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Old 03-20-2008, 10:07 AM   #1
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V6 vs V8, and the 50/50 weight balance

I decided to engage some of my impressive Google-fu, and see if I could shed a little light on the expected mass for the Camaro.

As quoted by Maximum Bob...

Quote:
Lutz said that with the V6, the Camaro achieves a nearly perfect 50-50 weight distribution: “With the V6, it is not a heavy car. The Camaro will be a very lively and engaging car,” he said.
We've all been concerned about the mass of this car. Well, most of us anyway. Lower mass equals better fuel economy and more effective application of available power. Some folks were concerned that the V8 will mean the car is a lot heavier or will spoil this "nearly perfect 50-50 weight distribution"

Not so. Assuming we get an LS3 or similar engine, it's not much heavier than the confirmed DOHC LLT V6. Here's some numbers for comparison.

LLT V6 - 380 lbs
LS3 V8 - 415 lbs
LS4 V8 - 419 lbs
LS7 V8 - 454 lbs (not sure why this is 40 lbs heavier than the LS3...)
LSA V8 - 467 lbs (marine variant. Only one I could get a number for, car engine is likely to be a bit heavier)

So in short, we're only looking at ~35-40 lbs weight difference based on the engines alone. The weight will be shifted forward in the chassis due to the length difference between the V6 and V8, but as a bonus, it'll be lower down in the chassis due to not being an OHC motor like the LLT.

I think we'll be just fine
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Old 03-20-2008, 10:21 AM   #2
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On a similar subject, anyone else seriously intrigued w/ the 50/50 weight distribution idea? I high-performing V6, with nearly perfect distribution (and thus amazing handling), with pretty good gas mileage?

Is that sounding fairly good to anyone else?
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Old 03-20-2008, 10:50 AM   #3
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Well, I think weight can be offset to the rear with heavier-duty suspension and drivetrain components (i.e. differential, half shafts, suspension craddle, etc.) I'm very curious as to the weight, because as most of us understand, it's all about the power-to-weight-ratio. I can be happy with 450 S/Cd' horses if the car weighs 3500 lbs., but I don't think this car is going to get that low. I understand it was supposed to go to Jenny Craig or Atkins but to go from around the G8's weight to 3500 doesn't seem to realistic. I'd rather give up a hundred-or-so pounds in favor of metal panels, unlike the plastic ones on the 4th. Gens. It just seems cheap to me, even though the dent-resistance is nice to have.
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Old 03-20-2008, 11:20 AM   #4
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The G8 GT has 50-50 with driver and passenger.

As for the overall weight, I'll highball things and say the engine alone will weight 50 lbs more. There will be some comfort features added, along with probably some upgraded suspension parts, and other items that at 5 lbs here, 20 lbs there, and so on. I think that other stuff may add an extra 100 lbs. Most of it will be pretty evenly distributed in the car. So we are looking at an extra 100 lbs on the front and 50 on the rear. For guestimation purposes, lets say the V6 Camaro comes in at 3500 lbs. The V8 would then have 50.7/49.3 weight distribution. Thats still pretty damm good. Also, who decided that 50:50 was the perfect distribution? I imagine that a car with more nose weight would be better at braking while having a heavy rear would be good for acceleration and make for a car that is quite twitchy, which would make for having good handling potential if it could be controled.

Regardless, ~50:50 is pretty good.
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Old 03-20-2008, 06:33 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by DGthe3 View Post
The G8 GT has 50-50 with driver and passenger.

As for the overall weight, I'll highball things and say the engine alone will weight 50 lbs more. There will be some comfort features added, along with probably some upgraded suspension parts, and other items that at 5 lbs here, 20 lbs there, and so on. I think that other stuff may add an extra 100 lbs. Most of it will be pretty evenly distributed in the car. So we are looking at an extra 100 lbs on the front and 50 on the rear. For guestimation purposes, lets say the V6 Camaro comes in at 3500 lbs. The V8 would then have 50.7/49.3 weight distribution. Thats still pretty damm good. Also, who decided that 50:50 was the perfect distribution? I imagine that a car with more nose weight would be better at braking while having a heavy rear would be good for acceleration and make for a car that is quite twitchy, which would make for having good handling potential if it could be controled.

