Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • intransitive v. To turn less sharply than the operator would expect. Used of vehicles, especially automobiles.
  • n. An instance of understeering.
  • n. A tendency to understeer.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The condition in which the front wheels of a car don't follow the desired curve while cornering, instead following a more straight line trajectory. The front wheels loosing a degree of traction and so slipping off the required line.
  • v. The action of a car when it does not follow the desired curve while cornering. Tyre slip of the front wheels.

Etymologies

under + steer (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • One is called understeer, one is called oversteer.

    CNN Transcript Jan 18, 2007

  • In corners the main trait is push-on understeer, which is right and proper for a car such as this, and although there's a degree of adjustment allowed in the chassis if you lift off the throttle, Renault's Twingo and Ford's Ka are better driver's propositions.

    Telegraph.co.uk - Telegraph online, Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph

  • Sure ... everything reacts just as you'd expect from a mid-size crossover, which is to say understeer, understeer and more understeer.

    Autoblog

  • While some racing drivers prefer their cars to handle with a trace of "understeer" the tendency for the front wheels to slip when turning into a bend, making the car reluctant to enter a corner as precisely as the driver would like

    A Racing Legend's Long Ride

  • Teammate Rosberg said both drivers were struggling with understeer, but came with equal cars.

    F1 leader Jenson Button ready for title defense at Spanish Grand Prix

  • Hyundai The car exhibits reasonable body and pitch control, but nonetheless feels large in corners and increasingly unhappy as the g-forces increase, tending toward a pretty insistent understeer, despite its 19-inch sport tires.

    Horse of a Different Dolor

  • The car exhibits reasonable body and pitch control — the adaptive air suspension with continuous damping helps — but the Equus nonetheless feels large in corners and increasingly unhappy as the g-forces increase, tending toward a pretty insistent understeer, despite its 19-inch sport tires.

    Hyundai's Ur-Luxury Horse of a Different Dolor

  • In the very situation I'm in at Vallelunga—a transient cornering maneuver with some speed, having to peddle the throttle to bring the nose into line—the Murcielago would be all wound up, its out-of-date stability software and AWD system agonizing between understeer and oversteer.

    Lambo's Latest Rambo Has a Heart

  • Where most cars would understeer into turn 2 and push the front around turn 11 and onto the back straight, the SLS is aggressively trying to step out the rear, even on a constant throttle.

    HW Cars: Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG WestSide Highway Bound «

  • There was plenty of lateral grip but the car exhibited a joy-killing understeer (generally, that means the front suspension is too stiff relative to the rear suspension).

    Fanboys in Flight: Subaru Roars In on a Wing

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