driving H G I H E M TI
Alcohol, drugs e and driving: thinue problems cont
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WELCOME ARE WE FAILING LEARNERS?
LAND ROVER TAKES ON THE WORLD
After learning to drive from the child seat by osmosis, young people have a few lessons, pass a test and off they go. But is this why we still have too many road casualties?
Guava International, Land Rover’s distributor for the aid and development sectors, show how when the going gets tough, their vehicles get going
STILL UNDER THE INFLUENCE At this time of year, motorists are still having to avoid not only the post-party drink-drivers, but also those who have taken drugs – both legal and illegal.
The Porsche 911 Turbo under scrutiny, along with the new Peugeot 208 GTI and Audi S3 hot hatches
If you’re looking to improve your driving or riding skills, DIAmond has a number of courses to help you
If you’ve ever wondered why our motorways are failing to cope with modern traffic volumes, we have the answer
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DIAMOND CHIEF EXAMINER Mike Frisby firstname.lastname@example.org
Driving is published by Driving Magazine Ltd Copyright © DIA (Int.) Ltd 2013 Driving Magazine, Leon House, 233 High Street, Croydon CR0 9XT The views contained may not be the views of the publishers. Publication of an advertisement does not imply approval for the goods or services offered. Reproduction by any means, electronically or otherwise, in whole or part, of any material appearing in this magazine is forbidden without the express prior permission of the publishers.
Winter 2013 | driving
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DIAMOND CHIEF EXAMINER MIKE FRISBY INTRODUCES THIS ISSUE’S CONTENT AND UNVEILS PLANS FOR DRIVING’S FUTURE
elcome to the Winter issue of Driving. In this issue we look at two subjects that are bound to be in the news over Christmas. First, there’s the impact of drink and drugs on the driver – and, more importantly, how it can affect innocent bystanders. Then we also look at how new drivers have to fit into a system that leaves a lot to be desired. Is it their fault they behave the way they do and should we penalise them for emulating their peers? There is also a look at some great work Land Rover distributor Guava International is doing around the world, plus the usual car reviews. In 2014 we plan to make changes to Driving and would like to hear your ideas for content: what would you like to see? Our plan is to beef it up a bit with more content on advanced driving, with tips and advice on how you can reflect and self assess your driving, giving you the opportunity to maintain your standards. We will
certainly bring you updates on what DIAmond is doing, as we have some great plans to develop the brand. A new section will be aimed at fleet drivers and operators, we hope to be able to include content from around the world and will look to introduce a section to attract younger drivers From all the staff at DIAmond Advanced Motorists we would like to wish our readers worldwide, and their families, a peaceful and safe end to 2013 and best wishes for 2014.
We would like to hear your ideas for content: what would you like to see? Winter 2013 | driving
The life of driving MIKE FRISBY ARGUES THAT HOW YOUNG DRIVERS CURRENTLY LEARN TO DRIVE DOESN’T PREPARE THEM FOR LIFE ON THE ROAD
e probably all remember the day we passed our driving test and that first solo drive. Soon after, for most, driving becomes an everyday activity and a means of getting from A to B: for others, that enthusiasm of being in a car is never lost. I couldn’t wait to get my full licence, having already spent a year at the age of 16 on a moped and, on my 17th birthday moving on to a motorbike. Five weeks later, I took my car test, quickly followed by my bike test. I drove or rode everywhere and most of the time was quite sensible. At 22 years old I passed an advanced test: at 28 became a driving instructor. I have maintained a reasonable standard of driving from the start and have been regularly assessed since. I know I am not alone and there are many consciencious drivers who have also taken time to improve by one means or another. Yet the vast majority of drivers we share the roads with still don’t, which is the main reason for the carnage that occurs on the roads on a daily basis. Manufacturers have, over the years, managed to lull us into a false sense of security, creating a perception about the the degree of comfort, safety, security and
