit power to the wheels to connect the wheels laterally so that they move together as a unit....

) and inboard brake
Inboard brake
An inboard braking system is an automobile technology wherein the disk brakes are mounted on the chassis of the vehicle, rather than directly on the wheel hubs...

s. (The De Dion tube
De Dion tube
A de Dion tube is an automobile suspension technology. It is a sophisticated form of non-independent suspension and is a considerable improvement over the alternative swing axle and Hotchkiss drive types. A de Dion suspension uses universal joints at both the wheel hubs and differential, and uses a...

 suspension operates much as a live axle does, but represents an improvement because the diff is mounted to the body, thereby reducing the unsprung weight.) Aluminum wheels also help. Magnesium alloy wheels are even lighter but corrode easily.

Since only the brakes on the driving wheels can easily be inboard, the Citroën 2CV
Citroën 2CV
The Citroën 2CV |tax horsepower]]”) was an economy car produced by the French automaker Citroën between 1948 and 1990. It was technologically advanced and innovative, but with uncompromisingly utilitarian unconventional looks, and deceptively simple Bauhaus inspired bodywork, that belied the sheer...

 had inertial dampers on its rear wheel hubs to damp only wheel bounce.

Aerodynamics

Aerodynamic forces are generally proportional to the square of the air speed, therefore car aerodynamics become rapidly more important as speed increases. Like darts, aeroplanes, etc., cars can be stabilised by fins and other rear aerodynamic devices. However, in addition to this cars also use downforce or "negative lift" to improve road holding. This is prominent on many types of racing cars, but is also used on most passenger cars to some degree, if only to counteract the tendency for the car to otherwise produce positive lift.

In addition to providing increased adhesion, car aerodynamics are frequently designed to compensate for the inherent increase in oversteer as cornering speed increases. When a car corners, it must rotate about its vertical axis as well as translate its center of mass
Center of mass
In physics, the center of mass or barycenter of a system is the average location of all of its mass. In the case of a rigid body, the position of the center of mass is fixed in relation to the body...

 in an arc. However, in a tight-radius (lower speed) corner the angular velocity
Angular velocity
In physics, the angular velocity is a vector quantity which specifies the angular speed of an object and the axis about which the object is rotating. The SI unit of angular velocity is radians per second, although it may be measured in other units such as degrees per second, revolutions per...

 of the car is high, while in a longer-radius (higher speed) corner the angular velocity
Angular velocity
In physics, the angular velocity is a vector quantity which specifies the angular speed of an object and the axis about which the object is rotating. The SI unit of angular velocity is radians per second, although it may be measured in other units such as degrees per second, revolutions per...

 is much lower. Therefore, the front tires have a more difficult time overcoming the car's moment of inertia
Moment of inertia
In classical mechanics, moment of inertia, also called mass moment of inertia, rotational inertia, polar moment of inertia of mass, or the angular mass, is a measure of an object's resistance to changes to its rotation. It is the inertia of a rotating body with respect to its rotation...

 during corner entry at low speed, and much less difficulty as the cornering speed increases. So the natural tendency of any car is to understeer on entry to low-speed corners and oversteer on entry to high-speed corners. To compensate for this unavoidable effect, car designers often bias the car's handling toward less corner-entry understeer (such as by lowering the front roll center
Roll center
The roll center of a vehicle is the notional point at which the cornering forces in the suspension are reacted to the vehicle body.-Theory:There are two definitions of roll center...

), and add rearward bias to the aerodynamic downforce to compensate in higher-speed corners. The rearward aerodynamic bias may be achieved by an airfoil or "spoiler" mounted near the rear of the car, but a useful effect can also be achieved by careful shaping of the body as a whole, particularly the aft areas

In recent years, aerodynamics have become an area of increasing focus by racing teams as well as car manufacturers. Advanced tools such as wind tunnels and computational fluid dynamics
Computational fluid dynamics
Computational fluid dynamics, usually abbreviated as CFD, is a branch of fluid mechanics that uses numerical methods and algorithms to solve and analyze problems that involve fluid flows. Computers are used to perform the calculations required to simulate the interaction of liquids and gases with...

 (CFD) have allowed engineers to optimize the handling characteristics of vehicles. Advanced wind tunnels such as Wind Shear's Full Scale, Rolling Road, Automotive Wind Tunnel
Wind Shear's Full Scale, Rolling Road, Automotive Wind Tunnel
In January 2008 Wind Shear, a division of US machine tool builder Haas Automation, completed construction on one of the most advanced automotive wind tunnels in the world. The full scale tunnel is located adjacent to Concord Regional Airport in Concord, North Carolina...

 recently built in Concord, North Carolina have taken the simulation of on-road conditions to the ultimate level of accuracy and repeatability under very controlled conditions. CFD has similarly been used as a tool to simulate aerodynamic conditions but through the use of extremely advanced computers and software to duplicate the car's design digitally then "test" that design on the computer.

