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Old 01-07-2006, 01:02 PM   #1
sixtoo
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Default What prevents good handling?

So here’s the daily beater that I plan on buying sometime this spring when it becomes available to the US market (Toyota Yaris):



I’d like to also use this car for the autoX and track days. As my skill gets better as a driver, I’ll make plans to modify it only with the intention of getting better lap times (no bling factor for me).

I was hoping to get some opinions from the seasoned race guys here. Do you think I should get the power windows, power door locks, and AC? I was curious as to how much these creature comforts have an effect on overall performance. I imagine that the AC will be a drain on the motor (I’d only operate it on the hottest days in traffic). Do power window assemblies weigh that much more than the old school crank windows? Cornering is my highest priority in this car since it is underpowered (106 hp, 2300 lbs). Do you think the addition of these factory options will have a negative impact on how nimble a car handles?

Do you guys have any helpful suggestions that I might not foresee a couple of years down the road pertaining to racing? When I finally crack and buy my Legacy, I wouldn’t mind changing over the Yaris to a designated track car with a build motor, stripped interior, and fully modified suspension.

I’m interested in your subjective opinion on cars in general. If you have any knowledge on chassis dynamics, I’d be greatly appreciative of your opinion. So I imagine that these questions can be applied to any car. Thanks for taking the time to read and respond,
Tony
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Old 01-07-2006, 01:17 PM   #2
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I'd rather get an older Civic (or 2 door Impreza )or something that has years of aftermarket support for it. That's probably going to be the biggest thing holding you back.
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Old 01-07-2006, 01:35 PM   #3
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This Yaris (which happens to be a 2nd generation Vitz) has a huge aftermarket following in Japan. Yashio Factory completely built their 1st generation Vitz and added a Blitz supercharger. There are a ton of power and handling add-ons for this car.
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Old 01-07-2006, 01:38 PM   #4
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odd.. Canada has had the Yaris for at least a month now..

If you're serious about turning it into a track car, then every pound matters, that's why you see enthusiasts with heat guns (or hair dryers ) going through the painstaking process of removing the sound deadening beneath their carpets..

why not go with a miata? Lightweight RWD
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Old 01-07-2006, 01:48 PM   #5
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Modern power windows are often lighter than their manual counter-parts, these days. Power door locks on a 2 door aren't going to amount to much at all, and AC systems are fairly light these days (compared to those of 20 years ago) and living in SoCali without one would probably suck. You can always rip it out when you turn it into a dedicated track car.

What you should be more concerned with is what car to use as a track car. You can build a racecar out of anything, but you might not have much competition if you decide to go your own way. Just because a car is big in Japan doesn't mean diddly-squat here. Just look at the thread about Improved Touring with the 2.5RS.

You must be running quite a budget to intend to buy a new car, tear it apart and buy another new car down the road. Racing is very very expensive. If you want a car to tear apart someday, buy something cheap that you can modify cheaply to race.. and start saving for the Legacy now. Most racers who have done it the hard way will tell you that you're better off buying someone's used racecar (where they've done most of the work already) to race right now and worry about building your own racecar in your spare time with your spare budget. Otherwise you're broke, with a car that's neither new nor fast, and not racing.
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Old 01-07-2006, 01:53 PM   #6
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I'm a huge fan of the Miata and have driven a number of them over the years. Frankly, I don't think a Miata would be as safe of a daily driver as a car with a closed shell. When it comes down to it, I'd rather be in a Yaris with the side and curtain airbags instead of a convertible because it provides the peace of mind that I might walk away from an accident. These SUVs on California streets make me weary.

Also, I think it might be more challenging to get good lap times with a FF car. I'd have just as much fun driving a FF car as most people have fun with a FR setup car.
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Old 01-07-2006, 02:42 PM   #7
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^^^+1 to that. Look in Grassmotorsports and other racing oriented mags. You can find a decent track ready / auto-x ready car for a 4 or 5 thousand dollars, maybe less and buy the yaris for your daily driver. I bought my OBS for $1000 and have daily driven it for three years. One day it will be solely a track/auto-x/rally-x car but I have already gotten my $1000 out of the car so no worries.
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Old 01-07-2006, 03:26 PM   #8
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what prevents good handling? bad drivers and poor tyres. a good driver wil drive the pissout of an air cooled 68hp VW bus and look good beating u. u want the yaris as a daily driver, fine. but its reliablity will deteriorate with the extra wear from racing. use anoher car better suited to being a weekend warrior.
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Old 01-07-2006, 05:49 PM   #9
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Anthony - This would be an awesome car to campaign! I'm up to helping you set this bad boy up. I'm all for fetus mobile racing.

one other thing to consider is the class this car would be in, at least in Autox. I would imagine it would be in H Stock which is were my Festiva is and, guess what else? The Mini. Nothing can touch the Mini in this class. They really need to consider moving it someplace else as it just crushes everything else in this class.

In general, weight will be your primary enemy in this power class. so less weight is always good and going with the crank window, stripped out version is worth considering as you can race it out of the box without any weight savings class penalties. You can probably research how much the respective cars weigh. However, since its a daily driver, AC is really a must in SoCal. Believe me, I know. I would be driving the Festiva all the time but summer is horrible without AC. I actually purchased an AC system from another Festiva owner and will be installing that later this spring.

