The subject of qualitative and quantitative evaluation of vehicle handling has received emphasis and study since the first automobiles were constructed. Handling quality can be divided into three distinct regimes: (a) resistance to rollover, (b) steady-state behavior, and (c) transient behavior. Additionally, handling of a modern race car can and often must also be separated into handling characteristics due to mechanical grip and characteristics due to aerodynamic performance. For modern racing cars, rollover solely due to lateral acceleration is unlikely except for a few specialized types of racing cars (e.g., Bonneville).
In the present work, we discuss handling from the perspectives of human control performance, vehicle metrics and handling test development. We show that from the point of view of the human operator, certain vehicle characteristics are important if emergency and high-g handling maneuvers are to have a chance of being properly executed by drivers.