Delivery of power to the wheels and brakes

The coefficient of friction of rubber on the road limits the magnitude of the vector sum of the transverse and longitudinal force. So the driven wheels or those supplying the most braking
Brake
A brake is a mechanical device which inhibits motion. Its opposite component is a clutch. The rest of this article is dedicated to various types of vehicular brakes....

 tend to slip sideways. This phenomenon is often explained by use of the circle of forces
Circle of forces
The circle of forces, traction circle, friction circle, or friction ellipse is a useful way to think about the dynamic interaction between a vehicle's tire and the road surface. In the diagram below we are looking at the tire from above, so that the road surface lies in the x-y plane...

 model.

One reason that sports cars are usually rear wheel drive is that power induced oversteer is useful, to a skilled driver, for tight curves. The weight transfer under acceleration has the opposite effect and either may dominate, depending on the conditions. Inducing understeer by applying power in a front wheel drive car is useful via proper use of "Left-foot braking
Left-foot braking
Left-foot braking is the technique of using the left foot to operate the brake pedal in an automobile, leaving the right foot dedicated to the throttle pedal...

." In any case, this is not an important safety issue, because power is not normally used in emergency situations. Using low gears down steep hills may cause some oversteer.

The effect of braking on handling is complicated by load transfer, which is proportional to the (negative) acceleration times the ratio of the center of gravity height to the wheelbase. The difficulty is that the acceleration at the limit of adhesion depends on the road surface, so with the same ratio of front to back braking force, a car will understeer under braking on slick surfaces and oversteer under hard braking on solid surfaces. Most modern cars combat this by varying the distribution of braking in some way. This is important with a high center of gravity, but it is also done on low center of gravity cars, from which a higher level of performance is expected.

Steering

Depending on the driver, steering
Steering
Steering is the term applied to the collection of components, linkages, etc. which will allow a vessel or vehicle to follow the desired course...

 force and transmission of road forces back to the steering wheel and the steering ratio
Steering ratio
Steering ratio refers to the ratio between the turn of the steering wheel or handlebars and the turn of the wheels .The steering ratio, is the amount of degrees you have to turn the steering wheel, for the wheels to turn an amount of degrees.In motorcycles and bicycles, the steering ratio is...

 of turns of the steering wheel to turns of the road wheels affect control and awareness. Play — free rotation of the steering wheel before the wheels rotate — is a common problem, especially in older model and worn cars. Another is friction. Rack and pinion
Rack and pinion
A rack and pinion is a type of linear actuator that comprises a pair of gears which convert rotational motion into linear motion. A circular gear called "the pinion" engages teeth on a linear "gear" bar called "the rack"; rotational motion applied to the pinion causes the rack to move, thereby...

 steering is generally considered the best type of mechanism for control effectiveness. The linkage also contributes play and friction. Caster — offset of the steering axis from the contact patch
Contact patch
Contact patch is the portion of a vehicle's tire that is in actual contact with the road surface. It is most commonly used in the discussion of pneumatic tires, , where the term is strictly used to describe the portion of the tire’s tread that touches the road surface...

 — provides some of the self-centering tendency.

Precision of the steering is particularly important on ice or hard packed snow where the slip angle at the limit of adhesion is smaller than on dry roads.

The steering effort depends on the downward force on the steering tires and on the radius of the contact patch. So for constant tire pressure, it goes like the 1.5 power of the vehicle's weight. The driver's ability to exert torque on the wheel scales similarly with his size. The wheels must be rotated farther on a longer car to turn with a given radius. Power steering
Power steering
Power steering helps drivers steer vehicles by augmenting steering effort of the steering wheel.Hydraulic or electric actuators add controlled energy to the steering mechanism, so the driver needs to provide only modest effort regardless of conditions. Power steering helps considerably when a...

 reduces the required force at the expense of feel. It is useful, mostly in parking, when the weight of a front-heavy vehicle exceeds about ten or fifteen times the driver's weight, for physically impaired drivers and when there is much friction in the steering mechanism.

Four-wheel steering has begun to be used on road cars (Some WW II reconnaissance vehicles had it). It relieves the effect of angular inertia by starting the whole car moving before it rotates toward the desired direction. It can also be used, in the other direction, to reduce the turning radius. Some cars will do one or the other, depending on the speed.

Steering geometry changes due to bumps in the road may cause the front wheels to steer in different directions together or independent of each other. The steering linkage should be designed to minimize this effect.

Electronic stability control

Electronic stability control (ESC) is a computerized technology that improves the safety of a vehicle's stability by attempting to detect and prevent skids. When ESC detects loss of steering control, the system applies individual brakes to help "steer" the vehicle where the driver wants to go. Braking is automatically applied to individual wheels, such as the outer front wheel to counter oversteer, or the inner rear wheel to counter understeer.