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peace of mind their car will give them. Cars today are as comfortable, safe and efficient as they can get – until, of course, the next model is produced. Since they were first designed and produced, the car industry has challenged itself to make cars that go faster, a development that has continued long after speed limits were set (and, subsequently, steadily reduced to unnecessarily low levels, thanks to the inadequacies of the majority of drivers). Manufacturers were forced to improve their designs due to the number of people dying on the roads. They also had to ensure their cars remained attractive as the cost of production increased, embarking on huge advertising campaigns that tell potential customers how incredibly safe the car is and how you can trust it to keep your your family protected. The result is complacency on the part of the driver and increased risk taking, on the basis that the car will take over if it all goes wrong. Technology is at the point where the driver is all but a passenger and an increased level of in-car distractions are all too easy to take their focus away from what they should still be spending 100% of their driving time doing: concentrating on their driving. The roads have subsequently
become less safe for more vulnerable road users (motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians), who also believe the driver has the responsibility to make sure they don’t hurt them. It is also becoming less safe for the driver and the occupants of the car, who are not as invincible as they think: the technology is not stopping them from crashing as they thought it would. A blame culture has evolved and nobody is taking responsibility for their own safety, let alone anyone else’s. There is a great deal of focus on young drivers being a problem at the moment, with the government being lobbied to change the law so young drivers are protected from hurting themselves and others. But are they the real problem, or are they being brought into a system so full of people doing it wrong that the behaviour they display is seen as the norm to new drivers? Unfortunately, I believe we are on a downward spiral, which requires radical change, starting with drivers much higher up the ladder than the newly qualified ones. Driving is currently seen as something that is learned when you get to 17, you take a few lessons with an instructor (if you want to) who will show you how to drive the car and ‘pass
FEATURE the test’. Once they do, the common thing parents are heard saying is: “That is when they really learn to drive.” Would we do that in other aspects of life? For example, would we give a surgeon the basics and then tell them to go and perform some operations, because that’s when you really learn to be a surgeon. I don’t think so. I would be a little more confident knowing the surgeon operating on me was fully trained and, above all, was prepared with the skills to know what to do if, during the operation, they came across a complication. This is where all drivers need to be: it’s not just about being able to move, stop and steer. There is a lot more to driving, as thinking, planning, advanced drivers know. Young drivers generally start to learn from the back seat, soon after they leave hospital for the first time. Gradually in the early years of childhood, their thoughts are shaped by people they meet and look up to. Parents are the first teachers and the habits they display in the car, good or bad, are passed on to the sponge sitting in the back. By the time they reach driving age they have developed into a young adult with their own ideas of good and bad,
Driving isn’t just about being able to move, stop and steer right and wrong. At 17, they will spend six months with a trainer learning to drive, a process seen by the learner as ‘test preparation’. Once they have achieved that goal, it’s likely they will revert to following what all those years of training with mum and dad, prior to the lessons, taught them. So all drivers have a responsibility to educate the next generation of drivers correctly. Antisocial behaviour will become more commonplace unless there is a change of culture and better education of young people from an early age. The car, and licence, should be seen as something
to value and a privilege to have. We need to impress on young drivers the value of reflecting back to when they passed the test, how they felt on that day, what their thoughts were the first time they sat in that quiet car driving down the road on their own, without the instructor sat beside them. For me, it represented total freedom and the chance to go somewhere without getting wet, as I often did on my motorbike, or relying on a lift. It felt great to pick up friends and go out, go visiting and be able to travel further than my own home town without having to use buses or trains. Those thoughts need to stay with drivers every time they get in the car and positive messages need to be sent to young people about how good it is to drive and how great it is to drive well. Yes, we do continue to learn lots after passing the driving test and the learning process will never stop, unless we let it. I haven’t let it yet and fear the day I do – or the day I start to rely on the technology I have in the car, as I will undoubtedly become more vulnerable. We do have pressures of life and work, but we also have the pressure to ensure we look after all the road users we share the roads with.
