One of the hallmarks of an advanced driver is a smooth style with manual gear changes.
A car’s gearbox is a wonderful piece of engineering, rarely casing problems during the expected lifetime of fifteen years, withstanding hundreds of thousands of shifts up and down the ratios. It’s so well developed that all you need to do is gently guide where it wants to go.
Yet "snatching" at gears is common, causing an abrupt and a less than comfortable ride for passengers. Another problem is drivers who hold the gear stick constantly, refusing to let go, in order that they can make the gear changes as quickly as possible. That hand would be more use on the steering wheel.
To make the gear change smoother, let the gearshift pause for a second or two as it crosses the "central gate" or neutral zone. This alone will make your gear changes smoother – there’s no need to rush them.
Secondly, guide the gear lever with the palm of the hand semi-open with the thumb sticking out. Guide the gear lever away from you for 1st to 2nd. The thumb should be pointing down. Now guide the lever towards you for 2nd to 3rd,3rd to 4th and 4th to 5th (or even 5th to 6th). Now the thumb is pointing upwards.
For block changing (when you "skip" intermediate gears) keep the thumb down for 4th to 2nd.
And remember, around town, you can often stay in third gear and respond to new hazards early by easing off the throttle. Adjusting your speed with a fine throttle has all sorts of advantages.
As a check to see how smooth your gear changes are, take a glance at your front seat passenger’s head. Are they constantly "nodding"? If so you need to make your gear changing smoother and less hurried. Your passengers (and transmission system!) will appreciate it.
The Goodwood Revival will this year celebrate a bizarre phenomenon on 1,2,3 September with a display of small, inventive cars, often equipped with front or roof-hinged doors, tiny engines and tandem seating positions.
With oil prices running at record levels, the British motorist increasingly needs to consider driving a more economical motor car. This sound piece of advice is very pertinent in 2006, but it was equally relevant exactly fifty years ago when the Suez crisis began in late July 1956, leading to drastic fuel shortages and spiralling oil prices.
The Suez crisis prompted thousands of UK motorists to buy and drive a variety of clever, quirky and distinctive economical microcars, usually imported from Continental Europe, in the late Fifties. These austere economy cars typically had just about enough room for two with a roof over their heads, combined with indifferent performance and attention-grabbing handling.
For the first time at the Goodwood Revival, a selection of around 30 of these ‘bubblecars’, as they became affectionately known, will do a few sedate laps of the celebrated time-warp motor racing circuit. They will also form a colourful back-drop for a period 1950s fashion parade on the main Goodwood Motor Circuit Startline straight on Sunday 3rd September.
In addition to the familiar Messerschmitt, BMW Isetta and Heinkel Trojan bubblecars, a selection of scarce and often bizarre microcars will grace the hallowed Goodwood tarmac. Rare sightings are expected to include minimalist offerings with names as evocative as the vehicles themselves. Oddballs from Kleinschnittger, Zundapp, and Goggomobil will be displayed along side nostalgic British three-wheelers from Bond, Peel and Scootacar.
A popular micro sports car, the Berkeley B60, built in Biggleswade with a 322cc lightweight engine, was launched at the Goodwood circuit fifty years ago with the help of Stirling Moss. It is hoped that Sir Stirling will be reunited with the little Berkeley, and a large period TV camera will be mounted on the car to recreate Moss filming his drive around the West Sussex circuit for Pathé News, just as he did at the 1956 Goodwood launch.
Sir Alec Issigonis, creator of the Mini, along with his then-boss (of BMC Austin Morris) Leonard Lord, loathed these little European bubblecars, and effectively killed them off at a stroke with the introduction of the Austin Seven and Morris Mini Minor (later known simply as the Mini) in Autumn 1959. Revival visitors can expect to see a number of early Minis on site over the weekend, to contrast against the bubblecars.
The Goodwood Revival is the only event that places motor racing into a carefully choreographed historical backdrop. The result is a truly unforgettable experience, and an atmosphere unlike any other sporting event. Despite high fuel prices now, just as in 1956, the Revival is still set to attract over 100,000 enthusiastic race goers, mostly dressed in period fashions, over the 1.2.3 September.
To order advance tickets, please contact the Ticket Hotline:
Telephone: +44 1243 755055
Fax: +44 1243 755058
On-line via the Online Ticket section of the website: www.goodwood.co.uk
* 12 new cars launched to the world
* Halls and attractions full of content visitors
* Exhibitors report strong business leads and quality audience
* Dock Rock concerts wow crowds in evening sunshine
* Superb transport links bring people easily to and from London's Docklands
* Tickets 50 per cent cheaper and parking costs down 41 per cent on 2004
* World-class Olympic venue hosts premier league auto show
Commenting on the British International Motor Show, Tim Etchells, director of show organiser imie, said, 'On every measure of success the boxes can be ticked for a successful show. Visitors are delighted, in particular with our dozen world debuts and hugely popular attractions. Exhibitors are queuing up to tell us what good business they are doing and the venue continues to provide a first class service to all visiting London's Docklands.
'At the close of play on Monday 170,500 visitors had come to the motor show at ExCeL; I am confident that we will be able to confirm in excess of 400,000 show-goers when auditing has taken place; on a like for like basis, that means a minimum 17 per cent increase on visitors at the 2004 event. So I look forward to ticking the final box as we wrap up 2006 and prepare plans for another success story in 2008.'
The British International Motor Show is organised by imie under a licence with the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. imie has adopted rigorous new 2007 ABC guidelines in auditing the 2006 show.
Motor Show exceeds Volvo targets
For Volvo, the British International Motor Show is exceeding all expectations with sales enquiries, test drive requests and off-road passenger rides well ahead of figures achieved at the last show in 2004.
One week in, and Volvo has already achieved its targets for sales enquiries and test drive requests, while the Adventure Land outdoor attraction has proved particularly popular with over 5,200 people going for a ride to experience the 4x4 abilities of the refreshed XC90.
'There is a great atmosphere at the show and everyone seems to like its manageable size, convenient relaxation areas, value and the opportunity for outdoor and evening entertainment,' commented Volvo's PR and Events Director, John Lefley. 'With the all-new C70 and S80, plus the cool C30 Design Concept, on our stand, we expected a high level of interest from show visitors but this has exceeded our expectations, given the new time and venue', he continued.
The appearance of the C30 Design Concept on the Volvo stand has also created an opportunity for Volvo to host a meeting at the show with its creative agencies to prepare marketing communication plans for the new Volvo C30 which is due to arrive in showrooms at the turn of the year.
