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    Thread: Driving philosophy with front wheel drive??

    1. Junior Member
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      03-24-2012 09:07 AM #1
      Hey everybody! This is my first post here and I have a question about driving lines. My previous car was a 2002 bugeye WRX wagon, and all the other cars I've driven hard on a regular basis have been RWD. Just yesterday I got into a MKV GTI (details in sig), and I drive hard. I like to autoX and hopefully I'll get some track time in soon. With AWD and RWD I know how to correct mistakes with throttle braking and steering, but I'm new to the FWD thing. I had the car out last night driving in some back roads and was expecting torque steer so I managed to keep things on the road. With that being said, can anyone chime in on the driving philosophy with high power FWD cars.

      For instance, on these types of cars, is it best to brake hard, early apex, and try and get on the throttle as the car starts to straighten out? Or brake late and late apex, crank the wheel and get back on the throttle when the car straightens. The one thing that doesn't work is getting on the gas right after the apex; the car pulls to the outside and I lose my line.

      When the throttle is out of the equation, this car handles and sticks to the road like GLUE. In my WRX I could mash the gas coming out of the apex and it had so much grip it didn't matter. RWD cars you can at least still control the front of the car under power. I know this is why people are against FWD in sporty cars but is there something I can learn to do differently? Thanks guys!!
      2008 GTI 6spd 2 DR Tornado Red- APR Stage II+, koni coils, clutchmasters fx350 clutch (steel flywheel), APR subframe mount, SS brake lines, brake stiffening kit, shift linkage/ shifter bushings, 2DIN Panasonic head unit, Alpine R speakers, JL 5 channel amp

      RIP 2002 WRX Wagon

    2. 03-24-2012 11:49 AM #2
      You are right on the money. I don't know if there is anything you can do, except set up the car to minimize understeer. You've prolly already tried but (1950's car movies come to mind) early turn in may help a bit, i dunno i've always wondered if more suspension travel and a softer suspension would help keep the rear inside wheel on the ground under hard cornering, or if lower and tighter is always better, either way it seems to me that keeping that wheel on the ground would be the best for handling. I kno for me in the 8V it seems like trailbraking and being in the throttle as much as possible was the answer, but it sounds like you have plenty of twist and ponies to spare, hope even my confusion on the subject got you to see it from a different perspective.

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      03-24-2012 07:08 PM #3
      Thanks for the reply! It's kind of a difficult subject to talk about truly objectively so I was hoping more people would chime in with an opinion at least. This car came with Koni coil overs so it's low but I don't know if they adjusted the damping rates to go along with the slam so maybe I can adjust it somehow and get a better set up? This car has been so much fun though so I'm certainly not complaining
      2008 GTI 6spd 2 DR Tornado Red- APR Stage II+, koni coils, clutchmasters fx350 clutch (steel flywheel), APR subframe mount, SS brake lines, brake stiffening kit, shift linkage/ shifter bushings, 2DIN Panasonic head unit, Alpine R speakers, JL 5 channel amp

      RIP 2002 WRX Wagon

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      03-25-2012 06:07 PM #4
      For me, I grew up driving FWD. I learned from the start, use a combintion of light brakes/ throtle and staying in the power band- this helps the car maintain the line you want and allows the car to pull thru the turn, not push to the outside...

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      03-26-2012 04:54 PM #5
      Yeah I was actually surprised the other day I came around a corner and before I got on the throttle the back end started to come around a bit. I figured the car would favor understeer even without giving it any gas. If that's the case, the light braking you're talking about might get that back end to come around even more and when I hit the gas I'll be past the apex and the car will be pointed in the right direction so I can give it the juice!
      2008 GTI 6spd 2 DR Tornado Red- APR Stage II+, koni coils, clutchmasters fx350 clutch (steel flywheel), APR subframe mount, SS brake lines, brake stiffening kit, shift linkage/ shifter bushings, 2DIN Panasonic head unit, Alpine R speakers, JL 5 channel amp

      RIP 2002 WRX Wagon

    6. Member Cushy's Avatar
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      04-05-2012 03:27 AM #6
      left foot braking.
      Quote Originally Posted by SVT2888 View Post
      The car scene, much like the music scene, has a lot of genre's and even genre's within genre's. But, like those who call themselves real music fans, if you're a real automotive enthusiast you can find something in every genre that you like.
      Quote Originally Posted by vento86 View Post
      Rip the ebrake. Neutral. Get bitches
      Function is the form.

