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Old 10-23-2008, 11:19 PM   #1
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Concerned about handling...

So, does a 3800 lb SS as an auto-x competitor sound feasible?

Discuss.
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Old 10-23-2008, 11:21 PM   #2
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Does a 3800 lbs BMW M3 sound feasible as a auto cross car?
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Old 10-23-2008, 11:35 PM   #3
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Anything is feasible as an autox car. I have a 3600lb Audi a4 w/ quattro that smokes most street tire cars (I generally run in the porsche club, and I am on the top of the street tire cars).

I was able to do 1.04 continuous G's on bridgestone RE01-R street tires on a skidpad (with no real setup of the suspension)

With the right tires and a properly done suspension the camaro will be just fine.

The problem it will have is transitions such as slaloms. Being such a heavy car it will need a fairly heavy suspension in order to keep the weight transfer and turn in right.

Some nice aftermarket lowering and stiffening springs will probably do the car justice, and most likely it will be tuned to have understeer so a bigger rear sway bar will probably also make a huge difference.

I am an avid autox'er and I plan on autoxing the Camaro (assuming thats what I get..)

Its more about driver ability than the cars.. Assuming the car is well balanced, has a decent amount of grip and has good turn in, any car can do very well at an autox.
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Old 10-23-2008, 11:54 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by headpunter View Post
Does a 3800 lbs BMW M3 sound feasible as a auto cross car?
Never seen one, unless you have been to meets with one around?
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Old 10-23-2008, 11:55 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by andyrew View Post
Anything is feasible as an autox car. I have a 3600lb Audi a4 w/ quattro that smokes most street tire cars (I generally run in the porsche club, and I am on the top of the street tire cars).

I was able to do 1.04 continuous G's on bridgestone RE01-R street tires on a skidpad (with no real setup of the suspension)

With the right tires and a properly done suspension the camaro will be just fine.

The problem it will have is transitions such as slaloms. Being such a heavy car it will need a fairly heavy suspension in order to keep the weight transfer and turn in right.

Some nice aftermarket lowering and stiffening springs will probably do the car justice, and most likely it will be tuned to have understeer so a bigger rear sway bar will probably also make a huge difference.

I am an avid autox'er and I plan on autoxing the Camaro (assuming thats what I get..)

Its more about driver ability than the cars.. Assuming the car is well balanced, has a decent amount of grip and has good turn in, any car can do very well at an autox.
Sounds good.

I hope that not only does the car carry its weight properly, but allows the driver to feel more connected. That in itself is extremely important.
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Old 10-23-2008, 11:55 PM   #6
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well the BMW M3 is known for good handling, and it weighs in at 3800lbs...
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Old 10-24-2008, 12:18 AM   #7
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Well the M3 is a performance beast and everything was tuned for road racing so I would assume that car would handle fine.

The Camaro is a moneymaker for GM, where GM is more concerned with numbers for the general public (however it would be great if they made a "track package" with tuned suspension for road racing, I hear that ford is going to do this). One would expect the camaro to be more of a compromise for comfort than a "racing tuned suspension".
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Old 10-24-2008, 01:08 AM   #8
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I don't see why this Camaro can't do well in AutoX but as Andyrew said, It's more about driver ability than the cars. Coming from an STi, at 3350 lbs. fully nannied and AWD it will be interesting to see how I will do with a powerfull brute RWD.

After trying the stock suspension for a while, I plan on beefier front and/or rear swaybars depending on how bad it needs them, better springs or later some coil overs and stickier tires and some lighter aftermarket wheels for the track.
Does anybody else has any other options in mind?
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Old 10-24-2008, 01:16 AM   #9
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I agree with your plan of upgrades 100%.

Also if for some reason I get the v6 i'll also go with a brake upgrade if the car see's track days.
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Old 10-24-2008, 08:47 AM   #10
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On a small technical course, don't be surprised if Miata's and Mini's post faster lap times. Since you aren't on the track at the same time it's only numbers posted on a white board. But if you were actually on the track together I'm sure there will be some frustration with these light weight cars able to out corner/brake you.

I learned this first hand with my Z51 vette. That's why I stopped attending (just to chew up tires and brakes) and now participate in HSDE's like the F-Body Association Road America weekends. There a car like the vette and even Mustang GT500 etc can out power these cars and post considerably faster "lap times".
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Old 10-24-2008, 11:30 AM   #11
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On a small technical course, don't be surprised if Miata's and Mini's post faster lap times. Since you aren't on the track at the same time it's only numbers posted on a white board. But if you were actually on the track together I'm sure there will be some frustration with these light weight cars able to out corner/brake you.

