Trust me, the designer wasn't happy with having to DO that. But even for that they worked on trying to find a mechanism which would be possible for the time period! Best compromise they could find...
You gotta be joking... yes, you were joking... right?
---------- Post added 08-22-2011 at 12:31 AM ----------
Back to the skidding, here's the explanation as I got it from TWO different Imagineers, including Kevin:
The car don't actually skid because they are connected by TWO arms to the central track. However:
- The cars are propulsion.
- The cars have FULLY independent wheels. Both in terms of suspension but also in terms of direction (so each wheel can actually turn differently/independently from one another). This was made necessary by the very tight radius that the car take during the banked turns.
- Because the cars arrive quite fast and the turn is very pronounced, the front of the car is pushed into the turn while the back is still pushing straight.
- To support this motion, there's torsion enabled within the car. This is the reason why the back bumper (which stays aligned with the back wheel and bottom of the road) is DETACHED from the rest of the car (look at all the pictures guys )
- they also added some 'give' to the arms that connect the car to the underlying coaster mechanism that was described and illustrated by Simba (Thx). This is necessary to allow the car to go up and down on some of the bunny hops as well as to allow turn left or right.
- As you go in the first bank turn, straight out of the racing line, your car grips the road and everything is ok
- However, as you arrive to Willy's butte, after the long straight (but nowhere near flat!) stretch, you have more speed and because of the quicker turn radius and higher speed, more torsion happens on the BACK of the car.
- Because the back of the car (propulsion) is still on the straight portion and its independent connection arm and wheels tries to push you straight while the front of the car is diving in the turn, you get a 'subtle yet distinct' (their word) feeling of oversteer or skidding
- Add the appropriate soundtrack and the illusion is supposed to be compelling.
That's all I've got on this one. Won't know much more until I can ride it
Hope this helps!