With four more days to go before the show ends, Volvo is expecting the high levels of interest in the show and the latest Volvo range to continue.
Barabus MD learns the skills to bring new sports car to London
Youngsters have been flocking to the Careers Village to find out about a huge range of job opportunities in the motor industry. But, after visiting the village, they should head over to the Barabus stand in the North Hall, to see a real-life example of what can be achieved.
Tony Keating is managing director of sports car company Barabus, which is showing its new TKR sports car. Speaking to motor show news he said that the reason why he had built a sports car was simple: he'd taken an automotive engineering course at Bolton University that had inspired him back in the early 1990s. That, and a love affair with cars like the McLaren F1 and the Jaguar XJ220.
'The response in London has been amazing', he said. 'It's a superb venue for a global launch. We've already had confirmed orders and others on the boil. Saudi and Emirate visitors are particularly interested and these will probably be the main markets for the car.'
27 people are employed at the Manchester base where the TKR is assembled.
New Renault Clio is cut above for safety
A cut-away, full-size Renault Clio is giving visitors a clear picture of the investment the industry is making in new car safety. The EuroNCAP 5-star performer takes pride of place on the Renault stand and features a complete set of fully deployed airbags.
The car which comes with up to eight airbags, includes front to rear side curtains designed to protect passengers in a side impact as well reinforced deformation zones to absorb the energy of an impact.
But new car safety is not just about protecting occupants in a crash. Increasingly, cars like the new Clio are being designed with technologies that prevent an accident happening at all.
Some of these 'active safety systems' are revealed in a display next to the cut-away Clio. They include traction control and ESP, an electronic stability control system designed to enhance stability by braking individual wheels during under- or over-steer. Anti-lock brakes with brake force distribution ensure control and support during emergency braking while double-distance Xenon lights ensure better visibility at night and during adverse weather.
Aussie writer reveals all
There's no doubt about this motor show's international credentials. That's the view of freelance journalist, P H Cheah, who came from Australia to take in the first British International Motor Show in London for 30 years.
The motoring man from Quakers Hill, New South Wales said he was hugely impressed with the event. And he is a man who should know his stuff; he's been covering British shows – and others throughout the world - since 1975.
'It is one of the most pleasant motor show days I've had,' he said. 'I've come straight from the airport after flying in from Singapore; I took the train and it was easy to get to the venue. I have three or four friends who are also coming, just because the show is in London.'
He added, 'It's great to see major launches like the Land Rover Freelander and Jaguar XKR in London. People come to a motor show to see new cars and it's important that British car makers support this fabulous British show.'
20-30 July 2006, ExCeL London
If you thought the motor industry was in the dark ages on sustainability issues, then you need to think again and come to this year's motor show. Vehicle makers have invested millions to improve the green credentials of their products, as well as their manufacturing sites. In 1999, the UK industry was the first to document sector-wide progress through an annual sustainability report, tracking things like the following:
• Average CO 2 from all new cars down by 11 per cent in six years
• 85 per cent of a car recycled at the end of its life
• Soot emissions from new diesel cars have been cut by 93 per cent in 15 years
• Energy needed to produce each vehicle halved between 2001 and 2004
Christopher Macgowan, SMMT chief executive commented, 'The motor industry is investing millions each year to improve its green credentials. Now the public will have the opportunity to see how far we have come. Next week's motor show will see some of the latest advances in electric, hybrid, bio-fuel and diesel technologies, as well as some pointers to the future of sustainable motoring.'
Examples of greener cars and technologies on show at ExCeL London from 20 - 30 July include the following:
This year's motor show will feature the launch of two all-new electric city cars. The zero emissions smart EV (electric vehicle) will be unveiled on press day, alongside the debut of the Mega City NICE (No Internal Combustion Engine) vehicle.
The latest generation diesel cars typically deliver around 20-30 per cent better fuel consumption than petrol equivalents. Citroën will feature what it claims are three of the most economical models on the road; the C1, C2 and C3 diesels. All are capable of more than 65 mpg. Plus, show-goers can experience Citroën's stop-start in action, a technology that automatically cuts and re-starts the engine in traffic.
Three new cars from Ford show the industry's commitment to developing flex-fuel vehicles, capable of running on either conventional fuel or that produced from bio-mass. They include the Ford Focus C-Max FFV, an exciting concept, and the new Ford Focus FFV. Over on the Saab stand, visitors will see a world first - the 210 bhp 2.3t BioPower engine in the new-look Saab 9-5.
Hybrid models / electric motors
Many hybrid cars, which use electric motors to supplement conventional petrol or diesel engines, are already on the road. Trailblazers include the Honda Civic Hybrid, the Toyota Prius, Lexus RX 400h and GS 450h hybrids; all models will feature on respective stands at this year's motor show.
Then there's Mitsubishi's 'I' Car, a Japanese mini-car being shown at motor show to test public reaction, possibly with a view to import. Its CO 2 emissions are just 120 g/km; it will also be the first in the Mitsubishi range to feature in-wheel electric motors, coming in 2010.
Newer = greener
Car makers constantly improve the efficiency of new models. Take the new Land Rover Freelander, set for its world debut in London; the petrol model is 10 per cent more fuel efficient than the car it replaces.
The future - concepts for tomorrow
Saab's fossil-fuel free hybrid, the Saab BioPower Hybrid Concept, is the first ever car to combine the use of pure bioethanol fuel - which is produced from sustainable crops - and electric power.
Lewis Booth to give keynote address at International Business Day
And it's not just the cars that will be under the public spotlight. Ford's most senior executive in Europe, Lewis Booth, will be giving the keynote speech on Wednesday 19 July as part of the FT International Business Day in association with International Business Wales. His speech will feature the greatest challenge facing society and the motor industry: climate change.
International Business day is targeted at qualified professionals and press, so proof of status is required for registration. Delegates can register online at www.britishmotorshow.co.uk with tickets priced at £20 in advance.
Green label on display
Show-goers will also see the new colour-coded label displayed on stands throughout ExCeL. Now a familiar sight across new car showrooms, the label provides clear CO 2 emissions data in a colour-coded format, similar to that used for white goods like fridges and washing machines. This voluntary industry initiative is helping car buyers make easy comparisons between cars on environmental performance, as well as giving clear model by model details on annual running costs.