    7. Junior Member
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      04-05-2012 09:29 AM #7
      Is that right? It's still such a strange concept to me that under power the car understeers so severly but without throttle the car oversteers. Do you actually left foot brake sometimes or are you just messin with me??
      2008 GTI 6spd 2 DR Tornado Red- APR Stage II+, koni coils, clutchmasters fx350 clutch (steel flywheel), APR subframe mount, SS brake lines, brake stiffening kit, shift linkage/ shifter bushings, 2DIN Panasonic head unit, Alpine R speakers, JL 5 channel amp

      RIP 2002 WRX Wagon

    8. Member Seppdelaney's Avatar
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      04-05-2012 09:56 PM #8
      ///”VDUBkill 2:0 – The path of 2.0T is beset on all sides by the injustice of the speed trap and the Plague of the Prius drivers. But blessed is he who in the name of disparity overwhelmeth the exotic in the valley of the s-bends. And I shall strike down upon thee with great revs and furious acceleration those who attempt to obstruct or delay my overtaking and you will know my engine is turbocharged when I lay my powerband upon thee.”

    9. 04-21-2012 05:02 PM #9
      does the car have an LSD fitted? this will drastically improve the cars tendency to push to the outside of a corner when getting on the gas after the apex, so you can get on the throttle sooner and hold a much tighter line without having to lift off or spin the power away.

      the other thing you'll learn to compensate for is the balance of the car - the majority of the weight is at the front end, but compared to the other cars you've driven, there is almost no weight at all in the back - no diff, prop, shafts, etc. so if you snap the throttle closed just as you turn in to the corner, this has the effect of throwing the cars weight over the front wheels and unloading the rear even mor than it already is, giving you lift off oversteer. once you get used to it, its a very convenient way to adjust the attitude of the car before/during the corner, and on longer/slower corners you can steer with the throttle to a degree, but not as much as with RWD lol

      lower and stiffer is better up to a point but you still need suspension travel and some degree of compliance - if it doesn't rub on fast corners with you and a passenger it's ok - only other thing to do is either remove the front ARB and keep the standard rear, or keep the standard front ARB and uprate the rear.

      is a fully triangulated weld-in cage linking all the structural points of the vehicle to extreme? literally a night and day difference with a proper cage.

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      04-23-2012 05:40 PM #10
      I like your response! I'm actually not sure if it has a LDS or not. I know the MK 6 GTI has the XDS (cross differential system), but as far as MK 5 I'd love to know what the OEM unit is.

      I do notice a change in turn in response with the lower stiffer coilovers. I'm a salesguy at our VW dealership and I drive stock MK 6 GTIs all the time. It's nice having a little bit more suspension travel on a daily basis but you can't beat the turn in response on my car. Overall grip is similar but mine changes direction so much quicker.

      Also I'd love to get a full cage! I plan on going autocrossing- do any of you guys have any experience with GTIs autocrossing? I've been before in my dad's tricked out 86 Carrera and the 427 Cobra replica that he had but I think my car would hold up great.
      2008 GTI 6spd 2 DR Tornado Red- APR Stage II+, koni coils, clutchmasters fx350 clutch (steel flywheel), APR subframe mount, SS brake lines, brake stiffening kit, shift linkage/ shifter bushings, 2DIN Panasonic head unit, Alpine R speakers, JL 5 channel amp

      RIP 2002 WRX Wagon

    11. 04-25-2012 09:08 AM #11
      Im 100% certain that the vendor would've told you if a proper diff had been fitted, personally I rate Wavetrac as the manufacturer of the best diff available for 020/02A/02J boxes and they're not that expensive either..

      So, buy and fit a diff, buy and fit the best tyres you can afford - personally I rate Yokohama A539 and AO48 - and either lose the front ARB or uprate the rear ARB..

