Why special approval for high-performance sports cars is a good idea

OPINION: Let me be honest, I really struggled with this one. The original headline read: “Why special approval for high-performance sports cars is a terrible idea”. I’m a staunch libertarian and a believer in personal choice, that citizens should be free to do whatever they want as long as they don’t harm others in the process. But the more I wrote about how a special license is a terrible idea, the more I contradicted myself…because it’s time to stop idiots and show-offs from driving super fast cars.

So here it is, the argument for why having a special driver’s license to drive super fast cars is a must, but driver training shouldn’t just be left to those who have powerful cars, it should be for everyone.

delivered Recognition: car expert

For more engine news and videos, visit Engine >>

The South Australian government’s announcement that it would introduce special licensing requirements for drivers of “powerful sports cars” has met with some skepticism from many car enthusiasts in recent days. The laws come into effect after the tragic accident involving a runaway Lamborghini Huracan that claimed the life of a teenage Adelaide pedestrian (Sophia Naismith) in 2019.

It always takes tragedy to change laws, and the SA government’s pledge to change registration requirements for high-performance sports cars is a response to that tragedy. But while every road death is tragic and often preventable, this law will likely come into force in South Australia first and then be adopted by other states at the national level, so a better understanding of how it would or could work is needed.

delivered Recognition: car expert

First, where do you draw the line? Are they only supercars? What is a supercar? Is it power to weight? Is it a 0-100km/h time? Because, frankly, a refrigerator on wheels (aka a Tesla) can go to 100 km/h faster than some supercars and has nowhere near the stopping power or agility to match its direct acceleration.

The most sensible is the power to weight ratio or 0-100 km/h. Much like P-Platers are barred from driving high-performance cars, one might imagine that a similar law would be introduced if a vehicle had…say, hypothetically 300hp/ton, or 0-100mph in a time of less than 4.0 seconds, a special license would be required.

For comparison, a Huracan in its heaviest form weighs around 1500 kg dry and has at least 580 hp (as an RWD convertible), but can be as light as 1340-80 kg and have 640 hp (STO/Performante). So that would absolutely qualify for the special license requirements. It has acceleration times of 2.9 to 3.3 seconds to 100 km/h.

A Volkswagen Golf R has 315 hp and weighs 1450 kg, so power-to-weight ratio wouldn’t qualify. It also manages 0-100km/h in 4.8 seconds, so it’s missing out on that too. The question I have for you is the Golf R any less dangerous than a Huracan in the hands of an incompetent driver? The answer could be yes, but the intent of both vehicles is to go fast, so there’s arguably a bigger picture here that needs to be addressed, because when the driving application is about performance (sit Toyota 86 drivers , don’t it qualify on every performance scale I can think of) then it’s much more likely to cross the road limits.

delivered Recognition: car expert

What about a Tesla Model 3 Performance? You wouldn’t have a performance bone or automotive love in your body to own one, but the top-of-the-line all-wheel drive offers 147 kW from its front engine and 211 kW from that on the rear axle.

It doesn’t make sense to combine them for an overall performance (that’s not how it works), but the AWD Tesla with all its engines weighs 1844 kg. Even if you combined the two horsepowers and converted to hp, you would get 480 hp, which is well below the 300 hp/ton we started with. But look at the 0-100km/h time of 3.3 seconds… and then you would realistically have to qualify that as a supercar? Right?

Given that and the increasing number of high-performance electric vehicles, the only metric that really makes sense is a 0 to 100 km/h time. So let’s assume the South Australian government came to the same conclusion. Any car that can accelerate to 100 km/h in less than four seconds needs a special license. What does that actually mean?

What is a special permit?

That’s the real question, isn’t it? Almost all performance brands such as Ferrari, Lamborghini, Porsche, AMG and BMW M offer driver training days and events so that their customers can better understand and learn about their cars and skills.

delivered Recognition: car expert

I can assure you that having attended literally every single driver training course of this brand at all levels, I am a much better driver for it (especially the level 4 and 5 Porsche driver training courses – which is really amazing). However, I’ve also seen some owners who obviously don’t have a clue, and no matter how much “driver training” they’re taught, vehicle ownership is more about looks and the wow factor than anything else (which is totally fine), and then when the time is wrong they will try to show off in their 600+ horsepower supercar and we all know what happens there.