The motor industry will also be using the motor show to distribute free copies of its Drive Green, Drive Safely booklet, a guide to eco and safer driving. Packed full of tips and hints for driving, copies are available to download from the home page of the SMMT web site at www.smmt.co.uk
First variant to go on sale in China in late 2006
TOKYO (6 July, 2006) – Nissan Motor Co., Ltd, today announced it would release a new family of global cars over the next two years with sales of the first variant to start in China in 2006. The Livina Geniss, the name of the Chinese variant, will be the first Nissan car ever to be released in China ahead of other global markets.
"This new family of global cars represents an important investment for Nissan," said Nissan Executive Vice President Carlos Tavares. "We expect the Livina Geniss and the other variants to become significant contributors to Nissan’s growth in China and other key global markets," continued Tavares.
The Livina Geniss will make its world premier at the Guangzhou International Motor Show later this month. Based on the concept of a luxurious, yet practical vehicle, the model seats up to seven people and accommodates a wide variety of customer needs. The exterior features a bold, modern design and is complemented by a highly flexible interior that provides multiple seating arrangements and a high standard specification.
Like the other models in this new global family, the Livina Geniss has been designed and engineered at the Nissan Technical Center in Atsugi, Japan and will be built on a Renault-Nissan Alliance common platform.
The Livina Geniss will be powered by a 1.8-litre gasoline engine with C-VTC (Continuous Valve Timing Control) for improved power and torque. The model will be manufactured at Dongfeng Motor Co.’s (DFL) Huadu plant in Guangdong Province. DFL is Nissan’s joint venture in China with Dongfeng Motor Group Co., Ltd. The other variants will be produced at different facilities around the world.
THE stars of the Used Car Roadshow Jason Dawe and Penny Mallory will be at the British Motorshow next week to help launch the new promotional DVD for top car cleaning product Diamondbrite.
The launch, which takes place on Tuesday July 18, sees the start of a three year endorsement of the premier brand by the ITV Men and Motors presenting duo.
Diamondbrite, which is produced by Kent based company Jewelultra , is a technologically advanced protective layer that gives a hard high gloss finish to your car that is guaranteed for six years.
Once applied it protects the paint from the damaging effects of road salts, traffic film, acid rain, tree sap and bird lime. With the added bonus of virtually eliminating the fading effect of ultraviolet light, using Diamondbrite means you never have to polish your car again.
With such extravagant claims Jason and Penny decided to put the Diamondbrite protection system to the ultimate test.
The pair took a brand new Ford Focus ST for a drive along some of the muddiest and grimiest roads they could find and then let it all dry on in the midday sun. Add to that a healthy dollop of bird muck and sticky tree sap the challenge was then on to see if the Diamondbrite claims to be able to return the car to a showroom shine were true.
Jason said: "At the start of the day the car was immaculate, straight off the forecourt by lunchtime it was a complete state. We quite literally threw everything at it. When the sun had done its work drying it all on like concrete we really thought there was no way it would get back to its new state without a full professional valet.
"But within minutes it was back to showroom shine and condition."
Penny added: "It’s a fantastic product and having seen the results with my own eyes I cannot recommend it highly enough."
Diamondbrite is a two stage process that is professionally applied either by a franchised motor dealer or an authorised valet centre.
To find out more about Diamondbrite and the full Jewelultra range click on to the website on www.jewelultra.com, where you can also take a look at the new DVD featuring Jason Dawe and Penny Mallory.
Grand prix car blasts through ExCeL in unique TV trial
In the space of just over a week, Toyota’s Formula 1 activities have taken it from the legendary wide open banking of Indianapolis to a course just 384 metres long inside ExCeL, the new home of the British International Motor Show.
The vast exhibition hall in London’s Docklands was the arena for the UK’s first indoor F1 trial on Monday, with the Panasonic Toyota Racing TF105 demonstrating its prodigious straight-line acceleration and braking power for BBC Television’s Top Gear programme.
As a high-octane curtain-raiser for Toyota’s contribution to this year’s motor show, the test has no equal. Piloted by "The Stig", the V10-powered TF105 was tweaked to cope with the exceptional conditions, not least the ultra-smooth surface. Slick Bridgestone tyres were fitted, gear ratios were adjusted, brakes were pre-warmed, maximum revs were reduced from around 19,000 to 16,000 and the car’s traction control system was working at full capacity.
Just how the race car performed, compared to Top Gear’s more modest "Reasonably Priced Car", will be revealed in the programme scheduled for transmission at 8.00pm on BBC2 on Sunday, 16 July. The same day, in the real world of Grand Prix competition, Panasonic Toyota Racing will be looking to build on its impressive showing at Indianapolis, where Jarno Trulli claimed an impressive fourth place result, and challenge for a podium finish at the French Grand Prix.
Last weekend, the Toyota TF105 thrilled the crowds at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, with official test driver Ricardo Zonta at the wheel. The F1 car ran a total of six times on the famous hill climb, with the last run reserved for the customary tyre tread laying ‘burnout’.
The Caparo T1 – possibly the world’s quickest 2-seater road and track car with a performance equal to an A1 GP racecar – will join a showcase of exotic vehicles in a special ‘SuperCar Paddock’ feature area at the British International Motor Show.
"This will be the first opportunity for half a million visitors to see close-up the next generation of supercar developed using Britain’s world renowned expertise in the design and manufacturer of high performance vehicles," said Caparo Group chief executive Angad Paul. "The car’s inspiration comes from Ben Scott-Geddes and Graham Halstead – two ex-McLaren engineers who worked previously on the McLaren F1, Mercedes SLR and Formula One projects and who now work, I’m pleased to say, for the Caparo group."
Commenting on Caparo’s choice of London to premiere one of Britain’s most exciting supercars since the McLaren F1, Christopher Macgowan, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, which owns the show, said: "It’s logical that Britain’s largest single-owner business should chose the British International Motor Show to premiere to a mass audience its first-ever car; and we’re absolutely delighted that this latest example of British automotive technology will join our supercar paddock."
Commenting on Caparo’s intention to commoditise advanced composite materials for high volume vehicle manufacture while maintaining a strong UK component manufacturing base Macgowan added: "Not only does this show real technical prowess and solid commitment but it’s also a rational business decision given the UK hosts more volume car makers than any other country in Europe. In addition, the Caparo T1 provides further evidence of the UK working hard to deliver more sustainable motoring by using its advanced motorsport and aerospace technology to help car makers develop new models fit for the 21st century."
"The Caparo T1 is a showcase of our design, development and manufacturing capabilities and it is a demonstration of our technical ability to design a whole car," said Caparo Vehicle Products chief executive Richard Butler. "It may seem paradoxical given its astonishing performance, but the Caparo T1 also has the serious purpose of helping car makers apply racecar technology to everyday vehicles thereby making them lighter and more fuel efficient and hence less harmful to the environment."