I learned this first hand with my Z51 vette. That's why I stopped attending (just to chew up tires and brakes) and now participate in HSDE's like the F-Body Association Road America weekends. There a car like the vette and even Mustang GT500 etc can out power these cars and post considerably faster "lap times".
You cant compare a light weight properly setup miata to a stock vette on a tight autox course... You should be comparing yourself to other cars in A stock and SS (super stock) (not familiar with the Z51 package).

However once you get a taste of a track day with a highly capable high hp car you really dont have the lust for an autox anymore.. Thats like a hamburger to a steak... Sure the hamburger is good but a steak is just that much more enjoyable..

Autox is a very good way to hone your driving skills and quicken your reflexes. Same as (dare I say it) Drifting; drifting teaches you how to control your car PAST the limit; if your autox sanctioning body approves of it, try drifting around a autox course. However you want to have camera's setup so you dont waste the fun you had destroying your tires
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Old 10-24-2008, 11:39 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by headpunter View Post
well the BMW M3 is known for good handling, and it weighs in at 3800lbs...
Take about 100 lbs off and you would be right ..

BTW .. everyone . .stock for stock .. don't expect the camaro to hang w/ the M3 in the twisties .. M3 is in a different league ..


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Old 10-24-2008, 12:15 PM   #13
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Quote:
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One would expect the camaro to be more of a compromise for comfort than a "racing tuned suspension".
The FE3 package is GM's top-end RWD suspention platform before you get into car-specific setups like the Corvette and CTS-V. This will be found underpinning the SS. FE2 is a step lower, and is found on the V6 models. During recent test-drives, among various praise, one reviewer called the V6 car "The American G37". Now...think better than that, there's your SS handling. I'm 100% confident it's more race-tuned suspension than compromising for comfort. (In fact, they even said the V6 car made the SRT8 feel "plodding") Bottom line: Handling will be exceptional. But don't take my word for it, get out and drive one in a few months!
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Old 10-25-2008, 03:35 AM   #14
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I just test drove the G8 GT, and I am confident that the handling of the camaro SS will be JUST fine for autox. It was very well proportioned and felt very stable.

In fact Its on my list right under the Camaro right now. In fact if I cant fit 4 adults in the camaro, im getting a slightly used G8... That car was a blast and a bargain...
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Old 10-25-2008, 03:37 AM   #15
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Quote:
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I just test drove the G8 GT, and I am confident that the handling of the camaro SS will be JUST fine for autox. It was very well proportioned and felt very stable.

In fact Its on my list right under the Camaro right now. In fact if I cant fit 4 adults in the camaro, im getting a slightly used G8... That car was a blast and a bargain...
people dont realize how amazing that car is untill they drive one, and the camaro will only be better
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Old 10-25-2008, 03:58 AM   #16
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I used to have a 2005 M3 and the handling was like pure sex on wheels.
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Old 10-25-2008, 04:41 AM   #17
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G8

My friend just got a G8 and told me the same that all of the other owner's and people on this site are saying, great handling and well balanced so I know the Camaro will do just fine for the person that wants a daily driver and have fun on the weekend's at the track
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Old 10-25-2008, 09:58 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by andyrew View Post
Well the M3 is a performance beast and everything was tuned for road racing so I would assume that car would handle fine.

The Camaro is a moneymaker for GM, where GM is more concerned with numbers for the general public (however it would be great if they made a "track package" with tuned suspension for road racing, I hear that ford is going to do this). One would expect the camaro to be more of a compromise for comfort than a "racing tuned suspension".
The M3 is NOT tuned for Road Racing and is no better prepared stock than the SS. I have friends that road race M3's, and one who after 1 track day on the stock brakes immediately replaced them with 4 piston Stoptechs similar to the stock Brembos on our cars for the reason of (and I quote) "I almost died".

Thats not the say the SS would be any better or worse than the M3, BMW makes some sick handling cars, and their suspension designs are top notch. But its still a street car, don't forget that, and the SS as well. It will be similarly equipped.

Finally a note on the Z51 Corvette, having owned and Autocrossed one for 2 years, do not be so quick to judge that Miatas and Minis will win every time. In my region I have come close to FTD driving my car, my friend who is a National level driver has posted FTD driving my car, and I have beaten (not by a lot) very good national level drivers (in miatas, minis, stis, evos and so forth) in that car as well. Not by a whole ton, but once you get to a certain point on any course there is only so much faster you can go. While car in some ways is important, autocross is a LOT about driver skill as well.
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Old 10-25-2008, 02:02 PM   #19
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Lots of good posts. I really hope this Camaro will hold its own.
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Old 10-25-2008, 07:31 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Rogue Leader View Post
The M3 is NOT tuned for Road Racing and is no better prepared stock than the SS. I have friends that road race M3's, and one who after 1 track day on the stock brakes immediately replaced them with 4 piston Stoptechs similar to the stock Brembos on our cars for the reason of (and I quote) "I almost died".

