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How to go 170 mph in a parking lot

The Opel Insignia OPC is the hotted-up version of Opel’s big, soft family sedan. Hot translates to 325 hp from a turbocharged 2.8-liter V6, and this is what it’s like to drive it flat out—in a parking lot.

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So yeah, it’s sort of a sad comment on the modern state of hyper-regulated speed that the only way to do this without being thrust into a bottomless legal abyss is to lift the entire Opel a foot above the ground.

But what’s even more interesting is what my friend Tamás Rácz—the editor-in-chief of Vezess.hu, the Hungarian car website which filmed the Opel run amok—told me:

What was really strange was that the noise coming from the car [while being driven at top speed] was about 10% of what any car passing you at 30 mph makes.

If cars had no wheels and could travel in a vacuum, one could shout across the Danube in Budapest and be heard.

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It would be yet another interesting experiment to measure the individual contribution of tire noise versus wind noise to the total noise profile of a moving car. But it would certainly be nice to have low noise tires. Tire noise is not a pretty noise. It could go away and let engine noise take the stage. Or well-tuned exhaust noise. Or Sonic Youth on nice speakers with the windows down.

And imagine the serenity John Young must have felt in the spring of 1972, when, as commander of Apollo 16, he set the land speed record of 11 mph on the surface of the Moon in complete silence, a record which stands to this day.

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DISCUSSION

Freakusaurus
Freakusaurus

I HATE HATE HATE when a car puts a speedometer in a car that goes to 200+ mph in a car that really can barely do over 100mph.

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Yes I know they say this car just did 170mph and the 300 on there was kilometers, the needle stopped at 270, which also isn't 170mph, but not the point so shut up.

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Some car companies make sure to tell you that the car has a 200mph speedometer as if thats a good thing.. even though the car only does 125.... You take that same sized speedometer and make the numbers only go to 125mph and now you have more than a quarter of an inch between 5mph... Now I can tell that I am indeed doing 55mph and not 57mph like the cop says I am.