Caparo generated £725m of income last year and has put its considerable financial muscle behind the high profile Caparo T1 project to help spearhead its ambition to become a leading Tier 1 supplier particularly in advanced composite materials, which will help carmakers reduce vehicle mass and in turn fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.
The ultra lightweight Caparo T1 has been developed using aerospace and high formula racing technology. The car’s efficient and compact 2.4-litre V8 engine develops almost 500bhp in a vehicle weighing less than 500kg. The result is a significant technical breakthrough; being the world’s first ever road and track car to produce 1,000bhp-per-tonne which defines an entirely new breed of exotic – and far from ordinary – supercar that is lighter than a Caterham but with twice the power-to-weight ratio of a Bugatti Veyron. In turn, this endows the car with an extraordinary 0-100-0mph time of 8.5 seconds, which is directly comparable to an A1 GP race car.
Caparo has confirmed that it will present the T1 for the duration of the show, which takes place at the London ExCeL exhibition centre from Thursday 20th July to Sunday 30th July 2006. The special ‘SuperCar Paddock’ feature area, sponsored by The Sunday Times, is located in the main exhibition hall.
Grand Prix Masters and the British International Motor Show have teamed-up to bring you the ‘Best of British’ this summer. Anyone booking two grandstand tickets for the forthcoming GP Masters of Great Britain (12th – 13th August, Silverstone) before Thursday 20th July will receive two free family tickets for the new-look British International Motor Show. This special offer is effective immediately. Set in the stunning riverside location of ExCel London from 20th – 30th July, the new format British International Motor Show boasts exclusive global car launches, hands-on driving experiences, celebrity appearances, shopping opportunities, motoring demonstrations, live music concerts, al fresco dining, late night openings and of course all the Star Cars!
Adding to the star-studded British International Motor Show billing on Saturday 22nd July will be former Formula One World Champion Nigel Mansell and other GP Masters drivers who in addition to appearing on the GP Masters show stand will also be driving at a location nearby the all-new, 200mph two-seater GP Masters race car.
The GP Masters of Great Britain at Silverstone and British International Motor Show are THE must-attend events this summer!
GOODWOOD, UK, 7-9 July, 2006 – Ford's world rally stars Marcus Grönholm and Mikko Hirvonen will drive the new 2006 Ford Focus RS World Rally Car publicly for the first time in Britain at the Goodwood Festival of Speed (7-9 July). They will demonstrate the car, which has already won three times this season in the FIA World Rally Championship, on both the famous hillclimb and the forest special stage at the prestigious historic motorsport event.
Hirvonen will be behind the wheel on both Friday and Saturday while Grönholm will take over for the final day on Sunday. It will be the first time that either has appeared at the festival.
"I have heard so many good things about the Goodwood Festival of Speed that I'm really looking forward to driving there," said Grönholm. "The event has a wonderful reputation and you only have to look at the calibre of drivers in attendance to see how highly it is regarded. I hope the crowd will enjoy their first view of the new Focus RS WRC car in action in the UK."
The Finnish duo has made an impressive start to the BP-Ford World Rally Team's world championship campaign. At the midpoint of the season, with eight of the 16 events held, the team lies second in the manufacturers' standings. Double world champion Grönholm has won three rallies and lies second in the drivers' table with Hirvonen in fourth.
Ford has also extended its record-breaking run of consecutive points finishes in the WRC to 68 – a feat unmatched by any other manufacturer in the sport's history. The run began on the Monte Carlo Rally in 2002 and all 68 have been achieved with the Focus RS World Rally Car.
The newest version of the Focus RS WRC made its full championship debut on the opening round of the 2006 championship in Monte Carlo – the most famous rally in the series. Grönholm claimed a remarkable debut victory and followed that with a second success amid the hostile snow and ice of the Swedish Rally in February.
Thirty-eight-year-old Grönholm continued to set a strong pace as the series moved onto asphalt, leading in Spain and taking a fine second place in Corsica. The Finn also led on the rougher gravel roads of Argentina and Sardinia before dominating the toughest event of all, the Acropolis Rally of Greece, to take a start to finish victory. Such has been the impact of the new Focus RS WRC that it has led six of the eight rounds to date.
While Grönholm has chased outright victory, team-mate Hirvonen has concentrated on developing his experience on events of which he has little knowledge, while continuing to rack up manufacturers' points for Ford. He has excelled, taking a career-best second in Sardinia and third in Greece.
Full programme of competition car entries and logistics support for 2006 Festival
GOODWOOD, UK, 7-9 July, 2006 – Ford Motor Company's sponsorship of the Goodwood Festival of Speed continues this year with a major programme of support to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the first Ford GT40 victory at Le Mans.
Ford has entered several cars on the historic hillclimb. In the Supercar category, a Ford GT will be piloted by several selected drivers including Roelant de Waard, Ford of Britain's Chairman and Managing Director, and Jost Capito, Director of Ford Team RS.
De Waard, an enthusiastic amateur racing driver, said: "This is my first opportunity to attend the Goodwood Festival of Speed, which has always been a very important event for Ford, and one in which the company plays a leading role. The chance to drive the new GT up the hill, almost exactly 40 years after the original GT40 achieved that legendary Le Mans victory, is extremely exciting."
Tribute to 1966 Ford 1-2-3 at Le Mans
An original GT40, reconfigured by Ford to represent the 1966 Le Mans-winning machine, is also entered. It has been prepared as a tribute to the drivers and teams that took the GT40 to four successive Le Mans victories, and will be seen in its black and silver livery for the first time at the Festival. It was in 1996 that Ford scored its historic 1-2-3 victory with the three GT40s crossing the finishing line in formation at the end of the race.
Two of the victorious drivers will be at the Festival to take it up the hill - Dan Gurney, whose victory came in 1967 when he partnered AJ Foyt in a Mk. IV version, and Jackie Oliver, who partnered Jacky Ickx for the GT40's fourth consecutive win in 1969.
Marcus Grönholm and the Ford Focus RS WRC
Goodwood's Forest Rally Stage has been substantially revised this year. Ford will be represented by a 2006 World Rally Championship Focus for Marcus Grönholm, who has scored three WRC victories in the Focus this year, and his team-mate Mikko Hirvonen. The Ford Focus RS WRC will also be driven on the Goodwood hillclimb.
Puma Motorsport, the Ford team's racewear supplier, has generously donated five pairs of Puma overalls to be provided for lucky passengers in the Focus at Goodwood. During the Festival the overalls will be signed by as many rallying and racing stars as possible and auctioned in aid of the Richard Burns Foundation, formed to raise money for and awareness of the fight against illness and injury, particularly in the areas of cancer and road injury.