Young drivers generally start to learn from the back seat Winter 2013 | driving
TOUGH ENOUGH GUAVA INTERNATIONAL SUPPLIES LAND ROVERS TO COPE WITH THE AFTERMATH OF WARS AND NATURAL DISASTERS
learing land mines, being set on fire, driving over rivers, delivering medicine and transporting patients from the field, providing quick dispatch emergency relief after global disasters – all of these are in a day’s work for the Land Rover. In line with attending AidEx 2013, the European event for the global humanitarian and development community last month (13-14 November), Land Rover’s sole distributor to the aid and development community worldwide, Guava International, was delighted to talk about its activity. Oliver Mathew from Guava International, part of the RMA Group, said: “Land Rovers go to hell and back on a daily basis in answer to the needs of organisations operating in uniquely demanding and logistically challenging environments. Guava International ensures Land Rovers can be relied upon.” Guava understand the needs of organisations operating in uniquely
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demanding and logistically challenging environments, where climates are harsh, infrastructure is poor and availability of technical assistance is limited. Aid and development organisations in these areas often face serious safety and security risks, as well as the challenge of satisfying vehicle needs on constrained budgets. Guava provides the access to Land Rover’s 60 years’ experience in designing and building some of the world’s most distinctive four-wheel drive vehicles, renowned for their versatility, capability and dependability, which can play a crucial role in helping developing and postconflict areas of the world. The vehicles are built to withstand some of the most treacherous situations known to man, from working with projects such as The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Cross Societies to the supply of Defender Pick-Ups in Haiti as part of the emergency relief. Guava International carries out major modifications to ensure Land Rovers can
endure being set on fire, shot at and still remain safe. With the Mines Advisory Group (MAG), a not-for-profit organisation clearing landmines and other remnants of conflict around the world, Defender Station Wagons effortlessly assist with mine clearing in Cambodia. Defenders are an ideal choice in mining situations because they are built to withstand challenging and remote environments. These modified vehicles are based on the Defender 110 and 130 platforms and retain the legendary characteristics of a Land Rover. The mining vehicle’s features include rollover bar protection and raised air intake, while underbody skid plates can protect key areas such as the sump and steering mechanism. The vehicles are also fitted with amber roof lights and are tailored to suit specific mining needs and each model is naturally fitted with fire extinguishers, first aid kits and vehicle recovery kits. In Sierra Leone, Defenders work with the Department for International
FEATURE Development, helping to mark the end of a decade-long period of postconflict recovery and transitioning the country towards a developmental path of prosperity and growth, with a focus on improving the country’s infrastructure and its health services. Other Defender varieties include the Defender Ambulance, Defender Security and Defender Industrial. Land Rover’s ambulances provide valuable support to public authorities, security and peace keeping forces, NGOs and charities around the world. The models, Land Rover Defender 110 Station Wagon and Defender 130 Chassis Cab, are modified to tackle tough medical emergencies. Both are flexible, proven 4x4 heavy-duty platforms, suitable for the world’s most challenging vehicle access requirements and conditions. They have best-in-class, exceptional capability, and can operate on the low-grade fuels often found in hardship locations. All ambulance conversion vehicles meet Land Rover’s stringent quality guidelines and engineering criteria through rigorous audits of design, engineering standards and manufacturing. The Security vehicles are again based on the 110 and 130 Defender models and are built to meet a wide range of security roles from occupant protection and surveillance to transporting valuable commodities, including armoured protection such as Tyron bands (Run on Flat tyre system) and anti-tamper exhausts. The Industrial model has a proven track record in the worlds of oil production, power and construction, configured to suit a wide range of equipment and storage needs, as well as delivering the most capable of drives across challenging terrain and adverse weather conditions. Guava International, based in Guildford, Surrey, provides a single point of contact for the emergency deployment of complete solutions, enabling the transport of these Land Rover vehicles, parts and equipment globally via air, land or sea, and the group supports the needs of governments or government agencies, aid and relief organisations, peacekeeping missions, and other non-commercial enterprises. The group also supports the UN Compact aligning business operations and strategies with universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption, while ensuring its own actions support and embrace the protections of internationally accepted human rights and rejects rights abuses, the elimination of discrimination in the workplace and the abolition of child labour. Guava International was invited
