E

ELECTRONIC STABILITY CONTROL

An electronic system which monitors the lateral acceleration of the car among other parameters and activates the brakes through the ABS to correct situations it assesses as dangerous, like under steer or over steer. It’s hard to detect the system working.

F

FOUR-WHEEL DRIVE

Traditionally a four-wheel drive vehicle was one where the drive was evenly split between all four wheels via a centrally located transfer case, but today’s four-wheel drive can have smart electronic systems can determine wheel slip distribute the drive to the front and rear wheels to achieve optimum grip.

FRONT ENGINE

A car with the engine mounted ahead of the passenger compartment. It’s the traditional place to mount the engine and is used by most modern cars.

FRONT-WHEEL DRIVE

The front-wheels not only steer and brake, they also provide the drive. Front-wheel drive dates back to the 1930s when Citroen was one of the first to seriously pursue the concept, but it was the Mini that that put it on the map in 1959. Most cars today are front-wheel drive.

FUEL-INJECTION

Virtually all petrol engines employ electronic fuel-injection for fuel delivery. Fuel is delivered to the engine under pressure and is then injected in a fine spray into the air flow in the intake manifold near the inlet valve. Fuel-injection is a more efficient way of atomizing the fuel for better mixing and better combustion.

G

GRIP

The force generated between the tires and the road which gives the car its ability to steer, break, turn and accelerate. Without it you won’t get far.

GROUND CLEARANCE

It’s the clearance between the lowest point on the car and the road surface.

J

JACK KNIFE

The action of a vehicle (tractor) with a trailer in which the trailer and the vehicle form a “V” instead of normally being pulled in a straight line. Usually this is the result of a skid in which the trailer swings around dangerously and tries to overtake the cab.