Another thing to consider is parts availability. Sure there is a huge aftermarket for the Vitz but nothing is available here in the US. Perhaps some vendors will see some potential in this market and start marketing the parts, otherwise it will be expensive to get parts over as well as problematic to have stuff serviced. Once again, I speak from experience as there used to be a pretty lively mazda 121(what the Festiva is in japan) market in japan. full group A rally parts available back in the day but very difficult to get here. It makes tuning this car very expensive. Hopefully there will be some forums for this car and the respective vendors rearing their heads.


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Old 01-07-2006, 07:59 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amarpauld
odd.. Canada has had the Yaris for at least a month now..
Canada has had the Yaris (under the name Echo) for a few years now. There is even a racing series for them in Quebec:http://www.echocup.com/
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Old 01-07-2006, 09:13 PM   #11
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Awesome, canada is a lot closer than japan. looks like you'll have decent access to parts!
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Old 01-07-2006, 09:21 PM   #12
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May be it could do well in spec Civic Si class? (STS)





Well, may be not, it's 200 lbs heavier...
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Old 01-07-2006, 10:48 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Howl
Canada has had the Yaris (under the name Echo) for a few years now. There is even a racing series for them in Quebec
yeah but I meant the rebaged "Yaris" has been here for at least a month
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Old 01-08-2006, 06:09 PM   #14
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I seriously thought you were joking. by looking at that car I would have no idea someone might turn it into a track car, i guess I was wrong
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Old 01-08-2006, 06:38 PM   #15
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dude, there are race series for just about every car out there, regardless of how under powered they are.
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Old 01-09-2006, 09:22 AM   #16
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2005 RS - 3067lbs/165HP = 18.59 lbs/HP
2005 Echo - 2019lbs/108HP = 18.69 lbs/HP

Theoretically an Echo (Yaris) and an RS are pretty evenly matched. The Echo may also corner better than an RS becasue of its lower weight.
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Old 01-09-2006, 10:19 AM   #17
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nice!
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Old 01-09-2006, 11:16 AM   #18
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Does anyone know anything about the suspension geometry, wheelbase, track width, etc? Light/decent power, but it looks tall, narrow and tipsy from just staring at pictures.
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Old 01-09-2006, 01:12 PM   #19
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Certainly omitting things like power windows/locks (the wiring weighs more than you'd ever imagine) and AC will reduce overall weight. This converts to better acceleration, stopping and cornering. f=ma That being said, the % of weight vs the comfort of you is something to consider. My CRX racecar weighs 1600 pounds. Has no comforts like heater, side glass, dashboard (you get the picture). Where I've lost hundreds of pounds and only drive the car on the track, it is very noticable. If you lose say 50 pounds and don't have 20 years track experience, it'll make no real difference. I always have AC in my street car and if I ran it in showroom stock, would still keep it.

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Old 01-09-2006, 01:38 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisDP
Does anyone know anything about the suspension geometry, wheelbase, track width, etc? Light/decent power, but it looks tall, narrow and tipsy from just staring at pictures.
I came across this forum with a thread discussing just that: http://www.toyotanation.com/forum/t109334.html
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Old 01-09-2006, 03:30 PM   #21
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Having seen the responses here, it has come to my attention that I really need to broaden my knowledge of racing in general. It has become clear to me that I do not know anything about the hierarchy of power/chassis/weight classes.

Now I am still conflicted as to whether it would be better to leave out the power windows. Some claim that modern power windows are lighter than manual. My friends have always told me that the manual windows are lighter. In the event that I actually to buy and build this car up, I would like the windows to be in working order. So which ones are lighter?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arnie
Anthony - This would be an awesome car to campaign! I'm up to helping you set this bad boy up. I'm all for fetus mobile racing.

In general, weight will be your primary enemy in this power class. so less weight is always good and going with the crank window, stripped out version is worth considering as you can race it out of the box without any weight savings class penalties. You can probably research how much the respective cars weigh. However, since its a daily driver, AC is really a must in SoCal. Believe me, I know. I would be driving the Festiva all the time but summer is horrible without AC. I actually purchased an AC system from another Festiva owner and will be installing that later this spring.
Excellent advice as always…thanks Arnie. I think I just might wait until Spring of 07 to actually pick this car up. I really think this car will be a hit…not necessarily a contender with any other cars about its weight/power class. Do you have any suggestions on how to rally support for this vehicle? I’m already on the ToyotaNation forum but the guys over there don’t seem to be as into the motorsports as the Suby fanatics.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Howl
2005 RS - 3067lbs/165HP = 18.59 lbs/HP
2005 Echo - 2019lbs/108HP = 18.69 lbs/HP

Theoretically an Echo (Yaris) and an RS are pretty evenly matched. The Echo may also corner better than an RS becasue of its lower weight.
This is precisely why I thought this would be a great car. The only concern I have is top end speed. Anything over 60 mph is going to be trouble but this car has the potential to be great in the turns. RECIPE: 1 Vitz + racing clutch, light flywheel, no cats, fully stripped interior, light 14” wheels and racing tires, and a properly tuned suspension = one menace on the track. Trust me, I’m down to drive something like that everyday… My WRX wagon used to be stripped from the front seats all the way back.

Hell, I'm even thinking of going on a diet to lose 30 lbs by the time I get the car. I'm a bit too bulky at 182 lbs.
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