Advanced driving with an underpowered car

Advanced driving with an underpowered car

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savoiringfaire

Original Poster:

7 posts

4 months

Wednesday 9th September
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Hi All,

Over the past year or so I've been working on my advanced driving skills solo - mostly using reglocals videos, books, and a copy of the advanced driving handbook.

I intend to sign up to an IAM course at some point, but so far have felt that I would get more out of it if I waited a few years and completed it with a slightly more powerful car than my 1.2 corsa (86hp) - things like overtaking and making good progress come to mind. I'm wondering if anyone has any experience in either taking or observing an advanced driving course in a lower-powered car like that, what their experiences have been, and if they would recommend holding off for an upgrade or just going for it.

Thanks,
Savoir

Salted_Peanut

426 posts

14 months

Wednesday 9th September
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I began in a low-powered car and recommend just going for it thumbup

In many ways, it's better to start in something low-powered: you can work on getting good at the basics, and driving "systematically", without the overtaking expectations that come with a faster vehicle.

66mpg

514 posts

67 months

Wednesday 9th September
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86bhp? Luxury!
I did mine, and more in a Diesel Yaris with 74bhp. You’ll be fine. I hope you enjoy your training, more power can follow later.

kippertie

427 posts

4 months

Wednesday 9th September
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No such thing as underpowered when you start. Power corrupts and gets in the way of the basics.

savoiringfaire

Original Poster:

7 posts

4 months

Wednesday 9th September
quotequote all
Aha, thanks all for replying! I hadn't considered the argument that less power gives more opportunity to focus on the systematic driving which makes perfect sense. I think you've convinced me to just make the jump in that case - and worse case I suppose is if I want to go back and focus more on the other stuff after passing the first time I can always pay the (small) fee again and focus on that later.

Thanks,
Savoir

Dizeee

15,428 posts

166 months

Wednesday 9th September
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It's safety system smoothness speed for a reason.

waremark

2,711 posts

173 months

Wednesday 9th September
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Savoir, I agree with the advice that you should go ahead. So far as the power of your Corsa is concerned, it is by no means under-powered in the context of strictly legal driving which is all that you can work on with the advanced driving charities. Bear in mind that you should not plan an overtake on a single carriageway road unless you can reasonably expect to complete it without exceeding 60 mph.

savoiringfaire

Original Poster:

7 posts

4 months

Thursday 10th September
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waremark said:
Savoir, I agree with the advice that you should go ahead. So far as the power of your Corsa is concerned, it is by no means under-powered in the context of strictly legal driving which is all that you can work on with the advanced driving charities. Bear in mind that you should not plan an overtake on a single carriageway road unless you can reasonably expect to complete it without exceeding 60 mph.
Thanks for the reply - I was more concerned about the acceleration for the overtaking (whilst still maintaining a speed below 60) where it often feels like situations where I'd be able to overtake safely in other cars I've owned with better acceleration take much longer (and so often aren't on) just due to the acceleration time. Though maybe that's just because I'm not in a low enough gear - Usually when there's the possibility of an overtake i'll end up in a gear putting me around the 2500-3000rpm mark to (a) not put too much stress on the engine for too long and (b) give enough lee-way to overtake without needing a gear change. Or maybe I'm just underestimating what the car can do biggrin It can do 0-60 in 13-ish seconds so should be able to do 40-60 much quicker. Of course, I assume this is all stuff that would be gone over with the observer during a course so even more reason to just take the leap and do it

Dizeee

15,428 posts

166 months

Thursday 10th September
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The anticipation and planning for an overtake is often as good as, sometimes better than an overtake itself. What's wrong with utilising available vision to consider one, moving up to an overtaking position and then deciding that it is not on based on road circumstances and mechanical disadvantage?

If you wanted a gold star you could even move out to the offside carriageway and hold your speed to gain extra vision in assisting your decision. But if you do, make sure you mirror and shoulder prior to adopting the position, as well as have a plan in the event of an adverse reaction from your subject in front.

savoiringfaire

Original Poster:

7 posts

4 months

Thursday 10th September
quotequote all
Dizeee said:
The anticipation and planning for an overtake is often as good as, sometimes better than an overtake itself. What's wrong with utilising available vision to consider one, moving up to an overtaking position and then deciding that it is not on based on road circumstances and mechanical disadvantage?

