Does it work? Waze and GTI Su­per­drives

CAR (UK) - - Contents -

LIKE THE Wim­ble­don ten­nis cham­pi­onships and Robin­sons Bar­ley Wa­ter, Waze and VW’s

GTI Su­per­drives ini­tia­tive is a neat col­lab­o­ra­tion: the pop­u­lar route-find­ing nav­i­ga­tion app and Volk­swa­gen’s sto­ried GTI sub-brand, team­ing up to of­fer squig­gly, scenic al­ter­na­tive to the quick-but-dull route to wher­ever you’re headed.

You don’t ac­tu­ally need a VW to take ad­van­tage of the func­tion – al­though for us it was a handy ex­cuse to get be­hind the wheel of the out-gunned but still sweet Golf GTI.

Waze is sim­ple enough to use. Down­load the app to your phone, tick a few per­mis­sions boxes and you’re off. The app is much loved by reg­u­lar com­muters for its abil­ity to guide you through and around con­ges­tion, se­lect­ing the op­ti­mum route via a com­bi­na­tion of the pas­sive track­ing of Waze users and real-time alerts from users re­port­ing road­works, con­ges­tion and even the lo­ca­tion of po­lice.

Oddly child­ish graph­ics apart, Waze is a fine nav­i­ga­tion app with some nice fea­tures. In­put a des­ti­na­tion and, when it sug­gests a route, Waze will show the cur­rent state of your planned jour­ney, give an ETA and of­fer a ta­ble of times at which you’d like to ar­rive – work­ing back from there, it can sug­gest the right time to leave based on live con­di­tions.

To find a GTI Su­per­drive route you can either keep your eyes peeled for the GTI logo on the app’s map or, within a lim­ited area, sim­ply search for lo­cal GTI Su­per­drives. Oddly, you can’t search the whole coun­try for Su­per­drives and plan a week­end away. There are 75 routes in the app – good driv­ing roads deemed suit­able for GTI-type fun based on a

com­bi­na­tion of fac­tors: in­ter­est­ing cor­ners, light traf­fic and a low fre­quency of ac­ci­dents. Nav­i­gate to them if your sched­ule per­mits a tyre-test­ing de­tour or log them for a later date if you haven’t time for such japes.

Fir­ing up the app in CAR’s Peter­bor­ough of­fice and search­ing ‘GTI Su­per­drives’, we were of­fered one route, 20 miles away – the B645 from Higham Fer­rers to St Neots. The app urged us to ‘pull our­selves away from the mun­dane and take the other road’, so we set a course for St Neots, while at the same time find­ing it hard to be­lieve there weren’t bet­ter drives nearby (like for in­stance the stonk­ing B1176, just 11 miles north of the of­fice).

The B645 is a fine al­ter­na­tive to the sim­i­larly east/west-run­ning A14 just a few miles to the north, which is the point of GTI Su­per­drives, with long, quick cor­ners and some nice open and lightly traf­ficked stretches. But nei­ther is it the best road in the area.

JAKE GROVES

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