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Conti Sport Contact’s on a 172. Sh**

People picture this....

Last night, normal A road,, straight..... Stop the CUP and then launch off to test my theory on these tyres or that the CUP set up is scary.

No wheelspin after clutch drop, OK,,, then proceed in 1st to 6.5K before change with the steering wheel trying to do 90 degree left and rights,, so lauch 2nd and proceed up to 6.5K with the car yawing all over the road in a straight line!!!!

Now this piece of road is pretty flat and in the Impreza and Elise, no dramas, but in the CUP, its all over the place. I am pretty comfortable that the suspension set-up is OK, although hard as bloody nails, so I am convinced that these OE Contis are the problem.

Evo have an end of term report on their 172 this month and they mention the constant tramlining of the Contis but im sure they are referring to them when they are worn, which is understandable, but these things are brand new. I must stay that I do not like the tread pattern and swear by Bridgestone SO3s for the Impereza and Elise.

Has anyone had similar experiences on the 172s as the CUP aint that different, no way??? If so have they been rectified with tyre changes or has the issue persisted???

When I had my Willy back in 95, I always thought they used Michelin Pilots and Renault always used Michelin. Have they changed OE manufacturers or is it another case of a manufacturer developing a set-up on a proper set of tyres and then selling the car on cheapo ones not tested on the car.

Evo raved about the CUP and chastised the Focus RS due to this exact problem of torque steer/tramlining of anything other than marble smooth roads.

Does anyone have any views or advice as I think the cars great but quite scary unless you are 110% committed ALL THE TIME!!!!



Im no expert on cars but my 172 wants to go all over the place under hard accelaration and braking. Dont know if its caused by the tyres or the dreaded "torgue steer" the 172 is supposed to suffer from.
  Scirocco GT TSi DSG

Me too, I went too a quite industrial estate with nice long straight flat roads, and floored my car in first from stationary, steering wheel literally jumped out of my hand the car was pulling left and right until I got into third where it got smoother. Only ever have this problem if I excellerate from a stationary position.

Geoff Evo did rate the Contis second after the F1s. If I remember correctly the Contis did not win any of the tests, just consistant on all of them.

I cant say Ive had the torque steer problems in my 2002 172 that youve reported. I too had heard bad things about the Contis, but a couple of track days soon changed my mind. The Contis were very progressive on track, even when overheated after one too many laps. I was amazed. Also, I found my 172 far less nervous on the track, than on the road. Personally, my initial fears about the skittish handling when I first got the car have been cancelled out with two things...(1) changing (softening) the tyre pressures and (2) thrashing it on the track to gain confidence. Now Ive felt what its like on the limit Id say Im far more re-assurred of its capabilities on the road.

  Renault Laguna Coupe

Im on my second set of Contisports - I think theyre fine. It depends on your preference to a certain extent. On the last track day the only car which seemed to have more grip than mine was Geoffs, and hes on 17s with Falkens. The F1s seem to be really hard wearing. Roamer has them and hes done the same track days etc as me, and hes still on his first set.

On the subject of hard-wearing, Ive done around 200+ miles on 2 track days so far (since the car was at 2.8k miles) and the tread depth is 6mm (f), 7mm (r)....not too bad given the stick I gave it :D

To start with I never liked the Contis. I remember comparing them to a bar of soap! For the first few thousand miles the car seemed to slip and slide around all over the place. Although halfway through and towards the end of their life their behaviour seemed to improve somewhat!! Possibly - as James has said - after my experiences on track with them pushing beyond their grip levels. On track though they do seem to overheat quite quickly and then squirm all over the place!!

I now have Toyos fitted but havent really pushed the car with them on yet so cant comment on the differences. I know a few people on here have also complained about contis being sh1te. I cant say that I have ever experienced the kind of torque steer that your experiencing though.



  Shiny red R32

Im with you Desmondo! I posted messages about the slidiness of the Contis, even at low speeds, particularly on the corner of our High Street, soon after getting my car, and changed them after only 400 miles for the lovely trusted Toyos.

Perhaps these original tyres have caused some so-called car experts in car magazines to down grade the 172 on a few occasions, when comparing it to other similar cars for their tests and reports.
  7.6cc :D

I didnt notice any different with my contis and toyos, except that the toyos had colourfull labels on which took ages to come off :mad:
  Astra 1.9cdti XP

Well I can honestly say that I have never had any torque steer EVER! And trust me I have tried!!!

But I have Goodyear Eagle F1s all rounds.

172Cup maybe there is something wrong with your car, tracking or wheel balancing may be out. And remember your cup is not a Scooby or an Elise so it will be TOTALLY different!

Come and drive this baby and youll find out.

However, where would I find the tracking settings etc?? Renault dealer, but then again most of them have not even driven one.

My local dealer asked me for a drive in mine.


I dont understand why some people dont seem to get this torque steer thing. Do tyres make that much of a difference. Just out of interest GeordiePaul, or anyone who doesnt get this torque steer, if you pulled away hard on a straight, flat bit of road without holding onto the steering wheel, would you not end up in a hedge by the side of the road :)? I know I would if I did that.
  Corsa 1.3 CDTI

I get the so called "TORQUE STEER" but I think it is actually the car tram-linning rather than TORQUE STEERING, I used to think it was TORQUE STEER but it you go down the motorway say the M1 or any heavyly used roads in the inside lane your car will fall into a groove that the lorries leave in the road.

If you accelerate hard the car seems to pull left and right which is the point I think it is finding the grooves in the road and could be miss concieved as TORQUE STEER.

Only my theory though !

