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The motorist, a litigant not quite like the others


CHRONICLE – Over the years, the rules of law applying to traffic offenses have become derogatory to those governing our state of law. By spreading insidiously in our repressive arsenal, they now threaten our public freedoms.

With the recent deployment of radar cars, the authorities have just taken an additional step in the control of motorists. Nowadays, it is not good to be a traffic offender, who has been exposing himself for decades to the zero tolerance of the authorities. Each year, more than 26 million offenses are noted and processed by the authorities, and no less than 13 million points are deducted from the driving licenses of our fellow citizens.

In this area, justice is quick while the administration is exceptionally efficient. The road user is the only litigant faced with a “zero tolerance” policy.

Traffic law is undoubtedly the most important and densest contentious activity within our criminal courts. Sanctions fall, implacably, mechanically, to the point that many motorists have the feeling that it is better to be a common law offender than to be a traffic offender. Of all the “offenceists”, the motorist is the one who contributes the most to the funds of the State.

To deal with this mass litigation, drivers caught at fault are subject to a body of measures derogating from common law. Thus erecting traffic law into an exceptional law which, if we are not careful, could well threaten our rule of law and our public freedoms.

An overview of the system of repression put in place, as it exists and as it is applied, gives an idea of ​​the scale and gravity of the situation in which any motorist is one day or the other confronted.

First of all, the latter, unlike a common criminal, never knows the notion of impunity or amnesty. He exposes himself in the event of conviction to multiple cumulative penalties (suspension of the license, fine, loss of points, obligation of internship, prison sentence, confiscation of his vehicle). Thus, for a single offence, the “road offender” may accumulate no less than four to five sentences on average, whereas the common law offender will only suffer at most one or two (prison sentence and fine )!

An increasingly bureaucratized justice system will be able, in many cases, to inflict automatic penalties on him, sometimes without any adversarial debate, striking the validity of his driving license, until its cancellation, or even the ownership of his vehicle by a measure confiscation. These measures derogating from our rights and public freedoms bring the road user before his judge with a strong presumption of guilt and forced to demonstrate his innocence.

The denunciation erected into a civic act

But, before facing a judge, however tempted he may be, he will first be confronted with the powers of the administration. The prefectural authority can sanction him (and it does not refrain from doing so) without the intervention of a court by depriving him of the right to drive for up to 12 months. He is then obliged to pay the amount of the fine incurred beforehand so that his only right to appeal is admissible, then forced to execute court decisions even before he has been able to exercise his rights of defence. Even before speaking, he is presumed responsible for offenses committed with his vehicle. Because this litigant not quite like the others is in many cases forced to designate the driver of his vehicle, except to have to suffer heavy financial penalties if he does not do so. The authorities have made denunciation an act of good citizenship by now giving him a clear conscience in the name of road safety.

In the field of the administration of evidence, the motorist is confronted with the veracity of the report, because its mentions are authentic until proven otherwise.

His ordeal does not stop there, because he can only provide evidence to the contrary by witnesses or in writing. Not always easy, if not often even impossible.

In addition, the means of appeal have been removed in the matter of penalty points litigation. This is in addition to institutional obstacles to the right of access to the court by the authorities who arrogate to themselves the right to judge the merits of their disputes by filtering the right of access to the judge despite the multiple condemnations by the European Court human rights.

Normative madness

Since 2003, road repression policies and the generalization of automated checks have created a new form of crime, the contours of which now affect all citizens. Faced with this repression, little concerned and little guarantor of the rights of defence, the secular pillars of our rule of law resist but find themselves cracked. But for how long? The legislator bears a large part of the responsibility in the sterilization of motorist rights. Over time, it has abandoned its institutional competences in favor of regulatory power, exercised by non-elected authorities. This is how, by a simple decree and without any checks and balances, the speed could be lowered over a large part of the territory to 80 km/h. To have forgotten it, let us remember that at the end of 2018, the transition to this new limitation had largely contributed, if not caused, the anger of the “yellow vests”.