The stability control of some cars may not be compatible with some driving techniques, such as power induced over-steer. It is therefore, at least from a sporting point of view, preferable that it can be disabled.

Static alignment of the wheels

Of course things should be the same, left and right, for road cars. Camber affects steering because a tire generates a force towards the side that the top is leaning towards. This is called camber thrust. Additional front negative camber is used to improve the cornering ability of cars with insufficient camber gain.

Rigidity of the frame

The frame may flex with load, especially twisting on bumps.
Rigidity is considered to help handling. At least it simplifies the suspension engineers work.
Some cars, such as the Mercedes-Benz 300SL
Mercedes-Benz 300SL
The Mercedes-Benz 300SL was introduced in 1954 as a two-seat, closed sports car with distinctive gull-wing doors. Later it was offered as an open roadster...

 have had high doors to allow a stiffer frame.

Driver handling the car

Handling is a property of the car, but different characteristics will work well with different drivers.

Familiarity

A person learns to control a car much as he learns to control his body, so the more he has driven a car or type of car the better it will handle for them. One needs to take extra care for the first few months after buying a car, especially if it differs in design from those they are used to. Other things that a driver must adjust to include changes in tires, tire pressures and load. That is, handling is not just good or bad; it is also the same or different.

Position and support for the driver

Having to take up "g forces" in his/her arms interferes with a driver's precise steering. In a similar manner, a lack of support for the seating position of the driver may cause them to move around as the car undergoes rapid acceleration (through cornering, taking off or braking). This interferes with precise control inputs, making the car more difficult to control.

Being able to reach the controls easily is also an important consideration, especially if a car is being driven hard.

In some circumstances, good support may allow a driver to retain some control, even after a minor accident or after the first stage of an accident.

Weather

Weather affects handling by changing the amount of available traction on a surface. Different tire
Tire
A tire or tyre is a ring-shaped covering that fits around a wheel rim to protect it and enable better vehicle performance by providing a flexible cushion that absorbs shock while keeping the wheel in close contact with the ground...

s do best in different weather. Deep water is an exception to the rule that wider tires improve road holding. (See aquaplaning under tires, below.)

Road condition

Cars with relatively soft suspension and with low unsprung weight
Unsprung weight
In a ground vehicle with a suspension, the unsprung weight is the mass of the suspension, wheels or tracks , and other components directly connected to them, rather than supported by the suspension...

 are least affected by uneven surfaces, while on flat smooth surfaces the stiffer the better. Unexpected water, ice, oil, etc. are hazards.

Common handling problems

When any wheel leaves contact with the road there is a change in handling, so the suspension should keep all four (or three) wheels on the road in spite of hard cornering, swerving and bumps in the road. It is very important for handling, as well as other reasons, not to run out of suspension travel and "bottom" or "top".

It is usually most desirable to have the car adjusted
Racing setup
In auto racing, the racing setup or car setup is the set of adjustments made to the vehicle in order to optimize its behaviour...

 for a small amount of understeer
Understeer
Understeer and oversteer are vehicle dynamics terms used to describe the sensitivity of a vehicle to steering. Simply put, oversteer is what occurs when a car turns by more than the amount commanded by the driver...

, so that it responds predictably to a turn of the steering wheel and the rear wheels have a smaller slip angle than the front wheels. However this may not be achievable for all loading, road and weather conditions, speed ranges, or while turning under acceleration or braking. Ideally, a car should carry passengers and baggage near its center of gravity and have similar tire loading, camber angle
Camber angle
thumb|100px|From the front of the car, a right wheel with a negative camber angleCamber angle is the angle made by the wheels of a vehicle; specifically, it is the angle between the vertical axis of the wheels used for steering and the vertical axis of the vehicle when viewed from the front or...

 and roll stiffness in front and back to minimise the variation in handling characteristics. A driver can learn to deal with excessive oversteer or understeer, but not if it varies greatly in a short period of time.

The most important common handling failings are;
  • Understeer
    Understeer
    Understeer and oversteer are vehicle dynamics terms used to describe the sensitivity of a vehicle to steering. Simply put, oversteer is what occurs when a car turns by more than the amount commanded by the driver...

     – the front wheels tend to crawl slightly or even slip and drift towards the outside of the turn. The driver can compensate by turning a little more tightly, but road-holding is reduced, the car's behaviour is less predictable and the tires are liable to wear more quickly.
  • Oversteer – the rear wheels tend to crawl or slip towards the outside of the turn more than the front. The driver must correct by steering away from the corner, otherwise the car is liable to spin, if pushed to its limit. Oversteer is sometimes useful, to assist in steering, especially if it occurs only when the driver chooses it by applying power.
  • Bump steer
    Bump Steer
    Bump steer is the term for the tendency of a wheel to steer as it moves upwards into jounce. It is typically measured in degrees per metre or degrees per foot....

