Deutsche Straßen sind nicht der Nürburgring.
But there I go, quoting German Minister of Transportation Peter Ramsauer out of context, and in the original. Herr Ramsauer’s rebuke comes on news of a late-night crash involving a future Mercedes ML Class prototype, that resulted in the death of a 26-year old man over the weekend. The crash took place on a stretch of non-speed-limited autobahn between Singen and Stuttgart, favored by Mercedes and Porsche for high-speed testing. Apparently the victim had been involved in a minor accident and was trying to exit his vehicle (stalled in the left lane, according to Der Spiegel) when the Mercedes test mule slammed into his car, killing him instantly. The 52-year old test driver is under investigation for negligent homicide.
Minister Ramsauer’s full quote in Autobild goes something like this:
We must wait for the results of the investigation. Test drivers are professionals. They should not behave themselves like Rambo, rather their driving must serve as an example to the rest of traffic. The German streets are not the Nürburgring
Of course, don’t expect the good Minister to actually change the speed limit laws. After all, the German automakers have long enjoyed an advantage over their competitors thanks to Germany’s autobahn system. If only in the PR and marketing departments. But then, why wouldn’t the phrase “autobahn tuned” come up in the vast majority of Mercedes ML sales?