COTY ROUND ONE
PRELIMINARIES ARE OVER; NOW IT’S TIME FOR THE FIELD TO HIT THE TEST LOOP IN THE QUEST TO FIND OUR THREE STANDOUTS
Ten models enter the proving ground, but only three can leave. This is a clash of heavy metal, COTY style
BY THE TIME the judges jump into the first group of cars on the morning of day two, they’ve had ample time to absorb the avalanche of info from the individual presentations and walk-arounds.
So by now, if they didn’t previously, they have a clear grasp of key attributes like safety equipment, value, packaging, and perceived quality. Pretty much everything except dynamic assessment, so time to hit the test loop.
By linking five courses/dynamic exercises at the AARC, we condense what could take hours or even a day of regular driving in the real world down to around 20 minutes.
The moment the wheels hit the dirt section, even before the first turn is navigated, judges are listening for underbody noise suppression; how loud and intrusive is the sound of the gravel peppering the underside of the car? Through the turns, confidence in the steering, front-to-rear balance, ESC intervention and ABS are all being assessed. The swerve-and-recover exercise highlights not just how effectively the car being tested can allow a driver to avoid a potential accident, but how well the emergency system’s responses are calibrated.
Onto the punishing rough-road section, more than just bump absorption is revealed; it’s a real test of body rigidity and integrity of the trim installation.
Out on the so-called Five Percent circuit, it’s a simulation of a demanding Aussie B-road; a real test of engine response and power, directional agility, outright grip, roll control, progressiveness of breakaway, braking ability and overall NVH suppression.
The moment the wheels hit the dirt section, even before the first turn is navigated, judges are listening for underbody noise suppression