Winding roads are a pleasure and a challenge in equal measure. They offer drivers the opportunity to test their driving skills, but they can also be a challenge due to the inertia caused by the vehicle’s weight transfers. By following a few simple steps, we can keep them confidently under control.
“Having a car that delivers the best grip, stability and maximum performance will help us drive even more safely on these types of roads” says Ángel Suárez, Vehicle Physics Manager at SEAT S.A. At the wheel of the new SEAT Ibiza FR, here are 7 tips for handling curves efficiently.
1. Attention, curves ahead! To tackle all the twists and turns, you first need to know what the road is going to be like. Anticipation is essential, so you need to look ahead, as far as possible, in order to be able to adapt to it.
2. Road signs make it clear. Not only do advance warnings show the direction of the curve, but also how much you have to slow down in relation to the speed limit. One panel might require you to slow down between 15 and 30 km/h, another from 30 and 45 km/h and still others from more than 45 km/h.
3. Driving into the curve. If braking or downshifting is required, the time to do it is before entering the curve. “When the car’s wheels are still straight is when you have the most stability” explains Suárez. “With a chassis suspension 15 mm lower, the new SEAT Ibiza FR offers greater dynamics by having a lower centre of gravity” he adds.
4. One curve, several considerations. Speed and braking must be adapted to the conditions at any given moment. You don’t take a curve the same way on a sunny day as with rain or icy conditions. Nor will it be the same when there’s fog or at night. “In this case, the new Ibiza is equipped with 100% LED headlights that offer us the best visibility combined with the lowest consumption” Suárez points out.
5. The most effective path. To minimise cornering as much as possible, it is important to make the most of the space in the lane, sticking to the outside of the bend to take the widest possible angle. “In left-hand bends, this will also give us better visibility” explains Suárez. As the vehicle enters the curve, the driver will move closer to the inside edge. And be careful not to drift out of the lane. “These types of secondary roads tend to be narrow. In this case, the lane departure warning system will be of great help” he says.
6. Control at the wheel. Your hands should always be correctly positioned on the steering wheel, at 10 and 2 o’clock. Even more so when taking a curve, as otherwise it can make it difficult to correct your trajectory. “The key is to turn the wheel progressively, without any sudden movements, maintaining a constant speed” advises Suárez. “In Sport mode, you have stiffer suspension and steering for greater safety” he maintains. “In addition, the SEAT Ibiza FR is equipped with 18” wheels, which reduces the tyre slip angle” he adds.
7. Accelerating out of a curve. Once the turn is complete, when the wheels are straight again, accelerating will help you exit with maximum stability and prepare for the next turn. “Here, as in all stages of the turn, the basic premise is smooth driving. Now all that’s left is to enjoy the ride and the scenery” encourages Suárez.
7 roads for people who love curves
1. In Spain: On the island of Gran Canaria is the road with the most curves in the whole country, 365 to be precise. It’s the GC-200, which links the towns of Agaete and La Aldea. A spectacular route which, of course, requires a great deal of caution.
2. In Portugal: The N304, to the north, offers sweeping twists and turns surrounded by the incredible views of the Alvão Natural Park.
3. In France: The 32-kilometre Col de Turini has more than 30 hairpin turns and a single straightaway of just 50 metres. It’s therefore one of the most demanding stages of the Monte Carlo Rally.
4. In the UK: The B3135’s tight bends through the spectacular Cheddar Gorge to Ashwick in Somerset are an unforgettable experience.
5. In Austria: 48 kilometres, 36 bends and a gradient of 1,500 metres. This is the Grossglockner Mountain Road in the Hohe Tauern National Park, which offers incredible views from the highest peak in the country.
6. In Italy: The 40 kilometres between Vietri and Positano take about an hour and a half to cover, which gives you an idea of how winding this Amalfi Coast route is.
7. In Romania: The Transfagarasan is a classic for curve lovers. It’s considered one of the most spectacular roads in the world with its 90 kilometres through the Carpathian Mountains.
Head of Content Activation
M/ +34 689 282 093
TV & Media Activations
M/ +34 639 944 087
M/ +34 689 28 14 32