The Secret Language Of Rally – Read it here
First up is Gawker’s car blog Jalopnik (Follow them on Twitter here), with a great piece on what it is that rally co-drivers say when they’re going through their pace-notes. It’s always great to hear from someone who’s experienced, and Bill Caswell certainly speaks from vast experience.
Everyone focuses on the driver in rally but in many ways, the pace notes and co-driver are far more critical. Drivers make little mistakes all the time, but one little mistake by the person in the other seat and the driver launches the car off a cliff, or into the side of the mountain, as I did at Pikes Peak in 2011 when my co-driver turned two pages at once.
The Science Of Flow – Read it here
Pistonheads are going to be a regular sight here on This Week In Cars, as they always have fantastic articles and in-depth features. This week, their editor Dan Trent (follow him on Twitter here) meets Mike Cross, Chief Engineer of Vehicle Integrity at Jaguar Land Rover. They talk about the feel of the car, how to make fast cars feel fun at low speeds and about Cross’ considerable car history. This is a must-read for every gearhead, especially those in the UK.
So how do you engineer flow into a car? “The immediacy of the steering is a really key communicator,” he says, decisively. “Richard Parry-Jones said you could always make your mind up about a car in the first 50 metres and I think he was right about that.”
Accidentally Green? Subaru BRZ – Read it here
Very quickly becoming one of my favourite automotive website, Green Car Design does what it says on the tin. Full of fascinating interviews and features, the site is run by people who really know what they’re talking about. This piece by Richard Lane (follow him on Twitter here) discusses how the Toyota GT86/Subaru BRZ’s “devolution” from other, more complicated cars has resulted in a much more green and economical car than you would have thought. Give it a read and then check out the rest of the site, as it’s full of gems!
Now I’m not going to pretend that the Subaru BRZ is the saviour of the planet – that would be absurd – and a car of its old-school ilk is a rare sight on these pages, but the philosophy that has precipitated its existence at all is a sizeable leap in the right direction. The BRZ is car making devolved and is all the better for it.