Monday, April 4, 2011

Das autobhan

When driving in Australia, generally, the fastest you will get to go is 110kph unless you are driving across the Nullarbor or in one of those areas that tests the 120kph limit.
Consequently, having a fast car is generally a pointless endeavor as you will never get to use your car to it's full potential. I've always wondered what is the point of having a car with a speedo that goes to 240kph when, legally, it can never do it.

Yesterday, I got my first experience on the German autobahn. I was a passenger in a small Kia hatch that is more like something you would purchase to drive around the city. As we entered the autobahn, 5th gear stretched out to 5500rpm as we neared 160kph. Most traffic was doing the same speed as we flew along.

It was a bizarre feeling to be driving so fast on the open highway with no concern for being stopped by police. And just when I thought we were going fast enough, an Audi in the left lane goes flying by at around 200+kph! Perfectly legal.

Imagine if this was okay in Australia. You could get to the gold coast or the sunshine coast in 30mins! Instead we battle endless traffic, potholes and poorly maintained roads. The other problem is that half of the cars in Australia are incapable of doing these kinds of speed. Even at 100kph, they bellow smoke and sound like their 1980's engine is going to explode.

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