|Fun roads ahead!|
Aside from the tracks around So Cal, we have some amazing canyon roads due to the mountain ranges surrounding the area. This is where the hierarchy completely reverses. Out in the open road, it’s the outright speed that gets the blood flowing and not as much of the human-machine interface as on the track. However, out in the canyons, there’s absolutely no telling what’s around the next corner. There are trees, tight corners, and cliff walls to block your views. You never know what the road conditions will be; there could be water, dirt, sand, mud, softball size rocks, or a pack of cyclists around the corner and I’ve encountered all of them. Throw in lots of elevation changes and narrow lanes with little wiggle room, and caution is the name of the game.
The Evo’s wide torque curve and tendency to understeer which make it less involving to drive on the racetrack make it the perfect partner in the mountains at an 80% pace. The understeer makes the car relatively safe in unknown conditions. The turbo boosted torque means you don’t have to shift all the time to get good acceleration; the Evo is perfectly happy pulling from 3k rpms whereas the S2000 feels like a Civic and the CBR feels like a Vespa.
|The Evo where it’s best. Don’t mess up out here or you’ll end up in a rock wall. And beware the blind corner.|
Less concentration required on the steering and shifting means more concentration available for navigating and dodging unforeseen obstacles. The AWD system is in its element here with unknown traction conditions not affecting the ability to put down power.
The S2000 falls in the middle here. The handling is still fantastic and the car is able to react to anything. It’s the RWD that makes the balance a little tricky. Get on the throttle too hard and the rear will slide. Get on the throttle with what you think is perfectly conservative, but hit something slick (sand, water, mud, leaves) and you’ll kick out the rear. Overcook a corner entry a bit and a yank on the steering wheel will result in the car being sideways because of the cars hyper reflexes. On the race track, there’s plenty of track space and runoff if you mess up. Out in the canyons, there’s about an extra foot of space to catch your mistakes or suffer severe consequences.
|Though not quite as easy to drive quickly in the canyons as the Evo, it’s still a load of fun. Thanks to Victory Jon for catching the S2000 in action! If you’re in the canyons of Malibu, you can find him off of Mulholland. Do yourself a favor and get a photo of yourself in the twisties. Visit his website for more details!|