Regardless, ~50:50 is pretty good.
A slightly tail heavy car actually has an advantage in braking because the weight shifts forward evening the weight distribution out. This is one more reason why FWD sucks.

The more weight you can keep over the rear tires, the more they can contribute to stopping the car. Itís same thing you are doing when you put wider tires on the rear, spreading the load over a wider contract patch.
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Old 03-20-2008, 07:36 PM   #6
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just curious, how the weight distribution on previous gen camaros??
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Old 03-20-2008, 11:15 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Grape Ape View Post
A slightly tail heavy car actually has an advantage in braking because the weight shifts forward evening the weight distribution out. This is one more reason why FWD sucks.

The more weight you can keep over the rear tires, the more they can contribute to stopping the car. Itís same thing you are doing when you put wider tires on the rear, spreading the load over a wider contract patch.
Thank you, that makes at least as much sense as what I was thinking. But this then goes back to why 50/50 is considered so great when it appears that cars would perform better with more weight at the rear.
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Old 03-21-2008, 12:32 AM   #8
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I think the new camaro engines and with the 6 being the way it will, the 6 will be a monster :P
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Old 03-21-2008, 10:48 AM   #9
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Thank you, that makes at least as much sense as what I was thinking. But this then goes back to why 50/50 is considered so great when it appears that cars would perform better with more weight at the rear.
With a front engine, 50:50 is hard enough to achieve without adding unnecessary weight to the back bumper and nobody outside the luxo-barge segment likes a fat car. The people who really want 50:50 are generally the ones (like me and most car magazine writers) who really like corners, because that is where even weight distribution really shines.

If you are still having trouble wrapping your head around the braking, imagine that you are designing an AWD dragster. You have to use the same tires on all four corners but you can distribute the weight however you like. Hard braking is a lot like a drag race with AWD and almost infinite torque.
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Old 03-21-2008, 06:50 PM   #10
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I have a '88 with a 2.8 v6 (not running, go figure). A friend of mine had a '89 with the 5.0l v8. Both cars had the same wheels, tires, shocks, and both were automatics. The v6 held much better in the curves. The V8 suffered from a bit of under-steer. The only difference that could account for this is Overall wieght, wieght distribution, or suspension differences from '88-'89.
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Old 03-27-2008, 12:32 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatecrasher View Post
I decided to engage some of my impressive Google-fu, and see if I could shed a little light on the expected mass for the Camaro.

As quoted by Maximum Bob...



We've all been concerned about the mass of this car. Well, most of us anyway. Lower mass equals better fuel economy and more effective application of available power. Some folks were concerned that the V8 will mean the car is a lot heavier or will spoil this "nearly perfect 50-50 weight distribution"

Not so. Assuming we get an LS3 or similar engine, it's not much heavier than the confirmed DOHC LLT V6. Here's some numbers for comparison.

LLT V6 - 380 lbs
LS3 V8 - 415 lbs
LS4 V8 - 419 lbs
LS7 V8 - 454 lbs (not sure why this is 40 lbs heavier than the LS3...)
LSA V8 - 467 lbs (marine variant. Only one I could get a number for, car engine is likely to be a bit heavier)

So in short, we're only looking at ~35-40 lbs weight difference based on the engines alone. The weight will be shifted forward in the chassis due to the length difference between the V6 and V8, but as a bonus, it'll be lower down in the chassis due to not being an OHC motor like the LLT.

I think we'll be just fine
Not that much of a deal after you've added large subs and a powerlift jack to the trunk of the car.
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Old 03-27-2008, 01:11 AM   #12
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50/50 weight distribution should (technically) remove understeer/oversteer.

