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Fastest cornering speeds

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Old 07-12-2018, 12:12 PM
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Fastest cornering speeds

I've got an '88 TA WS6, stock other than SFCs, and I have taken some real tight highway clover-leaves at 60+ mph and the car shrugs it off like nothing. It handles better than any other old american car I know, and Car and Driver named the Camaro/Firebird the best handling domestic car back in the 80s, but what are it's actual limits? Anyone pushed it too far in a dry corner?
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Old 07-12-2018, 06:55 PM
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Re: Fastest cornering speeds

I'm like you...same car...'88 T/A WS6...and I have not pushed it hard enough to find the limits on the street. Really fun car. Look forward to seeing some other's thoughts on this.
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Old 07-12-2018, 08:06 PM
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Re: Fastest cornering speeds

I haven't pushed the limit of losing control, well maybe once but that was back in '88 and another story. The difference between my '86 back in the day and my '87 now is the difference between 18" wheels and 16" stock wheels. The suspension on my '87 is stiffer with little tire side wall flex, subframe connectors and strut tower brace, aftermarket springs, all of which we didn't have in 1986, so now with dry pavement a posted 30 mph corner is now a 60 mph corner as long as it's not a blind corner. But even back in 1986 my Camaro was still a fun car to drive, that's why i bought another one. As for your question, has anyone ever pushed it too far? I would say yes, but i wouldn't want to see the damage.

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Old 07-12-2018, 10:48 PM
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Re: Fastest cornering speeds

When you exceed the limitations in a thirdgen, generally the front end will push. In other words, it'll plow ahead instead of turning. It's possible to lose traction with the back tires, in which case the back end can come around, but that is fairly controllable, to a point.
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Old 07-18-2018, 04:46 PM
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Re: Fastest cornering speeds

they're not bad for what they are, but let's not kid ourselves. On a track even today's hatchback's will turn tighter and faster than a stock thirdgen.

My old trans am was running SFC's, koni's, MOOG springs, graphite/ poly bushes and C6 vette wheels with michelin/ pirelli tyres and my brother's stock E46 325i was faster in the corners. Sure, I'm pretty much in the laugh-out-loud band for driving talent, but so is my brother.

Yep they tend to plow/ understeer in the dry but can spin / snap oversteer pretty aggressively in the wet
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Old 07-18-2018, 10:16 PM
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Re: Fastest cornering speeds

To the OP. On the OEM spec alignment the car pushes lots. If you've never driven a modern sports car (even those wrong wheel drive rice burners) then you would think so. The level of chassis communication to the driver with Todays cars is simply incredible.

An older third gen feels like a dump truck in comparison. No matter how much lateral grip it has.

Originally Posted by GTA1990 View Post
they're not bad for what they are, but let's not kid ourselves. On a track even today's hatchback's will turn tighter and faster than a stock thirdgen.

My old trans am was running SFC's, koni's, MOOG springs, graphite/ poly bushes and C6 vette wheels with michelin/ pirelli tyres and my brother's stock E46 325i was faster in the corners. Sure, I'm pretty much in the laugh-out-loud band for driving talent, but so is my brother.

Yep they tend to plow/ understeer in the dry but can spin / snap oversteer pretty aggressively in the wet
As an owner of one of those new hatches, and at the risk of being branded a traitor, I will say the Focus RS is lightyears ahead of EVERY SINGLE thirdgen ever built. TTA, and Firehawk included.

Its supercar performance at economy car pricing.
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Old 07-21-2018, 05:17 AM
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Re: Fastest cornering speeds

I was in a modded TTA with full suspension upgrades awhile back, controlled by a FAST XFI w/traction control, one of the best handling cars I've ever been in with an unbelievable rate of acceleration. Cornered so hard the latched T-Top went flying. So yeah, it depends on how you build it. You can't expect stock 80's technology that does not sense wheel spin, open rear w/mismatched gearing and narrow tires, to compete with something that has the advantage of decades of real testing before its' release...

