FRS Fast Road Setup

“FRS” is an acronym that’s widely used for Fast Road Setup, which is a term that’s used to apply non-standard suspension geometry settings in order to achieve better chassis handling/performance from the car.

Perhaps you have a high-performance road car that isn’t handling quite the way you expected or you have some aftermarket suspension components installed. There’s no doubt that an FRS is not only helpful – it’s absolutely essential!

However, the term “FRS” is often misrepresented and/or misunderstood as being a prescribed set adjustments that work on a specific model of car (similar to the way OEM standard settings are recommended by the manufacturers). We see this a lot on forums.

Using a set of pre-prescribed geometry settings may work OK and feel better than the OEM settings, but unless the geometry is custom optimised for each car you’ll never know how much better it could be (in much the same way as you don’t know how much better the restaurant next to your favourite one is, because you’ve never been in there!). Also, most cars will be different in some way even of the same model. The differences can be tyre brand/size, laden weight, bush compliance, spring/damper changes etc, what the vehicle is used for (road use or track days) etc, so generic pre-prescribed geometry settings are unlikely to be anywhere near perfect.

Although there are some personal preferences involved with regard to chassis handling, the over-riding objective of an FRS is to create command/control responses that are as linear  as possible. The human brain doesn’t like non-linear responses because it’s difficult to predict what’s coming next, so if we can create linearity the driver will have more confidence in the vehicle and be able to better exploit it’s full potential and/or enjoy the drive more.

Without getting technical (because Chassis Dynamics is a highly technical subject) , the way to achieve linearity and subsequent optimum performance is to balance (front to rear) and exploit the tyre contact patches.  Obviously this is easier said than done, and requires a thorough understanding of the subject and the equipment necessary in order to effect changes and monitor the outcomes.

Just to give you an idea of the difficulties of the subject, the mathematics of Chassis Dynamics are complex but understood, but the variables such as Kinetics & Compliance, tyre degradation, weight degradation (as fuel is consumed), road temperature, weather conditions, aero-balance etc are changing constantly.

So to summarise, it’s not as easy as you may have thought, and for the above reasons generic or pre-prescribed geometry settings are highly unlikely to be correct for your car (unless of course you’re very lucky!).

We’ve had decades of experience in  setting up vehicles for fast road and Motorsport applications, all the way from McLaren/Aston Martin/Ferrari etc to Honda Civic Type R’s etc. There aren’t many cars that won’t benefit from our experience!

If you would like to find out about our Chassis Dynamics services please go here.

Mark Catchpole – certified in Optimum G Chassis Dynamics.