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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
It was my first time being a captain of the sea.. I mean race track. I just want to share how this tiny, hot hatch-like SUV felt like on a race track. Yup, I chose a Titanic as a metaphor to its handling.

This clown car, is only good during the acceleration, it's low end is most of my priority. Top it up to 100kmh and it's already useless. But I still like my car, I'm just stating the fact.

So people might think, it's pretty pointless on a racetrack, I mean, why bother. Right? But here's a question to counter that, Why not? I mean, why not try some to spice up life? It's just for fun. Besides, I was invited to test the rav for that said event. Why did they invited me? Hmm.. reasons maybe.

Anyways, This rav clocked a lap time of a 1998 Subaru Legacy Wagon N/A with racing tires and a proper suspension driven by an experienced driver. Most of the Legacy's time are at least 3 seconds ahead of me, but still, I was able to keep up 2x to his time. Mine is a hopeless automatic model btw, it's all stock apart from the intake and exhaust, those are all I got.



So what about the rav's handling? It's sh*tty. Though I love how angry the engine is and how the small wheel base helps it turn quicker on the turns. I love it, cuz it's my car. Hehe. But the problems it mostly faces are the ground clearance and it's tall body. Yup, body roll and understeer catastrophe at its finest. I already have my H&R springs but too lazy to put it on cuz I still have no proper wheels to match it and undergo rotating and balancing at the same time. So now, I am riding on a stock Titanic.

The body roll this rav produces is so high that it looks like the whole thing is going to roll over. I felt nothing on the right-back end of it while turning hard for a long time on one part of the track. It became a tripod for a short time. That's how bad it is.



So how am I able to keep up with a Subaru Legacy with racing tires and proper suspension driven by an experienced driver? Here it goes, from what I experienced so far.

The race track has slalom cones laid on one of its straights. The Rav4's small wheel base helps it turn and flick the back quickly. Plus, it's AWD so, pushing it 2 cones before exiting is an advantage. That's one point there.

Long turn with slight, uneven road surfaces. The rav's back wants to slide out rather than understeer while entering and letting off the gas. Countering the steering wheel quickly while the back is just about to get in a sliding angle is the trick to avoid spinning. No need to counter steer hard, cuz just by stepping hard on the gas will stabilize it forward. But if the rav had already spun in a great amount of angle, then countersteering on the opposite direction, is not a good idea. The rav would flip once it springs back to the other direction. But that still depends on how fast you are.

For going on the exit of the long turn, understeer occurs just as you push for more power. Jerking the steering wheel to find grip is the trick to this underpowered AWD appliance. Even though it already has the grip, the front will still understeer and loose power. Jerking the steering wheel slightly a couple of times, therefore playing with it's weight distribution, will stabilize the rav to find more grip.



On hard hairpins, the rav, on its stock brakes and tires, is literally, garbage. It cannot find grip while entering unless you really, do, slow down. On stock brakes, it's time consuming. So how to overcome it? Our instructor told us to always be gentle on turning the steering wheels, braking and accelerating. That doesn't work on this rav and it consumes a lot of time. So how to glitch the system with a 3dr rav? Seems to me that the rav is pretty friendly when turning it hard from doing a "feint" or the "scandinavian flick." It works when entering the hairpin by transferring its weight to the front and the other side.

Would it slide? No. Would it flip? No. It's a hairpin, its a slow section. the back will help the rav stabilize due to being AWD from being thrown out or from becoming a tripod cuz the front will absorb the weight transfer by pulling it towrds the apex and straight out on the exit as you step on the gas. It's fun! Though they said it looks, really stupid and dangerous from outside.



Another trick on not loosing speed while entering a hairpin is to do the heal-toe foot work to rev match. On manual cars, this is a normal trick. But on Automatic cars, this might sound stupidly insane, but yes. It works as well. How The f*ck right? The answer is left foot braking. Left foot hard on brakes, quickly kick the gas pedal to rev match, shift to "2" or "L" then turn hard. You may turn into a tripod here, but that's just normal.

Sounds stupid right? If I were you, I would agree. Pathetic "ricer" reasoning, but it works. This might not make any sense, but It does work. Sure brake pads will be eaten quicker. But, that's the price to pay to go faster on turns in an automatic car.

