Winding roads are equal parts pleasure and challenge. They offer the opportunity to put your own driving skills to the test, but also pose a real challenge due to the centrifugal forces. However, if you follow a few simple tips when driving on winding roads, you can safely get through every bend.
- Tight curves are a particular challenge for many
- The most important tips for safe cornering behavior at a glance
- Perfect for curves: the SEAT Ibiza FR with 15 mm lowering and 18-inch tires
- Seven streets for people who love curves
Grip, stability and performance help
The SEAT Ibiza FR with a sporty 15 mm lower suspension and 18-inch tires is certainly a suitable car for that perfect, safe cornering feeling. At SEAT, FR stands for Formula Racing and thus special sportiness. "A car with the best grip, stability and maximum performance helps us to drive even more safely on these roads", says Ángel Suárez, engineer at the SEAT SA technical center. These seven tips will also help you master corners efficiently:
- Attention, curve ahead!
In order to master difficult corners, it is good to know what the corner you are approaching looks like. Forward-looking driving and anticipation are important in order to be able to adapt to the curve as well as possible.
- The signage helps.
Traffic signs can provide important clues as to which direction the turn is going, how sharp the turn is, and they may even tell you how much to reduce speed.
- The entrance to the curve.
One of the key questions is, of course, when do you need to brake or downshift? The right time is BEFORE entering the curve. "When the front wheels of the car are straight, the stability is greatest", explains Angel Suarez.
- The external conditions.
Cornering is different on a sunny day than it is on a rainy one - or even when it's snowing or icy. Visibility also plays a role. In fog or at night, an adapted driving style is advisable. "In this case, the SEAT Ibiza is 100 percent equipped with LED headlights that offer us the best visibility with the lowest consumption", says Suarez.
- The most effective way.
In order to take the best angle when entering the curve, you should use the space of the lane optimally. First you stick to the outside of the track and choose the largest possible angle. “This also gives us better visibility in left-hand bends”, explains Suarez. As the vehicle enters the corner, the driver moves closer to the inner edge. You should always make sure to stay in your own lane and not impede oncoming vehicles. “Side streets are often very narrow. In this case, the lane departure warning system is a great help.”
- Control on the steering wheel.
Your hands should always be optimally positioned on the steering wheel - at 10 and 2 o'clock. This is all the more important in curves in order to be able to correct your own driving line quickly and safely. "The most important thing is to turn the steering wheel gradually and without abrupt movements, while maintaining a constant speed", advises Suárez. "In Sport mode, the suspension and steering are stiffer, which makes for more safety", Suárez continued. "In addition, the SEAT Ibiza FR is equipped with 18-inch wheels, which contribute to more stable handling", he adds.
- Accelerating out of the curve.
When the turn is over and the front wheels are straight again, accelerating will help you exit the corner with maximum stability. “Here, as in all phases of the curve, the basic requirement is smooth driving. Now it's just a matter of enjoying the ride and the scenery.", encourages Suarez.
We also provide inspiration for enjoyable cornering. An overview of seven extraordinary curves in Europe.
Seven streets for people who love curves
- In Spain: The island of Gran Canaria has the most winding road in the whole country - 365 curves to be precise. It is the GC-200 that connects the towns of Agaete and La Aldea. A spectacular route that obviously requires a lot of caution.
- In Germany: On a 240-kilometer stretch between Taunus and Westerwald, the Weil valley initially determines the beautiful nature. It goes up and down through the Taunus and the eastern Westerwald. But there is not only nature. For fans of increased centrifugal forces there are curves in all variations and combinations.
- In France: The 32-kilometer Col de Turini is a pass in the French Maritime Alps in the French Riviera's hinterland. It has more than 30 hairpin bends and a single straight stretch of just 50 metres. This makes it one of the most demanding stages of the Monte Carlo Rally.
- In Great Britain: The spectacular Cheddar Gorge is about 30km south-west of Bristol and is the largest rocky gorge in the UK. The tight bends of the B3135 to Ashwick in Somerset are an unforgettable experience.
- In Austria: 48 kilometers, 36 curves and 2.500 meters above sea level. This is the Grossglockner High Alpine Road in the Hohe Tauern National Park, offering incredible views from the country's highest peak.
- In Italy: The Amalfitana is one of the most impressive coastal roads in Europe, connecting 16 coastal communities. The 40 kilometers between Vietri and Positano takes about an hour and a half, which gives an idea of how winding this route on the Amalfi Coast is.
- In Romania: The Transfagarasan is a classic for curve lovers. With its 90 kilometers through the Carpathians, it is considered one of the most spectacular mountain roads in the world. Picture credits/video & info: Seat
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