How To Fight Understeer, Every Driver's Enemy, With FWD, RWD And AWD

Illustration for article titled How To Fight Understeer, Every Driver's Enemy, With FWD, RWD And AWD

Understeer is the enemy of any driver, with the front of the car simply refusing to turn no matter how much you angrily saw at the wheel. Many people think it’s just a problem for front-wheel drive cars, but it’s just as bad for anyone with rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. Luckily, the technique for beating it is the same for all platforms.

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This is advice from the all-knowing font of driving technique, Team O’Neil Rally School up in New Hampshire. They teach rally driving up there, and we are already pretty familiar with how rally driving is the best driving.

Anyway, the problem is that if you veer into a corner with too much speed, you’ll get what people describe as ‘understeer.’ This doesn’t get magically fixed if you switch to rear-wheel drive. This doesn’t get magically fixed if you switch to all-wheel drive. SUV, economy car, sports sedan, it’s all the same shit.

What you need to to is brake into a turn or even brake through the corner, keeping your speed right and the weight of the car over the wheels that are doing the steering. You stay tight, and you make the corner.

It goes against all the bullshit you’ve been told about how cars handle differently, but it works.

Raphael Orlove is features editor for Jalopnik.

DISCUSSION

2jmotorsports
H4N5 GRU83R

Question for 911 owners: Do they understeer and if so, how do you counteract it without the lift-off oversteer problem? Do you lift off or brake to get it to rotate then “catch the rear” getting back on the throttle before it comes around too much? Or left foot brake?