This normative madness of regulatory origin, but sometimes also of legislative origin, incorporates exceptional measures into our law. It distances the litigant from his judge by expurgating the elementary rights of the defense and is accompanied by an omnipresence of the administrative authority. Reconciling the requirement of road safety and respect for the fundamental principles of the right of defense of traffic offenders has become only an equation of principle for the public authorities. Even more worrying, this overriding right to which road users have been subject for decades foreshadows and silently but insidiously contaminates our criminal law in what is most restrictive and exclusive in the effectiveness of the rights of defence.

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Volkswagen ID.4 GTX, the electric GTI


TEST – The German manufacturer’s SUV inaugurates the GTX signature dedicated to the sportiest electric models.

The first few meters are intoxicating. The landscape scrolls by like in a time-lapse film. The force of the acceleration presses the passengers against the seats, in the cathedral silence inherent in electric propulsion. Welcome aboard the Volkswagen ID.4, which revives the GTX label once attached to the sportiest Scirocco. 60 km/h is reached in 3.2 seconds, 100 km/h in 6.2 seconds. With its 245 hp, the Golf GTI is no better. Past the 110 km / h, the thrust, sustained, continues. Overtaking becomes a mere formality.

ingo barenschee/Volkswagen AG

The ID.4 GTX can also be considered the GTI of the German brand’s electric models. From the ID.4 from which it derives, the sporty version adopts the 204 hp permanently excited synchronous electric machine installed on the rear axle, which it combines with a second 109 hp motor placed on the front axle. With 300 hp available under certain temperature and battery charge level conditions (+ 88%), the power equals that of the Golf R while the torque of 460 Nm can be compared to that of a 6-cylinder engine , except that here it is available from startup. The all-wheel drive, which contributes to the impression of ease and safety, can be assisted by the adaptive damping.

A range of 478 km

ingo barenschee/Volkswagen AG

While the GTX can be recognized by its black roof, its specific shields and its light signature, the interior ambience refers to the GTI with its upholstery with red stitching and its blue imitation leather dashboard. If the charm works, the ID.4, like all electric vehicles, requires a review of the way it travels, especially on long journeys where the charging infrastructure is not yet satisfactory. The 77 kWh battery allows a range of 478 km. On the highway, count 30% less. To recover 80% of the battery, you will then have to wait 38 minutes at the service station with a fast terminal. Infinitely less glamorous.

ingo barenschee/Volkswagen AG

Technical sheet

Motors: 2 electric synchronous, 300 hp, 460 Nm

Transmission: Integral, auto. 1 report

Dimensions: L. 4.58, w. 1.85 a.m. 1.63m

Consumption: 18.4kWh/100km

Autonomy: 478 km

Speed: 180 km/h

Price: €54,450

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Bertrand Piccard: “I strongly believe in hydrogen vehicles”


INTERVIEW – When we talk about the molecule H2, we immediately think of Bertrand Piccard. The ex-psychiatrist, who successfully completed a world tour, with stopovers, in a solar plane, has become one of its main promoters.

Bertrand Piccard does not miss a single opportunity to raise awareness about ecological transition. At the antipodes of degrowth, praised by many ayatollahs of ecology but impossible according to him, he advocates common sense which is based on a realistic ecology based on technical progress.

Resolutely optimistic, the Swiss explorer often cites the Swiss hydrogen truck fleet initiative as an example to follow.

LE FIGARO. – According to you, hydrogen has become a reality?

Bertrand Piccard. – I would say that we are still only at awareness, but not at the real action of implementation. Programs remain local and ad hoc. I strongly believe in hydrogen as an opportunity to diversify the oil industry.

How to explain that Switzerland succeeded in creating an ecosystem so quickly?

The secret to success is not having waited for subsidies. It is a private initiative. Entrepreneurs have decided together to run…

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Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS, the mark of racing


NEW – Applied for the first time to its mid-engine coupé, the recipes of the RS label give birth to an ultra-exclusive model.

“It’s a very special car,” warns Detlev von Platen, Porsche’s sales and marketing manager. By accessing the RS label, the supreme symbol of sportiness and exclusivity for the German manufacturer, the latest evolution of the 718 Cayman GT4 joins the elite of sports cars. Engineers applied the recipes of the RS brand (RennSport) for this mid-engined coupe, namely a power boost and a slimming cure. The mechanics come from the 911 GT3. This is the naturally aspirated flat six-cylinder 4 liters which delivers here a trifle of 500 horsepower, 10 hp less than its big sister. On the other hand, it preserved its propensity to fly in the towers with a red zone fixed at 9000 rev / min. Like the more recent RS models, this engine is exclusively mated to the seven-speed PDK gearbox.

