200 km/h is fast – and that’s official! (2024)

I have added another car to my garage which happens to have a top speed of just over 280 km/h. Which some seem to think is not fast. Are they mad?!!?

In fact I’m almost embarrassed to admit it, because I’ve always considered style, sound, history, shape, colors and everything else as pretty good criteria for choosing my classic cars. But the new one, which is of course not new but then again not that old either (I’ll present it later) is in many, many ways an exception for me – including the almost irrelevant fact that it is that fast. Different sources say different things but most agree that the top speed is more than 280 km/h (that’s 174 mph for some of you). As usual, there is no consensus, and has it ever been any different: did a Countach ever reach 300 km/h? Wasn’t a 911 Turbo faster than 260 km/h? Could an E-type really reach 150 mph under its own power? Etc.

200 km/h is fast – and that’s official! (1)

The new addition to the garage was not carefully chosen because of the top speed, I would like to emphasize: I am still not to be had for cheap performance and potent power. The car happens to address that too, but for me it’s a secondary thing that just seems to come with the car – which I actually chose on the usual quite sound basis of shape, sound and all that. But I’ve just noticed one thing lately: Hardcore car enthusiasts, not to mention the professionals in the industry, have become completely speed-blind and don’t consider that kind of performance anything special anymore.

It really dawned on me when I quite thoroughly researched an Aston Martin V8 Vantage in the summer of 2019 – dreaming ahead to an excellent season in 2020, where I just might like to try that thing with a really great car – with super performance as a side effect on my own body. I couldn’t summon the courage and it came to nothing. But anyway: that early V8 Vantage with the small engine (yes, they really call it that!) with “just” 385 horses that accelerates from 0-100 km/h in 5 seconds and can reach a top speed of 280 km/h is still quite a dream car for me and there seems to be some consensus that it is actually a very fine automobile.

Nevertheless I read and saw several tests of the model where the test drivers loudly and clearly stated that “it is nice and handles well, but it is not really fast” or other waffle along those lines.

200 km/h is fast – and that’s official! (2)

Excuse me, but 280 km/h not really fast? 0-100 in five seconds not fast either? Are they perfectly insane ?!?

Numbers like those are very similar to the figures for the Seventies and Eighties absolute dream icons, Countach, Testarossa and 911 Turbo (and Aston Martin V8 Vantage, if you happen to be British). And it’s not as though 280 km/h as an absolute speed has been devalued since the Eighties. Nor that the actual conditions to test it have improved: if you have ever tried to approach a couple of lorries on the motorway at 300 km/h then you will know how nerve-wracking the idea of ​​whether one pulls out to overtake is when approaching at more than three times their speed.

It doesn’t really make any sense, and I realized that years ago. That is, on the purely practical level.

On the other hand I absolutely agree that in many other ways performance and top speed in essence is the very thing that sets apart, for example, one Italian supercar from another Italian supercar. Or points to those two rather than a German car. And of course I myself am fascinated by the fact that a Ferrari Testarossa does 297 km/h – and does not manage the three kilometers more that the Countach claimed ten years before. Claimed.

200 km/h is fast – and that’s official! (3)

But this is folklore, adventure, bar room talk and heresay without any practical significance. And I think in the same breath it’s ridiculous to say that 280 km/h isn’t fast. Just because something else can do 400 km/h? Well, let me tell you that it’s the one who does 400 that’s got it wrong! For it is simply foolish to strive for that number.

So in short: I would hereby like to officially declare that 200 km/h is fast. Everything above that speed is varying degrees of very fast, really fast, crazy fast, insanely fast, much too fast and so on. If you don’t understand that, it’s back to the Playstation console.

200 km/h is fast – and that’s official! (4)
200 km/h is fast – and that’s official! (2024)
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