Desmondo, I thought that a car should be able to drive in a straight line with hands off the wheel ideally, but the torque steer causes the wheels to turn hence taking you into the damn hedge. Ok, in practice, most cars will end up in the hedge driving like this, but the point is the 172 seems to veer off rathe sharpish! Anyway, I dont know anything about what goes on under the bonnet so Im probably talking out my a**e!

i dont think the 172 HONESTLY has ANY torque steer......its got nothing to do with the tyres!

its more to do with balance on each side of teh car. My XR2 has totally different length drive shafts and that has real torque steer. As Chavyboy said...its just tramlining.

I find the contis mroe than fine, they were designed with renault and each other in mind!

And as for EVO mag.....please dont listen to them....they really dont know what they are talking summed up by a bunch of racing buddies....


nowt a clue about have made a huge success of their mag....i think its the use of exotica in every issue.

I thought that a car should be able to drive in a straight line with hands off the wheel ideally, but the torque steer causes the wheels to turn hence taking you into the damn hedge.

a car will not travel straight if road surfaces are uneven or of a different construction/material.

172CUP, the scoob and elise are neither FWD so its kinda hard to compare them.

the 172 on contis is a VERY VERY balanced, comfortable and predictable car......easy to drive fast.

guys, you have nothing to worry about!:D

My opinion:

Contis are fine. Cant see why some people say they have no grip. have run them in the wet and in the dry, on the road and on the track and have no complaints.

I agree with ChavyBoy and BenR - there might be a confusion of terminology going on here. Torque steer is the tendancy of the car to steer left/right as a result of uneven power distribution, usually caused by unequal length driveshafts but can be provoked by steering inputs, uneven roads etc..

Tramling or white-lining is the tendancy of the tyres to follow changes of camber in the road and thus causing the wheels, and therefore the steering wheel, to turn.

I was surprised at how little torque steer my 172 has considering its power. However, it is prone to tramlining. If the car tries to follow a dip in the road surface and you are too ham-fisted in correcting it you can induce torque steer. Make sense? Thought not.

As I understand it, a Cup has more camber and caster than a 172. In my experience (with race cars anyway) more camber will make the car more prone to tramlining, and the increase in caster will make the steering more positive.

Scenario: You accelerate from a standstill. The left tyre breaks traction with no tyre squeal. Most of the power is then transmitted through the right tyre, which, being fitted with a hinge (the steering mechanism), turns the car firmly left. The driver reacts to this and turns the wheel to the right. Now the weight is transferred to the left tyre, which grips. The right tyre is unloaded and spins - the car turns firmly right. The driver reacts and turns to the left .... is it possible this is what happened?

as ak_uk metioned earlier, check the tracking and tyre pressure, my tyre pressure was way out from the factory, 30psi on one side and 40 the other!!!


ALL FWD cars suffer from torque steer to some extent. My 172 does torque steer, but it has more to do with the road surface (tramlining) and the tight front end.

Its not fair to compare FWDs with heaps of power to AWD or RWD. One of the strenths of RWD is balanced steering, as thats all the front wheels do.

Predicting the way the front end grips and drives gives you great insights into how much is in reserve, and when to go harder or back off.

I wouldnt trade that steering feedback for a lounge chair anyday :(

I love my clio just the way it is. And I have shat all over AWDs (GTR Skylines) in the wet, too!! Cant do that with a dead steering wheel...

The best pocket rocket ever...

Absolutely caned it last night (now on 750 miles) around Basildon Essex (if any one knows the 2nd roundabout mecca to Milton Keynes) and was impressed with the speed and speed carried through roundabouts. The handling is razor sharp but really predictable and telegraphs when the back is going to step out. Will not catch the Impreza but its running 300BHP 295 lb/ft torque and fully adjustable LEDA with oil reservoirs, but it will do most cars I am confident of that.

I suppose the handling something I will get used to, ive been pampered over the last few years.

Things should also improve as I have full set of racing Konigs in blue/black sitting in the workshop just waiting for a set of CLIO172 subframes from the Konig factory (was going to test them in the Impreza but changed my mind) so this will make things feel better as the seats are not to my liking at all. I also contacted K-tech racing??? on someones advice here and am waiting for them to finish off the tooling of their centre-section de-cat pipe and then will have a complete system on the car also. Looking fwd to that as it sounds wimpy compared to the Impreza and Elise.

Does anyone recommed a different panel air filter (ITG etc)?? or an induction kit????



try nick hill, supposed he has had tested gains of 13BHP....

oh, and i find the 172 handling *flames at the ready!* kinda bland......

its very very fast and good yes, twitchy and adjustable.....but the rear end is possibly the most boring part!!! totally can provove oversteer easily enough, but its not fun...well, not like my MK1 XR2.....oooerr.

BenR - if you find the 172 handling bland, why did you bother buying one?!! As for the XR2 comparison - I know what Id feel safer in!! :devilish: Its hardly comparing like with like now is it?!

And ClioCup, just remember why you bought the Cup - cheap, pratical, and bloody good fun! Stop comparing it to Scoobies etc. - its pointless! Get the Cup on a track and have some fun with it. If ya still dont like it - sell it!

At the end of the day, the 172 is cheap (on import) and damn good fun. Sure, its not brilliant, but who cares? If I wanted the best handling, best performing car about I wouldnt have bought a 172, but then my budget doesnt stretch to exotica!!

I do wish people would stop moaning about their 172s and start enjoying them for what they are!!

Winge over!!

LOL>......why do people always get me wrong.

i love me 172......the power is awsomly fun! and playing with bigger cars makes it that much better.

BUT, comparing ti tot he XR2 is like for like....its a RWD hot hatch (well hot hatch in its time) and its handling is a bit more wooooo a little bit more whheeeeyy......its a geeza!