Stefan Warter

At the same time, the weight was lowered to 1,415 kilograms, which represents a gain of 35 kilograms. This weight reduction is based on the adoption of the hood and front fenders in carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) as well as lightweight floor mats and lightweight felt insulation. The hunt for superfluous grams also affects the rear window in lightened glass, while the door fittings with opening by straps and the storage compartments equipped with nets.

Stefan Warter

Developed to chase the clock on the circuits, the 718 Cayman GT4 RS receives a new aerodynamic package. The front bumper incorporates oversized air intakes and an aerodynamic lip, the front hood is enriched with Naca air intakes and the rear quarter windows are fitted with intake air intakes. The ground clearance is lowered by 30 mm compared to the 718 Cayman and to improve stability on the track and at high speeds, the rear hood is overhung with a fixed rear spoiler and the underbody is streamlined. This equipment works in concert with a redesigned rear diffuser and a front diffuser with several levels of adjustment.

Porsche

Unveiled as a world premiere at the recent Los Angeles Motor Show, the Cayman GT4 RS will be available from next spring at a price of 144,485 euros. It can be ordered with the Weissach pack which optimizes aerodynamics. The GT4 RS will also serve as the basis for a racing car.

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E85 Superethanol kit: who guarantees disorders?


USER’S RIGHTS – For several years, kits have been used to convert gasoline vehicles to E85. In the event of mechanical failures, what are the user’s recourse?

Switching to Superethanol requires installing an approved E85 unit to allow administrative modification of the registration card following technical modifications to the vehicle and thus to travel with a compliant vehicle (therefore regularly insured).

In the event of a disorder on the vehicle following the installation of an approved box, it is now the responsibility of the manufacturer of the equipment that is engaged.

A decree of February 19, 2021 relating to the installation of Superethanol E85 units now specifies that the manufacturer guarantees the preservation of the integrity of the engines, tanks, supply circuits, post-treatment systems for pollutant emissions and any part likely to come into contact with E85 fuel, of the vehicle on which a conversion device that it sells is installed.

He therefore assumes responsibility for any damage to the vehicle following installation of this device.

The manufacturer has the obligation to issue and sign a certificate of conformity and must provide the customer with a document relating to the terms of support in the event of mechanical deterioration.

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Automotive: the electric shakes up the design of sedans


The architecture of battery-powered models and the search for better energy efficiency are reshaping the face of tomorrow’s station wagons.

Will design save the electric car? It is not impossible. Considered until now as a means of seduction and differentiation, style is becoming an instrument in the service of energy efficiency, a key issue for vehicles with rechargeable batteries to pass from shadow to light. Since we no longer reason in liters per 100 km but in autonomy and electric range, the work of designers and aerodynamicists has regained all its nobility.

After a phase of adapting existing models to electric power, we are in the process of switching to a new generation of vehicles based on dedicated architectures. This revolution makes it possible to completely overcome the constraints of a thermal model thanks to the compactness of the components and the installation of the battery pack under the floor. Main consequence: despite a reduced size compared to a gasoline vehicle, the interior space is more important. At the same time, a use …

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The Retromobile show postponed to March 2022


NEWS – A long-awaited event by all enthusiasts and enthusiasts of vintage cars, Rétromobile will be there in 2022 but will be held exceptionally from March 16 to 20 due to the new wave of contamination.

The management of the health crisis is once again on the agenda of events. In recent weeks, the progression of the epidemic and the restrictive measures taken by certain countries for the movement of their nationals, have led the Retromobile show, scheduled for February 2 to 6, to adapt. The show’s organizing committee noted that the context was delaying some visitors and exhibitors, especially international ones, to confirm their presence.

