... SW20 peculiarities - MR2 Owners Club Message Board
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old December 28th, 2018, 19:32 Thread Starter
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... SW20 peculiarities

... I have seen this, time and time, again:

https://images.carscoops.com/2017/09...MR2-Crash-.jpg

Principle reason I've always been lukewarm on the second generation SW20 MR2 variant: snap over-steer.

The SW20 luls its driver into a false sense of security. Never sufficiently sorted out, circa 1990, the Toyota people hurried it to market. Once an SW20 snaps loose, there she goes. There is no catching the damned thing.

All around, the Mk I was (in my humble opinion) a better car.

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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old December 28th, 2018, 19:36
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This sums it up for me: MR2s and snap oversteer
In my personal experience you can catch power-on or power-off oversteer just fine if you didn't completely overcook it.

Last edited by GreenGhost74; December 28th, 2018 at 19:38.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old December 28th, 2018, 23:41
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This myth was put to sleep a long time ago and is usually brought up by folks who read articles rather than actually drive mid-engine cars. I've been driving these cars for over 15 years and only spun out once on the street, completely my fault (wet, bad tires, square tire setup, inexperience, driving too fast).

If one is suffering from drop-throttle oversteer, then that person can't drive the car and shouldn't be. Those types of drivers should (please) leave the car for someone else, or these ever increasing car rarities will end up in single car accidents like so many other wasted SW20s.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old December 29th, 2018, 00:42
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Well put. And anybody who claims a car lured them into a false sense of security is just making excuses for their own mistake.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old December 29th, 2018, 18:03
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Agree with Pete and Ghost above. I've owned my 1992 MR2 Turbo for 15 years. Only time I've spun it was at Summit Point Raceway. Drive like a sane person on the street and as long as your suspension is good and your tires aren't bald, you'll be fine.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old December 29th, 2018, 18:30
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Not bad for 15 years. I track once a year for a solid week. The difference between us is I spin out on the track at least once during that week! Usually the first day. LOL. Damn performance envelope!
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old December 29th, 2018, 21:33
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Oh boy, here goes this "argument" again. The reason the car "Snap oversteers" is because of the way the suspension is tuned. It's tuned to create a fast rotation, something that skilled/professional drivers like and look for in a car. It is pretty much a non issue as long as you are not hamfisted or a complete idiot behind the wheel. My 91 is my first car, I got it at 16, and 4 years later I can sit here and say that I haven't spun the car. I drive it hard pretty regularly, but I also respect it and understand that it is more capable than I am. I mean hell, I've even slid the thing around in the rain before with varying degrees of success. So please, let this wives tale die already.

Edit: Also, the car was definitely not rushed to market, Toyota had 5 years of AW11 to work on suspension dynamics.

Last edited by Slow White; December 29th, 2018 at 21:35.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old December 30th, 2018, 08:31
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Only spun my 93 once in 10 years of ownership - in the rain...when I was screwing around trying to get the ass-end out.

And I did have an incident where I was on a very curvy road and a sharp left caught me off guard. I panicked, fully pulled off the throttle and went heavy on the brakes...no worries. She stayed planted and I then backed it off about 10mph the rest of that road.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old December 31st, 2018, 08:18
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Personally I think it's fair to say that the MKII can be a tricky car to drive (at the limit).

All of the people who say "I drove it for 20 years and as long as you drive like a normal person and keep good tires on it you will be fine"... yeah, they are right. Driven at 6/10ths you should never experience the trickyness. Drive it in the rain with bald tires, and all of a sudden 6/10ths becomes 12/10ths and you are in for an interesting day.

But push the limits on a track or autocross, and you will find two things. One is that they are quite susceptible to lift-off oversteer, and two is what once they start to oversteer it can happen very quickly.

There are two reasons for this. One is the rear weight bias, which (as with all mid or rear engine cars) is a benefit right up until the moment it's not. It's not the cars fault per say, it's just the way the car is. You have to drive it appropriately, and I would argue that at the limit it does take a greater amount of skill than your average front engine car. So get out there and practice! (on the track please!)

The other is the rear suspension geometry, particularly on the 91/92 cars (90/91 in the rest of the world). It has a LOT of dynamic toe, toe in on compression and toe out on rebound. Hit the brakes mid-corner, the rear end lifts, the outside tire toes out, and tries to steer itself around. Toyota "fixed" this in 93, but in my opinion they took it too far. Rather than just get rid of the dynamic toe, they made it so it toes in on both compression and rebound. But it still has a lot of toe change. Solves the problem, but seems like over kill and people generally say makes the car less fun to drive.

What I have found works quite well is to adjust the geometry such that it just has less dynamic toe. It still toes in a little on compression and out a little on rebound, but dramatically less. This made a dramatic improvement in stability, and allowed me to run less static rear toe as well, dramatically improving rear tire life.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old December 31st, 2018, 09:42
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Mk2 is better car. Mk1 is ugly only a mother can love
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old December 31st, 2018, 10:00
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From attending countless meets over the years and asking owners, I do know that most girls prefer MK1s (probably from the angular look, females are drawn to angular shapes instinctively) and most guys prefer the MKII (probably from the curvy look, we all know what's curvy).

Getting back to the OP's original argument. My experience (and lots of autocross videos I have) show when the driver makes a bad move & loses control of the car, the MK1 spins around much faster than the MKII in the identical speed situations on the track.
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