By on June 4, 2015

NCMCHARLEY 694

I was once told that it’s good to start any piece of writing with a curious introduction – you know, something that makes the reader want to click through and find out more about the story. The more controversial the statement, the better. Well, here goes nothing.

You no longer have any excuse to not track your car. Want to find out more? Of course you do!

The Sports Car Club of America and I have had a rather sordid history as of late. I declined to renew my membership two years ago, citing a vast proliferation of autocross classes and unnecessary rules. I felt that the club was headed entirely in the wrong direction, so I did what any customer would do in that situation: I voted with my dollars. I stopped autocrossing with the club and started spending my motorsports dollars with 24 Hours of Lemons and American Endurance Racing. As a whole, I have felt like this was a good and correct decision, one that I have yet to regret one bit.

But then somebody at the SCCA had a brilliant idea. Why not rent out some great tracks across America, send out some very qualified organizers and instructors to run some open lapping days, and let anybody and everybody show up in whatever they’ve got in the driveway? The best part of the idea: it’s only a hundred and fifty bucks for sixty minutes of track time. That’s a dollar and a half per minute to drive as fast as you possibly can on great circuits like New Jersey Motorsports Park’s Thunderbolt, Willow Springs Raceway, Grattan Raceway, NOLA Motorsports Park, and the brand-new NCM Motorsports Park in Bowling Green, Kentucky, home of the new Corvette C7. Appropriately enough, they decided to call it Track Night in America.

Well, shoot. Looked like the SCCA and I were about to become reacquainted.

I headed out to the Track Night event at NCM Motorsports Park on May 19th, excited to drive my Fiesta ST on track for the first time. You see, I leased the ST because I wanted to track that mofo – I truly don’t understand anybody who buys the performance variant of a vehicle only to watch it collect dust in the garage. Also, I had heard nothing but great things about the track from everybody who had experienced it, including a text from Matt Farah, who had been there the day before driving the new C7 Zo6, that read: “This track is fucking amazing.” I had no doubt NCM would be amazing in a gazillion-horsepower supercar, but how would it be in the Little Sports Car That Could?

I had also encouraged some of the local autocross crowd to show up and test their personal mettle. I love my autocross friends, and I wanted to remove any and all mental barriers they might have had about tracking their autocross cars. Luckily, the SCCA had already pretty much thought of everything.

Tracking your car is too expensive? Nope. It’s $150, about what you already pay for six minutes of seat time at Nationals, and you get three twenty-minute sessions on a world-class circuit.

Never done this before and I’m not sure I’m ready for it? No problem. Come and drive in the free paced laps session. Seriously. It’s free. Ride along in somebody else’s car. IT’S FREE.

Don’t have all the necessary safety equipment? If you have an SA2005 helmet, you’re good. Nothing else is required. Tech your own car and go.

Car isn’t track ready? Again, no problem. You can bring anything you want. Bring your Passat. Bring your Sentra. Drive it as fast as you want. Nobody is timing you.

It’s too dangerous? Nope. They have a Novice group with strict rules about passing and distances between vehicles and wonderful classroom-style instruction. The most dangerous part of driving at a Track Night is likely driving to Track Night.

Which brings me back to my original curious introduction. There’s simply no reason to not go to a Track Night event. They’ve covered everything. They’ve made it as easy as possible for anybody from a total noob to an experienced racer to get on track and have as much fun as possible.

My favorite thing about Track Night is that it isn’t about competition. As Intermediate and Advanced group coordinator Jon Krolewicz told me, “This is all about creating an atmosphere of safety. The only thing they can win tonight is the chance to go home safely in their undamaged cars. I don’t even have a six dollar plaque to give them. If somebody is behind them, and they didn’t just pass them, that means that they’ve been caught and they need to move over. I encourage them to think of the other drivers on course as teammates, not competitors. We’re all trying to ensure a safe environment where people can have fun.”

