Watch Chris Harris Attempt A Handbrake Turn With An Electronic Parking Brake

Is it possible to perform a handbrake turn without a manual handbrake? Harris investigates for this Extra Gear segment, and the news isn't good...
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This week we learned that just 37 per cent of new car models on sale currently have manual handbrakes. It’s getting particularly difficult to find something sportier with the old-fashioned arrangement, so what does this mean for the handbrake turn?

As luck would have it, Top Gear’s YouTube channel recently released the above video - originally aired during the last season of Extra Gear - which seems to give us the answer. In it, Chris Harris sticks on a VW Golf R’s electronic parking brake at 120mph to see what happens, and shortly after attempts to do a handbrake turn.

Watch to judge for yourself, but it’s fair to say it’s not good news. These systems generally still brake the rear wheels, but the issue is most likely that the actuation isn’t as abrupt, as it’s done by small motors.

Empty gravel car parks just aren’t going to be as fun in the future…



Ooof and speaking of which guys,whens the new Top Gear on?

09/22/2018 - 08:42 |
2 | 0
Slyline guy 09

Reminds me of gran tour when clarkson wanted to use the handbrake

09/22/2018 - 08:47 |
10 | 0
09/22/2018 - 08:51 |
130 | 0
Joel Lundin

So sad

09/22/2018 - 09:14 |
10 | 0

I guess you can “swap” the parking brake ?

09/22/2018 - 09:20 |
0 | 0


09/22/2018 - 09:32 |
2 | 12

This was done on dry tarmac, where most manual handbrakes on street cars wouldn’t be able to lock the rear wheels anyway. Would be interesting to see this reattempted, but on gravel or snow.

09/22/2018 - 10:01 |
8 | 4

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Please explain your logic. It’s clamping force. It will lock up just as easy on dry tarmac as it does on wet or snow. This doesn’t work because its small motors that wind the pads out and apply gradual clamping force as opposed to yanking a lever and the result being instant

09/22/2018 - 10:11 |
34 | 6

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Did you ever try to ebrake in your life ? Come on dude.

09/22/2018 - 10:52 |
0 | 14
Simon Wyatt (four arm squad)

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

My dads corrola can kick it’s tail out a lot better than that car did and it is a manual handbrake. It is especially good on sand

09/24/2018 - 11:44 |
0 | 0

Still don’t getting the point of the electronic parking brake. I hope to see some “swap kit parking brake mechanical” on eBay in the future.

09/22/2018 - 12:00 |
24 | 0

In reply to by Serus

It’s just better. Push of a button. For everyday driving, it’s safer and simpler, just press it and you are done.

09/22/2018 - 18:51 |
10 | 24

In reply to by Serus

Well technically it is better, better packaging, less weight, a whole lot more accurate, just a button, some electric wires and small actuating motors vs the mechanical setup. Also, as this video proves, a lot safer in the hands of a potential idiot pulling the e-brake at high speed.
That being said, for us true car enthusiasts, electronic e-brakes/parking brakes are trash and ruin part of the driving experience we love and cherrish.

09/22/2018 - 23:12 |
10 | 0

Gonna wait till garage 54 makes it abrupt asf

09/22/2018 - 13:20 |
0 | 0
Kris Amill

“The Germans have thought of everything, haven’t they?”

09/22/2018 - 18:24 |
0 | 0


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