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Discussion and questions related to the course Motorsport Wheel Alignment Fundamentals
Why is that often the case with stock FWD cars from factory? Is it to make the car understeer what's safer for the normal driver?
I would expect there are 3 main reasons.
Fitting everything between the wheels - gearbox, driveshafts, suspension, etc. while still having clearance for turning the wheels at lock; styling of the car for a more aggressive(?) look; and aerodynamics for lower drag, which may also require a wider front for the radiator to fit between the lights, etc.
A wider front track would be expected to reduce understeer, but it's not-uncommon for steering and suspension geometry to be designed for understeer as, as you suggest, that's 'safer' for the average driver.
Ah yes, stupid me, of course it reduces understeer. I've somehow confused that.
But now it's even less clear to me why the front track is wider, because that supports oversteer, and that's not what the manufactures want.
I see your point with the fitting space, but I think 20mm less would have been achievable for them if they would want to do it like that.