Tom O'Gorman leads the Novice meeting at Track Night in America

Tom O’Gorman leads the Novice meeting at Track Night in America

Novice coach and driving instructor Tom O’Gorman, whom I’ve had the pleasure of knowing since he was about sixteen years old, echoed these sentiments in his Novice drivers’ meeting. I observed Tom’s meeting with about twenty-five novice drivers, many of whom were driving on a racetrack for the very first time. He provided crystal clear instruction on passing, flagging, and how closely they should follow the car ahead of them. After each session, Tom was available to give coaching to anybody who wanted it, offering opinions on braking zones, corner entry and exit, and just about anything that any of them wanted to know. I found myself wishing that my first track experience had been in such a risk-free, supportive environment.

Drivers were able to self-select into Novice, Intermediate, or Advanced. Although I definitely wanted to experience each of the groups, I felt as though I’d have the lowest chance of on-track incident in the Advanced group (Jon informed me later that I was wrong about this. They’ve only had two incidents so far in the program, and both were in the Advanced group). I grabbed my helmet and gloves and headed out on track in the Fiesta. My advanced group “teammates” were as follows:

  • A Nissan GT-R
  • two fully prepped actual caged racecars on slicks
  • a Cayman
  • some long-haired hick in a C7 Z51 OH WAIT THAT’S JACK
Two extreme ends of the American sporting vehicle spectrum in one picture

Two extreme ends of the American sporting vehicle spectrum in one picture

Needless to say, I let them all go out on track ahead of me – no need to be waving them all by the little ST in the first corner. Speaking of which, let’s look at the track.

NCM course map

We would be driving the West course with the chicane, which meant the Fiesta wouldn’t be at much of a disadvantage – but let’s not kid ourselves here. Also, I had to remember that it wasn’t a competition. Right. There was no way in hell that I was going to let that C7 lap me in a twenty-minute session.

I could give you a turn-by-turn description of the track, but this is the year 2015. LET’S GO TO THE VIDEO!

If you’re at work or something lame like that, let me explain what you didn’t see. The Fiesta is a freaking champ. Yes, it understeers a bit. No, I haven’t quite figured out how to unwind it properly in tight corners when the brake vectoring kicks in. The OEM Bridgestone tires squeal like angry banshees. But what a car. What. A. Car. I drove it in Sport mode, but I never once felt the AdvancTrac kick in. In the back straightaway, I was seeing speeds of between 105 and 108 mph. The suspension handled the curbing magnificently, settling the little hatch back down after every apex.

If you did watch the video, you’ll notice how easy the car is to drive. My hands were relatively calm, as the car just went where I pointed it. Heel-toe shifting is really only possible in legitimate racing shoes, as the brake pedal and accelerator aren’t positioned exactly where you would want them to be for proper heel-toe execution. That being said, once you get it, it’s sublime; notice how the car just hustles from the front straight into the chicane, maintaining great balance and holding the proper racing line. Virtually nothing upsets the ST. It’s definitely a better FWD car than I am a FWD driver at this point. I’m still learning exactly when and how it likes to have the throttle applied in corner exit, as there’s enough available torque to overpower the front wheels at nearly any point on the torque curve.

However, the brakes weren’t really up to sixty minutes of track time. By the time the third session started, the brake fade was noticeable, and halfway through, it was nearly unmanageable. I had just decided the car wasn’t really drivable any more when the checkered flag waved from the final corner station. You can watch me overcook several corner entries due to the brakes in this next video, but, much more importantly, you can watch me catch a Cayman that started nearly a minute before I did. (Disclaimer: SCCA TRACK NIGHT IN AMERICA IS NOT A COMPETITION. IT DOESN’T MATTER IF YOU PASS ANYBODY OR IF THEY PASS YOU!)

So, in summary, let me just say this: Track Night in America is the best and cheapest way for virtually anybody to experience a track in his own car. You could spend your Tuesday nights watching a sitcom or passively observing a sporting event or you could get your ass into your car and be a DRIVER. Even if only for an hour. Even if you never actually race. You’re participating. You’re an active member of your own entertainment. I promise you, you’ll catch the bug.