to join the UK’s first Disaster Response Network in March 2012, becoming one of 34 organisations specialising in disaster response. The facility mobilises life-saving support from Britain’s best businesses and charities in the critical hours after a disaster strikes. As specialist providers of automotive and infrastructure to developing and post-conflict markets, Guava International is committed to these communities and the people employed on the ground, working with many organisations in over 60 countries including Asia, Europe and sub-Saharan Africa, for example: ■■ ■■ ■■ ■■
The vehicles are built to withstand the most treacherous situations known to man
The United Nations UNDP and UNOPS to supply Defender, Freelander, and Discovery to Ukraine, Tanzania, Laos, Angola, Mozambique, and Guinea Bissau The World Food Programme to supply Defender to Liberia, Tanzania, and Democratic Republic of the Congo DFID to supply Defender to Sierra Leone and Uganda The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Cross Societies to supply Defender Pick Ups, fleet maintenance and repairs in Haiti
Closer to home, Guava International has just launched the Land Rover Accident Management Kit, which is designed to help customers if they are involved in a collision. The kit, which takes them through the key steps they should follow in the event of a crash, helps customers to manage the accident safely and calmly, while ensuring that all relevant details are captured for the insurance claim. Guava has three areas of responsibilities from its headquarters: aside from Aid and Development, it manages the authorised Land Rover vehicle, parts and service business through a Dealer Network spanning over 60 countries across Eastern and Central Europe, Central Asia, Asia Pacific and Sub Saharan Africa. It also operates a Land Rover Approved Service Centre at its headquarters in the UK, where it operates with the latest diagnostic equipment with direct access to the full range of Land Rover Genuine parts and accessories.
Winter 2013 | driving
BAD INFLUENCE DRIVERS UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF ALCOHOL AND DRUGS ARE STILL WITH US. HOWARD REDWOOD EXPLAINS THE PROBLEM – AND WHAT WE CAN DO ABOUT IT
t is generally accepted that a small quantity of alcohol will impair the judgement of the individual, but not necessarily to a point to be dangerous enough for the driver to be unable to control a vehicle. However, we all know that the effect of alcohol on the human body is dependent upon the individual. A number of factors – including age, weight, gender and stress levels – influence the degree to which alcohol has an effect on a driver. For example, a large man is likely to be less affected by the same number of units consumed as a small, slim woman would be. Likewise, the reactions of teetotallers are more likely to be affected by a single unit of alcohol than those of a habitual drinker. Although there is a legal alcohol limit when driving, it is nigh on impossible to distinguish the point when your judgement ceases to be reliable. Alcohol causes the brain to take longer to receive messages from the eye; the processing of information becomes more difficult; and instructions to the body’s muscles are delayed, resulting
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in slower reaction times. Around 280 people die each year in alcohol-related road traffic collisions (RTCs) and the Institute of Advanced Motorists calculates that a drink-drive conviction could cost between £20,000 and £50,000 as a result of fines, solicitors fees, increase in car insurance and the loss of a job. That’s besides the fact that an endorsement could remain on the licence for 11 years having served a 12-month ban. Driving under the influence of drugs or medication is another enemy. It’s important to establish that there are two types of substance. The first is psychokinetic, which is any substance – whether recreational or prescribed – that affects the functioning of the central nervous system and, in turn, alters the user’s behaviour. Then there are pharmacodynamics – drugs that are, in the packet and to the touch, harmless, but the body becomes a catalyst for chemical change when the subsatnce is ingested, which creates the ability for a change to the normal bodily actions. These changes can vary from person to person. We can