     – the effect of irregularity of a road surface on the angle or motion of a car. It may be the result of the kinematic motion of the suspension rising or falling, causing toe-in or toe-out at the loaded wheel, ultimately affecting the yaw angle (heading) of the car. It may also be caused by defective or worn out suspension components. This will always happen under some conditions but depends on suspension, steering linkage, unsprung weight, angular inertia, differential type, frame rigidity, tires and tire pressures. If suspension travel is exhausted the wheel either bottoms or loses contact with the road. As with hard turning on flat roads, it is better if the wheel picks up by the spring reaching its neutral shape, rather than by suddenly contacting a limiting structure of the suspension.
  • Body roll
    Body roll
    On wheeled or tracked vehicles, body roll is a reference to the load transfer of a vehicle towards the outside of a turn. When a vehicle is fitted with a suspension package, it works to keep the wheels or tracks in contact with the road, providing grip for the driver of vehicle to control its...

     – the car leans towards the outside of the curve. This interferes with the driver's control, because he must wait for the car to finish leaning before he can fully judge the effect of his steering change. It also adds to the delay before the car moves in the desired direction. It also slightly changes the weight borne by the tires as described in weight transfer
    Weight transfer
    Weight transfer and load transfer are two expressions used somewhat confusingly to describe two distinct effects: the change in load borne by different wheels of even perfectly rigid vehicles during acceleration, and the change in center of mass location relative to the wheels because of...

    .
  • Excessive load transfer – On any vehicle that is cornering, the outside wheels are more heavily loaded than the inside due to the CG being above the ground. Total weight transfer (sum of front and back), in steady cornering, is determined by the ratio of the height of a car's center of gravity to its axle track
    Axle track
    The axle track in automobiles and other wheeled vehicles which have two or more wheels on an axle, is the distance between the centreline of two roadwheels on the same axle, each on the other side of the vehicle...

    . When the weight transfer equals half the vehicle's loaded weight, it will start to roll over
    Rollover
    A rollover is a type of vehicle accident in which a vehicle tips over onto its side or roof. The most common cause of a rollover is traveling too fast while turning.- Dynamics :Vehicles can roll over in several ways...

    . This can be avoided by manually or automatically reducing the turn rate, but this causes further reduction in road-holding.
  • Slow response – sideways acceleration does not start immediately when the steering is turned and may not stop immediately when it is returned to center. This is partly caused by body roll. Other causes include tires with high slip angle, and yaw and roll angular inertia. Roll angular inertia aggravates body roll by delaying it. Soft tires aggravate yaw angular inertia by waiting for the car to reach their slip angle before turning the car.

Compromises

Ride quality
Ride quality
Ride quality refers to the degree of protection offered vehicle occupants from uneven elements in the road surface, or the terrain if driving off-road. A car with very good ride quality is also a comfortable car to ride in. Cars which disturb vehicle occupants with major or minor road...

 and handling have always been a compromise - technology has over time allowed automakers to combine more of both features in the same vehicle.
High levels of comfort are difficult to reconcile with a low center of gravity, body roll resistance, low angular inertia, support for the driver, steering feel and other characteristics that make a car handle well.

For ordinary production cars, manufactures err towards deliberate understeer as this is safer for inexperienced or inattentive drivers than is oversteer. Other compromises involve comfort and utility, such as preference for a softer smoother ride or more seating capacity.

Inboard brake
Inboard brake
An inboard braking system is an automobile technology wherein the disk brakes are mounted on the chassis of the vehicle, rather than directly on the wheel hubs...

s improve both handling and comfort but take up space and are harder to cool. Large engines tend to make cars front or rear heavy. In tires, fuel economy, staying cool at high speeds, ride comfort and long wear all tend to conflict with road holding, while wet, dry, deep water and snow road holding are not exactly compatible. A-arm or wishbone front suspension tends to give better handling, because it provides the engineers more freedom to choose the geometry, and more road holding, because the camber is better suited to radial tires, than MacPherson strut
MacPherson strut
The MacPherson strut is a type of car suspension system which uses the axis of a telescopic damper as the upper steering pivot. It is widely used in modern vehicles and named after Earle S. MacPherson, who developed the design.-History:...

, but it takes more space.

The older Live axle
Live axle
A live axle, sometimes called a solid axle, is a type of beam axle suspension system that uses the driveshafts that transmit power to the wheels to connect the wheels laterally so that they move together as a unit....

 rear suspension technology, familiar from the Ford Model T
Ford Model T
The Ford Model T is an automobile that was produced by Henry Ford's Ford Motor Company from September 1908 to May 1927...

, is still widely used in most sport utility vehicles and trucks, often for the purposes of durability (and cost). The live axle suspension is still used in some sports cars, like the Ford Mustang, and is better for drag racing, but generally has problems with grip on bumpy corners, fast corners and stability at high speeds on bumpy straights.

