vettura scomposta


Senior Member
🇬🇧 English (🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿)

This is a term which has rather piqued my interest. I should invent a phrase I think, because what I have comes straight from a client:
La vettura si era scomposta in curva.

I received 6 lines of explanation in Italian from the client, which I don’t really think I can reproduce, but this is my best attempt at summarising it in English:
The car had lost grip and stability on corners, tending to oversteer or understeer, with its longitudinal axis out of line and the risk of skidding/swerving if subjected to other forces.

Concise, eh? I’m told that scomposta is racing lingo, but I wouldn’t have a clue what a decent equivalent in English might be. Any ideas?

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  • Something like "the car didn't behave (properly) in bends"?
    In questo modo è vago e allusivo come in italiano... anche se non c'è il richiamo al gergo.
    Just an idea ;)

    Ciao, Mark.
    Al di fuori del racing lingo, io direi:la macchina non tiene (o tende a sbandare) in curva. C'è un thread "in curva" del 2005 che offre varie dizioni in italo-inglese sul caso..

    Mark, ciao!

    I would say, in italian, "la vettura si era scomposta in curva"......if you want to have a more informal and racing term you can say: "la macchina usciva di culo/muso in curva".

    For the English version I like Phil's unsettled the most. (is this grammatically correct?)

    Cheers! (and thanks)

    Thanks to everyone for their ideas. Another translator thought of “twitchy” (via Top Gear :D) in the meantime, which sounded quite promising to me. I also found a definition:
    This describes how rapidly the car responds to driver inputs. A twitchy car will respond very rapidly to steering and power inputs. In a road car this tends to be tiring and at times disconcerting. However, a car that is the extreme opposite to ‘twitchy’ will feel dull and unresponsive.
    I suppose a car that is prone to oversteer and understeer might also be said to be to responsive to “steering and power inputs”. However, it sounds like a more permanent characteristic to me, not something that a car might become and not to do with losing grip. Any thoughts?

    “Unsettled” still sounds good to me. I shall have a look at “in curva”…

    @giginho I’d prefer it with a comma myself, though that’s probably merely a preference. Grammatically perfect so far as I can make out!
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    Mark, now I'm a bit confused. Do you need a term to indicate an event (the car understeer just in that situation because of the rain, for example) or a peculiarity of the car?

    P.S. thanks for your comment!
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