As for the Fiesta, I’m ordering a set of real, track capable brake pads for it as we speak. I’m happy to thrash the OEM Bridgestones to within an eighth of an inch of their lives, but after that, I’ll be ordering a set of something a little more appropriate for dual duty on the track and the street. The old saying about “driving a slow car fast?” Eff that. The Fiesta is a Fast Car that you can Drive Fast. You, too, can go Porsche hunting for less than twenty-five grand.

So what’s stopping you?

The Sports Car Club of America provided the entry to the Track Night in America event at NCM Motorsports Park. Photo credit goes to the legendary Danger Girl.

NCMCHARLEY 868

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47 Comments on “Long-Term Tester Update: Fiesta ST Plus Track Night in America Equals Hella Fun...”


  • avatar

    Is this a great country or what?

    I will say, though, that I once passed a Corvette on my bicycle (in my much younger days, probably during the Nixon Administration), so I’m not sure I’m impressed by your passing the Cayman. But I definitely want to try this.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      The guy driving the Cayman was a bit of a shoe — older dude with SCCA racing experience who didn’t know the track very well. It took him longer to learn the course than it took Bark.

      By the way, and I hate to sound like a proud brother here, but to have consistent tire noise going through a fast right-hander at 80mph… that’s something that the vsat majority of drivers, even ones who consider themselves performance drivers, will never accomplish.

  • avatar
    tedward

    Bfg comp-2’s are ridiculously cheap right now for what it’s worth. I just picked up some 225/17’s for around a hundred per. Not the quietest tire but great in the rain and good tread life considering the duty cycle.

    • 0 avatar
      JuniperBug

      I’ve got them on the Miata (195/50-15), and for the money, especially, I’m also pleased. To me, road noise is a non-issue – I can’t hear any over all the other wind, engine, and top-rattling noise that my car makes – but it is a complaint I’ve heard about them. One thing to note about them is that they don’t talk much; even near their limit, they don’t tend to squeal. I’ve got maybe 6 or 7 thousand miles on them, and am pleased by their wear rate given the category of tire. I estimate I’ll get about 15k miles out of them, and I drive them reasonably hard, including about an hour of track time.

      I did have them hydroplane on me a few times in the last few weeks in hard downpours, but by the time that happened, traffic on the highway had all come to a near-stop with their hazards on, too, so I was in good company. I don’t play hard when it’s wet, but what little I’ve tested of them, they seem to grip very well.

    • 0 avatar

      I have them on my Boss 302. They are actually kinda awful in the rain, in my experience, but they wear well, and they are quite cheap.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    I can think of a reason. Actually, 482. Thats the number of miles round trip I’d have to go to the nearest event. It would also be aboout 360 miles past the nearest track, which is nowhere near as nice, but much closer.

    Im envious, looks like a great time

    • 0 avatar
      zamoti

      Yeah, same boat here, not quite as bad, but still not happening for me.
      Hopefully this will expand to more tracks; I could care less if it’s a good one or bad, I’ve never been on any so they’re all great to me!

    • 0 avatar
      duffman13

      I’m kind of lucky in that regard. From my house, it’s just under 2 hours door to door with Summit Point and just over 2 hours to NJMP. With 2 great tracks at each (plus Jefferson at Summit Point) I have a good amount of track time available to me. What I can’t wait for is Dominion to open up south of DC.

      I still try and still make a 4.5-5 hour weekend trip to one of the really good tracks a year – the last 2 I did VIR, this year is shot because newborn, and next year I think I’m ongoing to try for a Watkins Glenn event – I’ve heard very good things about it.

  • avatar
    dirtyblueshirt

    $150 for 60 minutes? Wow, you guys are getting ripped off. We pay that much for a full day out here on the west coast… Going to events hosted by KROPS (Keep Racing Off Public Streets) and ExtremeSpeed, I’ve had several track days in my (non-ST) Fiesta for much less out in Willow Springs and Perris.

    • 0 avatar
      duffman13

      East coast guy – Sometimes you can score 120 for around $250 here, and if you sign up for a whole weekend you can get under $150 a day from time to time. 2 years ago I did a 3-day with the PCA for $400. Well, I kind of did it – I blew up my transmission on the first session because the drain plug backed out – that was an expensive weekend.