Aftermarket modifications and adjustments

Lowering the center of gravity will always help the handling (as well as reduce the chance of roll-over). This can be done to some extent by using plastic windows (or none) and light roof, hood (bonnet) and trunk (boot) lid materials, by reducing the ground clearance, etc. Increasing the track with "reversed" wheels will have a similar effect, but remember that the wider the car the less spare room it has on the road and the farther you may have to swerve to miss an obstacle.
Stiffer springs and/or shocks, both front and rear, will generally improve handling on close to perfect surfaces, while worsening handling on less-than-perfect road conditions by "skipping" the car (and destroying grip), thus making handling the vehicle difficult. Aftermarket performance suspension kits are usually readily available.

Lighter (mostly aluminum or magnesium alloy) wheels improve handling as well as ride comfort, by lessening unsprung weight.

Moment of inertia can be reduced by using lighter bumpers and wings (fenders), or none at all.
Component Reduce Under-steer Reduce Over-steer
Weight distribution center of gravity
Center of gravity
In physics, a center of gravity of a material body is a point that may be used for a summary description of gravitational interactions. In a uniform gravitational field, the center of mass serves as the center of gravity...

 towards rear
center of gravity towards front
Front shock absorber
Shock absorber
A shock absorber is a mechanical device designed to smooth out or damp shock impulse, and dissipate kinetic energy. It is a type of dashpot.-Nomenclature:...

 
softer stiffer
Rear shock absorber stiffer softer
Front sway bar
Sway bar
A sway bar or anti-roll bar or stabilizer bar is a part of an automobile suspension that helps reduce the roll of a vehicle that is induced by cornering or road irregularities. It connects opposite wheels together through short lever arms linked by a torsion spring...

 
softer stiffer
Rear sway bar stiffer softer
Front tire
Tire
A tire or tyre is a ring-shaped covering that fits around a wheel rim to protect it and enable better vehicle performance by providing a flexible cushion that absorbs shock while keeping the wheel in close contact with the ground...

 selection1
larger contact area
Contact patch
Contact patch is the portion of a vehicle's tire that is in actual contact with the road surface. It is most commonly used in the discussion of pneumatic tires, , where the term is strictly used to describe the portion of the tire’s tread that touches the road surface...

²
smaller contact area
Rear tire selection smaller contact area larger contact area²
Front wheel rim width or diameter larger² smaller
Rear wheel rim width or diameter smaller larger²
Front tire pressure lower pressure higher pressure
Rear tire pressure higher pressure lower pressure
Front wheel camber
Camber angle
thumb|100px|From the front of the car, a right wheel with a negative camber angleCamber angle is the angle made by the wheels of a vehicle; specifically, it is the angle between the vertical axis of the wheels used for steering and the vertical axis of the vehicle when viewed from the front or...

 
increase negative camber reduce negative camber
Rear wheel camber reduce negative camber increase negative camber
Rear spoiler
Spoiler (automotive)
A spoiler is an automotive aerodynamic device whose intended design function is to 'spoil' unfavorable air movement across a body of a vehicle in motion. Spoilers on the front of a vehicle are often called air dams, because in addition to directing air flow they also reduce the amount of air...

 
smaller larger
Front height (because these usually
  affect camber and roll resistance)
lower front end raise front end
Rear height raise rear end lower rear end
Front toe
Toe (automotive)
In automotive engineering, toe, also known as tracking, is the symmetric angle that each wheel makes with the longitudinal axis of the vehicle, as a function of static geometry, and kinematic and compliant effects. This can be contrasted with steer, which is the antisymmetric angle, i.e. both...

 in
decrease increase
Rear toe in decrease increase
1) Tire contact area can be increased by using wider tires, or tires with fewer grooves in the tread pattern. Of course fewer grooves has the opposite effect in wet weather or other poor road conditions.

2) These also improve road holding, under most conditions.

Cars with unusual handling problems

Certain vehicles can be involved in a disproportionate share of single-vehicle accident
Single-vehicle accident
A single vehicle collision or single-vehicle accident is, as the name implies, a type of road traffic accident in which only one vehicle is involved...

s; their handling characteristics may play a role:
  • Early Porsche 911s
    Porsche 911
    The Porsche 911 is a luxury 2-door sports coupe made by Porsche AG of Stuttgart, Germany. It has a distinctive design, rear-engined and with independent rear suspension, an evolution of the swing axle on the Porsche 356. The engine was also air-cooled until the introduction of the Type 996 in 1998...

