High tech, Corvettes, and the art of high speed cornering
You know, I'd swear that in the Corvette Owner's Manual, there's a section that says, "You may safely take 90 degree corners at speeds up to, but not in excess of, 60 miles per hour." However, as I discovered swinging into a parking lot yesterday at a mere 58 mph, what happens is that the car just keeps on sliding, right into the curb. Well, actually, it slides into the curb four times. Once for each wheel.
As an aside, I'd just like to say that "Run Flat Tires" rock.
You really can do 55 mph with 0 air pressure, as I discovered while driving to the dealership after terminally notching the rim on the front left tire. Yes, that would be the $800 rim. Now the interesting thing of it is, I slid into the curb right side first. How the two tires on the right survived (okay, admittedly the sides of the rims have looked better) and I killed the front left is a mystery.
An even greater mystery was my Vette dutifully telling me, "Right front tire flat." I figured they must have sold me a left handed Corvette, but as it turns out when I recently had new tires installed (and you really don't want to know what RFTs cost to replace) they switched the wheels. Well, at least that's one mystery solved.
All in all, it was a rather enlightening day. The problem with Active Handling, Traction Control, and all that other high tech stuff is that it makes you feel like your Vette is invincible. You don't realize it's not until you're pushing just a little too hard in an out of control sideways skid and you see the little dashboard marquee menu light up with the words,
"I'm sorry, Dave. I can't do that."
Great. Now you tell me...
I'll be hitting Google this week looking for computer hacks for the menu system of the Vette. If I'm going to continue to try stupid things that the car knows good and well that it can't do, I figure it should at least be a bit more verbose about getting the message across to me. Perhaps I should integrate the messages into the heads up display...
And in case you were wondering, this is why I don't own a motorcycle.
Re: High tech, Corvettes, and the art of high speed cornering
Sounds a bit more exciting than my recent experience of turning left 120 degrees onto the highway and dropping a motor mount from my Honda, causing the right front of the engine to drop, shearing some transmission mounting bolts and popping the axle free.
90 degree turns at about 50 used to be a fun thing for me with a 1951 Dodge pickup, with stick shift, but I don't do such things any more. Probably because now I am driving my own car instead of a company pickup! I suppose it is possible that the passing of more than 50 years contributes to my reluctance to try that trick now!