The Germans and to some degree the French have always been phenomenal engineers. Now Italians are good for making things beautiful.
There’s the old joke about in hell:
In Hell: the cooks are English,
the policemen are German,
the mechanics are French,
the lovers are Swiss
and the bankers are Italian.
But I seriously love German cars – particularly those from the region in the eastern part between Stuttgart and Bavaria. The cars they produced are this side of fucking awesome. Drivers cars. I’m speaking of three cars here – the Porsche 944, the Volkswagen Jetta, and the BMW X3. I’ve driven the last two and was very impressed by their performance. But then think about it, German cars are built for the speeds and conditions of the Autobahn in Germany.
That’s the other thing the Autobahn. The standards for building that highway system are much deeper than what we have here in the U.S. The roadways are built for speed and a long lifetime. In the U.S. our highways, particularly in the northeast were built to suit political whim and nothing more.
But German cars need to be able to do a respectable speed. For instance today I had a BMW X3. It’s a medium to small sized SUV. Refined as all hell. Does take a little getting used to as the radio controls are on the center console not the dash. And the gear selector – to go into reverse you hold down the button on the side and tip the handle forward. To go into drive you tip the handle downward. And then it has this little feature where you can select between sport mode and eco mode. I think you can figure out what they do. But I’ll elaborate – in eco mode the vehicle performs admirably. But put it in sport mode and it becomes a very responsive monster. Just touch the gas pedal and you’re zooming away. I like!
Coming back from Cambridge, MA I had a long stretch of road to push it up to 70, 80, 90, and 100MPH. Cars built in the U.S. and Japan will shimmy like mad above 80MPH. But this BMW X3 was SOLID on the road. Simply amazing. And even the base model of the X3 can tow 4,400 pounds. That’s pretty wild.
Now a new one will cost you $50K. But used and a couple years old the price drops precipitously. So maybe I might picked a used vehicle. A 2007/2008 with relatively low mileage is about $10K on average. Mazda may think they have the zoom zoom – but they’re kidding themselves. The X3 had the mother fucking zoom.
And today I had a suit on – and the Keyron says the car – it’s a car basically – all the creature features, bells and whistles. But he says it fits me. Now I like small cars – a Mazda 3 or even a nicely restored Porsche 944 would suit me. But the X3 has the wow factor, actually that’s being too mild about it, it had the holy shit factor. And if there’s one thing I REALLY like it’s rapid acceleration and that feeling of being pushed back in your seat. Oh yeah!
I do wish the U.S. would adopt the practice of what is this: The left lane is for ludicrous speed. The German language has a term for it but it’s not what we in the U.S. would think. It is Verkehr rechts halten aka Traffic Keep Right. The assumption of the word ‘slower traffic keep right’ is inherent in the German term. The left lane is only for ludicrous speed!