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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys---got the car, spent a week putting miles on it and got it to the track---ran all day without issue allthough the tires even after flipping them around several times were wearing pretty thin. I took a bunch of video and will do a proper review after we hatch it together but I wanted to share some pics---the car did very well/great power and relatively decent handling for a sporty hatch! Oh we were at Willow Springs...






and the obligatory peace sign---or V for Veloster??? Nope...
 

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Love Willow Springs! Which track at Willow Springs did you run? Big Willow would be a bit much for the VT - but a lot of fun.

There is little point in running the stock tires at a track though - unless you didn't want to trash a $1,200+ set of softies.

Was your VT broken in?

How did the brakes hold up? I could see chewing through a set of pads in a full day at the track. It would be nice if the rotors could hold up to several sets of pads.

We need details!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Love Willow Springs! Which track at Willow Springs did you run? Big Willow would be a bit much for the VT - but a lot of fun.

There is little point in running the stock tires at a track though - unless you didn't want to trash a $1,200+ set of softies.

Was your VT broken in?

How did the brakes hold up? I could see chewing through a set of pads in a full day at the track. It would be nice if the rotors could hold up to several sets of pads.

We need details!
We were at the big track---had just got it broken in and took it pretty easy most of the day just coaching/giving instructional rides. It actually did very well there-it has plenty of power for the big track---the tires however, like you said took a beating...we swapped them around and they made it through the day, but they'd be junk after a couple of weekends (or one hard one) for sure. Brakes did great, the big track is so easy on them though---I'm sure Buttinwillow would have been a different story, we'll see!! I've got a ton of footage we're editing together for a proper review, but here's a link to a couple lead follow laps I did---we're going to develop a complete trackday/performance line for the car to market/sell so we'll be documenting everything to show the benefits/progress-enjoy!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
That's looks like so much fun! I want to take mine to the track now.
It's a blast---you've got VIR out by you---I'm jealous!! Here's a bit more rough footage---some in car with poor audio, but you can just make everything out. The car did very well!
 

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Here's the almost final product---we're struggling with the audio, but it has enough volume to be reasonable. I think it's a fair review---the 2nd part has more info about the challenges ahead, this is part one.
Very good video and review using that track. The only thing of concern for me is that that track does not have very sharp turns like the one here in Memphis. I will pull up a picture for you in a minute to show you what I am talking about. We have a M turn that I am sure is going to give the VT fits especially with the jumpy suspension in the back.

Have you tried an auto x course with it yet? Might give you a better feel under almost continuous lock to lock turning.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Very good video and review using that track. The only thing of concern for me is that that track does not have very sharp turns like the one here in Memphis. I will pull up a picture for you in a minute to show you what I am talking about. We have a M turn that I am sure is going to give the VT fits especially with the jumpy suspension in the back.

Have you tried an auto x course with it yet? Might give you a better feel under almost continuous lock to lock turning.
I wouldn't be concerned/worried about it---the turn up towards the bar is probably sharper than it looks---it's still a 3rd gear turn, but it's an abrupt turn in. I haven't done an autocross yet---but I'm coaching at Buttinwillow Raceway on Monday and it's much more technical---I plan on shooting some in car and maybe a quick review. I've purposely left the car stock to get a another baseline at another track---these two tracks I'll visit next year during the Redline Time ATTACK series. With the suspension setup/bracing/brakes, and better tires, I'm hoping we can take 6-8 seconds a lap off our baseline times...That track looks pretty fun by the way! Wish I could get to some of the smaller tracks in the country, they have more character.
 

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I wouldn't be concerned/worried about it---the turn up towards the bar is probably sharper than it looks---it's still a 3rd gear turn, but it's an abrupt turn in. I haven't done an autocross yet---but I'm coaching at Buttinwillow Raceway on Monday and it's much more technical---I plan on shooting some in car and maybe a quick review. I've purposely left the car stock to get a another baseline at another track---these two tracks I'll visit next year during the Redline Time ATTACK series. With the suspension setup/bracing/brakes, and better tires, I'm hoping we can take 6-8 seconds a lap off our baseline times...That track looks pretty fun by the way! Wish I could get to some of the smaller tracks in the country, they have more character.
Ok cool :) Yeah that M turn is 2nd gear and in the FR-S it still made the car slide out a little. Its not as smooth as that picture makes it out to be lol.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I responded to someones's question---and the response sort of fit this thread/our discussion so I copied it over

"So yesterday I was coaching at the track---Buttinwillow Raceway in central CA. It's a bit more technical and has some great corners with elevation changes/banking/blind over crests and also some good rythym sections where you transfer weight from side to side---really it's got every type of corner imaginable---increasing/decreasing radius and at both high and low speeds. The group that hired me mainly brought out Porsche's and Ferrari's and most of the drivers are beginner's/once a year type guys so they really were just learning how to drive on the track safely and at speed.