therefore begin to see that perhaps even your GP may not be able to give correct advice as to when to drive or not with certain prescribed compounds – which means there are many drivers unwittingly driving when they should not. If all that wasn’t bad enough, the Sir Peter North Report of 2010 confirmed that there is a significant drug-driving problem. He carried out a thorough analysis of the problems regarding drug-driving and set out a roadmap for action, which included a recommendation to create a new offence. The government accepted the recommendation and, in the 2011, the Department for Transport (DfT) Strategic Framework for Road Safety committed to explore the case for introducing an additional offence of driving with a specified controlled drug in the body, without the need for proving impairment. The proposed new offence would be a strict liability offence, in the same way as the offence of driving with more than the prescribed amount of alcohol in the body. In spring 2012, the Department for Transport convened an expert panel to
FEATURE It is nigh on impossible to distinguish the point when your judgement ceases to be reliable
Winter 2013 | driving
provide technical advice related to a new offence on drug-driving. The Crime and Courts Bill, which was introduced into Parliament in May 2012, makes provision for a new offence of driving, attempting to drive or being in charge of a motor vehicle with a specified controlled drug in the body above the level specified for that drug. It also includes a power for the Secretary of State in relation to England and Wales, and Scottish ministers in relation to Scotland, to specify the
controlled drugs and the limit for each in regulations. The panel’s advice will specifically inform these regulations. The introduction of the new offence reflects increasing evidence that drug driving is a significant road safety problem and that the existing offence (in section 4 of the Road Traffic Act 1988) is insufficient to deal with it effectively. Impairment by drugs was recorded as a contributory factor in about 3% of fatal road accidents in Great Britain in
2011,with 54 deaths resulting from these incidents. This compares to 9%, or 156 fatal road incidents, with 166 deaths, which have impairment by drink reported as a contributory factor. Some evidence suggests drug driving is a much bigger road safety problem than reported and may be a factor in 200 road deaths per year. But are these figures reliable? An extract from the North review, officially known as Driving Under the
Influence of Drugs, stated the following when talking about the medical defence for the offence of driving above the statutory prescribed drug limit: “Some drugs which may be proscribed for driving might also be used legitimately, in accordance with medical advice (for example morphine may be prescribed for chronic pain or diazepam (a benzodiazepine) may be prescribed for anxiety). Indeed, the review recognises that in some circumstances it may be more
dangerous for a person to drive having not taken their medically prescribed drug than driving having taken it. Drugs have different effects on different people and levels at which they are prescribed are likely to reflect this. It would clearly be wrong to put in jeopardy of prosecution those who are properly and safely taking medically prescribed drugs and driving in accordance with medical advice, for whom, despite the presence of a proscribed drug, there is no evidence of
any driving impairment”. There are also drugs that are not prescribed, which are usually referred to as controlled drugs under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. Generally, these drugs may only be used in research under government licence, such as LSD, and cannabis, which, if misused, “are likely to be the cause of a social problem”, according to The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs. So where does this leave you, a road
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FEATURE user who doesn’t drink and drive, or use or take drugs of any kind. Unfortunately, there is a good chance you will have to share the roads with a number of drivers that do, as the statistics only relate to those that are caught. We know there is currently a limited police presence on our roads and that safety cameras are limited in their scope, so don’t catch drink-drivers. As advanced and professional drivers, we need to look for the clues displayed by those drivers, some of which may be more
obvious than others. Around closing time, for example, these drivers are likely to be getting into the car. And the quieter the location of a pub, psychologically it may be perceived there is less chance of being caught, so more likelihood that the driver will take the risk. Any vehicle moving away from a pub, at any time of day, has the potential for being driven by someone who has had a drink or could be over the limit. Watch the car pull away and allow them space, which we would normally do with