“Asked through a survey to give their opinion, exhibitors and visitors voted over 80% in favor of a postponement”, Jean-Sébastien Guichaoua told us. In this health context, the Retromobile organizing committee made the wise decision to postpone its show dedicated to vintage cars by a few weeks. The 2022 edition will therefore take place from March 16 to 20, in pavilions 7.2 and 7.3 at Porte de Versailles. This will not change the quality of the exhibitions and the program initially planned. Visitors will therefore find, among other things, exhibitions on the sorcerer Amédée Gordini, the vehicles of the National Gendarmerie and the 50th anniversary of the Renault 5, as well as their parts and accessories dealers and their favorite artists. Without counting many surprises which make all the salt of this unique event in the world.

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Porsche Taycan Sport Turismo GTS, the station wagon goes green


TEST – In the GTS version, the latest Sport Turismo body variant of the Taycan combines versatility and sportiness.

Sport Turismo (ST): the hunting estate formula has already proven its worth at Porsche with the Panamera. The German firm now declines it on the body of the Taycan. Add in the sporty GTS codes passing through black window surrounds, rocker panels and rims and you’ve got a hatchback that doesn’t lack presence. The extension of the pavilion also benefits versatility. Rear passengers benefit from an increased headroom of 45 mm while the spacious 446 l (+39 l) easily accessible boot can carry up to 1,200 l of luggage.

At Porsche, the GTS signature is also a few more horses. The Taycan is no exception. The engineers thus deflated the two permanently excited synchronous motors of the Turbo version (one per axle) of 80 kW to deliver 380 kW (517 hp) and even 598 hp by triggering the overboost. As for the phenomenal torque of 850 Nm, available from the start, it is similar to that of the Turbo. In use…

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Kia EV6, a family at ease


TEST – The Korean automaker’s first next-generation electric vehicle keeps its promises.

The philosophy of the Korean brand Kia, which could be summed up by the slogan “Pali pali” (quickly, quickly) and which inspired the title of the book by Jean-Charles Lievens, a former senior executive of the European subsidiary, is not is never better expressed than with the EV6. Inaugurating the modular platform developed for the new electric vehicles of the Hyundai-Kia group, this raised sedan, barely 20 mm lower than a Renault Captur, is the ambassador of the tenfold ambitions of a manufacturer who wants to settle on the roof of the world. Around a size of 4.68 m including 2.90 m for the wheelbase, this vehicle will disturb more than one with its rear evoking a cetacean, like the Mercedes EQXX. Forms recommended for aerodynamics and efficiency, the priorities of an electric vehicle.

TA / ACE Team

The third car to rely on an 800-volt system for recharging, this crossover-style sedan recovers 80% of the capacity of its 77.4 kWh battery installed in the floor in 18 minutes …

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BMW iX M60, the electric seen by Motorsport


NEW – In its 50th anniversary, the BMW Motorsport sports division launches the most powerful electric vehicle in its history.

Even with electric technology, manufacturers have not given up on the race for power. In the 50th anniversary of its Motorsporr sports division, BMW unveils a vitamin-packed version of its iX SUV. Camped on 21-inch wheels as standard concealing a reinforced braking system, this family vehicle revised and corrected by Motorsport is equipped with more aggressive shields and laser projectors as standard.

Bmw

Compared to the iX xDrive 50, the power of two electric motors jumps by 96 horsepower to 619 horsepower (455 kW). The iX M60 thus becomes the most powerful and efficient electric vehicle ever produced by BMW. Torque is no less impressive, showing 1,015 Nm in Sport mode and up to 1,100 Nm when activating the Launch Control function.

While 100 km / h is reached in 3.8 seconds, instead of 5 seconds with the xDrive50 version, the top speed has been pushed back from 50 km / h to 250 km / h. At this speed on a German highway, the range will melt like snow in the sun. As a corollary of the increase in power, BMW engineers added a few kWh of capacity to the battery to exceed 100 kWh, 111.5 kWh exactly. With a standardized consumption of 21.7 kWh / 100 km, the range can reach 566 km. The running gear has been revised to adapt to the increase in performance. The iX M60 thus receives four-wheel steering, four-wheel air suspension and adaptive M.

The BMW iX M60 will be marketed from the end of the first half of 2022 at a price of 132,000 euros.

WILFRIED WULFFwww.wilfriedwulff.com

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