Thats not the say the SS would be any better or worse than the M3, BMW makes some sick handling cars, and their suspension designs are top notch. But its still a street car, don't forget that, and the SS as well. It will be similarly equipped.

Finally a note on the Z51 Corvette, having owned and Autocrossed one for 2 years, do not be so quick to judge that Miatas and Minis will win every time. In my region I have come close to FTD driving my car, my friend who is a National level driver has posted FTD driving my car, and I have beaten (not by a lot) very good national level drivers (in miatas, minis, stis, evos and so forth) in that car as well. Not by a whole ton, but once you get to a certain point on any course there is only so much faster you can go. While car in some ways is important, autocross is a LOT about driver skill as well.
I am by no mean saying that a miata will win everytime. I just said on a tight complicated course in general terms the light and agile Miata will win. However on longer more HP generated courses it is obvious that high HP cars will have an advantage. It is all dependent on the course. I simply stated that "You cant compare a light weight properly setup miata to a stock vette on a tight autox course", read I stated tight autox course.


At any rate, I did some research on the G8 and found out that one of the issues it had was that some of the main body bushings for the rear of the G8 had a lot of play and caused the G8 to not be as sure footed and stable at high speed corners as it could have been. With a simple cheap bushing change it made for a huge impact in overall handling and grip. If the camaro gets the exact same rear suspension as the G8 it could have this issue as well, but at least now we know it can be solved relatively simply.

Something to keep in mind.

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Old 10-30-2008, 01:57 AM   #21
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Something I found out there...
http://www.gmhightechperformance.com..._ss/index.html

The Camaro will also attempt to hide that weight with a carefully tuned suspension that employs what GM calls a "multi-link strut" setup up front with a "direct-acting stabilizer bar," double-ball joint, and progressive-rate coil springs. This arrangement is similar to the Pontiac G8, which was built upon an older generation of the Global Rear Wheel Drive platform (Zeta I), except the front axle has been moved forward to fit the Camaro's already established body lines and the chassis has been stiffened considerably (making it sometimes referred to as Zeta II). Good news for autocrossers and road racers: caster, camber, and toe angle are fully adjustable.
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Old 10-30-2008, 06:16 AM   #22
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Something I found out there...
http://www.gmhightechperformance.com..._ss/index.html

The Camaro will also attempt to hide that weight with a carefully tuned suspension that employs what GM calls a "multi-link strut" setup up front with a "direct-acting stabilizer bar," double-ball joint, and progressive-rate coil springs. This arrangement is similar to the Pontiac G8, which was built upon an older generation of the Global Rear Wheel Drive platform (Zeta I), except the front axle has been moved forward to fit the Camaro's already established body lines and the chassis has been stiffened considerably (making it sometimes referred to as Zeta II). Good news for autocrossers and road racers: caster, camber, and toe angle are fully adjustable.
That was a nice article, thanks for the link!
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Old 11-03-2008, 01:48 PM   #23
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It's always funny to see the corvettes and I assume the Camaros will be the same at the autocross. I've got a 1982 911 that is set up for the track. It weighs 2400# and has 200hp. Eats up Z06, vipers, etc. Not on a big track but one, like Streets of Willow at Willow Springs. And likewise, a set up Miata with 140hp eats my 911 for lunch. Autocrosses are about corner speed and that contest is won by the lightest vehicle/horsepower combination. My camaro will never see an autocross track. Tires & brakes will be too expensive to get worn out that fast.
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Old 11-03-2008, 03:03 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by karr1008 View Post
Something I found out there...
http://www.gmhightechperformance.com..._ss/index.html

The Camaro will also attempt to hide that weight with a carefully tuned suspension that employs what GM calls a "multi-link strut" setup up front with a "direct-acting stabilizer bar," double-ball joint, and progressive-rate coil springs. This arrangement is similar to the Pontiac G8, which was built upon an older generation of the Global Rear Wheel Drive platform (Zeta I), except the front axle has been moved forward to fit the Camaro's already established body lines and the chassis has been stiffened considerably (making it sometimes referred to as Zeta II). Good news for autocrossers and road racers: caster, camber, and toe angle are fully adjustable.
Awesome!

The big question is how adjustable is the camber really going to be.. Only time will tell.
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