  • avatar
    JMII

    This pretty much sums up my experience with the group I run with (PDG). The difference is we run a full day, thus its $300 but you get a quick breakfast and a catered lunch. Same basic groups, same basic rules – no racing, must be waved by to pass unless your in advanced. In the novice group the instructor rides along giving you direct feedback, my brother recent started instructing as he has more experience then me (had a ‘Vette for awhile, now runs a Golf R with APR Stage I+). Its very safe and everyone is super friendly, even the guys in the hyper cars (GT-Rs, Lotus, GT3s, Z06s and more exotic metal). They don’t mind you taking pictures and asking questions. I get in about 5 sessions @ 20 mins a session. Depending on traffic this yields between 6 to 10 laps at Homestead (infield) per session or about 50 laps a day which feels like plenty.

    Did you switch to racing brake fluid? The stock fluid boils pretty easily. Swapping the fluid and using more aggressive pads is pretty much the only “upgrade” your daily driver needs. Just add a helmet and a GoPro and your ready to drive… on a track… as fast as you want… no speed limit! I use Harry’s Lap Timer to track my progress, its a great app available for iPhones and Android. There is an upgrade to a slightly more expensive version of the app that can also shoot video so you don’t need a GoPro but most of us have one anyway.

    • 0 avatar

      I didn’t, just because I want to provide a review of how the car performs out of the box.

      • 0 avatar
        JMII

        Understood. Did the same thing my first time out. Not really a good idea unless your very familiar with track and car in question. Its dangerous since brake fade can happen pretty quickly and once your brakes are gone… well you do the math. As my instructor said: “if ANYTHING doesn’t feel right about the brakes, like the pedal is a tiny bit soft or seems to take a touch longer to slow down, then you get into the pits immediately”. Its really something you should not chance, especially since fluid is cheap and its always the weak point of a stock system (provided your pads aren’t past 1/2 worn).

        I’ve had two brake failures on track: one was just general fade from pushing too hard the other time I had caliper seal let go due a low pad being overworked and cracking. I jumped on the brakes at 100 mph and the pedal just went to the floor, then nothing but smoke as the fluid squirted onto the hot rotor. Luckily because it was only one piston I had enough brake force to make the corner while pumping like a mad man (losing more fluid each time) in an effort to keep enough pressure in the other pistons. Thankfully I had plenty of run-off space and no cars around so I was OK and made the 30 mph corner. Still not something I care to repeat… like EVER.

  • avatar
    Chris Tonn

    “So, what’s stopping you?”

    Minivan. SUV. No actual car of any kind in the Tonn garage. Only stuff that’d never be allowed (remember, I’m no DeMuro) on track.

    Otherwise, I’d be there.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    There is one in my backyard next week and not filled up – WOOT!

    Haven’t flogged the toy on a track in quite a while, long overdue.

  • avatar

    This sounds attractive, but the first and the last time I took a race car to a race track I ended wrecking it. The injuries I sustained there, while minor (I think cracked my coccix), were more grevious than those I received when I crashed my airplane (where I got away with bruising).

  • avatar
    Pinzgauer

    “I truly don’t understand anybody who buys the performance variant of a vehicle only to watch it collect dust in the garage.”

    You mean, like your Boss 302?

    Seriously though, I have been looking for a simple way to get some track time with my Boss 302 and this may be the ticket so thanks for the heads up on this. Looks like there is one in NJ on the 10th! But not having done this type of thing a lot do you think it would be a better idea to take my 2012 Turbo Beetle instead to get more acclimated? My on track experience is only the Boss Track Attack program so far. Should I be concerned about bringing such a powerful car for the novice class?

    Thanks!

    • 0 avatar

      I track my 302, too :) in fact, I will likely take it to the Track Night in a couple of weeks at NCM.

      I think you’d be fine taking the 302 to NJMP. Just remember to drive within your comfort zone—the Boss will be going very, very fast into Turn One on Lightning—I’d guess around 140 or more. I’d look into putting upgraded pads on the front brakes.

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      Also leave the traction control ON.