As usual, there will be many privately entered Ford and Ford-powered competition cars at the Festival, including Roush Technologies' 1999 Trans-Am Mustang, a 1981 Zakspeed Capri, an RS 200, Escort RS 1600 & 1800, a Sierra Cosworth - even a Ford Transit! In the Grand Prix classes, Ford-Cosworth engines will power more cars than engines from any other manufacturer.
Ford Transit in support and on show
As in previous years, Ford is supplying the Festival organisers with a large number of Transit and Ranger vehicles for use by marshals and officials around the Festival site. A new long wheelbase Transit will also be provided for a special feature in the highly popular Junior Festival of Speed. Over the weekend, a team of skilled graffiti artists from the Brighton-based "Rare Kind" company will decorate the Transit with iconic images from the Festival - the cars, the stars, the bridges, Goodwood House, the entertainment, and so on.
The Earl of March, on whose Goodwood Estate the Festival of Speed takes place each year, said: "Our work in putting on the Festival is made easier by the assistance of our sponsors who provide logistical support. Ford has always been particularly helpful with the loan of Transit Minibuses, Rangers, and four-wheel drive vehicles. I'm delighted that this year they are also providing a brand new Transit as a 'canvas' for the imaginative work of the Rare Kind artists - I'm sure the results will be fascinating and spectacular!"
Visitors to Goodwood Festival of Speed will enjoy a unique opportunity to witness the new Murciélago LP640 making its UK debut by ‘going up the hill’, whilst in the Cartier Style et Luxe paddock, original Miura models will be accompanied by the Miura Concept car.
The Murciélago LP640 was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this year. The LP640 at Goodwood is the first of the new Murciélago models to arrive in the UK, and will be driven by one of the factory’s test drivers, Valentino Balboni.
The Miura Concept car was the first Lamborghini vehicle to be conjured from the pen of Walter de’ Silva, Head of Lamborghini Design. De Silva’s other responsibilities include serving as Head of Design of Audi Group. The Miura Concept is a retro-inspired concept car heralding back to one of the automotive world’s most famous icons, the legendary Lamborghini Miura. Designed in celebration of the Miura’s fortieth anniversary and with no plans for production, the Miura Concept will be displayed alongside original Miura models.
Official Lamborghini merchandise will also be retailed at Goodwood Festival of Speed, in unit 151 in the merchandise and retailing area by the start line.
Lamborghini opened two further dealerships in the UK in May in Edinburgh and Birmingham, joining the existing outlets in London and Manchester.
Jaguar is proud to unveil its new supercharged sports car – the Jaguar XKR. Building on the excellence of the all-new XK introduced in late 2005, the XKR takes the Jaguar experience to new heights.
Like the normally aspirated XK model, the new XKR makes intelligent use of practical, modern technology such as its industry-leading aluminium monocoque body structure. In addition, an uprated 420bhp (SAE) supercharged V8 engine and class-leading calibration of its state-of-the-art, six-speed automatic transmission bring it a level of accessible, real-world performance that makes the XKR the most impressive, everyday, sporting GT in its class.
And the XKR’s powerful statement of intent is emphatically reinforced by enhanced sporting styling cues such as a unique front bumper, aluminium-finish grilles and bonnet louvers; unique 19 and 20-inch alloy wheel designs and a quad-exhaust system add to its overall presence.
"The new supercharged XKR captures perfectly the essence of what makes a Jaguar XK so special," commented Bibiana Boerio, Jaguar Cars managing director. "It is a flawless combination of refined Grand Tourer and serious performance sports car, that delivers a truly rewarding and exhilarating driving experience."
NEW JAGUAR XKR AT A GLANCE
* New supercharged Jaguar XK sports car – the XKR, available as a Coupe or Convertible
* All the attractions and attributes of the XK – but amplified in the ‘R’ to complement the extra power and performance
* 4.2-litre, supercharged V8 engine developing 420bhp and 560Nm of torque
* 0-60mph time of 4.9 seconds and 155mph (electronically limited) top speed. 50-70mph in just 2.5 seconds
* All-aluminium construction means a lighter, stiffer car, improving handling and agility. At 1665kg, the Coupe is 70kg lighter than its predecessor, while the 1715kg Convertible is 100kg lighter than the previous convertible XKR
* Uprated springs and dampers and recalibrated Computer Active Technology Suspension system for enhanced ride and handling
* Class-leading six-speed automatic transmission with steering-wheel-mounted ‘paddles’ for ultra-quick gear shifts
* Active Exhaust System to ensure cruising speed refinement but purposeful V8 roar under hard acceleration.
* Subtle XKR exterior styling enhancements include a sportier grille and front bumper design, louvred bonnet, unique aluminium-effect side power vents and new wheel designs
* Enhanced interior includes unique aluminium ‘weave’ design on the fascia (polished burr walnut is optional at no extra cost) and XKR sports seats
* Intuitive controls and driver-focussed technologies are available – including Keyless Entry, Keyless Start, advanced Touchscreen and Active Front Lighting
* Occupies unique market position, with performance to match rivals costing up to £30,000 more but price to match less well-performing rival models
* In summary, the epitome of a contemporary Jaguar Grand Touring sports car and a perfect illustration of the marque’s philosophy of building beautiful, fast cars
* Available to order from July onwards, with prices starting at £67,495 – a premium of just 12.5% over the normally aspirated XK
Driving the new XKR – exhilaration redefined
The new 420bhp (SAE) Jaguar XKR is a sensational car to drive. With 120bhp (SAE) more power than the normally aspirated 4.2-litre XK, the same strong and stiff aluminium body structure that ensures superb ride and handling, and a six-speed automatic transmission with Jaguar Sequential Shift that is regarded as class-leading in terms of gearchange speed as well as refinement, Jaguar’s blend of performance and dynamics reaches new heights with the XKR.
"Our aim when engineering the new XKR was to ensure that the car’s character remained balanced despite the significant increase in power over the normally aspirated XK," explains Jaguar’s chief engineer, Mike Cross. "Our engineering team worked to the brief of creating a car that is 120% and more of an XK – the ultimate sports GT for the real world. We wanted the performance and dynamism you would expect of an XKR but were careful to retain that exceptional blend of sporting luxury that every Jaguar must have and which was so convincingly demonstrated with the XK. The bottom line is: if you like the XK, you’ll absolutely love the new XKR."
