Saturday, 12 February 2011

VX220 Turbo: Don't Knock it, it's Knockhill!

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After some issues with the brakes involving a turkey baster and a fluid warning light coming on under hard cornering. I finally made it to the track, turns out I hadn't topped up the reservoir enough after my aborted attempt to change my brake fluid.

Firstly the VX's not super car quick and gets overtaken by 4WD monsters on the straights but it is very controllable, predictable and certainly a lot more nippy then my old Mx5. What I had taken to be the car trying to kill me at the start of the day, was actually it's eagerness to do what I was telling it. I wasn't suffering with the under-steer that many reviewers have blighted the car with. Sure you could get it to under-steer if you man handled the controls but using some finesse you could balance the car and inching the throttle down would give you over-steer on demand. In fact out of Clark's I was struggling to stop the back swinging out but when it did, it was easy to catch even in the wet! A slight lift and a small steering correction and another buttock clenching moment avoided.

Not to say the car was perfect, overall grip and braking was below what I was expecting, I believe due to old road tyres and standard brakes; biting well at first but sometimes struggling to stop the car for the final hairpin and causing the ABS to kick in.

Must say I'm quite a fan of Knockhill, it's a bit on the short side but it has a couple of challenging corners to keep it interesting. It's proved to be a useful shake down for the car and thanks to some fellow owners at the trackday, I now have a few specific areas to look at to improve the VX.

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