      Once you've done those mods the car will be MUCH nicer to drive on the street AND on the track - after that look at solid engine mounts, seam welded wishbones, seam welded chassis, rose joint every moving part of the running gear, triangulate the rear beam, and if thats still not enough you need a full weld in cage..

      now get busy and report back with your results!

    12. Junior Member
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      04-25-2012 05:08 PM #12
      hahahahahah I love it. I'll get it on it and back to you ASAP
      2008 GTI 6spd 2 DR Tornado Red- APR Stage II+, koni coils, clutchmasters fx350 clutch (steel flywheel), APR subframe mount, SS brake lines, brake stiffening kit, shift linkage/ shifter bushings, 2DIN Panasonic head unit, Alpine R speakers, JL 5 channel amp

      RIP 2002 WRX Wagon

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      05-01-2012 04:47 PM #13
      I don't want to ruin the conversation but want to say there are some amazing things people can do with FWD cars. Skill can easily trump drive-train advantages in the right situations.


    14. Member Jh0104's Avatar
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      05-02-2012 09:09 PM #14
      nice video
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    15. Member Cushy's Avatar
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      05-03-2012 02:19 PM #15
      In response to the ragnotti clip, I would agree.


      Most of these guys are FWD as well.


      A lesson from a guy who knows what hes talking about (granted its 4wd, but most 4wd cars understeer like FWD cars.)
      Quote Originally Posted by SVT2888 View Post
      The car scene, much like the music scene, has a lot of genre's and even genre's within genre's. But, like those who call themselves real music fans, if you're a real automotive enthusiast you can find something in every genre that you like.
      Quote Originally Posted by vento86 View Post
      Rip the ebrake. Neutral. Get bitches
      Function is the form.

    16. 05-04-2012 05:01 AM #16
      Agreed, very often skill can trump a hardware advantage - but its not as if any of the cars in the videos don't have sorted suspension, LSD, weld in cage etc...they're about as trick as cars get!

      If any of those cars in the videos were just standard road cars they'd either be on their roof, in a ditch, or facing the wrong way!

      Build your skill and learn in a car that already has the correct hardware and you can not go wrong!

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      05-05-2012 06:10 AM #17
      The first car I owned and the first car I learned to drive hard (one in the same) is a fwd. I'm also really into rally. So yes a fwd car can do just fine in something like autox skill and setup are big factors. If you hit the power too early in a corner (too early depends on the corner and what is after it.) You understeer off the course. If you let off the throttle when this happens the cars tail will slide out (liftoff oversteer). Depending on how you are trying to corner depends on what you do. Unlike a rwd or awd car all the control is done by 2 wheels. These 2 wheels can only do so much. If you brake or accelerate while trying to turn to hard you will upset the attitude. Left foot breaking helps dance the line of keeping control and lossing of control. Some facts to keep in mind:
      70% of braking is done by the front tires
      When you brake it throws the weight to the front of the car. Widening the contact patch on the front tires. while narrowing the contact patch on the rear tires. If you turn while braking the outside front tire has a wide contact patch while the inside and rear tires have narrower patches. On lose or slick surfaces this will cause the car to slide quickly. The can also slide on dry tarmac but requires more speed than the afforementioned surfaces. Just like a rwd or a awd the e brake will cause the rear to drag.
      Sorry for the rambling its getting late and I have had a big day. Hope this is of some use to you. Have fun out there and let me know how it goes!

    18. Junior Member
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      05-05-2012 10:22 AM #18
      It's awesome hearing about a FWD guy that's into rally. honestly I was a subaru guy for the longest time. I had a 02 wrx that I hooned constantly in snow and dirt and rain and I could whip it around pretty good. also I'm HUGE into rally. being a subaru guy I always thought of car control strategy with AWD but seeing some great rally clips with FWD I can imagine how it works as well.

      my goal is to do eventually strip out an older WRX and do amateur rally racing. I'll keep the FWD on pavement for now!! but honestly with the suspension setup on my GTI now, the turn in response is off the charts and I would love to take it autoXing. I've been before in a few RWD cars and I'm curious to see how it works. I'm gonna try to learn how to left foot brake as I'm sure that will help.

      as you can see I ramble as well!
      2008 GTI 6spd 2 DR Tornado Red- APR Stage II+, koni coils, clutchmasters fx350 clutch (steel flywheel), APR subframe mount, SS brake lines, brake stiffening kit, shift linkage/ shifter bushings, 2DIN Panasonic head unit, Alpine R speakers, JL 5 channel amp

      RIP 2002 WRX Wagon

    19. Member
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      05-05-2012 03:39 PM #19
      Yea I got a 90 passat I'm thinking of setting up for amateur rally. One great thing about fwd is that all the weight is over your drive tires so they don't lose traction as easily but since the is nothing really keeping the back on place once you learn how you can swing it out.