      But don’t worry the novice group is made for new comers, its really not about power its more about learning the track. You’ll pass people on the straights but don’t be surprised if a Miata is on your tail after the twisty bits. Heck my first few laps on track the instructor had me keep the car in 3rd gear the whole time. You’ll be busying learning the “line” and the braking zones for the first few sessions and thus not going that fast (its all relative however). Plus if its a lead-follow type event you’ll be limited by traffic anyway.

  • avatar
    Chopsui

    Hey Bark,

    How did you have that camera mounted? Was it stuck on the window or mounted to the passenger seat?

  • avatar
    ncwalls

    wow, very timely article for me. I’ve always wanted to do a track day or autox or something and have been itching to wring out my Focus ST somehow. I’m planning to try an autox this year and just yesterday I discovered the NCM track. I missed the Track Nights on the calendar because I was just looking at weekends. Those bigger track days (10/10ths, etc) are a bit too expensive for me right now, especially considering I need to buy a helmet too.

    I think I will try one of these. I wish they’d been around when I had my RX-8 but I’m sure the ST will be fun too.

  • avatar
    JuniperBug

    It’s nice to see that even though the GTI has gone IRS, there are still some hot hatches that’ll poke a rear wheel in the air around curves. Somehow that makes me smile.

    • 0 avatar

      I actually have a couple of pics where the front inside wheel is off the ground, too.

    • 0 avatar
      Power6

      Its not the beam axle that makes that happen per se, any performance suspension with thick anti-roll bar on a small FWD will exhibit the trait, though a beam axle does act as a mild anti-roll bar by design. The GTI is soft and longer wheel base over the years so not as much tripod action.

      The SRT-4, with IRS, was well known for hanging a wheel, it played havoc with the ABS system if you like to trail brake on the track.

      • 0 avatar
        FormerFF

        I’ve always suspected that the difference in the roll center height between the front and rear suspensions has a lot to do with this. For the MacPherson struts on the front, the roll center is typically low, and on both a beam axle and most of the independent suspensions that small front drive cars get, the roll center is higher. So when the body roll sets in, the front end is rolling around a low point while the rear is rolling around a higher point, et voila, you get that “dog approaching a fire hydrant” posture.

        Hopefully there’s someone out here with better engineering chops that can confirm or disprove my suspicions.

  • avatar
    Power6

    That Fiesta ST is so impressive. Id love to get back on the track and the lease deals look great on those. Im stuck in an old Lexus that just wouldn’t be any fun on track. Did a season of auto-x in a buddies ZX-3 last year but i am nervous about borrowing it for a track night and blowing it up.

    Wish i had bought something a little more fun before i decided to quit my job and start a business…

    • 0 avatar
      rpn453

      Power6, I’m still waiting for an explanation on how the front-biased electronic Subaru AWD system on the automatics provides better performance and/or reliability than the mechanical one found on the manuals.

      https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/05/old-hat-april-2015-reveals-another-subaru-u-s-sales-record/#comment-5625050

      • 0 avatar
        Power6

        Ha such is the nature of comments, I don’t usually have the time for more than one round before the story is stale and commentariat has moved on. Most times I don’t bother for that reason, but sometimes I temporarily forget the purpose of Internet commentary is to start arguments and confirm personal bias.

        I’m probably not going to change your mind about anything, you made a bunch of unrelated points it would take more time than I have to address. I’ll just say keep in mind a viscous LSD is used because it is cheap and doesn’t affect handling. It is not in any way a superior technology compared to anything but an open diff.

        • 0 avatar
          rpn453

          “Most times I don’t bother for that reason, but sometimes I temporarily forget the purpose of Internet commentary is to start arguments and confirm personal bias.”

          Well, good thing you remembered on that last thread and started right in with the personal attacks.

          So, you still have nothing useful to add? You’re just here to insult people and let us know that you’re too knowledgeable to waste time explaining anything?

          • 0 avatar
            Power6

            sorry rpn453, to have offended you, it wasn’t meant as a personal attack I didn’t say anything about you. I was commenting how it is on the Internets in general. I’m not sure why you are chasing me around demanding responses. I wish I had time to engage but I don’t. If commenting was a paid position I would argue all day LOL.