So what exactly are we going to test to get a “special license”? Here’s a radical idea, instead of turning this into a defensive driving course or some nonsense about how traction control works that any idiot can pass, let’s turn this into a lap time.

If you can beat a certain lap time on a track, you qualify for the license. If you don’t then you clearly have no idea how to drive and please see your nearest Toyota dealer for an ’86 (ok that was a low blow, I love the ’86 maybe).

delivered Recognition: car expert

Sound crazy? Think about it, if you own a supercar you need to understand how it works and what the limitations are. How else can we demonstrate competence in a sports car other than what it was made for? Set a decent lap time. We’re not talking about breaking Lewis Hamilton’s course record, we’re saying within 2-3 seconds of a pro time in a similar car. That requires a reasonable effort.

Yes, I can also see all the pitfalls you are thinking of. What happens if someone has an accident while trying to drive their car? (Maybe we can do it on a big Motorkhana track where there’s nothing to beat?) Who sets the lap time as all cars are different (well, a pro sets a lap time in a variety of cars and they will used as a benchmark for regular people to try to get within a five percent delta).

There is a lot to do here, but the idea is valid because how else can you test and license competence in a high-performance car? No amount of defensive driving courses will give you a real idea of ​​how to safely drive such a powerful vehicle. You have to reach your own limits and those of the car to really understand how not to get close on the road.

delivered Recognition: car expert

Does that mean that your mom and dad, who drive a Tesla Model 3 Performance that can reach 100 km/h at the same speed as a Ferrari 458 Italia, have to set a lap time? Yes. Because otherwise it makes no sense.

What about the Tesla Model S Plaid that’s coming our way, it’s said to do 0-100 km/h in 2.1 seconds! That’s absolutely quick-witted. That’s faster than any supercar you can buy right now.

Let’s not forget the Porsche Taycan Turbo S at 2.8 seconds (tested at around 2.5 seconds in real life). What is the difference between a Porsche EV and a Tesla EV? Well, the Porsche has better brakes and handles better, but ultimately they’re both runaway missiles in the wrong hands and require the same homologation requirements as any supercar.

delivered Recognition: car expert

Supercars just keep getting faster (just look at the Ferrari SF90, it’s so fast it makes you sick) and eventually they’ll reach the limits of physics (the Model S is pretty close) where the tires and traction fail limit, not the power and torque.

However, as the ultra-expensive exotics get faster, the regular sports cars (e.g. A45 AMG, which hits 100 km/h in 3.9 seconds) also get faster, and that brings me back to my point in the second paragraph, why is driver training only for supercar drivers?

Anyone behind the wheel of a modern car can reach insane speeds on the road, yes, a bit slower than a supercar, but ultimately even a supercharged V8 Jeep Grand Cherokee is arguably scarier in the wrong hands than any supercar on the planet.

Why not do what Germany is doing and train drivers to… you know, drive? Did you know that most drivers in Australia need to perform their first emergency braking maneuver and feel the pulsing sensation of ABS before their first accident?

delivered Recognition: car expert

If you work in an office building, you will be subjected to regular fire drills and evacuation tests. So how come you can drive a car for a decade without ever knowing how to stop it in the most effective way possible? Or what happens when you have an understeer or oversteer moment?

The reality is that Australians have never been properly trained to drive and while it’s easy to select ‘supercars’ for a special license after a tragedy, the country would be far better off if we trained all drivers to a certain level of competence and then tested them would those looking for high-performance cars with an even higher standard (like a lap time).

At the end of the day, accidents happen, no matter how tragic. The intent of these forthcoming rules is correct, but execution for training should be so much more than just a box-checking exercise if it is to have any actual effect.

Tell us in the comments below how you would like to see these rules implemented and tested.

https://7news.com.au/lifestyle/motoring/why-a-special-licence-for-high-powered-sports-cars-is-a-great-idea-c-7968328 Why special approval for high-performance sports cars is a good idea

James Brien

24ssports is an automatic aggregator of the all world’s media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials, please contact us by email – admin@24ssports.com. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Related Articles

Back to top button