What is this nebulous thing called handling?

Why do some cars have it and some don’t?

If you take the time to look at the wikipedia entry about automobile handling you’ll find a pretty long (6300 words!) read about all the factors that influence the way your car handles.

Since this is a blog I will share my personal opinion about this subject.

Having read heaps of books on the subject, reading a lot of sites, doing a few trackdays and talking to a few instructors.  I learned it is very personal, one persons loves a good pointy car while the other finds it nervous to the point of being scary.

See what I did there? I used subjective terms to describe the behaviour of a car which neatly brings me to my first point, handling is personal, it is about what you feel  the car doing, about  how you interpret  it’s signals to you.

After writing this I found a collumn by James May in which he defines it as follows:

“the ability of the machine to feed information back to our receiving apparatus so that we can act minutely on it.”

(read the collumn btw, it’s a good laugh for cat owners)

So you have a car, which you drive regularly and if you’re a carnut probably a bit more spiritedly than the average driver. You probably know your car intimately and feel confident in the way it handles.

Now sit back, close your eyes and think about how it talks and how you listen, which senses do you use to listen to what the car is telling you?

Going by Mr May, how good is it’s ability to communicate?

If you have the experience of having driven an few cars under your belt, how did they they compare?

This will be the focus of the next few articles, I hope you have enjoyed it so far!