     — suffered from treacherous lift off oversteer (where the rear of the car loses grip as the driver lifts off the accelerator); also the inside front wheel leaves the road during hard cornering on dry pavement, causing increasing understeer. The roll bar
    Sway bar
    A sway bar or anti-roll bar or stabilizer bar is a part of an automobile suspension that helps reduce the roll of a vehicle that is induced by cornering or road irregularities. It connects opposite wheels together through short lever arms linked by a torsion spring...

     stiffness at the front is set to compensate for the rear-heaviness and gives neutral handling in ordinary driving. This compensation starts to give out when the wheel lifts. A skilled driver can use the 911's other features to his/her advantage, making the 911 an extremely capable sports car in expert hands. Later 911s have had increasingly sophisticated rear suspensions and larger rear tires, eliminating these problems.
  • Triumph TR2, and TR3 — began to oversteer more suddenly when their inside rear wheel lifted.
  • Volkswagen Beetle
    Volkswagen Beetle
    The Volkswagen Type 1, widely known as the Volkswagen Beetle or Volkswagen Bug, is an economy car produced by the German auto maker Volkswagen from 1938 until 2003...

      — (original Beetle) senstitivity to crosswinds, due to the lightness of the front of the rear engine car; and poor roll stability due to the swing axle
    Swing axle
    A swing axle is a simple type of independent suspension first used in early aircraft , such as the Sopwith and Fokker, usually with rubber bungee and no damping....

     suspension. People who drove them hard fitted reversed wheels and bigger rear tires and rims to ameliorate.
  • Chevrolet Corvair
    Chevrolet Corvair
    -First generation :The 1960 Corvair 500 and 700 series four-door sedans were conceived as economy cars offering few amenities in order to keep the price competitive, with the 500 selling for under $2,000...

     - cited for dangerous handling in Unsafe at Any Speed
    Unsafe at Any Speed
    Unsafe at Any Speed: The Designed-In Dangers of the American Automobile by Ralph Nader, published in 1965, is a book detailing resistance by car manufacturers to the introduction of safety features, like seat belts, and their general reluctance to spend money on improving safety...

     caused by poor roll stability due to the swing axle
    Swing axle
    A swing axle is a simple type of independent suspension first used in early aircraft , such as the Sopwith and Fokker, usually with rubber bungee and no damping....

      rear suspension similar to that used in the Volkswagen Beetle. These problems were corrected with the redesign of the Corvair for 1965, however, it died from its negative publicity.
  • The large, rear-engine
    Rear-engine design
    In automobile design, a rear-engine design layout places the engine at the rear of the vehicle. The center of gravity of the engine itself is past the rear axle...

     Tatra 87 (known as the 'Czech
    Czechoslovakia
    Czechoslovakia or Czecho-Slovakia was a sovereign state in Central Europe which existed from October 1918, when it declared its independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, until 1992...

     secret weapon') killed so many Nazi officers during World War II
    World War II
    World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

     that the German Army eventually forbade its officers from driving the Tatra.
  • Some 1950s American "full size" cars responded very slowly to steering changes because of their very large angular inertia, softly tuned suspension which made ride quality a priority over cornering, and comfort oriented cross bias tires. Auto Motor und Sport reported on one of these that they lacked the courage to test it for top speed, probably due to their familiarity with smaller European cars and their unfamiliarity with large American cars.
  • Dodge Omni
    Dodge Omni
    The Dodge Omni and the similar Plymouth Horizon were front wheel drive cars introduced by the Dodge and Plymouth divisions of the Chrysler Corporation in North America in 1978, and were based on a European Simca-based design of the same name...

     and Plymouth Horizon — these early American responses to the Volkswagen Rabbit were found "unacceptable" in their initial testing by Consumer Reports
    Consumer Reports
    Consumer Reports is an American magazine published monthly by Consumers Union since 1936. It publishes reviews and comparisons of consumer products and services based on reporting and results from its in-house testing laboratory. It also publishes cleaning and general buying guides...

    , due to an observed tendency to display an uncontrollable oscillating yaw from side to side under certain steering inputs. While Chrysler
    Chrysler
    Chrysler Group LLC is a multinational automaker headquartered in Auburn Hills, Michigan, USA. Chrysler was first organized as the Chrysler Corporation in 1925....

    's denials of this behaviour were countered by a persistent trickle of independent reports of this behaviour, production of the cars was altered to equip them with both a lighter weight steering wheel and a steering damper, and no further reports of this problem were heard.
  • The Suzuki Samurai — was similarly reported by Consumer Reports
    Consumer Reports
    Consumer Reports is an American magazine published monthly by Consumers Union since 1936. It publishes reviews and comparisons of consumer products and services based on reporting and results from its in-house testing laboratory. It also publishes cleaning and general buying guides...