any driver. Assess the driver by watching how they drive or, if you see a driver anywhere displaying unusual habits, it could be more than just poor driving ability. Traits such as poor road position, erratic braking, wandering and slow speeds could all be clues that the driver is not fully fit. Drink or drugs that slow the mind would generally result in drivers becoming slower and erratic, as the brain takes longer to process information. Drugs that give the driver a high could
As advanced drivers, we need to look for the clues displayed by drink-drivers
possibly result in overestimation of ability and, therefore, lead to increased speeds. This would more likely be displayed by younger drivers, perhaps with passengers. However, don’t assume every time you see a young person driving fast or erratically that they are on drugs: this could also be caused by inexperience or passenger distraction, or simply the exuberance of youth. Unfortunately, they sometimes put this exuberance into practice at the most inappropriate times, resulting in breaking
rules or the law – and, as we know, all too often ends with the loss of someone’s life. It’s sometimes theirs, but often a passenger’s or another road user’s Our main aim is to look after ourselves, which will also protect other road users too, ensuring we don’t get involved with others who are desperate to crash with someone. Give them space and don’t become impatient with them. Intimidating them could lead to increasing the risk for you both. If they are rushed into a decision
by you, they may just take the wrong option, resulting in you or someone else getting hurt. We are, of course at that time of year when it is likely more people will drive under the influence of drink or some other substance and, despite years of advertising campaigns highlighting the risks to drivers, the number still caught (and, presumably, the even greater number that don’t), or are just under the limit, continues to be staggeringly high. Winter 2013 | driving
PORSCHE’S BLOWN 911 IS EXPENSIVE – BUT WORTH EVERY PENNY ack in the day (as the kids say), having a car with a turbocharger marked it out as something special. It had a bit more boost, some extra power. And you, as the car’s owner, were a real player. That was then, but this is now. Most diesels today have turbos, as do a lot of small-displacement engines, so they’re no longer that big a deal. But the Porsche Turbo always has been a big deal in the world of performance cars, so the launch of a new generation is worthy of note. This new generation (designated the 991 in Porsche-speak) should find plenty of well-heeled buyers willing to fork over their cash for this more muscular and more striking 911, with its large air intakes at the front and wider rear end. All in all, the look is one of a bold, modern sports car. The 911 Turbo’s interior is a pleasure palace of leather fitted with comfortable, supportive sports seats, well-laid-out dials and instruments, a 4.6inch screen in the centre of the dashboard for the infotainment system, and an airliner-like centre console, with a gear lever flanked by buttons controlling the electronic driving aids. The turbocharged 3.8-litre engine (mated to a dualclutch PDK automatic gearbox) is raucous sounding, it’s deep, rumbling timbre enhanced when the car is in Sport mode by an exhaust that pops and bangs on overrun. The engine’s performance depends on which model (Turbo or Turbo S) you plump for. The ‘base’
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Turbo’s set-up generates a maximum of 513bhp that enables it to hit 62mph in 3.4 seconds: if you opt for the Turbo S, you’ll be able to wring 552bhp out of its powerplant, improving the 0-62mph time by threetenths of a second. Obviously, both versions are far quicker than you’ll ever need on a public road, but it comes in handy when overtaking: there’s so much instantly accessible pace that you can afford to back off the throttle while you’re still alongside the vehicle that was, just a short time ago, in your path. Naturally, you pay a price in fuel economy and CO2 emissions, but if you can afford the car, you can afford the fuel. But speed and fuel economy are not why you buy a Porsche Turbo: it’s all about he handling. The steering is among the sharpest and most accurate you’ll ever encounter in a road car, providing ample feedback to help you understand what’s going on under all four wheels: there’s even help from the back wheels, thanks to rear axle steering that adds an extra degree of agility in the bends. The Turbo also has phenomenal grip, thanks to a lower centre of gravity, a wider track and all kinds of clever electronics. Yes, the ride is firm, but not off-puttingly so, which makes it perfectly acceptable as a daily driver (if you drive to a hedge fund or merchant bank every day). This is undoubtedly an expensive car, but if you happen to have a spare £118,349 (or £140,852 for the Turbo S), it’s definitely money well spent.