I used the Veloster turbo many times to coach from because you can actually talk inside and it's smoother less "intimadating" to ride passenger in than some of the supercars that showed up. As a pro driver I was able to drive around most of the cars out there yesterday because I know the track and they don't, and I've been doing this for 20+ years---however it was very flattering for the Veloster to pass Porsche's and Ferrari's all day yesterday and the car got many comments from the participants saying how well it handles or how surprised they were that it could keep up with them.

The car doesn't lack power at all---it's fairly light and has a great powerband with great torque down low. Towards the end of the day, we changed the configuration of the track and took out phil hill and the sweeper and made a super long straight away---you'd exit Riverside corner at around 85mph and then have a quarter mile "drag strip" plus run off into the tightest turn on the track "star mazda". Talk about threshhold braking/popping your eyeballs out/out of the seats into the harnesses---star mazda's a 30MPH corner!!! I ended up driving most of the cars in this config with the owners as passengers just really wanting to see what they're cars could do driven to the limit safely---I had one of the twin turbo Porsches' going 159mph into the brake zone---the Ferrari F430 I had consistently over 145mph into the brake zone (and that particular car has AMAZING stopping power---I think I was pulling several G's under braking!!). I noticed you could only do the lap a few times in these cars before the brakes started to fade/overheat---then a lap or two was needed to let them cool off and you could have another go. The Veloster I got repeatedly over 120mph and thought I saw 125mph for just a second before grabbing all the brakes it had---the Veloster could actually do about 4 passes before it became heat soaked and faded---that's pretty good for a stock car---and with our slotted rotor brake package, and some adequate cooling I'll bet we can go allday like that.

So good power, good brakes, and decent aero---the gearbox feels great as well---I don't believe I've ever missed a gear and the spacing is fairly tight/suitable for the track. I hate the exhaust (not for coaching) because you just can't hear it---it's satisfying on down shifts to rev-match and actually hear that you've gotten it right...
Ok---so so on to the handling. Right off the bat the Veloster is at a disadvantage having the beam vs true independant suspension. With that said so is the Kia Forte, the Chevy Cobalt, the VW GTI's which (if I'm not mistaken) consequently have one the last few championships in Grand-AM roadracing's Continental/Koni/and Grand am cup! They all have the beams back there and have obviously figured out a way to make them work exceptionally well---along with brakes and power they're able to beat the rest of the field in one of the most competitive roadracing championships in North America. I'm working on suspension for the track day guys---I'll have it dialed in by February which will be our first event with the Veloster.

As far as the stock handling---you can watch the video's on my youtube channel and the one below. The car generally turns in well and then has a slight push through mid corner to exit (and you can increase/amplify that push by adding more throttle)---if you lift off anywhere from turn in to midcorner you can get a bit of oversteer, but getting it to snap oversteer would require a combo of steering and hard on and off throttle in a shorter gear/at a lower speed---it would be very hard to spin the car without really trying-so I think they've got the handling pretty safe for most drivers. In the vid below I left pitlane and went easy for a couple turns to get some heat in the stock tires (which are horrible and terribly handicap the car in performance comparsions with similar cars) and then went as hard as possible, building up speed for the long straight to get a top speed comparison to the other cars there yesterday---it's hard to tell, but I was really sliding the car at it's limit over some of the crests and without a diff, couldn't get any more speed out of it (car needs a diff for racing---for fun track days it's absolutely fine). At no time did it do anything "naughty" until the brakes are applied--it does get a little assy/nervous under hard braking, but so do most cars...

I'm hoping a combo of motormounts and control arm bushing's will help with the wheel hop---for what I'm doing, it's not an issue on track---autocross guys will have a different story...

So what to do??? The same general things you do with all cars---get the C of G lower, add sticky tires, increase the spring rates/roll couple and get it balanced to match, try an build in as much stiffness as you can---and then go drive it and start making adjustments/tuning---that's the fun part!!!"

 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Great review! What tires were equipped on your model?
Thanks---I'm trying to be fair...It has the Kuhmo's and I didn't realize there was an option for the others---for my deal I'll end up with lightweight 17" rims and toyo's or hankooks, but it would have been nice to start on the better set...laptimes would have been a second or two better with the Michelin's...
 

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I bought the VT because it wasn't a track car. It spent its first 3,000 miles banging around Atlanta with its mediocre surface roads and no speed limit highways (only during rush hours). And it does pretty well there.

But then I took it home to Kentucky and its smooth and twisty rural roads and it really showed a different demeanor. The VT loves twisty high-speed roads more than the city.

This settles it. My VT is going to the track.
 
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