Understeer is caused by the front end tracking wide, causing the car to turn wide of the projected path.

Oversteer is caused by the rear end tracking wide, causing the car to turn inside of the projected path.

Understeer is generally corrected by letting up on the throttle or 'powering over" and steering against the direction the vehicle is travelling, which is hard on CVs (in FWD). In RWD understeer is less common but more devastating because you have no control over the direction your car takes - braking is the only option. This is one reason why RWD vehicles are so difficult to control in snow.

Oversteer is generally corrected by countersteering, and this is used in drifting to the great pleasure of many. However in race terms it's ineffective use of momentum and causes a loss of overall velocity - you're better off entering the turn at a lower speed and powering through it, exiting at a higher speed unless the corner is outrageously sharp. In FWD oversteer is doubly rare because you don't have power to the rear and thus seldom maintain loss of traction at the rear wheels for long.

With 50/50 the front and rear of the vehicle will share equal inertia going into a turn causing the vehicle to (actually) drift sideways evenly tangent to the projected path, maintaining direction, velocity and control over the vehicle.
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Old 03-27-2008, 01:38 AM   #13
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50/50 weight distribution should (technically) remove understeer/oversteer.

Understeer is caused by the front end tracking wide, causing the car to turn wide of the projected path.

Oversteer is caused by the rear end tracking wide, causing the car to turn inside of the projected path.

Understeer is generally corrected by letting up on the throttle or 'powering over" and steering against the direction the vehicle is travelling, which is hard on CVs (in FWD). In RWD understeer is less common but more devastating because you have no control over the direction your car takes - braking is the only option. This is one reason why RWD vehicles are so difficult to control in snow.

Oversteer is generally corrected by countersteering, and this is used in drifting to the great pleasure of many. However in race terms it's ineffective use of momentum and causes a loss of overall velocity - you're better off entering the turn at a lower speed and powering through it, exiting at a higher speed unless the corner is outrageously sharp. In FWD oversteer is doubly rare because you don't have power to the rear and thus seldom maintain loss of traction at the rear wheels for long.

With 50/50 the front and rear of the vehicle will share equal inertia going into a turn causing the vehicle to (actually) drift sideways evenly tangent to the projected path, maintaining direction, velocity and control over the vehicle.

Which is why the Silvia/240sx is one of the most common cars used in drifting events. It's either 49/51 or 50/50 balanced.
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Old 03-27-2008, 01:48 AM   #14
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I don't care!!! i want that V6!!! it is an amazing looking engine, but it won't be much better than the V8 on gas... at least the CTS compared to the G8 GT (i looked at both of them on the lot today...) is 1mpg on the high way and 2mpg in the city... so... idk anymore...maybe the V8 will be mine...
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Old 03-29-2008, 02:14 PM   #15
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On the other side of the coin, you have cars like the venerable Porsche 911. It's basic design has been around for 40 years, and still it is considered to be among the best handling cars in the world. That car has always had the engine (flat 6) and gearbox in the rear, creating about a 40/60 front to rear weight distribution. Of course advanced suspension design and wider rear tires are contributing factors, but the rear-leaning weight ballance helps provide amazing braking control, zero understeer, and the right amount of oversteer when needed - it's the car that people most refer to when talking about "steering with the throttle".
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Old 03-30-2008, 11:08 PM   #16
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Which is why the Silvia/240sx is one of the most common cars used in drifting events. It's either 49/51 or 50/50 balanced.
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Old 03-31-2008, 12:19 AM   #17
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the porsches are a wierd setup but it proves not as good as people think... a cayman s will beat a base 911 on any road course my 350z used to smoke base 911's and when i drove one it felt like you were losing speed on turns idk... i would never buy a 911 its too wierd ... the rear end hopped around
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Old 03-31-2008, 03:28 PM   #18
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On the other side of the coin, you have cars like the venerable Porsche 911. It's basic design has been around for 40 years, and still it is considered to be among the best handling cars in the world. That car has always had the engine (flat 6) and gearbox in the rear, creating about a 40/60 front to rear weight distribution. Of course advanced suspension design and wider rear tires are contributing factors, but the rear-leaning weight ballance helps provide amazing braking control, zero understeer, and the right amount of oversteer when needed - it's the car that people most refer to when talking about "steering with the throttle".
you might be able to "steer with the throttle" well in this car, but it pulls less G's on the skid pad than the Corvette does. road holding is a big factor in handling, but a 50/50 is universally known as the ideal. look at the miata perfect 50/50 and it is raved about in C&D.
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Old 04-03-2008, 02:31 PM   #19
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The more weight you can keep over the rear tires, the more they can contribute to stopping the car. It’s same thing you are doing when you put wider tires on the rear, spreading the load over a wider contract patch.
I know this is an old post, but I can't leave it unresponded. Changing to a wider tire doesn't change the size of your contact patch, only the shape. Contact patch size is changed by changing air pressure (and slightly influenced by extremely stiff sidewalls). If your pressure is 25 psi (Pounds per Square Inch) and the weight on that tire is 1000 pounds, you'll have a 40 square inch contact patch. At 50psi the contact patch would be 20 square inches.

