The German Autobahn. No speed limits. A driver's paradise. At least that's what we read here in America. The reality is more mundane, if not dangerous.
Much of the Autobahn has speed limits nowadays, thanks to cars just being so damn fast. Well, that and there are trucks everywhere. And Germans shat their collective pants back in the '70s and '80s when they thought high speed driving was going to wipe out their precious forests. They called it Forest Death and it scared just about everyone into driving slower.
In any case, there still are some sections of unrestricted Autobahn in Detuschland, but even they aren't always some kind of driving nirvana, as CarnivalofBowls complained in our post on underpowered cars.
From my short time in Europe, I'd estimate that about half of the European population drive cars with less than 100hp, and in the southern countries, what seems like a majority make do with 50-60hp microcars.
It's especially strange in Germany, where it's a split between lethargic 1-liter hatchbacks (all hail the mighty Opel Corsa) and high-powered 3-liter biturbo bruisers. This leads to scary encounters on the Autobahn - our rental was a diesel Astra with 1.3l displacement IIRC and the Audis and BMWs, hell even the more muscular VWs, assert their dominance without mercy or regard for safety.
They don't give a shit if it's only two lanes and you haven't passed that truck yet - you're messing up their 120mph average and if you have to dive into the safety distance between two trucks, so be it.
Dutch reader Duurtlang didn't find things so bad.
I used my since retired old mk2 Golf 1,3i om the German Autobahn last summer. It had 54hp when new, but it was 21 years old at the time. The dry weight of the vehicle is 820 kg, but there were 4 grown men inside. It still managed just fine. Just stay on the right lane and when you do need to overtake use your mirrors properly.
Solracer, though, wasn't exactly thrilled about being stuck auf der Autobahn in a wimpy one-point-two.
Yeah, try driving the autobahn in a Renault Clio 1.2 sometime. You spend more time looking in the rearview mirror than through the windshield.
If you've been driving on the Autobah, share your scariest experience there in Kinja below. Surely some of you have had some high speed close calls.