• Feb 6, 2007
The days of unrestricted speeds on portions of Germany's autobahn may be numbered, but they will continue for at least the immediate future, thanks to their plucky Chancellor. The lucky souls who have a valid passport, a current license, a capable car and the will to challenge themselves will be able to do so without legal entanglements a bit longer.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel just added her support to legal measures that will help keep the country's autobahnen free of speed limits, Greenies be damned! OK, she didn't go that far, but Merkel's support was unflagging even against European Union criticism that Germany could do a little lot more in the fight against harmful automotive emissions. The unrestricted autobahn has been seen as a poster child for what's wrong with the automotive world by some environmentalists.

Follow the jump for the rest of the story.

[Source: Inside Line]

EU environmental commissioner, Stavros Dimas, had sought German support over the weekend, but Merkel rebuffed him. Dimas wanted Germany to lead the charge toward a green future, after last week's publication of climate change findings by the UN cited Germany as a prime example of a country that "isn't doing enough to reduce emissions." While explaining that German policy already supports environmental movements, she reinforced the German automakers' claims that unrestricted speed testing is what assures the high level of engineering that makes them the best in the world at speed. "If we no longer had to engineer our cars to satisfy their potential top speed, there would suddenly be a fundamental change in the way we go about our business," a high-ranking BMW insider told Inside Line.

It seems to be only a matter of time, however, before EU pressure eventually gets the better of the Germany, so we support IL's call to get yourself to Germany before it's too late. Some of the lucky AB staffers headed to Geneva might just get a chance to experience the thrill for themselves.


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  • 18 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      Lets not forget that ALL European vehicles have a mandatory annual technical inspection (new cars for personal use are exempt for 3-4years) which includes an exhaust emission analysis at idle and in motion. With the technical inspections you either take good care of your car and keep up with car maintenance, or you will be buying another vehicle soon or going by bike/bus/....

      You simply will not find trucks, busses, pickups, unmaintened cars on the road that pollute 24/7/365 in Europe. If you car emits some type of smoke during normal operation, the police sends you for a technical inspection within 24-48 hours.

      Add that the overall smaller cars with small engine sizes and far better fuel economy as compared to the average US vehicle, and there really is no problem in Europe compared to the US. At high speeds I bet most cars on the autobahn emit less than the average US car at the 55-65 mph.
      • 7 Years Ago
      nagmashot is my hero :)
      • 7 Years Ago
      Europeans please take note ,greetings from Alaska and Yukon Territories Canada , when your in your rental R.V. and are enjoying the thousands of miles of open road beware that the delay of 5 or more vehicles is a fineable offence , some of us are running hundreds or thousands of miles to a building site , mine site and time is money , so enjoy the view but move to the nearest turn out A.S.A.P.
      • 7 Years Ago
      When I drove on the Autobahn back in 1986, the average speed was probably 100 mph. The U.S. military wanted us to drive no more than 55 (80 kmh) when in a military vehicle. You'd get killed driving that slow! The fastest I drove personally was 130 in a BMW 318i.
      • 7 Years Ago
      #14

      Sadly there are states that do not have an annual inspection. The one that pops to mind is Maryland, there is one inspection, as aslong as you keep the car and never retitle it....you never have to have it inspected again.

      The police can issue fix-it tickets for glaring things such as broken windows, and burned out lights, or bald tires...but they rarely do.

      Oh and that includes the Maryland parts of the beltway...have fun getting to DC through Maryland, home of third world driving and occasionally cars.
      • 7 Years Ago
      #11.
      Surely all American cars have to have annual safety inspections too? I can't believe that there are not the checks on brake pipes, windscreen chips, rust, emissions, seat belts, brake efficiency etc. etc. that obtain in Europe, and many other places in the world. The US is not a third world country.
      • 7 Years Ago
      we Australians have lost our "autobahn" in the Northern Territory due to propaganda created by the pedestrian council.

      We must keepntlimitfree

      I loved the open limits as i own a GSX-R600 & there was nothing i enjoyed more on my bike than to redline in every gear until i reached top & then maintaining that speed for long distances. But im no idiot, ive invested thousands on rider training, i buy buy the best tyres ($300ea)& own an excellent helmet which is worth $600. Now i feel as if all this (plus gears 3,4,5,6) will now go to waste as i can do 130kph in 2nd gear.

      Historicly road crash death rates have been dropping since the 1970's. Vehicles are safer now with seatbelts / airbags & crumple zones, yet our governments continually make us feel guilty with "worst toll ever" campaigns.

      Drivers are more educated & vehicles are safer those in areas these days & should deserve a "fair" evaluation. What is safer, driving at a comfortable speed that keeps you alert, or to become a hypnotized speedo watcher?
      • 7 Years Ago
      Blimey!
      • 7 Years Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      AMERICA NEEDS IT'S OWN AUTOBAHNEN.
      • 7 Years Ago
      There is one fundamental reason why Germany cannot, should not, and will not give up the unrestricted speeds.

      It's a lifestyle. It's a huge selling factor. And a location factor. It's the ultimate reason for all car manufacturers in the world to build cars that go faster than 100mph.

      One of the reasons german cars are so popular in the world is because they have a certain flair to them. With their car, the owners buy a tiny little stretch of the famous Autobahn. It gives them comfort to know that their car was designed to do 150+ mph without breaking to smithereens.
      • 7 Years Ago
      A nice european hatchback has a better mileage at 160 mph than a standard pickup at 60 mph.
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