Mid-engine rear wheel drive cars are fun for their balanced handling characteristics, but everything comes at a cost. The motors are often more difficult to service on MR cars due to space limitations. Parts can be tougher to find, and practicality suffers because of the lack of a rear seat. Worst of all, they’re hell to correct after initiating oversteer.
Oversteer is when the rear of the car swings out in a turn. In cars with longer wheelbases and more mass up front, oversteer is more easily corrected because the focal point of the rotating mass of the car has more driver-controlled leverage behind it. The front-engine car’s forward-biased mass will pull it forward out of the oversteer when corrected by the driver.
By the same logic, mid-engine cars have an inertia-carrying object in the middle of the car. Stomp on the accelerator mid-turn and it oversteers like a front-engine car. Here’s where it gets interesting. The mid-car weight bias caused by the engine pushes the car in an equally forceful oversteer in the opposite direction of the initial oversteer. While oversteer and a healthy dose of slip angle may be beneficial to a mid-engine driver, the real skill comes in with the correction of oversteer.
Evil MisterTwo on YouTube gives us a lesson on snap oversteer with this 44-second video. On what appears to be a damp road, the driver of a MK1 MR2 steps the rear end out while in the middle of a turn. I’m sure you can guess what happens next.