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Good Street Racing Car

Street Racing Car / November 27, 2017

Street racing is an interesting activity. I do not agree that it is the most built, most powerful car you can get. Here’s why: traffic.

Unlike on a race track, on the street you are not cornering at ten-tenths or struggling to retain traction at high-speed turns. You are not going down an empty piece of tarmac at wide open throttle. Instead, the main winning or losing aspect to street racing is lane-changes, passing and making lights, getting stuck at fewer red lights.

Yes, a powerful car is still needed, but here’s how a good street-racing car will differ from a good track-racing car:

  • - Torque low down instead of higher revs - Traffic tends to be stop-and-go or slow-and-go, so instant torque at low and mid range will be way more useful than high-revving higher-RPM torque. On the race track on the other hand, you build up and sustain momentum so you need the opposite i.e higher-RPM torque.
  • - Higher seats and clear visibility all-around. Here’s where something like a sports car feels out of its element in traffic. The less you can see your sides and what’s behind you, the less confident you are and the slower your lane changes and passing are. A sports car with low-to-the-ground seats and huge A and B pillars, tiny rear window and huge blind spots give you less confidence for quick darting and weaving through traffic. These are non issues on a track.
  • - Smaller size - a smaller sized car will “fit” into smaller gaps for passing, making zig-zagging through traffic easier. Again, on a racetrack its the opposite, you want a wide, low car for traction.

Yes, once the traffic clears up and you hit an open stretch of highway the parameters become more track-like, but you can’t predict traffic. So I would go for a balance of size, visibility and power (say a BMW M3 or a VW Golf R) instead of say, a Nissan GTR or a Lamborghini on the street.

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