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Autovía: Wikis


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Sign for autovía in Spain

An autovía is one of two classes of major highway in the Spanish road system similar to a motorway. It is akin to the autopista, the other major highway class, but has fewer features and is never a toll road. Some distinguishing features of an autovía are that it must be divided by a median, it must have restricted access, and it cannot be crossed by other roads. While autopistas are generally new routes, autovías are normally improvements to existing roads, so they may have tighter curves and less safe accesses, often with shorter acceleration lanes. However, both have nominal speed limits of 120 kilometres per hour (75 mph). Rest areas are usually 300 kilometres (190 mi) or 2 hours apart. There is usually a safety lane along the median.

Although generally state-owned and financed, there are some autovías which are actually built and maintained by private companies, such as Pamplona-Logroño A-12[1][2]. The company assumes the building costs and the Autonomous Community where they are located (in the given example, Navarre) pays a yearly per-vehicle fee to the company based upon usage statistics. This fee is called a shadow toll (Spanish: peaje en la sombra).[3] The system can be regarded as a way for the Government to finance the construction of new roads without any initial outlay of money. Also, since payment starts after the road is finished, there are fewer construction delays in comparison with regular state-owned construction.


Restricted Access

Most autovías are restricted to car and lorry use only. Restricted forms of transport include the horse, mopeds, tractors and bicycles. Because autovías often exist as an improvement to an existing road, users of these restricted forms of transport may often find themselves having to take long diversions in order to reach their intended destination. It is very rare that alternative routes will be provided for these users.

Other uses

Autovía was also the name of a 2 car DMU train of the Ferrocarriles Nacionales de México that operated between Ciudad Juárez and Chihuahua, Mexico.

Autovías is the name of the first-class service of the Herradura de Plata Mexican bus company operating in the vicinity of the Mexican state of Michoacán.

See also



Manufacturer Autovia

1935-1938 with public sales starting in 1936[1]

44 made
Body style(s) sports saloon
Engine(s) 2849 cc V-8
Transmission(s) 4-speed pre selector
4-speed manual
Wheelbase 129 inches (3.28 m)[2]
Length 175 or 183 inches (4.45 or 4.65 m)[2]
Width 71 inches (1.80 m)[2]
Designer Charles Van Eugen

Autovia was a short lived brand of British car from Coventry existing from 1935 to 1938 with production starting in 1936. The venture was ambitious and even included setting up a school for chauffeurs. The cars were expensive and it was a market sector well served by other companies. 44 cars were made.[3]

The company was created by Riley as a subsidiary to produce large luxury cars and a new factory was built. A 2849 cc V-8, triple camshaft engine was developed from existing Riley engine blocks and coupled to either a pre selector gearbox bought from Armstrong Siddeley or a conventional four speed manual unit. Drive was to the rear wheels through a live axle with worm gear final drive.

Three body types were advertised, a Sports saloon, a Special Saloon with extra leg room at the expense of boot space and a limousine mostly built by Arthur Mulliner. The car was also available as a bare chassis.

The venture failed when Riley went bankrupt. When they were taken over by the Nuffield Organisation Autovia was not resurrected.

There are thought to be eight of these cars still existing.


  1. ^ Sedgwick, M. (1989). A-Z of Cars of the 1930s. Devon, UK: Bay View Books. ISBN 1-870979-38-9. 
  2. ^ a b c Culshaw; Horrobin (1974). Complete Catalogue of British Cars. London: Macmillan. ISBN 0-333-16689-2. 
  3. ^ Autovia Car Club


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