The original point (about moving more weight over the rear tires) still stands.
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Old 04-03-2008, 06:22 PM   #20
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I know this is an old post, but I can't leave it unresponded. Changing to a wider tire doesn't change the size of your contact patch, only the shape. Contact patch size is changed by changing air pressure (and slightly influenced by extremely stiff sidewalls). If your pressure is 25 psi (Pounds per Square Inch) and the weight on that tire is 1000 pounds, you'll have a 40 square inch contact patch. At 50psi the contact patch would be 20 square inches.

The original point (about moving more weight over the rear tires) still stands.
Huh!? I'm not a scientist,but........really???
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Old 04-03-2008, 08:18 PM   #21
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Huh!? I'm not a scientist,but........really???
Think about it. Deflate your tires in your head, what happens? The tire "squishes" out and more rubber touches the ground. (Increased contact patch)

Now over-inflate your tires in your head. Much less rubber touches the ground.(decreased contact patch)


But, in all fairness, a wider tire will increase the contact patch a little. Maybe not in the same way as above. But it still helps.
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Old 04-04-2008, 11:00 AM   #22
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I know this is an old post, but I can't leave it unresponded. Changing to a wider tire doesn't change the size of your contact patch, only the shape. Contact patch size is changed by changing air pressure (and slightly influenced by extremely stiff sidewalls). If your pressure is 25 psi (Pounds per Square Inch) and the weight on that tire is 1000 pounds, you'll have a 40 square inch contact patch. At 50psi the contact patch would be 20 square inches.

The original point (about moving more weight over the rear tires) still stands.
If you change nothing but the width of the tire, then the contact patch will be larger. You may end up giving a small ammount of this gain back for the reason you describe, but it will be very small. Ask yourself why performance cars all come wider than average tires, it is not just for the looks.

Likewise a taller tire & wheel combo will increase the size of you contract patch.
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Old 04-04-2008, 11:13 AM   #23
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If you change nothing but the width of the tire, then the contact patch will be larger. You may end up giving a small ammount of this gain back for the reason you describe, but it will be very small. Ask yourself why performance cars all come wider than average tires, it is not just for the looks.

Likewise a taller tire & wheel combo will increase the size of you contract patch.
I agree with this. I've noticed that my 315s will wear A LOT on the outside shoulder when underinflated and right down the middle when over inflated. I think street tires prefer higher pressures but completely agree with drag tires liking lower pressures (I can relate to these too.)

All-in-all, I think the bigger the tire the better, for the most part. I doubt this car will have 50/50 though; probably closer to 48/52...
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Old 04-04-2008, 01:06 PM   #24
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Old 04-04-2008, 01:45 PM   #25
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