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Posts By: Clemens Gleich
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Yesterday, Clemens Gleich brought you Part 1 of his authoritative guide to the Autobahn, due to overwhelming success, today Part 2. If you ask how Clemens became Minister of High-Speed Transport Propaganda – stranger things happened in Deutschland. A formerly leather-clad radical was made Secretary of State, and the province of Daimler and Porsche has a green governor. Expect to be surprised! – BS
2. The Location
Many foreigners think that every Autobahn is basically the same, which can lead to a very unsatisfactory motor vacation, because it is easily possible to spend the whole length of it in absurdly limited sections and road works which means you might as well have stayed at home. There are some passages that not only are unlimited, but also have curvature radii that feel like a straight at 70 mph but tear your face off your skull (or your tires off the asphalt) at 170 mph. The A95 from Munich to Garmisch is a nice example (don’t go there on the weekends, when everybody and their mother will).
You could race down BMWs very own prototype test track: Enter the A92 leaving Munich, turn on the A3 towards Regensburg, at Regensburg go down the A93 towards Ingolstadt and Munich (A9). Rinse, repeat. You will see all those disguised next-gen BMWs and perhaps a few such Audis, too.
Let me welcome you to Germany, English-speaking traveler. I know the two reasons you come here for, because I often meet you at the usual places for going fast: There is a) the Nordschleife of the Nürburgring which to you is the only thing interesting about the Ring, and there is b) the Autobahn. (Read More…)
When the Fastbike crew did some tire testing at Continental’s “Contidrome” test track, along came a car magazine with an Audi TT RS plus. They wanted: a race. They got: slaughtered. Is the old truth about cornering speeds changing?
I have done a lot of motorbike magazine work over the years. Every so often, someone dusts off a very old idea: “What is faster, car or motorbike?” This is a boring question, because even since Newton, the answer always was: The motorbike has a better power-to-weight ratio, so it will out-accelerate the car on the straights. The car will gain in the corners through higher speeds and it can brake later, because the limiting factor in braking a sports bike is geometry: Your maximum deceleration happens with the back wheel barely touching the ground. After that, you lose braking power because you are flipping over. The same is true for acceleration btw (you flip over in the other direction), but since nearly all cars are fat and slow compared to a sports bike, this limit doesn’t matter much. So the outcomes of these tests depended solely on the track. Sometimes, the track favors the bike, sometimes it likes the car. Motorcyclists who know their physics like to infuriate other sports bike riders by passing them in the bends with a Civic when they have to use it for their shopping. And car guys hate it when they have to slow down on the Nordschleife in a twisty bit for a bike which then shoots ahead on the straight just to block the next corner by seeming to park there. Such was the accepted truth. Until a few months ago. (Read More…)
It's a tough job. Our author, working his tail off evaluating product on a press junket to South Africa
If you’ve ever had a friend or relative who was both eager and nervous to show off a painting, piece of music or other creative work (“Tell me what you really think. Don’t sugarcoat it.” Who hasn’t heard that one before), then you’ll understand how PR people must feel when they’re tasked with introducing a new vehicle.
I hate France. I hate it with a vengeance. Anyone who has ever had the misfortune of landing at Charles De Gaulle Airport will understand what I mean. So when a colleague from “Die Welt” (“The World”, a major German newspaper) returned from his drive of the Citroen DS5 and excitedly exclaimed “This is the […]