IDEA: Honestly, I really struggled with this one. The original headline read: “Why is the special license for high-performance sports cars terrible idea”.
I am a staunch libertarian and I believe in personal choice whereby citizens can do as they please as long as they do not harm others in the process. But the more I write about how a special license is a terrible idea, the more I disagree with myself…because it’s time to stop fools and fakes driving super fast cars.
So this is why a special license is required to drive super fast cars… but driving training should not be left to people with powerful cars, it should be for all .
South Australian Government notification It will consider introducing special licensing requirements for ‘high-powered sports car’ drivers who have been met with some skepticism by car enthusiasts over the past few days.
The legislation is being proposed following a tragic accident involving a Lamborghini Huracan out of control that claimed the life of a pedestrian in Adelaide (Sophia Naismith) in 2019.
Time and again, laws have to change and the SA Government’s commitment to change licensing requirements for high-performance sports cars is a response to this tragedy.
All road deaths are tragic and often avoidable, but accidents do and will happen. Look no further than the McLaren that crashed on the Gold Coast over the weekend, driven by a professional driver.
But it’s important that we don’t over-regulate for its sake, or as a quick response. The legislation is likely to come into effect first in South Australia later this year and then be passed by other states, so a better understanding of how it works (or could be) is needed.
Firstly, Where are you now? Is it just a supercar? What is a supercar? Is it strength to weigh? Is that a 0-100km/h time? Because a fridge on wheels (aka Tesla) is 100km/h faster than some supercars and doesn’t have the braking power or agility to match full acceleration its.
It makes the most sense as power to weight or 0-100km/h. In the same way that the P-disc is restricted to driving high-powered cars, you can imagine a law could be made that regulates if a vehicle is – hypothetically – 300hp/ton or 0-time 100km/h under 4.0 seconds, it will require a special permit.
Overall, a Huracan in its heaviest form weighs around 1500kg dry and has at least 580hp (RWD convertible) but can be as light as 1340-80kg and has 640hp (STO/Performante). That fully qualifies for special license requirements. It has an acceleration time of 2.9 to 3.3 seconds to 100km/h.
A Volkswagen Golf R has 315hp and weighs 1450kg, so that wouldn’t qualify power from weight. It accelerates from 0-100km/h in 4.8 seconds, so it misses that too. The question I have for you is; Is the Golf R less dangerous in the hands of a less skilled driver than the Huracan?
The answer is probably yes, but the aim of both vehicles is to go fast, so arguably there’s a bigger picture here that needs to be worked out. If a car’s purpose is about performance (sitting down Toyota 86 drivers, you don’t qualify on any performance scale I can imagine) it’s likely off limits. on the road is much higher.
What about a Tesla Model 3 Performance? You may not need an enthusiast or car lover to own one, but the flagship Performance AWD delivers 147kW of power from the front motor and 211kW from the rear axle.
It wouldn’t make sense to combine them for total output (it doesn’t work that way), but even if you did AWD Tesla with all its engines it weighs 1844kg. If you combine the two outputs and convert it to horsepower, you get 480hp, which is much less than the 300hp/ton figure we started with.
However, look at the 0-100km/h time of 3.3 seconds and you would practically have to consider this a super sports car… right?
Based on that and the growing number of performance electric cars, the only real metric worth using for this is a 0-100km/h time.
Suppose the South Australian Government has reached the same conclusion. Any car that can accelerate to 100km/h in less than four seconds requires a special license. What does that really mean?
That’s the real question, isn’t it? Quite a few performance brands such as Ferrari, Lamborghini, Porsche, AMG and BMW M organize driver training festivals and events for customers to better understand and learn about their cars and capabilities.
I can assure you that, having actually attended every driver training event of that brand at all levels, I am a much better driver for it (especially the Show. Porsche Driving Training Levels 4 and 5, this is really cool).
I have also witnessed some owners with no clue. No matter how much driver training they get, ownership leans more towards the interface element than anything else, which is perfectly fine. Then, at the wrong time, they’ll try and show off their 600hp+ supercar and we all know what’s going to happen there.
So what exactly are we going to check to get a special license? This is a radical idea, rather than turning it into a defensive driving course or some nonsense about understanding how the traction control system works that any idiot can outrun. over, make time for it.
If you can hit a certain lap time around a track, you qualify for a license. If you don’t, then you clearly have no concept of driving – please go to your nearest Toyota dealer to buy an 86 (that’s a low, I really love 86, maybe).
Sound crazy? Think about it. If you own a supercar then you need to understand how it works and where it’s limited, how else can we demonstrate the power of a sports car more than it’s made for? for what? Set a reasonable lap time.
We’re not talking about Lewis Hamilton breaking the track record, but within two or three seconds the time of a professional racer in a similar car. That takes reasonable effort.
I can see the pitfalls you’re thinking of. For example, What if someone crashes their car while trying? (Perhaps we can do it on a large motorkhana circuit with nothing to hit?).
Or, Who determines the lap time for all cars is different? (A pro sets lap times on a variety of cars, and these are used as a benchmark for the average person to try and get in the five percent range.)
There’s still a lot of work to be done, but the idea is worth it. How else can you test and license a high-powered car?
No safety driving course will teach you how to safely drive a powerful vehicle. You have to hit your own limits and those of the car to really understand how not to get too close to it on the road.
Does this mean your mom and dad are driving a Tesla Model 3 Performance that can hit 100km/h like a Ferrari 458 Italia need to set a lap time? Right. Because otherwise it makes no sense.
What about the upcoming Tesla Model S Plaid? It is said to be able to go from 0-100km/h in 2.1 seconds! It’s purely spiritual. That’s faster than any supercar you can buy right now.
Don’t forget the Porsche Taycan Turbo S with a speed of 2.8 seconds (real life test about 2.5 seconds). What is the difference between Porsche EV and Tesla EV?
Well, Porsche has better brakes and better handling, but in the end they’re all unmanageable missiles in the wrong hands and require the same licensing as any supercar.
Supercars just get faster and faster – look at the Ferrari SF90, speed is so fast it makes you sick – and at some point they hit a physical limit, where tires and traction become the limit instead. because of power and torque. Model S Plaid is pretty close.
However, when the super expensive cars go faster, the regular sports cars (eg A45 AMG, 3.9 seconds to 100km/h) will be faster. That brings me back to my point in the second paragraph: why is driving training only for supercar drivers?
Everyone behind the wheel of a modern car can hit crazy speeds on the road. Yes, a bit slower than a supercar, but ultimately a supercharged Jeep Grand Cherokee V8 is arguably scarier than any supercar on the planet.
Why not actually do what Germany does and train drivers to… you know how to drive? Did you know that the first time most Australian drivers have to apply emergency braking and feel the ABS brakes, is before they have their first accident?
If you work in an office, you have to go through regular fire drills and evacuation checks, then why can you drive a car for a decade without realizing how? prevent it as effectively as possible, or not know what happens when you have a bad or dead moment?
The fact is, Australians have never been trained to drive properly. While it is very easy to select supercars for special licensing after a tragedy, the country would be much better off if we trained all drivers to a certain level of competence and tested the cars behind the high-powered cars with an even higher standard (like lap times).
Perhaps a benefit of getting a special license is also more points. Or perhaps the government can understand Lamborghini’s 100-0 stop time better than the RAV4 and be a little more lenient? I know, that sounds too good to be true.
At the end of the day, accidents happen, as catastrophic as they are happening. The intent of these soon-to-be rules is true, but making the training process more than just a ticking exercise if it has any real impact.
Let us know how you would like to see these rules and get tested in the comments section below.