Thursday, 26 June 2014

Rally - the Swift guide

Earlier this week Vauxhall launched its new Vivaro van at the factory in Luton. Unlike the Danish trip a couple of weeks back driving the new Renault Trafic, this test drive had hills. Admittedly the hills in Oxfordshire are nothing like ours up here, the Pass of the Cattle for instance (go on google it if you don’t know it), but they were ideal to try out the torque in the new 1.6 litre engines which the Vauxhall van will use. In fact the 115hp single turbo engine it has more power and more torque that the outgoing 2 litre 115hp engine – and also better fuel economy. The twin turbo jobs are even better.

The Vauxhall PR department also had a wee show lined up for the visiting journalists. One of their ‘quality testers’ demonstrated the van at the end of the production line. And you all know who that was if you’ve watched the video clip, eh?

Anyway I had a word with Paul afterwards and asked him if he got the van up on 2 wheels first time. The cocky tyke, said “Yes”.

But seriously it took a day of prep to prepare for the video as he explained: “The van has much softer suspension than a car so it is a bit more difficult to control once it’s upon two wheels. It’s more nervous. We had to build new ramps too as the existing ramps for cars didn’t provide sufficient launch and weren’t strong enough for a commercial vehicle.”

And you know what, he didn’t even adjust the handbrake. That was the van straight off the production line that you saw getting wheeched about in the video clip.

Oh, and one more thing. A lot of people think this is ‘stunt driving’, Paul assures me it’s ‘precision driving’, but the great British public like to see ‘stunts’ so stunt driving it is!


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