          • 0 avatar
            rpn453

            No problem. In that case, I have misinterpreted your original post and I apologize. I gave you the benefit of the doubt in my initial response but eventually incorrectly concluded that your response was a thinly-veiled insult directed at me. Seeing your avatar this morning just reminded me of the whole thing.

            Subaru’s electronic AWD sounds like a good system. I’m just not willing to accept that it’s superior to the mechanical system in every way without more information, and maybe even a test drive. I enjoy learning about these systems, and I find the lack of detailed information out there to be frustrating. So without that information, I tend to prefer simple mechanical devices that I’m familiar with. I realize that electronics have the potential to improve mechanical devices, but in practice electronics tend to make mainstream vehicles more forgiving at the expense of control so I’m always leery of such things. I was only fishing for information and justification of the superiority claims by arguing in favor the mechanical system on that thread. You seem like a knowledgeable poster.

          • 0 avatar
            Power6

            We probably agree more than anything else. An electronic clutch like the Subaru MPT or DCCD system is technically superior to a viscous since a computer can simply command it to do neat things, though you are at the mercy of what that computer does. I wouldn’t give up a clutch and shifter over it! But i wouldnt say its junk and worthless either, which is what you hear sometimes on the nets.

            If you like to tweak, with the old 4 speed auto subarus you can wire up an override switch that locks up the MPT so you can have old skool 4WD at the flip of a finger…

          • 0 avatar
            rpn453

            “If you like to tweak, with the old 4 speed auto subarus you can wire up an override switch that locks up the MPT so you can have old skool 4WD at the flip of a finger…”

            Nice!

      • 0 avatar
        wmba

        I’m not Power6.

        The MPT AWD system I had on my ’99 Impreza automatic had a static 60/40 torque split. Says so right in the brochure I still have. It was obviously much better than the older version with 90/10 split on my previous ’88 GL Turbo wagon. Goose both in snow and the front wheels on the ’88 spun like mad for about a second, then with a lurch, the rears would cut in and off you’d go. The ’99 always got going immediately in the same situation – if it was extra slippery then one front and one rear would spin. That happened once when I managed to strand the car on a pile of snow. My pals outside the car were laughing and told me what was happening.

        Upon hard acceleration, the current MPT just locks up for a few seconds if you’re going in a straight line (50/50) then reverts to 60/40 when you back off. If the front wheels are turned, it bases the torque split on longitudinal and lateral accelerometers, wheel speed, steering wheel angle, accelerator position, traction control ABS operation, etc. However, the system is always driving the front and also somewhat the rear axle, unlike these slip and grip systems that all the cheap CUVs etc have. In fact, like the cheap systems, the Subaru always drives the front wheels – it’s a direct connection. There was a wonderful explanation in the Canadian owner magazine well over a decade ago with a superb cutaway of the oily bits. Never was online, unfortunately, so we get old wive’s tales from the technically illiterate still quoting explanations from 1988 of the original version of MPT with 90/10 split.

        A lot of people get the CVT automatic confused with the AWD. They’re separate hunks of mechanical black box junk. Subaru has cheapened out and fitted the MPT system to the new 3.6 R Outbacks and Legacies with CVT. They used to have the VTD system with planetary center diff and lockup electronic clutch (same effect as a viscous element, but works almost immediately). That had a 45/55 torque distribution – you still get it on the WRX CVT (maybe – there’s a dispute on Subaru Canada’s webpages between the promo blather and the spec page).

        The regular manual transmission viscous limited slip effect seems to go away with age. The old ones would lock solid as the plates warped, and cause judder at parking lot turn-in because front and rear axles were locked together. The newer ones seem to have ketchup for fluid, and the lockup effect is very limited, leading to cases of one wheel spinning due to the effectively open center diff. Many cases reported on NASIOC. The Subaru mechanics back in the ’90s would back up the cars at about 15 mph, then violently cut the steering wheel in a reverse J-turn. If you were lucky, this violent maneuver would unstick the plates in the older viscous units. It’s comical to watch! They tried only twice, because after that who knows what other damage might occur if the plates didn’t un-stick.

