Paris Hotels Articles

May 28, 2010

Where to Find the Best 4×4 Car Hire

If you are used to driving a large 4×4 vehicle or you just want to experience it whilst on holiday hiring a 4×4 in Spain couldn’t be easier. If you know your trip is going to take you to some of the more remote areas of the country or you will be travelling along untracked roads a hire 4×4 car could help you immensely. Not only are they capable of transporting you over rough terrain they benefit from having a huge capacity for luggage or sports equipment and also very spacious seating sometimes enough for seven people.

4 wheel drive vehicles offer a different perspective on driving, you can go almost anywhere nothing can stand in your way. Often some Spanish houses are located very remotely or a long way up winding hill pass roads. A 4×4 will transport you and your family safely and in comfort.

In 1900 Ferdinand Porsche the man who would go on to found the Porsche company we know and love today invented a vehicle called La Toujours Contente The car was the first four wheel drive vehicle created although it isn’t exactly a car like we know today. He started of by designing a car which had four independent battery powered motors set in the wheel hubs. Later his idea grew to include a petrol engine which ran a dynamo powering the four electric motors. This invention proved far too expensive for the day but unbelievably and ironically is what most motor manufacturers are striving to build today. Hybrid cars of the future will work in a very similar way as Ferdinand Porsche’s first four wheel drive machine. The man’s thinking was simply a hundred years or so early.

Dutch motor racing group Spyker built and exhibited the worlds first full time four wheel drive vehicle at the Paris motor show in December 1903. Spyker always were an obscure company designing revolutionary but weirdly created vehicles; sadly fell among hard times and ceased trading, today luckily Spyker have been reborn from the ashes to once again build bonkers Dutch cars this time aiming at the super car market with the insane styling of the Laviolette. It wasn’t until 1907 that two South Australian men Felix and Norman Caldwell, applied for a patent for four wheel drive plus four wheel steer that the revolutionary system was realized.

Today a 4×4 car works in much the same way a conventional vehicle does with one or two slight differences. In a convention front or rear wheel drive car drive, or motion is taken from the engine and passed into a differential, the power and forward motion is then divided between the two wheels through a series of gearing. Wheels turn independently of each other allowing a car to go around corners when one wheel would turn faster than the other. In a four wheel drive car the differential splits power via an additional drive shaft to all for wheels. Again the differential allows “slip” so that the car can corner. However when you are on very soft or wet terrain the differentials can be altered to give limited “slip” or even locked so that all four wheels turn at the same time giving unbeatable traction.

A 4×4 drive vehicle is usually equipped with a low ratio gear box. This means that when climbing steep slopes or negotiating boggy terrain the engine revs can be kept high turning the wheels very slowly. The low ratio gears are selected only when needed from a secondary gear stick or switch inside the vehicle. Now there really is no stopping you as traction, torque and power are at heir greatest. But don’t attempt to go too quickly or you can damage the crucial gears.

Combined with highly sprung independent suspension to raise you above the deep ruts and boulders and rugged large off road tyres which give grip and ride comfort these monsters of on and off road are the ultimate hire car experience.

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