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We've improved our road tests

1st January 1983
Page 8
Page 8, 1st January 1983 — We've improved our road tests
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CM's new light vehicle test route over which the Talbot Express van (page 27 this week) was tested is just one of a number of changes we have made to our road testing procedure for the new year.

The new route is 137.1 km (85.3 miles) long and begins and ends at our offices in Sutton. After filling up at a petrol station on the Brighton Road we go south on the A217 to join the M25 north of Reigate.

The route than follows the M25 eastbound to join the M20 on which we travel south-east for a short distance, turning round at junction 4 to time the long climb back up Kingsdown Hill.

Leaving the motorway at Swanley, we then return to Sutton via the A225 and A25 passing through Eynsford, Otford, Westerham, Redhill and Reigate. The short, steep Reigate Hill is the second of our timed climbs.

Included in the Talbot test this week are brake performance figures taken from a rolling road brake tester. In future we shall be including these whenever possible instead of, or in addition to, on-the-track brake performance figures measured with a Motometer machine. The advantage of the Motometer is that it measures dynamic braking performance but a large number of variables can effect the final results. A rolling road provides better, more consistent figures for comparison purposes and reveals the braking performance on each axle — something a Motomotor cannot do.

In the 1983 tests we shall also be reintroducing histograms, which allow easy comparisons to be made between vehicles in the same class.

Another innovation is the inclusion in test reports of information on the cost of replacement parts, standard workshop hours, the terms of the manufacturer's warranty and the number of service points.

In our road tests and operational trials of heavyweights over the Scottish route there will be more information than ever before in five pages for each test, including comprehensive hill climb comparisons which give a useful guide to vehicles' performance characteristics, and of course CM's detailed fuel consumption results which are the best guide available to how thirsty or frugal each vehicle is.

CM has already published road test and operational trial data on six tractive units operating at 38 tonnes gcw. Now that the maximum weight uplift has been agreed by Parliament we shall soon be testing more vehicles at that weight.

The first of CM's new-look 1983 Scottish Route road test reports is in next week's issue.


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