The result of that engineering brief is a car that performs in any conditions, at any speed. With superb torque at low engine speeds, instant acceleration is always available should you demand it. Similarly, the advanced steering and suspension set-up means the new XKR switches effortlessly from relaxed grand tourer to honed sports car with ease. It is everything the XK is and much more besides.
Supercharged 4.2-litre engine
The ability to call upon impressive reserves of power and acceleration in an instant is the hallmark of every great Jaguar. The new XKR ensures this by using a remarkable 4.2-litre supercharged AJ-V8 engine. Producing 420bhp (SAE) at 6250rpm and 560Nm (EEC) of torque at 4000rpm it is capable of propelling the Coupe version to 60mph in 4.9 seconds (5.0 seconds for the Convertible) and onto an electronically limited top speed of 155mph (250km/h).
The addition of a supercharger and twin air intakes means the new XKR benefits from a 120bhp (SAE) power increase over the normally aspirated 4.2-litre XK with which it shares its engine configuration. Torque, so essential for instant acceleration at any engine speed, also increases significantly – by 36% over the XK, although the overall weight of the XKR is raised by just 70kg. Consequently the power-to-weight ratio compared to the normally aspirated 4.2-litre XK is an impressive 34% higher.
And in comparison to the previous generation XKR, the new engine produces 7.7% more power and 3.3% more torque. Combined with the significantly stiffer and lighter aluminium monocoque body structure of the new XKR, these performance improvements lead to a significant leap in the power-to-weight ratio of 12% over the previous XKR and an equally useful jump of 7.7% in the torque-to-weight ratio. To achieve the equivalent improvements in power and torque-to-weight in the outgoing XKR would have required nearly 50 more horsepower. Consequently, the 0-60mph sprint time of the new XKR Coupe is reduced by 0.3 seconds.
The heart of these significant performance improvements is the XKR’s lightweight eight-cylinder engine with an Eaton supercharger. The water-cooled cylinders are arranged in a 90-degree V configuration and the crankshaft is supported by five main bearings. Each of the two cylinder head assemblies incorporates twin camshafts operating four valves per cylinder. One of the reasons for the engine’s impressive output is the continuously variable valve timing which helps to deliver a wide spread of torque. The engine uses an Electronic Return-less Fuel System (ERFS) and a three-way catalyst exhaust system.
The increase in power and torque over the outgoing XKR model is down to two significant additions to the engine. The air intake supply to the engine has been significantly enhanced thanks to the use of twin air inlets and a Variable Inlet Camshaft Timing system is used for the first time on the XKR. By continuously adjusting the timing of the inlet camshaft on both banks of the V8 depending on the engine speed and load, Jaguar’s engineers have ensured large improvements in torque, particularly at lower revs.
The system is controlled by the Engine Management System (EMS) which receives engine speed, throttle position and oil temperature data from its sensors. The EMS determines the correct inlet camshaft timing by continuously referring to a digital three-dimensional map developed to provide optimum performance. The EMS then transmits the appropriate signals to two solenoids that control the degree of hydraulic force provided to the valve actuators.
The normally aspirated 4.2-litre XK has been praised for its acoustic qualities, remaining unobtrusive and relaxed at modest speeds but producing an unmistakeable V8 soundtrack when worked hard. On the XKR, the presence of supercharger whine threatened to dominate the acoustic character and mask the underlying sound quality. However, through enhancements to the vehicle acoustic pack, the supercharger noise has been reduced by 5dB compared to the previous XKR.
This approach to acoustics allowed the engineers to concentrate on using the exhaust system to deliver the best possible sound quality character. This was accomplished through the use of the XKR’s Active Exhaust system which varies the flow of exhaust gases through the main silencer box to ensure that the XKR remains quiet at cruising speeds but delivers a substantially more purposeful sound quality character under hard acceleration.
Jaguar's Sequential Shift uniquely combines all the speed and involvement of a sequential manual gearbox with the comfort and convenience of a full automatic. The system consists of steering wheel-mounted paddles and a conventional gear selector lever, allowing the driver to switch between three automatic or paddle-operated gearbox modes.
Whereas an automated manual gearbox interrupts the flow of torque during the gearchange – while the clutch is disengaged – the Jaguar's gearbox maintains the flow of torque throughout the shifting process. This results in gearchanges that are not only quick, but also remarkably smooth. Gearshifts are achieved in less than 600 milliseconds, from the point at which the driver operates the shift paddle to the point at which the shift is complete.
In fact, during development, comparison tests between Jaguar Sequential Shift and rival automatic transmissions in the class showed the transmission to be the fastest system of all, changing gear at least 400 milliseconds faster than a standard automatic and 100 milliseconds faster than the best automated manual system.
The three gearbox modes give the driver total flexibility to use the transmission to match whatever driving style he or she chooses. In Drive mode, the gearbox behaves as a conventional automatic, with the software optimised for every day driving conditions providing all the benefits of a best-in-class automatic transmission.
In Sport mode, the gearbox's adaptive software becomes more prevalent, adapting and reacting more dynamically to demanding conditions. This software takes account of the prevailing conditions and driver's inputs and adapts accordingly. For example, it recognises when the car is negotiating a curve, and holds the gear accordingly; Hill Recognition enables the XKR to choose the ratios to optimise the ascent or descent of a hill; the gearbox’s software will also match the engine speed precisely to the engine and road speeds, ‘blipping’ the throttle during rapid downshifts.
Manual mode is activated by simply operating one of the steering wheel-mounted paddles, and delivers a state-of-the-art manual gear shift feel from the automatic transmission.
CHASSIS, SUSPENSION AND BRAKES
To ensure optimum ride and handling the XKR’s springs and dampers are uprated compared to the normally aspirated XK. The front spring rate is increased by 38% and the rear spring rate by 24%. Allied to the Servotronic steering system, which has also been tuned both mechanically and electronically to give the steering more weight and even greater response, the uprated suspension ensures confidence-inspiring handling without any loss in refinement and comfort levels.
Because of the inherent strength and stiffness of the chassis, the only significant addition to the XKR’s structure is an additional rear suspension brace mounted between the rear damper towers to accommodate the significant increase in rear spring rate. This also allows the Convertible to utilise the same dynamic settings as the Coupe model.
The Computer Active Technology Suspension (a two-stage adaptive damping system that ensures the optimum balance between ride and handling) and new switchable Dynamic Stability Control with Traction Control System (Trac DSC) have also been recalibrated to cope with the additional power of the supercharged engine.