Now on chicanes. The rav or any vehicles with high ground clearances are a glitch to these turns. I cheat by driving over the apexes instead of kissing them. Haha.

The things I did to go faster are not very convenient and conservative ways to drive on a circuit or in any kind of racing events (Except Rally). I was driven by aggression and adrenaline only and haven't thought about the boring stuffs. If I were to drive on a multiple lap, full track circuit racing. I would always be called on the pits. Therefore I shall learn more about proper car control.

But enough about that, let's go back to the rav.



The 3dr rav will become a tripod on turns, depending on the entry speed. But it won't definitely roll over. It will just flick the back, understeer or just scare you by the huge body roll it produces. But overall, it acts like any other AWD cars that has put into their maximum capability. It is a fun car, agile due to being small, funny as hell when hearing it rev more while producing screeching noises from the tires. Haha.

Besides, it is a baby celica. It isn't just a flood wader, snow crawler, mud running off roader, turns out, it is also a fun circuit racer. Not a great one, not even a good one, but fun. A fun, boat/ship-like circuit racer. That's why I related it to a Titanic.

I might need to invest some racing tires and coil overs for this, I guess. I think I better start searching for proper lightweight wheels now. I want to join again.

So a question like this will appear most of the time, "Why not find a good, used "sporty" car for track racing than wasting some on an SUV?" I still can't afford a second toy car, my options are cars with 4AGE, 3SGE or a MIVEC 4G92. One of those will soon to come. But now, I'll just enjoy what I have now. And I never see my car as an SUV. I see it as an AWD small hot hatch with higher ground clearance and a wheel attached on its back. Yes, I might be delusional about that, haha, but is it bad? I hope not.

 

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That's funny as hell!:D What a trip! I think I heard my CUTE 1997 2/3 door laughing out loud.....!:lol:
 

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looks like fun :D, a set of 18" wheels and tyres + a lowering kit would greatly improve handling!
 

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I would love to give my 2dr soft top a go on a track :D, she gets the rear tires howling around the turnabouts as it is :D, I love the look of the RAV with stock tyres (I love fat tyres on cars, not low profile) but I would still have a set of lowpro for practical track use. even at 45psi the 215/70 R16's would struggle on the track, especially the cheapo AT's that Betty currently has on her :p
 

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Discussion Starter #7
@Aussie50 I like those fatty tires as well, but with 18's fitted to them like 18/55/235 or 245. I don't like anything less than 50 series for some stubborn reasons. I stayed at 35psi on all wheels, but the slalom experts told me that loosing some air on the back would help. It makes sense, cuz the rav with a stock 3sfe is amazingly useless on the straights, but is pretty nimble on slow turns. What the point given to me is that you enter fast on the turn like a front wheel drive and exit as fast as an all wheel drive car. Might want to try that next time. :)

I really am intrigued how a 2dr rav would look like on a track with a 3SGE or a GTE fitted to them. I've seen MonkeyWrench and Lud05t's online videos but I want to see some in person. Ehem @neodagzph ehem :D

I want to see how Mensajero's FE, Jazzy's FTE and AW111's GTE Rav run also! :D

@Roadjunkie maybe it wants to run too hehe.
 

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Yeh RAV's and cars in general are far more sexy with fat rubber :D. I run Betty RAV and Bluey RAV 28psi front, 24psi rear, unless I am loading up cargo, in which case I push them right up to 38psi all round, or more.
I want to see if I can get 16" wheels for my ix35, replace the 225-60-R17's with 235 70 R16's :D
 

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I would love to try circuit racing Betty RAV with a 10Hp ABB 3 phase motor and ABB VFD instead of the 2.0 powerplant. with decent Lithium batteries the torque curve would be insane!, I have the motor and drive, just not the money for batteries and other equipment :(

10Hp does not sound like much in car terms, but in electric, its a lot of grunt for a 415V 3 phase motor :D
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
@Aussie50 I just saw this now. I'm not sure about that ABB motor cause I'm not familiar with it, but correct me if I'm wrong, that's like making a Tesla Rav4 correct? Imagine that tiny bug taking off like hell, lol.
 

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It would not really be a rival to a Tesla, they invest a LOT of money in their drive line!, but for a low cost home build it would be a really fun car, 3 phase induction motors are definitly better than the old method of taking a forklift motor and controller and just dropping it in.
 
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