- Rob

Edit: Oh, and Bill is a traitor...!!!!!!!
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Old 07-21-2018, 06:46 AM
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Re: Fastest cornering speeds

I just pushed mine the other day and for the 1st time since the new tires I got the rear to jump out. It took almost 70 in a nice size 2 lane roundabout and I was under acceleration. I usually run 50+ in these roundabouts with never even a tire squeal. I also have a sweeping 2 lane exit ramp from the interstate that I love to just keep the car @80 as you leave the freeway. The car just seems to stick to the road. No way you can compare to the newer cars but with a few inexpensive suspension mods and good tires you can really make these third gens fun! You should have seen the look on the guys face that I blew by in that roundabout!
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Old 07-22-2018, 01:01 PM
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Re: Fastest cornering speeds

Having driven just about everything fast - new, old, stock, modified - I will tell you this; feel (and communication) has nothing to do with actual speed cornering. People confuse handling with feel way too much, and it is really annoying.


Case in point is the CMC race cars - both 3rd gens and 4th gens compete against each other. The rules are very specific and dictate weight, power, modifications to the suspension & chassis and other items. That said, one might expect the 4th gen with the better steering system, more advanced front suspension and a myriad of other small things to maul the 3rd gens in the races - reality is that the cars are equal on the track.


That said, a 3rd gen with mild suspension parts and modern wheels and tires should be a match for anything not truly exotic in the corners.
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Old 07-26-2018, 06:43 PM
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Re: Fastest cornering speeds

Back in the day were our cars not one of the best handling cars for the money you could buy? It's 2018, surely we can make our cars capable of hanging with all but the most exotic supercars? Alltho I've always preferred drag racing, after reading this I kinda now feel compelled to build such a car, lol. Heck, back in 89 third gens could be built to pull 1 g on the skidpad. We have improved since then haven't we?
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Old 07-26-2018, 08:42 PM
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Re: Fastest cornering speeds

It's getting a little tiresome listening to guy's compare 30 plus year old cars to current cars today. Be it LS vs. L98 or suspensions or ride and handling. That's like comparing a 57 Chevy to an '87 Camaro. There is no comparison. These car's back in the 80's to early 90's were the cream of the crop. Technology has come a long way, and so it has for the third gens also. Back in the 80's when these cars were new, there was no aftermarket anything. You just drove them. Today, you can strip the car down to a shell and rebuilt it any way you choose.
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Old 07-26-2018, 09:33 PM
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Re: Fastest cornering speeds

Originally Posted by paul_huryk View Post
Having driven just about everything fast - new, old, stock, modified - I will tell you this; feel (and communication) has nothing to do with actual speed cornering. People confuse handling with feel way too much, and it is really annoying.


Case in point is the CMC race cars - both 3rd gens and 4th gens compete against each other. The rules are very specific and dictate weight, power, modifications to the suspension & chassis and other items. That said, one might expect the 4th gen with the better steering system, more advanced front suspension and a myriad of other small things to maul the 3rd gens in the races - reality is that the cars are equal on the track.


That said, a 3rd gen with mild suspension parts and modern wheels and tires should be a match for anything not truly exotic in the corners.
Thats one of my points I hold in favor of my RS. And its one of the things I bring up in handling discussions.

My GTA actually has the same or slightly more grip than the Focus RS. But the Focus RS is so much more well balanced and communicative.

The GTA is much harder to find the limit of grip with. And the RS is the opposite. Its so easy to find and balance on the edge of grip that you are just plain faster in a corner because you don't have try so hard to find the balance.

When the RS finds the limit of grip, the tail starts to step out. But a tiny touch of counter steer, or additional throttle settles the car down. Its just too easy to push the car to astronomical levels of grip.
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Old 07-27-2018, 09:27 AM
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Re: Fastest cornering speeds

Originally Posted by red rock
It's getting a little tiresome listening to guy's compare 30 plus year old cars to current cars today. Be it LS vs. L98 or suspensions or ride and handling.
... but, but, don't you just love reading about how a third gen has no chance against a Tesla, and/or Bugatti lol?