As significant to the XKR as the increases in power and torque are the major improvements in strength and weight thanks to its advanced all-aluminium architecture. Unique in the industry as a complete aluminium monocoque body structure, as distinct from an aluminium spaceframe with separate aluminium exterior panels, its properties come from both the way the bodyshell is designed and constructed and the use of new joining technologies.
In fact, the new XKR’s aluminium chassis is significantly lighter and stiffer in both Coupe and Convertible form than the steel model it replaces. The Coupe chassis is over 30 percent stiffer than the previous XK, while the Convertible is over 40 percent stiffer. As a consequence the XKR accelerates faster than the previous model, while offering high levels of safety, reduced noise and vibration intrusion, and improved ride and handling characteristics thanks to improved suspension dynamics.
The new XKR Coupe is also stiffer and lighter than the Mercedes-Benz SL55 AMG, with a kerb weight of just 1665kg – some 290kg less than the Mercedes. In Convertible form the BIW weight, at just 287kg is 19 percent lighter than the previous XKR Convertible.
New, larger ventilated brake discs at the front ensure higher braking performance for the XKR. The front brake disc diameter has increased from 326mm to 355mm and the thickness from 30mm to 32mm, which not only improves the braking performance but also the system’s resistance to fade. The braking system also includes four-channel ABS, Electronic Brake Force Distribution, Hydraulic Brake Assist to increase brake pressure during an emergency stop, and Jaguar’s Electronic Park Brake function.
With the much-admired new XK already considered a future design classic, Jaguar’s creative team, led by Ian Callum, had a great starting point from which to produce the XKR. The XK range’s elegant form draws on the lineage of the original XK and E-type sports cars, and by blending this unmistakeable Jaguar silhouette with contemporary flair its exterior forms a stunning blend of elegance, athleticism and definition. The XKR now takes this athletic look one stage further thanks to the addition of:
• New XKR front bumper with colour-keyed finish to unique front fog lamp housings
• Aluminium side power vent finish
• Bonnet louvres and unique ‘XKR’ aluminium finish to upper and lower front mesh grilles
• Aluminium finish to rear signature ‘blade’ and selected exterior brightwork finishers
• Unique ‘Jupiter’ design 19-inch alloy wheels as standard, with 20-inch ‘Cremona’ XKR wheel available as an option
• Black brake callipers with ‘R’ logo
• Quad exhaust system and unique lower bumper
• ‘R’ rear badge
Design Director Ian Callum explains the thinking behind the look of the new XKR:
"We talk at Jaguar of how our new generation of models are ‘beautiful, fast cars’. It’s a phrase that ideally sums up our brand and can be applied to every car we design. We were extremely proud of the reaction to the new XK when it was unveiled last year – it is as beautiful as you would expect a Jaguar sports car to be. Now the new XKR has a look that emphasises the ‘fast’ aspect of our design statement.
"The ‘powerline’ that runs from the front wheel through the cabin area and into the car’s rear haunches remains and we have added to that latent feeling of power by adding some strong performance features such as the louvres that signify the potent supercharger and the stunning new alloys that fill the wheel arches and give the car real purpose."
The new XK’s interior design has been just as highly praised and the XKR’s cabin represents arguably the most sophisticated yet driver-focussed environment of any car in its class. The XKR has class-leading ergonomics, user-friendly in-car technology and simple, clear information displays in the instrument panel and main dashboard area.
A unique sports seat design with additional lateral support for both the driver and front seat passenger has been added, with an ‘R’ badge on the headrests, tachometer, steering wheel and gear selector. The design of the standard aluminium interior veneer is also unique to the XKR, featuring a ‘weave’ pattern from the Advanced Lightweight Coupe showcar.
XKR customers can also specify the Luxury Sports interior option which features softgrain leather on the 16-way adjustable seats, instrument panel, door trim and centre console.
THE XKR MARKETPLACE
Like the normally aspirated XK, the new XKR competes within the global sports car sector. In 1999 this sector accounted for just under 50,000 sales per year worldwide. Since that time the sector has doubled in size.
The XKR will appeal to a select group of affluent potential customers, who have an affinity with luxury products. They are looking for a grand tourer as well as a car with pure sporting credentials; one that provides exhilaration and escapism combined with status and exclusivity – ‘luxury in a sports skin’.
The new XKR, like all Jaguars, offers excellent value for money in the sports car market. With prices starting from £67,495, the XKR ensures customers will enjoy a considerable increase in performance over the normally aspirated XK for a relatively small price premium. They will also benefit from a significant performance advantage over rivals such as the Mercedes-Benz SL500, which is slower and heavier than the XKR, despite costing over £8000 more.
Furthermore, the XKR offers a full suite of comfort, convenience and technology features, the large majority of which (such as satellite navigation, BluetoothTM telephone, Touchscreen display and keyless start) are not standard on many rival cars of similar price, or even available at all.
And because of its advanced lightweight body structure and powerful supercharged engine, the XKR’s performance even matches cars that are not direct competitors in terms of either price or technical specification. For example, it beats the £81,760, 5.0-litre BMW M6 on torque-to-weight ratio and virtually matches the £99,045, 5.5-litre SL55 AMG on power-to-weight ratio.
o Subtle changes for 2007 Modus range
o Widest range of engines, gearboxes and trim levels in its class
o No price increase over current range
With the trend for car downsizing continuing unabated, Renault’s multi-award-winning Modus, the "small car with a big heart", has been given a fresh look for the 2007 model year and is on sale now.
The new range has quite a reputation to live up to. In just a little over a year, Modus has scooped numerous awards, including Diesel Car Best Supermini, Scottish Small Car of the Year and Test Drive magazine’s Compact MPV and Overall Readers Award. Based on this impressive awards haul, fans of the current Modus will be pleased to learn that the revised range will continue largely in the same vein as today’s, in terms of choice, design and price.
Renault’s spacious and versatile Modus has only been available in the UK since September 2004, so the changes to the new 2007 range are subtle, both inside and out, with the emphasis firmly on just refreshing the car’s already modern appearance rather than tampering with the car’s already popular combination of cheeky looks and practical interior.
The changes start with the exterior’s new clear ‘crystal’ indicator lenses for the front and rear lights and the wing mirror indicators, while on the inside each trim level gains new seat upholstery and higher quality interior materials for the dash and centre console.
In keeping with Modus’ contemporary style, seven of the most popular colours from the New Clio and Mégane 2006 ranges have been added to the new range: Antique Green, Capsicum Red, Extreme Blue, Hologram Grey, Pacific Blue, Quartz and Tempest. The entry-level Modus Authentique also now gains body coloured bumpers.
