The Autobahn: Germany’s Race Track for Everyday Drivers

cr 52d7f1b86544aeb13eebedce3ddbf96d AutobahnThe famous German autobahns are renowned for being among the few public road systems in the world with significant sections of roadway without posted speed limits for cars and motorbikes. In 1938, Rudolf Caracciola attained a speed of 432 km/h (268 mph) on the autobahn that set a new worlds land speed record. His speed remains one of the highest off-tract, public roadway speeds ever achieved.  Known as Bundesautobahnen (federal expressways) these roadways form the German national or “interstate” road system. In fact, the autobahn system was the first limited-access, high-speed road network in the world. Today, it is third longest national highway system in the word behind the National Trunk Highway System (NTHS) of China and the U.S. Interstates.
History
During the late 1920s under Weimar Republic, the idea for the construction of a federal highway system was proposed but found little political support. Nevertheless, a private consortium began construction of a Frankfurt am Main to Basel autobahn. The first section from Frankfurt am Main to Darmstadt was completed in 1935.  During World War II, allied bombing and German military demolition heavily damaged the autobahns, and thousands of kilometers remained unfinished after the war. In West Germany, the German Federal Republic (GFR) soon repaired most existing autobahns, undertook completion of unfinished sections and extended the program.
Construction
As of 2012, Germany’s autobahns consist of a system of high-speed roadways with a total length of 12,845 km (8000 mi). The majority of modern autobahns are similar to major highways in industrialized countries. Modern autobahns are designed with multiple lanes of traffic in both directions and a central barrier between them, and all road junctions are grade-separated. Vehicles with a top speed of less than 60 km/h (37 mph) are not allowed on the autobahn system. Finally, a 120 cm (47 in) wide hard shoulder provides an emergency lane.  Post war construction introduced a 69 cm (27 in) asphalt-concrete cross-section with fully paved hard shoulders with life span of 40 years. The U. S. freeways are 11 inches thick. The top “design speed” is approximately 160 km/h (99 mph) in flat country, including curves. A few old sections of autobahn exist with two lanes and no emergency lane.
Speeds
No general speed limit exists for auto or motorcycles on the autobahns, but there is an advisory (Richtgeschwindigkeit) limit of 130 km/h (81 mph). Buses and vehicles towing trailers are limited to 100 km/h (62 mph). Additionally, limits are imposed for pollution or noise reduction, road construction, traffic jams, accidents and weather. In reality, the average speeds used on unmarked autobahn stretches are about 140 km/h (87 mph).
Traffic Laws and Enforcement
Unmarked police vehicles with video cameras patrol the German autobahn. Lane usage and posted speeds are strictly enforced. Drivers are required to use the right lane when it is free, and the left lane is to be used only for passing. Drivers can be fined for prolonged use of the far left lane when other lanes are free. Passing on the right is strictly forbidden.  Not yielding the left lane to allow a faster vehicle to pass is finable. However, excessive honking, light flashing or tailgating are also finable offenses and may be considered coercion with stiffer penalties. Except for emergencies – traffic jams or an accident – stopping on the autobahn is illegal. Even running out of gas is subject to a fine.
Byline:  Terrence Wadsworth is a freelance writer based in Tallahassee who focuses on cars, car gadgetry, the history of automobiles, and other things car related, including auto insurance; click to learn more about the top 10 cars in Canada in terms of car fuel consumption and insurance.

Tuning Series: BMW 1-Series M Coupe by TVW Car

BMW 1-Series M Coupe by TVM

Tuning houses seem can’t get enough of the BMW 1-Series M Coupe. The standard look on BMW 1-Series M Coupe is awesome, and to apply some tuning parts, double awesome. That is what TVM Car Design wanted, to get double awesomeness for the BMW 1-Series M Coupe.

Take a look at the photos of the BMW 1-Series M Coupe which we attached between our writings. The TVM Car Design brought the other side of the baby M coupe. TVM added multiple modifications which focused both on the visual look and performance.

BMW 1-Series M Coupe by TVM - side view

Let’s start with the exterior, shall we? The BMW 1-Series M Coupe by TVM Car Design got carbon-fiber rear spoiler, black painted roof which made from none other than the carbon-fiber, and smooth blacked out 20-inch wheels shod with Continental Sport Contact 5P tires.

BMW 1-Series M Coupe by TVM - interior

Step inside on the BMW 1-Series M Coupe, TVM Car Design covered the seats with fine leather with some orange contrast stitching and the steering wheel has LED indicators to emphasize the sporty feeling.

BMW 1-Series M Coupe by TVM - rear view

The best part of the BMW 1-Series M Coupe by TVM Car design is here. TVM replaced the standard exhaust system on the BMW 1-Series M Coupe with a brand new exhaust to keep up with the additional 11 horsepower. The total engine output is 420 horsepower at 5,900 rpm with the maximum torque is 320 Nm between 1,500 and 4,500 rpm. The top speed for the baby M coupe is 187 mph or around 306 km/h. Las touch from TVM Car Design for the BMW 1-Series M Coupe is the adjustable KW coilover suspension. Pricing for the software upgrades and hardware changes on the BMW 1-Series M Coupe by TVM Car Design is €5,000.

BMW Reveals the BMW 1-Series Coupe, Cabrio and M Models

2012 BMW 1-Series coupe cabrio

BMW was forced to reveal the all-new 1-Series hatchback some 10 days ago, after all the specs and most of the images were leaked onto the Internet ahead of the 1er’s debut in Frankfurt. However, we only got to see the ‘average’ BMW models, equipped with small turbocharged four-cylinder engines, and only in the five-door configuration.

The new BMW 1-Series looks much wider and the design is more fluent than the Bangle-era model, so most BMW fans were probably curious how the car would look as a three-door hatch or as a performance Coupe/Cabrio. Enter the magic that is the Photoshop graphics program, which was most likely used by forum members of 1Addicts.com.

2012 BMW 1-Series models black

The talented designers on BMW added a svelte back, some more aggressive features, a lower ride height and bigger wheels and voila, we have an iteration of what the BMW 1-Series Coupe and Cabrio could look like. We say may because the two-door model might not even carry the ‘1’ name and they will most likely have even sportier features than the hatch.

BMW even created renderings for the three-door hatchback and that M model we really crave. Both look very photorealistic are also based on the teaser the latest intel, so this could be the face of a future that’s coming your way.

2012 BMW 1-Series models white

BMW launched the 2012 1-Series exclusively with a range of four-cylinder engines. The petrol version is equipped with a 1.6-liter unit that produces 136 hp in the base 116i and 170 hp in the 118i. BMW diesel family is all about the 2.0-liter engine that offers between 116 and 186 hp in the 120d.