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Car Advisor Tamotsu Todoroki

Hi, this is Tamotsu Todoroki. I am a car advisor of
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What Makes Lowdown Cars Different and Why Many People Like Them - Vol.305

When thinking about car performance, most people think about engines and horsepower. In this article we examine the connection between suspension and performance and look at cars with lifted suspension and lowdown cars.

Why Do Cars Have a Suspension System?
In an ideal world all the roads would be ideally flat and there would be no friction between a road and car wheels. However, even a road that seems perfectly flat to a human eye has a lot of bumps on it. There are a lot of physical forces that act on a moving car and interact with each other. These forces have magnitude and direction. For example, when a car hits a bump on a road, its wheels, while still rotating, also move up and down. The magnitude of this move depends on how big the bump is.

Without a middle structure, all the energy from wheels moving up and down would be transferred to a car body and could possibly cause the car to lose contact with a road completely. This is why a system is needed that absorbs the energy of a vertically moving wheel. This system is called suspension. A suspension system connects a car to its wheels. It consists of car tires, tire air, springs, shock absorbers and links.

Cars With Lifted Suspension
With a lifted suspension a car can go smoothly over big bumps or travel in the off-road terrain. This is why pickup trucks and SUVs are lifted so much above the ground. Lifted suspension comes with several disadvantages. A lifted car has a lifted center of gravity, which means it can flip at a higher speed. Also, the more air there is between the body of a car and the road, the worse the handling of the car is.

Mass-Market Cars: Trying to Find a Balance
Car manufacturers don't know where and how a car buyer will be driving his or her car. Because of this, they spend a lot of time and money on research and try to find a balance between low and high suspension, so that a car would be drivable on different kinds of roads in a number of different scenarios.

Why People Like Lowdown Cars
If you do most of your driving on paved roads, you could most likely lower the suspension of your car to rip the benefits of lowered suspension. Cars with a significantly lowered suspension are called lowdown cars. Lowdown cars usually have a set of springs different from stock springs. There are special kits available on the market that allow car owners to lower down their cars, should they choose to do so.

Lowdown cars offer a number of benefits to drivers. The first benefit that a lowdown car offers is in the looks. Oftentimes lowered down cars just look better. A lot of rims designed for high speed tires also look much better when a car is lowered. Secondly, lowdown cars have a lowered center of gravity. It improves handling and overall performance. Lowered gravity center also improves stability during turns and emergency car movements. This is why most sports cars and race cars have very low ground clearance. Having a lowered suspension also means less air going underneath a car. This improves aerodynamic features of a car, thus enhancing engine performance, fuel efficiency and car cooling. With all these benefits come a few concerns worth mentioning when it comes to lowdown cars.

The first concern is a significant reduction in ride quality. Driving a lowdown car, you will definitely feel many more bumps on the road compared to a car with a regular suspension. Having a lowdown car means hitting more pot holes and damaging suspension system elements faster. In a lot of cases lowered suspension puts more pressure on car tires, wearing them much faster and more unevenly compared to a car with a regular suspension.