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Old 07-27-2018, 10:00 AM
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Re: Fastest cornering speeds

Then we should also be tired of trying to get a stock third gen of any year to compete with any modern muscle car. But the boards are replete with those to.

We don't live in 1982, and we can't.

So you can't avoid what is out there now as its always relevant.
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Old 07-27-2018, 10:47 AM
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Re: Fastest cornering speeds

Skidpad numbers on modern RWD cars aren't THAT much greater than thirdgen numbers and comparing a thirdgen to anything that has independent suspension isn't honest at all, at least stay in the same suspension and drive family- there are fair comparisons to be made.
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Old 07-27-2018, 10:50 AM
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Re: Fastest cornering speeds

It's more of a "stock" issue that people are tired of hearing about. We've debated MAF vs MAP for years, but now it's no longer an issue thanks to the EBL and other ECU systems. We debated stock vs stock third gen engines, which are no longer an issue because running a stock engine today is ludicrous, and we can get any engine to fit nowadays. We've debated handling, which is no longer an issue because with SFC, LCA, adjustable torque arms, adjustable coil overs, beefy sway bars, etc, a third gen can hang with the best of them, even by today's super car standards. So yeah, it's cool to debate a modded third gen with all the bells and whistles against anything out there, but to debate a stock one against a new Ford Focus, well, that's not really fair. Especially when the Ford Focus looked like this when the stock third gens were new and out roaming the streets...

- Rob

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Old 07-27-2018, 12:38 PM
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Re: Fastest cornering speeds

And now a comparison with an all wheel drive tubo 4 banger. Why not just compare a stock third gen with a formula 1 car?
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Old 07-27-2018, 12:45 PM
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Re: Fastest cornering speeds

Originally Posted by red rock View Post
And now a comparison with an all wheel drive tubo 4 banger. Why not just compare a stock third gen with a formula 1 car?
.... "next on Street Outlaws, stock 305 TBI versus Big Chief's 3000 horsepower Poncho". :O

My money is on the TBI.

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Old 07-27-2018, 12:48 PM
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Re: Fastest cornering speeds

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Old 07-27-2018, 02:27 PM
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Re: Fastest cornering speeds

I think we just wanted to provide some additional relativity colour to the OP (not that I can see he asked for it; my mistake lol), to, with respect, manage some expectations. Sure our cars did well for their day and can be further improved upon with today's technology, but is it a good handling car without any qualifiers; i.e. contemporarily, is it a good handling car? I don't think so.

Having driven the mentioned Focus RS, some German high performance cars and even todays commuter cars, a thirdgen doesn't have the precision, chassis rigidity/ sophistication and NVH build quality that many of today cars have. You can try and address these in a thirdgen but is it a thirdgen after all that surgery? And you'll likely give-up ride quality, add weight or make compromises elsewhere in the process. We live in a golden age of improved globalised strong competition in the auto-sector which has encouraged car manufacturers to better themselves to win our business.
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Old 07-27-2018, 02:49 PM
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Re: Fastest cornering speeds

According to Car and Driver a GTA ws6 with rancho shocks and BFG comp TAs pulled 1.1g on their skid pad so no econo shoe is going to do that with out a lot of mods.In They tested it in the 80s when it was new.
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Old 08-10-2018, 10:55 PM
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Re: Fastest cornering speeds

I know in the "old vs new" comparison most new performance cars will beat our good old third gens. But let's be a little realistic... average Joe goes to the local Ford dealer and buys a new focus svt. One of us with a well modified car gets behind average Joe on a local back road. Am I wrong in assuming we'd be pretty close to average Joe's back bumper? Down the road from where i grew up there was a spot with 2 90 degree turns about 100 yards apart. When I got my first iroc back then I tested those turns. Didn't have the ***** back then to try more than about 30-35 around those curves. Now that I'm older I need to go back and try again, lol.
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