PORSCHE’S 911 TURBO PRICE £118,349-140,852
TOP SPEED 195mph (197mph Turbo S)
0-62MPH 3.4 secs (3.1 secs Turbo S)
ENGINE TYPE, CC 3,798cc turbocharged petrol
POWER 513bhp (552bhp Turbo S)
TORQUE 486lb-ft (516lb-ft Turbo S)
GEARBOX Seven-speed dualclutch PDK automatic
REVIEWS 80s revival PEUGEOT’S NEW HOT HATCH FINALLY LIVES UP TO THE 205 GTI
PEUGEOT 208 GTI PRICE £18,895
TOP SPEED 143mph
0-62MPH 6.8 secs
ENGINE TYPE, CC 1,598cc petrol
GEARBOX Six-speed manual ou know that feeling you have when you’ve done something really, really well and realise that you now have to at least match it, if not top it? That’s what Peugeot has been feeling for almost 30 years, since it first launched the 205 GTI hot hatch in 1984. And, try as it might, it hasn’t managed to build a hot hatch quite as good in the intervening period. So what about the souped-up version of its latest supermini, the 208? No pressure, then… The good news is that the 208 GTI finally lives up to the promise of its 80s forebear.
The 1.6-litre engine is sprightly, its 200bhp enabling it to sprint from a standing start to 62 mph in a spirited 6.8 seconds, so it feels pretty nippy in a straight line. Fuel economy and emissions don’t suffer as much as you’d expect, either: 47.9mpg and 139g/km of CO2 are decent for a car built for performance rather than economy. It handles well, too: it’s agile, well balanced and in possession of plenty of grip, while the ride is firm, but in no way uncomfortable. The 208 GTI isn’t quite the revelation that the 205 GTI was, but it should still find plenty of fans among the UK’s many hot hatch aficionados.
PREMIUM CARMAKERS CAN ALSO HEAT UP THEIR HATCHES
AUDI S3 SPORTBACK PRICE £31,260-£32,740
TOP SPEED 155mph
0-62MPH 5.3 secs (4.9 secs with S tronic auto ‘box)
ECONOMY 40.4mpg (40.9mpg)
CO2 162g/km (159g/km)
ENGINE TYPE, CC 1,984cc petrol engine
GEARBOX udi’s A3 is its best-selling model in the UK, the premium hatchback being the ideal combination of stylish and aspirational that many British car buyers are looking for. And, in keeping with the desire for numerous variations on a theme (three-door, five-door, saloon, convertible), there’s a hot sporty variant, the S3. In keeping with the spirit of variety, the S3 is available as both a three-door and five-door Sportback, the latter being the model we tested. The S3 certainly looks the part: the nose has a single-frame grille with an aluminium-look finish, there
are newly designed bumpers at the front and rear, large air inlets, four oval tailpipes featuring chrome tips, a large roof spoiler and LED daytime running lamps. The 2.0-litre TFSI petrol engine is a bit tasty, producing 297bhp and propelling the S3 from rest to 62mph in 5.3 seconds (or 4.9 with the S tronic dualclutch automatic gearbox). Performance is certainly impressive, which works hand-in-hand with the car’s accomplished handling characteristics. After just a few minutes in the car, you’re in no doubt that this is a car built for fun, but in a definitively premium way. The S3 is a very good car that will attract hot hatch buyers who want pace, power, comfort and quality.
Six-speed manual or six-speed S tronic auto
Winter 2013 | driving
DIAMOND TESTS DIAMOND ADVANCED TEST
DIAMOND SPECIAL TEST
The DIAmond Advanced Test is for everyone. It has been designed to build on the knowledge that helped you pass your driving test and the experience you’ve gained since. It requires no specialist skills or techniques beyond common sense and good car control. Our philosophy is based on the sound principle of equipping all drivers with the skills to become safer on the road. At the same time, learning to plan ahead and being more aware of the conditions will also maximise the car’s efficiency and save you money. This qualification is perfect if you have never taken an advanced test before, drive for work or simply have a keen interest in driving. The test lasts for 60 minutes and takes place over a route of mixed driving conditions, including motorways whenever possible. Candidates’ driving will be assessed on their eco-safe driving ability and will include performing two out of five reversing manoeuvres (left and right reversing, bay and parallel parking and turn in the road). A pass will be awarded for fewer than seven driving faults, none of which are adjudged to be serious or dangerous.
