Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Cruise Control??

I discovered something amazing the other day. Something I would never have believed. The Fiat 500 has cruise control, or rather, what is known as a 'hand accelerator'.

This little device is in the form of a cable and a lever (so far as I've read - I'm yet to check for it in ours, but I'm assured I will find it). It is rather simple really. You pull the lever and it opens the throttle, simply locking in place (a bit like a choke) where you leave it.

As one club member observed, "it means you can stand up through the sunroof and still drive"... Quite. I shan't be travelling anywhere with you, Mike!

The down (and rather dangerous) side to this device is it has exactly the same effect as dropping a brick on the accelerator pedal. There are no nice disengage safety features when you brake or anything like that. Oh no. Neat as it is, only a true tricolore, young (probably male) Italian would ever use this 'feature' in normal driving conditions.

Though it comes in very handy if you ever have temporary problems with the idle speed.

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