        My ’08 Legacy GT with VTD has a viscous limited slip element on the rear axle. Lasted about four years. Now, the right rear will spin up like mad while the left never does anything. The Mark 1 electronic nannies take a full couple of seconds before braking the right rear, so you have to be alert. This means when you goose it in snow out of a side road making a left turn, the car will violently hook to the left. In fact, I use this characteristic to do left-handed 180s to turn the car in a narrow snow-covered street. No handbrake required! You do have to goose it pretty hard though. By the time you finish the Traction Control light has just started flashing on the dash. Too late! The newer models are electronically much faster-acting since about 2011 – in fact too much. That was the year Edmunds and TFL found the 2.5l Outback wouldn’t back over a 4×4 from a dead stop. Since rectified, or so they say.

        Enjoy your manual Subie! Never bought one because I couldn’t stand the gearshift/clutch match. Clonky to say the least.

        • 0 avatar
          Power6

          Oh you know some Subaru stuff wmba ;-)

          The center Subaru vlsd has been a 4kg/m per 100RPM unit forever. That’s ~3lb/ft of torque per 100RPM speed difference in between front and rear axles. It takes a LOT of slip to transfer any meaningful amount of torque.

          • 0 avatar
            rpn453

            4 kgf-m is 28.9 lb-ft. 28.9 lb-ft per 100 rpm differential at the transfer case results in 113 lb-ft per 26 rpm differential at the wheels, assuming a 3.90:1 final drive ratio.

            So not much slip required at all if those numbers are correct.

          • 0 avatar
            Power6

            That’s what i get for typing it into google quick for a conversion…

            So heres the thing…requires slip, thats the downside of viscous. Have to spin the wheels to get action. At the same time the MPT takes inputs from throttle angle, gear etc and locks up ahead of traction loss so you have a bit of an advantage there. The vlsd only takes one input and that is speed difference.

          • 0 avatar
            rpn453

            If the electronic transfer case truly does a better job of equalizing output speeds at all times, then it is functionally superior. If it’s also at least as reliable and repairable as the mechanical unit, then it’s absolutely superior, aside from the little bit of extra weight that I’ll assume it adds.

            As I’ve said, the slip is the viscous unit is minimal enough that I haven’t noticed it in operation. It has worked as well for on-road winter driving as anything I’ve experienced. I suspect the same would be true of Subaru’s modern electronic systems.

        • 0 avatar
          rpn453

          Thank you for actually contributing to the conversion with your knowledge and interesting experiences, wmba.

  • avatar
    rpn453

    Hell of a deal. It costs twice that for a track day here.

  • avatar
    mindgymnast

    Love, love, love this article, not only because of how well it’s written but also because it shows what I love about TTAC. You guys actually own cool cars and track them. I am much more likely to read a review written by somebody who can drive (and isn’t afraid to put up an in car video of his track driving) than from somebody who just gets a press,car delivered to his driveway every week. Kudos Bark and Kudos TTAC!

  • avatar
    FlimFlamMan

    Thanks for the heads up on TNA! Too bad the closest one is in Palm Beach, FL this coming Thursday evening (I’m down in Fort Lauderdale). If it was on the weekend I could make it work, but I digress.

    I’ll be keeping an eye out for future events. I hate SCCA AutoX because the lack of seat time, but do like SCCA RallyX. Am I a hypocrite or what… lol. I dunno… its just different on the dirt. On tarmac, I crave more seat time. On the dirt, the seat time is justified, IMHO, because my DD is not built for stage rally type events.


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  • Hummer: Jeez, I can’t imagine paying that much for 1 vehicle, $1,900 is what one could expect to pay for about 3-4...
  • geozinger: Fnck. I’ve lost lots of cars to the tinworm. I had a 97 Cavalier that I ran up to 265000 miles. The...
  • jh26036: Who is paying $55k for a CTR? Plenty are going before the $35k sticker.
  • JimZ: Since that’s not going to happen, why should I waste any time on your nonsensical what-if?
  • JimZ: Funny, Jim Hackett said basically the same thing yesterday and people were flinging crap left and right.

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