What is eCall? The emergency-call system explained

by Neil Briscoe on 17 Nov 2017

Complete Car Features | What is eCall? The emergency-call system explained

Europe's eCall service will be made mandatory equipment on all cars sold within the EU from next April.

Previous legislation for vehicle safety has focused on the stuff that helps keep you out of an accident in the first place, such as electronic stability control and ABS braking, but eCall is designed to get the emergency services to you more quickly if you've had an accident.

The system, which is already offered by some car makers as an option, connects to your mobile phone. In the event of the car's airbags being deployed, and if it detects that you're not…

Video: to sit beside the best driver in the world

by Maurice Malone on 16 Nov 2017

Complete Car Features | Video: to sit beside the best driver in the world

Forget going fast down a country lane in a road car. Forget computer games. Forget normal rally onboards. If you want to experience what being in a rally car is really like, this video is about as close as it gets without having to wear Nomex.

Filmed on some sort of potato by nine-time world champion co-driver Daniel Elena, your pilot is none other than Sebastien Loeb, the most successful driver in the history of rallying, and arguably the best driver in the world, period. The car is a Peugeot 306 Maxi, a screaming, 300hp, front-wheel drive quasi-Touring Car that…

Video: Ferrari F40 LM, Jacques Laffite and deck shoes

by Maurice Malone on 10 Nov 2017

Complete Car Features | Video: Ferrari F40 LM, Jacques Laffite and deck shoes

If you've never seen this video, a big treat awaits. It's one of the first things that I remember watching on YouTube (back in the days of dial-up internet), though the video below was uploaded in slightly better quality by a kind fan a couple of years ago.

At under three minutes long, it's a perfect tea-break filler. Some of you will be familiar with the name of Jacques Laffite, a Formula One driver back in the crazy days of the '70s and '80s. Jacques tamed the turbo F1 cars in their pomp before…

Rallylegend - a celebration of rallying history

by Maurice Malone on 06 Nov 2017

Complete Car Features | Rallylegend - a celebration of rallying history

A spaceship. A Martini-liveried, four-wheeled spaceship being unloaded from a truck. That was most peoples' first glimpse of the Lancia Delta S4 as it landed in the UK ahead of the 1985 RAC Rally. Social media didn't exist back then, so few outside the enthusiast press and hardcore rally-supporting community would have seen the grainy, black-and-white images from the small-scale events that Abarth had entered with '038' prototypes. Fewer still would have heard it, but that was all about to change.

Lag is the enemy of any turbocharged engine, especially in a rallying application where throttle response and a wide…

London T-Charge: Could we? Should we?

by Neil Briscoe on 06 Nov 2017

Complete Car Features | London T-Charge: Could we? Should we?

In December 1952, London suffered its worst fog in centuries. That doesn't sound too bad - after all, hang around long enough and fog just goes away of its own accord. This one didn't. Freakishly calm weather conditions meant that the fog stayed, and stayed, and stayed. And it killed. It wasn't just fog, but a toxic soup of fog, chock full of sulphur dioxide from coal being burned both in home fires and in vast city-centre power stations, such as Battersea. At the time, it was thought that 4,000 people died from respiratory illness brought on by breathing in…

Mazda's rotary obsession has its golden anniversary

by Neil Briscoe on 05 Oct 2017

Complete Car Features | Mazda's rotary obsession has its golden anniversary

As a fan of rotary engines, you kind of hold on to even the thinnest of straws of hope. The faintest twitch that Mazda, the last rotary-engine car maker standing, might yet consider having another go at this bewitching technology.

In this, the 50th anniversary of Mazda’s first rotary-engined production car, there seemed to be just that glimmer. A concept car, announced for the Tokyo Motor Show this October, seemed to be drawing on the styling of the recent RX-Vision rotary concept car. And Mazda had also invited us to come along and sample some of the rotary greats that…