If you wanted a gold star you could even move out to the offside carriageway and hold your speed to gain extra vision in assisting your decision. But if you do, make sure you mirror and shoulder prior to adopting the position, as well as have a plan in the event of an adverse reaction from your subject in front.
Oh, I don't think there's anything wrong with that - and it is in fact what I do plenty of times when driving, and as you say that in itself can, and often does, provide plenty of enjoyment. My primary concern was that I wouldn't get quite as much 'value-for-money' out of an advanced driving course with a diminished ability to cover certain topics - an idea which has been thoroughly debunked now biggrin

tylerjackoliver

1 posts

3 months

Thursday 10th September
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To add yet another experience to an already decided topic - I passed my IAM last year in a 62bhp Citroen C1. While I never got to do a considerable number of overtakes during the training (2 I think?), we just practised on unknowing cyclists instead. Progress was never a problem.

Fully recommended in any car. Have since driven 500bhp+ cars owned by friends and the techniques are exactly the same.

savoiringfaire

Original Poster:

7 posts

4 months

Thursday 10th September
quotequote all
tylerjackoliver said:
To add yet another experience to an already decided topic - I passed my IAM last year in a 62bhp Citroen C1. While I never got to do a considerable number of overtakes during the training (2 I think?), we just practised on unknowing cyclists instead. Progress was never a problem.

Fully recommended in any car. Have since driven 500bhp+ cars owned by friends and the techniques are exactly the same.
Thanks for the input! Nothing wrong with even more experiences biggrin

Dizeee

15,428 posts

166 months

Thursday 10th September
quotequote all
savoiringfaire said:
Oh, I don't think there's anything wrong with that - and it is in fact what I do plenty of times when driving, and as you say that in itself can, and often does, provide plenty of enjoyment. My primary concern was that I wouldn't get quite as much 'value-for-money' out of an advanced driving course with a diminished ability to cover certain topics - an idea which has been thoroughly debunked now biggrin
Value for money shouldn't be an issue. The only thing you may lack will be the opportunity to explore how manoeuvres / the car responds in certain circumstances with extra power. Overtaking is one of those but there will be others, for example using acceleration sense to negotiate bends ( less throttle inputs in a higher powered car ) and also the ability to take advantage of gaps when negotiating roundabouts and planning to stop / looking to go as you approach. There will be others...

savoiringfaire

Original Poster:

7 posts

4 months

Thursday 10th September
quotequote all
Dizeee said:
Value for money shouldn't be an issue. The only thing you may lack will be the opportunity to explore how manoeuvres / the car responds in certain circumstances with extra power. Overtaking is one of those but there will be others, for example using acceleration sense to negotiate bends ( less throttle inputs in a higher powered car ) and also the ability to take advantage of gaps when negotiating roundabouts and planning to stop / looking to go as you approach. There will be others...
Ah yeah, hadn't considered that. For £150 I can always go back with a more powerful car down the line and focus on those things at that stage I suppose - in the whole scheme of things £150 for that is nothing.

Salted_Peanut

426 posts

14 months

Thursday 10th September
quotequote all
It'll be far less than £150 (once you're already a member). If you choose to join as a fellow once you've passed, then you get a three-yearly refresher thrown in. Plus, there are options beyond 'entry level' like aiming for a First or taking the Masters programme.

Have fun! biggrin

savoiringfaire

Original Poster:

7 posts

4 months

Thursday 10th September
quotequote all
Salted_Peanut said:
It'll be far less than £150 (once you're already a member). If you choose to join as a fellow once you've passed, then you get a three-yearly refresher thrown in. Plus, there are options beyond 'entry level' like aiming for a First or taking the Masters programme.

Have fun! biggrin
Ah, even better! Thanks smile

davidc1

1,026 posts

122 months

Friday 11th September
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I have a 60hp SEAT mii and a boxster spyder 981.
I love driving and love driving both.
Power does not mean more fun.
Good luck.

daimlerv8

2,335 posts

40 months

Saturday 12th September
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Took my IAM test in 1972 in an MG Midget...68bhp.....

The most rewarding and entertaining car that I have driven was 'er indoors Fiat Siecento Sporting Arbarth, 1.1 litres that would grip beyond it's modest performance and was great fun on the country route to work!

Nearlyretired

56 posts

51 months

Monday 14th September
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I cannot see the connection between advanced driving and car output/power.
Driving to a high standard is an attitude of mind.
Consideration,tolerance,patience and discipline.



Boosted LS1

19,468 posts

220 months

Monday 14th September
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OP plan your overtakes half an hour sooner to gain some speed on the run up.