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EVO Magazine (Issue 55) Greatest Hits – “Speed Addicts”

EVO Magazine, partial screenshot of website front page

Perusing through EVO Magazine Issue 55 from May 2003 I discovered the segment titled “Speed Addicts” in which all the contributors write a brief piece where they drove a car as fast it will go.

You can buy a copy of EVO Magazine Issue 55 here

And in among the various tails we have David Vivian and the “The Hire Car”.

An absolutely seminal piece in the annals of EVO Magazine history & required reading for anyone that has hired a car in Italy. A small sample of Vivian’s piece

“…It was obvious the Megane’s life had been desperately tough and we wondered if this would finish it off. Then, when we joined the autostrada south, something rather unexpected happened. We discovered that although the Renault’s acceleration was as mild as fairy liquid it showed every sign of lasting just as long. Our jaws loosened as, on the first decent straight, the speedo needle crawled past the 120mph mark and kept going……Suddenly we were mixing it with 5 Series BMWs and….”

David Vivian, EVO Magazine Issue 55, May 2003, Speed Addicts

As can usually be said, this piece by David Vivian is worth the price of the issue on it’s own. It is absolutely brilliant, and, if you have ever been in Italy with a hire car, the piece will take you right back there.


My Own Italian Hire Car Experience – “The Corsa”

It was a one litre Corsa B. A car that looked like an upside down wing and behaved the same at speed. One litre might sound lacking but it could reach 160kph relatively easily and it could maintain it (I feel a theme here with grossly under-powered Italian hire cars being able to exceed their spec sheet top speed).

Expecting more than a 160kph was a dream but 160kph was enough. Enough because at 160kph it gave the distinct feeling that the car could give us the full “Mark Weber at Le Mans in a Mercedes” experience at any moment. Without a doubt the most unstable car I have ever driven at “high” speed.

I’m not sure how long it took to drive from Milan to Venice. And I’m not sure how long it took to drive from Venice to Monaco. But I can say that at 160kph, with the foot in the carpet, the time absolutely flew by. And although I would never recommend a Corsa B to anyone, that car introduced me the the Italian autostrada and for that reason it has a place in my heart.

And despite being on what feel like the absolutely limit of grip on a blind autostrada bend at 160kmh, its brakes, when asked to do their best impression of the Millennium Falcon dropping out of hyperspace due to a last minute lorry on lorry overtake, were up to the job.

There was a good car in there somewhere but Opel found a way to ruin it.


Also in EVO Magazine Issue 55

200mph on the road with MTM Bimoto, RUF R Turbo, Pagani Zonda C12S and TVR Tuscan S top speed runs

Cayenne Turbo vs RS6 vs EVO 8 vs Overfinch Range Rover

Palmer Jaguar JP1

Noble GTO 3

Superchips Ford Focus RS

Autodelta Alfa 147

Prodrive Subaru Impreza WRX

End of term Zafira GSI/OPC

Find performance parts on ebay




This page was last modified Mar 25, 2023 @ 11:40 am

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