    20. Member Louie Mac's Avatar
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      06-24-2012 04:45 PM #20
      Quote Originally Posted by drive.euro View Post
      The first car I owned and the first car I learned to drive hard (one in the same) is a fwd. I'm also really into rally. So yes a fwd car can do just fine in something like autox skill and setup are big factors. If you hit the power too early in a corner (too early depends on the corner and what is after it.) You understeer off the course. If you let off the throttle when this happens the cars tail will slide out (liftoff oversteer). Depending on how you are trying to corner depends on what you do. Unlike a rwd or awd car all the control is done by 2 wheels. These 2 wheels can only do so much. If you brake or accelerate while trying to turn to hard you will upset the attitude. Left foot breaking helps dance the line of keeping control and lossing of control. Some facts to keep in mind:
      70% of braking is done by the front tires
      When you brake it throws the weight to the front of the car. Widening the contact patch on the front tires. while narrowing the contact patch on the rear tires. If you turn while braking the outside front tire has a wide contact patch while the inside and rear tires have narrower patches. On lose or slick surfaces this will cause the car to slide quickly. The can also slide on dry tarmac but requires more speed than the afforementioned surfaces. Just like a rwd or a awd the e brake will cause the rear to drag.
      Sorry for the rambling its getting late and I have had a big day. Hope this is of some use to you. Have fun out there and let me know how it goes!
      I like this one the most out of all the post. Stick a fat sway in the back, to help the back end kick around in a turn, and a very small one, or none, for the front sway. Really go back to stock and just drive it on a track and autoX. try different braking points and turn in points. you have to experiment to a certain level to really see what will benefit your car and how you drive it. It's up to you, everyone drives differently and likes certain things others hate on a track.
      Luke

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      06-27-2012 05:45 PM #21
      Interesting so a sway bar in the rear will actually let it brake loose more easily? So then does the sway bar help with changes of direction but decrease overall grip?
      2008 GTI 6spd 2 DR Tornado Red- APR Stage II+, koni coils, clutchmasters fx350 clutch (steel flywheel), APR subframe mount, SS brake lines, brake stiffening kit, shift linkage/ shifter bushings, 2DIN Panasonic head unit, Alpine R speakers, JL 5 channel amp

      RIP 2002 WRX Wagon

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      06-27-2012 06:10 PM #22
      I can say that i have never had a FWD car break the rear lose in a turn. if you are in the throtle, the car pulls thru the turn.

      Just saying, something is either wrong with theory, driver skill or small woodland creatures are pushing the inside rear tire....


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      06-30-2012 09:14 AM #24
      well mtoger I'd say you just aren't going into the turn too fast. I guess it depends on the suspension setup, but I'm coming into a turn a little too hot and I turn the wheel the back end tends to let loose just a little. it's not like I'm power sliding or anything but the back does rotate a bit
      2008 GTI 6spd 2 DR Tornado Red- APR Stage II+, koni coils, clutchmasters fx350 clutch (steel flywheel), APR subframe mount, SS brake lines, brake stiffening kit, shift linkage/ shifter bushings, 2DIN Panasonic head unit, Alpine R speakers, JL 5 channel amp

      RIP 2002 WRX Wagon

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      07-02-2012 06:48 PM #25
      I started off roadracing in rwd Mustangs with lots of power. Loved that. Then went into SCCA ITB in an 86 GTI 8v. Had sooo much fun chasing down waaay faster cars in the twisties!! FWD is very forgiving if you know how to handle it. I would lift off of the throttle at times just to get the car to rotate around until it was pointed where I wanted, and then mash the throttle and take off. Too much fun. Just get out and drive and have fun with it! Sliding is learning!

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