With the SUV market growing at a rapid rate, can an old British marque with a new name above the door hope to compete? Phil Curry took the MG GS for a road trip to Wales, making use of the tight twisty turns and long country lanes, to find the answer to that question. Expect informative opinion, sheep and lots of mispronunciation...
All Torque's Phil Curry looks at how new plans for extra lanes on UK motorways could prove dangerous to drivers... Smart motorways are slowly creeping up on British drivers, as transport executives look to ways to increase road capacity with as little cost as possible. Gone are the days of adding new lanes to the country’s congested motorways. Many will remember the odd lane being put either side of stretches of the M25, or the huge project to upgrade the M1 between junctions 6 and 10, which saw two lanes added each side. In fact, the M1 project saw the problem with this philosophy, with a large number of bridges over the road needing to be demolished, and junctions upgraded, to cope with the new widths. Therefore, the cheaper solution is to remove the hard shoulder from the motor
Imagine having to fix a car in 20 minutes, knowing that the driver, the team around you and thousands of people outside are depending on the work you do just to make sure the vehicle leaves the garage. This is the task faced by the mechanics in the pit lane at races all over the world. They can truly be called mechanics as they are the guys in the thick of it. There is no diagnosing an errant MIL light, while any telematics adjustments are left to the data team at the back of the pits. (more…)
The UK is to ban the sale of petrol and diesel engines by 2040, in a move that the Government hopes will allow it to meet air quality targets, which cities in the country have exceeded by high levels for a number of years. Following a high court loss, the UK Government was forced to publish plans to tackle air quality and believes that banning sales would be better than introducing a diesel scrappage scheme, which was originally on the cards. In addition, there will be an investment of £255 million for local councils to tackle air pollution. The announcement will likely see a further decline in diesel sales in the UK, while petrol vehicle sales may also fall as drivers start to look towards an electric future. Already in the first half of 2017, diesel sales are down by 10% compa
Stopping distances in the UK Highway Code should be increased because drivers' thinking time has been underestimated, according to figures obtained by Brake, the road safety charity. Brake asked TRL (Transport Research Laboratory) to provide evidence on the time taken by car drivers to perceive, recognise and react to emergency situations. TRL referred to academic literature and concluded that the average thinking time is 1.5 seconds − more than double the 0.67 seconds set out in the Highway Code (see table 1). This means that average total stopping distance − including thinking and braking distance − is an extra 2.75 car lengths (11 metres) at 30mph and an extra 3.75 car lengths (15 metres) at 40mph compared with the distances used in the Code. This difference rises to an additional
One of the most iconic performance cars of the 1980s is celebrating its 30th anniversary in style, having been named the ‘Ultimate Cosworth’ by one of the UK’s biggest one-make car shows. The Ford Sierra RS500 Cosworth pipped its spiritual successor, the Escort RS Cosworth, to the post, securing over 55% of the votes in an online survey carried out by Ford Fair to determine which of the two icons was the daddy. The Escort also has a major anniversary in 2017, celebrating its 25th birthday. A special display celebrating both of these famous fast Fords will be one of the main features of this year’s show, which takes place at Silverstone, Northants, on Sunday August 6. The RS500 was originally developed for homologation purposes to give the Eighties’ favourite repmobile, the humble
The Mazda MX-5 is the benchmark for the two-seater roadster, so when the Japanese company launches a new version, it does so to an expectant audience. All Torque Managing Editor Phil Curry takes his first drive in any MX-5 variant, and shares his views... https://youtu.be/U4haIqKNSI4 Want to see more? Check out our MX-5 Gallery below...
British roads will be home to more than one million electric cars by 2022 according to Chargemaster, the UK’s largest provider of electric vehicle charging infrastructure, based on recent market developments. Allowing for a modest increase in adoption, Chargemaster’s projection is based on a growth in electric vehicles of just over 7% of new car registrations. David Martell, Chief Executive of Chargemaster, comments: “We have seen tremendous growth in the uptake of electric cars over the past five years, as they’ve become more competitive in terms of costs, and more practical in terms of range. The number of EVs on UK roads has increased from fewer than 2,000 in July 2012 to more than 100,000 today. We expect the UK electric vehicle parc to rise to more than one million by the middle
With its debut set for the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show, Vauxhall has released first pics of the all-new Insignia GSi, which will deliver high levels of performance through all-wheel drive, a new chassis and Brembo brakes, and will be powered by a refined 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine. The performance variant of Vauxhall’s latest flagship model has an eight-speed automatic gearbox, which can be operated via a paddle-shift on the steering wheel to provide a more active and responsive driving experience. Staying true to the latest-generation Insignia range, the GSi combines lightweight design and a low centre of gravity with turbocharged power. These factors result in excellent balance and a favourable power-to-weight ratio. Exterior design updates include chrome air intakes at the front
A new survey from Venson Automotive Solutions reveals that 69% of motorists don’t know the correct legal tyre tread depth limit of 1.6mm, which could leave fleet firms at risk if their drivers are in an accident. With tyre problems still accounting for 40% of fatal or serious injuries caused by vehicle incidents, Venson reminds fleet operators to be aware of the importance of correct tyre maintenance and the dangers of defective and illegal tyres. Of motorists surveyed by Venson, those aged 25 to 54 are most likely to be aware of the correct tyre tread depth. However 31% of all those surveyed said they don’t bother to check the depth and rely on their annual MOT to uncover any cause for concern. Women (38%) are more likely to rely on the MOT than men (25%). A further 31% said they check