But I wasn't satisfied. I wanted to hit at least 1.0 G-force. So, I had my friends make a 300-foot cone circle. I piled a few of the students into the back of the car. Then I tried to make them puke.
We started going about 20 mph, increasing the speed steadily. There's no magic to the 300-foot-diameter (or 25-foot radius) circle in terms of physics, but it's just about right for holding a corner tight and accelerating. The students screamed. No one puked. But we did manage to hit almost 1G--about 0.98 on the right side of the car. Success!
What's most surprising about the G-force testing in the Challenger is the role of the sway bar in the front and aft that controls the suspension. The bar keeps all four tires planted, helps you maintain full control, and avoids the jarring sensation around a tight corner. It feels like the car has adjusted itself to help you stay flat on the road, and it's a pure joy to experience.
"The sway bar is actually pushing up on the inside tire, which is resisting the left side of the body to roll, and at the same time is pushing up on the right side, tire which in turn is keeping the right side of the body from raising up," says Jim Wilder, the product manager for the Dodge Challenger. "By doing this it flattens the body motion out while cornering."
And that's our lesson for today, kids. What did we learn? That in the highly unlikely event that you can convince your parents to buy you a $38,995 2013 Dodge Challenger SRT, you can tell them that the Performance Pages apps will help you do better in physics. Right. I don't think I could get that past my spouse, either, if that's any consolation.
More seriously, the growth of apps that can look deep into a car is changing how we relate to our vehicles. Cars are no longer mute and mysterious mobility machines. They can talk to us. What we're waiting for now is the ability to talk back.
Note: Dodge recently rolled out the 2014 Challenger, where the Performance Pages work exactly the same.
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