And it's because we all drive too many SUVs.
This is just a theory, but one reason that German luxury cars are the standard of the world could be the Autobahn. With some sections of Germany’s famous road system having no speed limit, luxury automakers have had to contend with the fact that customers traveling on these highways want cars that can not only reach high speeds but feel smooth and controllable while doing so.
That requires high-quality engineering, quality that can be felt even on speed-restricted roads in America. And though it’s unlikely that Porsche, BMW, Mercedes, and Audi will ever back down from building passenger cars and SUVs that can hit 155 mph when stock, Germany’s beloved Autobahn may soon lose its best feature: sections of road with zero speed limits.
According to Bloomberg, that’s because Germany is beginning to reduce speed limits on some sections of the Autobahn, limiting velocities in certain areas to 100 kph (62 mph). So why the sudden change of heart? Well, it’s all due to climate change, according to meteorologists.
Germany is currently going through a heatwave, with temperatures reaching as high as 38.2 degrees Celsius (101 degrees Fahrenheit) along some parts of the Autobahn, and certain regions are on track to break a heat record of 40.3 degrees Celsius (104.54 degrees Fahrenheit) set in July of 2015. High temperatures are causing German state officials to worry that sections of the Autobahn will crack due to the heat, which could create deadly road conditions for anyone traveling at high speeds.
The weather, claim meteorologists, is being caused by changes to the climate that are preventing cool blasts of air from the Atlantic to counter a stream of hot air coming to Western Europe from the Sahara desert. "The build-up of hot and dry conditions over the continent, sometimes turning a few sunny days into dangerous heatwaves,” said Dim Coumou, a climatologist at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.
For the time being, German automakers are doing their best to advance the production of electric cars and curb the effects of climate change so that maybe, just maybe, the Autobahn can stay de-restricted as it should be.