Who doesn’t enjoy pushing a car along through the winding parts of a road to see how good the road-holding ability feels? You might laugh at this, but when I owned an Austin Allegro back in the nineties (it was my first car), I used to think the car had the most directional steering of any of the cars I drove at the time. An Allegro surely couldn’t be that good, you might be thinking. How could that be?, you ask? Well, it was simple really. I told the car where to go via the steering wheel, and the car followed the curve perfectly. Even when pushed hard, the Austin Allegro was nicely weighted and remained neutral in the corners. There was no hint of over-steer, or understeer.
Oversteer is a steering and handling characteristic in which the vehicle follows a curve with a radius that is smaller than the position the front wheels indicate the car should be travelling in. The vehicle ends up turning more sharply than the operator would expect. This is opposite to understeer, where the vehicle ends up turning less sharply than the operator would expect in negotiating a bend in the road. Neutral steering is the steering characteristic I enjoyed in the Allegro. There was no apparent over steer or understeer.
We hope that helps answer the question ‘What is What is Oversteer?’!
Back to Car Glossary