Ask the Best and Brightest: Berholprestige?

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

I was driving down the freeway in the left lane just the other day when a quick peek in the rearview mirror told me that another car was approaching me from behind. It was still a ways off, and its silver-gray color barely stood out from the unseasonably gray skies. As it drew nearer at a fairly rapid clip, I had to look again, and after a quick glance my initial identification was “2004 Chevrolet Monte Carlo.” It wasn’t until the car was within the two-second following envelope that I realized it was actually a Jaguar XF. Being the considerate driver I am, I pulled over and allowed the Jag to float past on a wave of blandonymity. But not every driver is as ethical with the lane etiquette as me, which is why the Germans came up with the term “Überholprestige.” Roughly translated it means, “the ability of a car to intimidate drivers into moving out of your way,” and the Jaguar XF rates about a 2 on the scale [ED. Out of what?]. In contrast, the Audi Q7 chases you down looking like the love child of a sperm whale and a bullet train. Seriously, the Q’s grill alone looks like most cars could pass comfortably through it and be pulled into the Q’s belly never to be heard from again. So which cars do you think demand respect? Which models part traffic before you like the Red Sea and which leave you stuck behind disrespectful peasants?

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

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  • Martin Schwoerer Martin Schwoerer on Aug 26, 2009

    Gunit +1 Living in Germany, I as a general rule only drive on the left lane when I am overtaking. What to do when I am passing a long row of vehicles at around 80mph, yet somebody behind me wants to pass me at an even higher speed? If the other guy has been waiting patiently and politely, I take the first reasonable opening on the right lane, even if it means I have to reduce my speed. If on the other hand the guy behind me is breathing down my neck, then I have no qualms with letting him wait a little longer. I might even slow down a bit, to increase my margin of safety in case things get ugly. Thus - überholprestige has no importance to me whatsoever. Politeness and respect do.

  • Noreserve Noreserve on Aug 26, 2009

    Dodge Ram, Ford F-150, any full-size pickup or SUV, as I know that they are generally always about 30 or 50 feet worse than whatever I'm driving in the braking department.

  • Morea Morea on Aug 26, 2009

    In the spirit of the original question, I vote for the Dodge Viper with its wide cross-hair grill (guess who is in the cross hairs? you!) You can "feel" the pounding 10 cylinders behind you saying "move over fool!" Also, how about a pack of Harleys? (Although they usually do not come up very fast.) Gives you the feeling you have a swarm of pursuers.

  • Panzerfaust Panzerfaust on Aug 26, 2009

    S series Benz always got my attention.