The DIAmond Special Test is aimed at drivers and professional driver trainers who want to take their driving or riding to the highest level. Going beyond the DIAmond Advanced Test, and adding new elements such as commentary driving, it is the perfect springboard on to opening up your career as a driver trainer. Perhaps the most demanding driving qualification outside of the emergency services, the DIAmond Special Test proves you’ve got what it takes.
MOTORCYCLE TESTS The Advanced and Special Tests are also available for motorbike riders. They follow the same format as the advanced tests for cars, with riding supervised over a mixture of road conditions, including motorways whenever possible. Riders will be expected to perform a number of manoeuvres, including U-turns, figures of eight and slow riding.
CONGRATULATIONS TO THE FOLLOWING PEOPLE, WHO HAVE RECENTLY PASSED A DIAMOND TEST
driving | Winter 2013
Smart Motorways Then and now: the evolution of Britain’s motorway network ou might think that motorways are just another road, trunking large volumes of traffic and goods from one end of the country to the other. Well, yes, they do, but there is a huge amount of technology involved in doing so. Even though the war was taking place in 1941-42, Winston Churchill realised that there would have to be a strategic rebuilding of Britain, including a new road network. This was provided through The Special Roads Act 1949 which facilitated the necessary land acquisition for the establishment of the motorway network. Construction on the Preston Bypass (M6) started in 1957 and was the first section of the new network to be opened in December 1958. Churchill proposed 1,000 miles network of motorways should be funded entirely by government funds. The early construction showed immediate failings in the ‘shoulder’. These were soft verges that had to be rebuilt later. And, because the M1 was under construction at the same time as the Preston Bypass, parts of the M1 were designed to the same specification, showing the same failing. With lessons learnt, it was established by the government how forward-sighted the Development Commission had been during the war. Traffic volumes were growing in the areas where these new roads had been constructed and industry quickly recognised the benefits of ‘trunking’, hence the quick rise to industrialised intersections, where a plethora of transport hubs appeared. To meet this ever-growing, developing transport system’s needs, there has to be a management system. After all, in 1953 there were 89bn tonne kilometres of freight, of which
36% was moved by road. In 2003 this was estimated to have increased to 254bn tonne kilometres, of which 63% was moved by road. We are now in a period of improvement to the old structures, which results in the congestion we often face. The numerous monitoring cameras adorning the motorways seem to be a good way of controlling the volumes of traffic. Information from them is fed to regional control centres, which will activate the overhead matrix signs to adjust the speed of flow via mandatory or advisory speed limits. This action can be instigated when a series of large commercial vehicles use two of the three available lanes, or three of the four available lanes, to overtake each other. With speed limiters fitted, these vehicles can take one-and-a-half miles to pass each other, limiting the number of lanes for other vehicles to pass. When this happens, the matrix signs behind the event are switched to reduce the speed before the impending funnelling action takes place in the only available lane. This precaution sometimes produces the Queue Ahead matrix, only to find that the road is clear. This is not a mistake. If you continue, you will find a quite long line of commercial vehicles following each other, all waiting for the first available downward gradient to hope for progress. This being Britain, inclement weather is also a regular impediment to driving, so the signs can also give warnings of visibility changes. The main control centre (Birmingham) is able to pass information between centres. The modern network we have today dates from the planning of 1941, using technology that had never been invented, to move volumes of traffic that had never been visualised.
This issue’s helpdesk advisor
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Winter 2013 | driving
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