This morning, we asked for your perfect Autobahn-cruising machines. Some of your answers were classic high-powered grand tourers, but some of you went a little stealthier with your approach — maybe too stealthy in some cases. These are some of the best (or just the wildest) answers we saw.
The Humble Diesel Wagon
As someone who has spent several years in Germany I can without a doubt tell you the fastest car on the autobahn is always a black, diesel, station wagon. Not the 911, not the AMG GT, not the Ferrari Enzo, not the countless other GT/sport/supercars cruising along with traffic. No, the fastest car on the autobahn is always the diesel wagon.
There’s always something to be said for flying under the radar. Speed traps may not be an issue, but a station wagon isn’t going to draw ire from anyone else on the road — hard for someone to road rage against you when they can’t pick you out of the crowd.
Submitted by: Stuttgart_Jon
Over There, It’s The S-Klasse
A Mercedes S-class.
It’s powerful. It’s comfortable... and on that note, has some of the best luxury features money can buy. Capable of very high speed, yet smooth as silk. And while cruising at speed, totally silent other than the sounds you choose to fill the cabin. Sure it’d be fun to do a quick blast down the Autobahn in a sports car with 4-digit horsepower, but for a trip halfway across the country this is the car I’d want.
Just because you’re doing triple digit speeds doesn’t mean you should make any sacrifices at all to comfort or smoothness. An S Class will swaddle you in the finest interior materials, making you almost forget how quickly you’re hurtling through space. Almost.
Submitted by: As Du Volant
Tis Better To Have Driven Than To Never Drive At All
Whichever car you get from the airport rental counter.
In my case it was a Ford Kuga, AKA Escape
If the choice is between driving the Autobahn and not doing that, you take the drive — regardless of what car you’re offered. If that means you take a rented Kuga, then you take the rented Kuga. It’s better than not driving at all.
Submitted by: Nakam
Slow Car Fast
You want big thrill? Any old city car like a Peugeot 104, or Citroën 2cv, Ax, Visa, or a Yugo or an original Fiat 500. Imagine, you full throttle baremy making to 55mph, getting passed by card doing 160mph. That feeling it could blow you out of the highway just passing you by?
We here at Jalopnik are big fans of the Yugo. Taking one on the Autobahn is a natural choice — slow car fast is good, so why not slowest car fastest? It just makes sense.
Submitted by: mx5kev
440 Cubic Inches Of Raw Whining Power
“...more interested in taking something like a Dodge Charger Daytona...”
Speak of the devil—my R/T clone with the tricked-out 440 under the hood—I’d love to rip down the Autobahn with my Charger. (And thanks to my NATO headcount Army enlistment, I’ve experienced the Autobahn—see other posting.)
But the thing that especially suits the Charger to the Autobahn nowadays is that I have a Gear Vendors overdrive installed—that gets my axle ratio down to 2.75:1—the perfect gearing for high speed cruising. And my all-American big block is something to behold as the 4bbl opens up and it roars. So help me, many of you out there reading are genuine car guys/gals who’ve experienced all sorts of great cars, but due to the muscle cars’ age I doubt many of you have experienced a big block V8 at full throttle and it’s something to behold—omieffinggod to behold. When a tricked-out 440 roars, you’re in NASCAR.
So yes, thanks to my 440's stupefying torque and despite the Charger’s blunt nose, it would drill thru the air going down the Autobahn at full speed. That would be a dream come true. Course then comes the nightmare of pulling into the gas stations along the way to constantly refill the 16gal tank and watching my credit card melt. WTF—only live once.
When you’re overcoming air resistance and headwinds, torque is what will pull you through. That goes doubly so when your aerodynamics are... less than stellar. Big displacement means big torque, and where better to get that than in classic American muscle?
Submitted by: the 1969 Dodge Charger Guy
The True Kind Of The (Economical) Autobahn
Been there, know the answer and it isn’t what you expect.
The Autobahn is not what the movies show 9 times out 10. This is what you have is two lanes 9 times out of 10 and lots of traffic. As a car driver, the pattern is this:
1. Left lane, long line, everyone going under 100 kph because there is a truck passing a slower truck
2. Truck pulls out of left lane, everyone floors it.
3. Drag race to speed. If there is someone ahead of you going slower, flash them and force them into the slow right lane. Hope you can keep up and aren’t forced into the truck lane by someone coming up faster behind you.
4. Eventually, a small gap will open up that is big enough for a truck to pull into. Slam on the brakes and go back to step 1.
There is a King of the Autobahn.
The Toyota Prius
Why the Prius?
1. Fuel is stupid expensive there. You can’t afford to drive a Hellcat at speed.
2. Because of fuel prices, everyone has similar power levels. But the Prius has superior aero. Which means at around 160 kph, you are the one flashing people out of the left lane.
You have a pretty good chance in a Prius to get to 160+ kph, which is fast enough for the trucks to not risk coming into the left lane in front of you because of the superior acceleration between 130-160 kph (from the superior aero). At the same time, you can afford to cruise at 160 kph+ without mortgaging your house.
I would guess there are EVs that can do as well or better than a Prius. But for now, if I was going to Germany today, I would want a Prius.
Speaking of aerodynamics, let’s head to the other end of the spectrum: The Toyota Prius. Sure, its curves are designed to maximize MPGs rather than MPH, but there’s crossover in the fluid dynamics at play. You’ll need less power to keep up with traffic, and that means less money spent on fuel. Hypermiling is its own reward.
Submitted by: hoser68
A V8 With German Engineering
Boring choice, but a BMW e39 M5. Fast, comfortable, luxurious.
Boring, you say? The E39 is understated, sure, but not boring. Those sleek, ageless lines, backed up with V8 power and the knowledge that at any moment your stereo could begin blasting Song 2 by Blur? There are few more fitting vehicles for your Autobahn trip — but many more boring.
Submitted by: Unacceptably Dry Scones
The Lap Of Luxury
If it doesn’t have to be new, a Bentley Brooklands coupe sure would be nice.
If it’s gotta be new, Rolls Royce Wraith.
I want an isolated, high speed experience that will be lavish, and luxurious.
Maybe you don’t want the all-out sensation of speed. Maybe getting to your destination posthaste is merely an inconvenience for you. The drive is something to be endured rather than enjoyed. Then why not insulate yourself from that drive, with layers of sound deadening and leather?
Submitted by: Blockheads
The Grandest Tourer
The all-too-obvious answer is a V12 S class, but the correct answer is a V12 Vanquish. The style and luxury afforded by this grand tourer are unparalleled, IMHO.
How can you say no to the car from one of Bond’s all-time best movies? A V12 Vanquish, of either of the car’s generations, is the sort of sleek grand tourer that fits perfectly on the autobahn. Smooth, refined, yet with power to spare — a distinguished choice.
Submitted by: NEBcruiser
The American Muscle Wagon
Just because you’re going to Germany, doesn’t mean you can’t bring a bit of America with you. Eight cylinders, one supercharger, and power that the M5 didn’t catch up with for years. You bring the wagon to fit with all those European daily drivers, but you bring the sound of an American V8 to show off where you came from.
Submitted by: reverberocket is nipping the apex..and gently blowing in it’s ear.