     to exhibit a propensity to tipping over onto two wheels, to the point where Consumer Reports claimed they were afraid to continue testing the vehicle without the attachment of outrigger wheels to catch it from completely rolling over. In its first set of tests, the Samurai performed well. R. David Little, Consumers Union's technical director, drove the light SUV through several short, hard turns, designed to simulate an emergency, such as trying to avoid a child running in front of the car. An article published several years later in a Consumer Reports anniversary issue prompted Suzuki to sue. The suit was based on the perception that Consumer Reports rigged the results: "This case is about lying and cheating by Consumers Union for its own financial motives," George F. Ball, Suzuki's managing counsel, said Monday. "They were in debt [in 1988], and they needed a blockbuster story to raise and solicit funds." Entrepreneur Magazine reported that "Suzuki's case centered on a change CU made while testing the vehicle. After the Samurai and other SUVs completed the standard course without threatening to roll over, CU altered the course to make the turns more abrupt. The other vehicles didn't show a problem, but the Samurai tipped up and would have rolled over but for outriggers set up to prevent that outcome" After eight years in court the parties consented to a settlement which did not include monetary damages nor a retraction. Commenting on the settlement, Consumer Union said,"Consumers Union also says in the agreement that it "never intended to imply that the Samurai easily rolls over in routine driving conditions." CU Vice President of Technical Policy further stated: "There is no apology. "We stand fully behind our testing and rating of the Samurai." In a joint press statement Suzuki recognized "CU’s stated commitment for objective and unbiased testing and reporting."

  • Mercedes-Benz A-Class
    Mercedes-Benz A-Class
    The Mercedes-Benz A-Class is a mini MPV produced by the German automobile manufacturer Mercedes-Benz. The first generation was introduced in 1997, and the all-new second generation model appeared in late 2004. Launched as a five-door hatchback in 1997, the second generation W169 introduced a...

     — a tall car with a high center of gravity; early models showed excessive body roll during sharp swerving manoeuvres and rolled over, most particularly during the Swedish moose test
    Moose test
    A moose test or elk test is a test to determine how a certain vehicle acts when the driver evades a suddenly appearing obstacle...

    . This was later corrected using Electronic Stability Control
    Electronic Stability Control
    Electronic stability control is a computerized technology that may potentially improve the safety of a vehicle's stability by detecting and minimizing skids. When ESC detects loss of steering control, it automatically applies the brakes to help "steer" the vehicle where the driver intends to go...

     and retrofitted at great expense to earlier cars.
  • Ford Explorer
    Ford Explorer
    The Ford Explorer is a sport-utility vehicle sold in North America and built by the Ford Motor Company since 1990, as a replacement for the smaller but related Ford Bronco II. It is manufactured in Chicago, Illinois...

     — a dangerous tendency to blow a rear tire and flip over. Ford had constructed a vehicle with a high center of gravity - the tendency to roll over on sharp changes in direction is built in to the vehicle. Ford attempted to counteract the forces of nature by specifying lower than optimum pressures in the tires in order to induce them to lose traction and slide under sideways forces rather than to grip and force the vehicle to roll over. For reasons that were never entirely clear, tires from one factory tended to blow out when under inflated, these vehicles then rolled over, which led to a spate of well publicized single-vehicle accident
    Single-vehicle accident
    A single vehicle collision or single-vehicle accident is, as the name implies, a type of road traffic accident in which only one vehicle is involved...

    s.
Ford and Firestone
Firestone Tire and Rubber Company
The Firestone Tire and Rubber Company is an American tire company founded by Harvey Firestone in 1900 to supply pneumatic tires for wagons, buggies, and other forms of wheeled transportation common in the era. Firestone soon saw the huge potential for marketing tires for automobiles. The company...

, the makers of the tires, pointed fingers at each other, with the final blame being assigned to quality control practices at a Firestone plant which was undergoing a strike
Strike action
Strike action, also called labour strike, on strike, greve , or simply strike, is a work stoppage caused by the mass refusal of employees to work. A strike usually takes place in response to employee grievances. Strikes became important during the industrial revolution, when mass labour became...

. Tires from a different Firestone plant were not associated with this problem. An internal document dated 1989 states
Engineering has recommended use of tire pressures below maximum allowable inflation levels for all UN46 tires. As described previously, the reduced tire pressures increase understeer and reduce maximum cornering capacity (both 'stabilising' influences). This practice has been used routinely in heavy duty pick-up truck and car station wagon applications to assure adequate understeer
Understeer
Understeer and oversteer are vehicle dynamics terms used to describe the sensitivity of a vehicle to steering. Simply put, oversteer is what occurs when a car turns by more than the amount commanded by the driver...

 under all loading conditions. Nissan (Pathfinder), Toyota, Chevrolet, and Dodge also reduce tire pressures for selected applications. While we cannot be sure of their reasons, similarities in vehicle loading suggest that maintaining a minimal level of understeer under rear-loaded conditions may be the compelling factor.
This contributed to build-up of heat and tire deterioration under sustained high speed use, and eventual failure of the most highly stressed tire. Of course, the possibility that slightly substandard tire construction and slightly higher than average tire stress, neither of which would be problematic in themselves, would in combination result in tire failure is quite likely. The controversy continues without unequivocal conclusions, but it also brought public attention to a generally high incidence of rollover accidents involving SUVs, which the manufacturers continue to address in various ways. A subsequent NHTSA investigation of real world accident data showed that the SUVs in question were no more likely to roll over than any other SUV, after a tread separation.
  • The Jensen
    Jensen Motors
    Jensen Motors Ltd was a British manufacturer of sports cars and commercial vehicles, based in the Lyng – West Bromwich...