The 2007 model line-up offers the widest selection of engine, gearbox and trim level combinations in its class. The trim levels consist of: Authentique, Expression, Dynamique, Privilège and Initiale, with the only model not continued into the new range being the 1.4 16V 98 Initiale.
The Modus engine range is just as comprehensive, offering a powerplant to suit every kind of driving style whether it be for economy, refinement or power. A total of six engines are available, with three diesels – 68, 86 and 106hp, and three petrols – 75, 98 and 111hp, all driven via five-speed manual gearboxes with the exception of the dCi 106 which is six-speed. For more comfort and less driver stress in the city and on longer journeys, the clutchless Quickshift5 gearbox will continue to be available with the dCi 86 engine alongside an automatic gearbox for the 1.6 VVT 111 petrol.
The new Modus 2007 range is available to order now, priced from £9,145 on the road. For further information, see www.renault.co.uk or call 0800 52 51 50.
Audi is once again supporting the annual Goodwood Festival of Speed (7-9 July) by displaying its rich heritage of motorsport through the ages. The German prestige car manufacturer, which has supported Lord March’s annual motorsport extravaganza since 1998, will display and demonstrate a host of vehicles.
Audi "factory" driver Allan McNish will drive a 1936 Auto Union C-Type owned by the Audi Tradition Museum. Bringing the German manufacturer’s sporting achievements right up to date, McNish will also demonstrate the actual Le Mans 24 Hour race winning Audi R10 TDI which created history earlier this month (17-18 Jun) by becoming the first diesel-powered sportscar to win the prestigious French race.
First British public appearance for diesel-powered Audi sportscar in Britain
The Audi R10 TDI in the hands of Frank Biela/Emanuele Pirro/Marco Werner won the Le Mans race while McNish, partnered by Dindo Capello and Tom Kristensen, finished third. Audi’s new diesel-powered sportscar started from pole-position, led every lap, set the fastest race lap and also set a new race distance record on its Le Mans début - having won its first and only other race in March.
The Scotsman arrives in Goodwood from North America via RAF Wittering. McNish and co-driver Capello bring down the curtain on the phenomenally successful Audi R8’s seven year racing activity in the fourth round of the American Le Mans Series at Lime Rock (1 Jul). Meanwhile McNish will also have "challenged" a RAF Harrier "Jump Jet" down a 1-mile runway at RAF Wittering (6 Jul).
70th anniversary for European Championship winning Auto Union
The Auto Union C-Type which McNish drives is the famous 16-cylinder, six-litre "Silver Arrow", a car weighing over 16cwt (824kg) and capable of 211mph, similar to which Bernd Rosemeyer won the European Championship 70 years ago. In this era, cars carrying the Four Rings emblem, were victorious on 33 occasions in 59 races.
After World War II, all of the Auto Unions from Zwickau were taken to the Soviet Union and the whereabouts of many thereafter is unknown. To commemorate its achievements in vehicle technology, AUDI AG commissioned Crosthwaite & Gardiner, of Buxted in East Sussex, to build a replica of the C-type race car with its single-seater body. This replica was finished in 1998 and is now part of the Historic Collection of AUDI AG.
World début for "recreated" D-type
Meanwhile a 1939 Auto Union D-Type "recreated" by Roach Manufacturing plus Crosthwaite & Gardiner, which can be seen on static display, is the only type of its kind in the world and is making its world début at Goodwood. The D-Type’s first race with the unusual double-supercharger engine configuration was the 1939 Belgium Grand Prix while H.P. Müller won the car’s very next race (French GP).
Additionally an "original" V12 mid-engined 1938 Auto Union D-Type is also coming over from AUDI AG’s highly-acclaimed Museum in Ingolstadt. The D-Type was driven by the top Auto Union drivers Tazio Nuvolari, Hans Stuck, H.P. Müller, Georg Meier and Rudolf Hasse.
This actual chassis is one of the few to survive the exodus to the Soviet Union at the end of the war in 1945.
"Original" Audi quattro rallycar back at Goodwood
The actual "original" Audi quattro rallycar will be joined by a 1983 GpB Audi quattro A2 rally machine on Goodwood’s rally stage. Both ex-factory cars have been lovingly and superbly restored by Manchester-based quattro enthusiast John Hanlon.
"Flying Finn" Hannu Mikkola, who at the invitation of Lord March, has given advice on revisions to the extended rally stage since last year’s inaugural event, was reunited with the original 1980 quattro at last year’s Goodwood event and will once again drive the "original" Audi rallycar.
Hanlon’s latest acquisition, Michele Mouton’s 1985 Pikes Peak record breaking Audi quattro S1, will be driven up the hillclimb while Audi Tradition’s 1988 Trans Am championship-winning Audi 200 quattro machine also makes a rare visit to the UK and will be driven by former Audi Sport chief Dieter Basche.
AUDI AG motorsport successes have always been linked with ground-breaking developments - later adopted in to Audi’s roadcars. The best examples of these have been quattro, permanent four-wheel-drive, which celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2005 and revolutionised rallying in the 1980s.
Direct petrol injection (FSI) technology, giving excellent accelerator response and fuel economy, was used at Le Mans for the first time in 2001 and remains unbeaten in the French long-distance race between 2001-5. And following its recent history-making Le Mans victory with a diesel-powered sportscar, Audi ably continues to demonstrate its Vorsprung durch Technik slogan - progress through technology - to perfection.
White lines are a familiar part of the road landscape, but they all do a different job. The information they are intended to impart varies, despite the fact to the busy driver they all look the same.
As a rule of thumb, the more paint there is on the road surface, the more danger or potential danger there is at that point.
For example, do you know the difference between a short white line on the middle of the carriageway and a longer white line? The first marks the boundary of the lane, without any other information. The second also warns of a hazard: a potential danger point.
How about if there are two solid white lines running down the middle of the carriageway? This is to divide two opposing lanes of traffic and you cannot cross it except in certain specific circumstances – turning into/out of an entrance, passing a stationary vehicle or overtaking slow-moving vehicles, pedal cycles or horses. From time to time you will see a single solid white line, coupled with a dotted one, either on your side of the carriageway or the other. The line nearest your side of the road is the important one – if it is solid, the rule above applies!
One that gets forgotten sometimes is that it is an offence to park where there are double white lines in the centre of the road – even if there is room.
If you are ever uncertain of the meaning of a white line, make a point of checking the Highway Code. Things do change and it is quite important to keep up to date with new markings – or even reintroduce yourself to those you may have forgotten.