For the little drivers

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A new app from Skoda has brought backseat driving to a whole other level. The LittleDriver App is an interesting interactive learning game for kids, which teaches them the basics of driving while on car journeys.

The app can connect to the car via the infotainment system, and works with real data from the vehicle including speed, fuel level and oil pressure. Children can imitate real driving behaviour in real time and collect points when they pick the correct option including steering, acceleration, braking, turning etc – everything the driver does up front, children can do in the back (hopefully that doesn’t include road rage and swearing at other drivers when they do something stupid).

Points can then be used by kids to design their own virtual Skoda, which include the beautiful Skoda VisionC concept, the 1960 Skoda Felicia convertible and the modern day Octavia RS.

Road safety is also a big point – the app has been developed as a modern way of teaching kids about the rules of the road, with a seperate section where they can learn about safe conduct behind the wheel.

If you’ve got a budding rear seat driver, the Skoda LittleDriver app is available now for free on iOS and Android.

Motoring – It’s all in the name

File:2006 Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder E-Gear - Flickr - The Car Spy (22).jpgFor parents, naming your kids is one of the more difficult tasks, behind actually raising them. Certain names have certain connotations – positive and negative. Like Trevor. Few people name their baby Trevor and expect big things (apologies to all the Trevors out there).

And so it is with cars. Looks are important, power is paramount, but you’re going to get a slating if the name is boring. Get it right, and you end up with something like the Dodge Viper, Porsche Carrera or the Aston Martin Vanquish, names with passion and soul. Get it wrong and you have the Mitsubishi Lettuce (seriously), the Volkswagen Thing (at least it was apt, seeing as no one knew exactly what it was supposed to be)  or the incredibly unimaginative Renault LeCar, as the Renault 5 was known in the States. Not the most inspiring of monikers – the Trevor of the autoworld, if you will.

File:Lamborghini Gallardo.JPG
‘Gallardo’ probably works better on this rather than a Toyota hatchback.

Traditionally, Lamborghini is one maker that usually gets it right. We mightn’t understand what words like Diablo, Gallardo or Aventador actually mean, but damn, don’t they sound cool? And the latest model is set to follow suit – apparently the upcoming Lamborghini will bear the name Huracan, which does roll off the tongue nicely. In Spanish, it means hurricane (which it could probably outrun, given rumours of a revised 5.2L V10 with around 600 hp).  And in Mayan, Huracan – suitably – is a god of wind, storm and fire. Kind of puts the Toyota Prius into perspective, doesn’t it?

If it lives up to its name and horsepower, the new Lamborghini will probably rock you like a hurricane (sorry, couldn’t resist) and kill you in a combination of power, speed and a dizzying spin out. Still, it’s better than choking to death on a Mitsubishi Lettuce.