     GT (hatchback coupe) — was introduced in attempt to broaden the sales base of the Jensen Healey, which had up to that time been a roadster or convertible. Its road test report in Motor Magazine and a very similar one, soon after, in Road & Track
    Road & Track
    Road & Track is an American automotive enthusiast magazine. It is owned by Hearst Magazines, and is published monthly. The editorial offices are located in Newport Beach, California.-History:...

    concluded that it was no longer fun enough to drive to be worth that much money. They blamed it on minor suspension changes. Much more likely, the change in weight distribution was at fault. The Jensen Healey was a rather low and wide fairly expensive sports car, but the specifications of its suspension were not particularly impressive, having a solid rear axle. Unlike the AC
    AC Cars
    AC Cars Group Ltd. formerly known as Auto Carriers Ltd. is a British specialist automobile manufacturer and one of the oldest independent car marques founded in Britain...

     Ace, with its double transverse leaf rear suspension and aluminium body, the Jensen Healey could not stand the weight of that high up metal and glass and still earn a premium price for its handling. The changes also included a cast iron exhaust manifold replacing the aluminium one, probably to partly balance the high and far back weight of the top. The factory building was used to build multi-tub truck frames.
  • The rear engined Renault Dauphine
    Renault Dauphine
    Renault Dauphine is a rear-engined economy car manufactured by Renault in one body style — a three-box, four-door sedan — as the successor to the Renault 4CV, with over two million examples marketed worldwide during its production from 1956-1967....

     earned in Spain
    Spain
    Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

     the sobriquet
    Sobriquet
    A sobriquet is a nickname, sometimes assumed, but often given by another. It is usually a familiar name, distinct from a pseudonym assumed as a disguise, but a nickname which is familiar enough such that it can be used in place of a real name without the need of explanation...

     of the "widow's car", due to its bad handling.
  • Three-wheeled cars/vehicles have unique handling issues, especially considering whether the single wheel is at the front or back. (Motorcycles with sidecars; another matter.) Buckminster Fuller's Dymaxion car
    Dymaxion car
    thumb|The Dymaxion car designed by inventor–architect [[Buckminster Fuller]].The Dymaxion car was a concept car designed by U.S. inventor and architect Buckminster Fuller in 1933. The word Dymaxion is a brand name that Fuller gave to several of his inventions, to emphasize that he considered them...

     caused a sensation, but ignorance of the problems of rear-wheel-steering led to a fatal crash that destroyed its reputation.

See also

  • Auto racing
    Auto racing
    Auto racing is a motorsport involving the racing of cars for competition. It is one of the world's most watched televised sports.-The beginning of racing:...

  • Automotive suspension design
    Automotive suspension design
    Automotive suspension design is an aspect of automotive engineering, concerned with designing the suspension for cars and trucks.The process entails*selecting appropriate vehicle level targets*selecting a system architecture...

  • Car safety
    Car safety
    Automobile safety is the study and practice of vehicle design, construction, and equipment to minimize the occurrence and consequences of automobile accidents. Automobile safety is the study and practice of vehicle design, construction, and equipment to minimize the occurrence and consequences of...

  • Downforce
    Downforce
    Downforce is a downwards thrust created by the aerodynamic characteristics of a car. The purpose of downforce is to allow a car to travel faster through a corner by increasing the vertical force on the tires, thus creating more grip....

  • Driving
    Driving
    Driving is the controlled operation and movement of a land vehicle, such as a car, truck or bus.Although direct operation of a bicycle and a mounted animal are commonly referred to as riding, such operators are legally considered drivers and are required to obey the rules of the road...

  • Grip (autoracing)
    Grip (autoracing)
    Grip is a term describing the total cornering envelope of a race car by the friction of the tire as a function of i.a. the mass of the machine and the downforce generated.-See also:*Lift *Downforce*Bernoulli's principle*Ground effect in cars...

  • Mechanical engineering
    Mechanical engineering
    Mechanical engineering is a discipline of engineering that applies the principles of physics and materials science for analysis, design, manufacturing, and maintenance of mechanical systems. It is the branch of engineering that involves the production and usage of heat and mechanical power for the...

  • Sports car
    Sports car
    A sports car is a small, usually two seat, two door automobile designed for high speed driving and maneuverability....


External links

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