A3 & Autobahn

So Alyssa’s been wanting me to contribute to our blog, and I haven’t so far.  But now I have something that I feel I can contribute and am excited about.  So here goes.

So this morning we went to pick up our rental car.  We had reserved a car, and the category we picked (for price reasons) was Ford Focus, or VW Golf level (whatever they had in that range).  The agent at the desk kindof chuckled when she told me that we were getting an Audi A3.  I’m not too familiar with Audis but that sounded like an upgrade.  So we followed some helpful fellow car-renters down the block to the parking garage (there are 5 or 6 offices in the area, and they store their cars in a central parking garage), and found the car.  It’s a 2 door hatchback, but we get inside and find that this car has all the bells and whistles.  The GPS pops out of the dash, bluetooth stereo, backing up sensors, and I have volume controls on my steering wheel.  The GPS directions appear on the centre screen, but also right between the speedometer and the tachometer.  Plus, there’s a little display there for what song name is playing, the mileage, how far we have left on this tank (ours started at 700!).  In short, this car is fun to be in.

Unfortunately, the tire pressure light is on.  I run back and ask about it, and they said to check it, and if there’s any problems they will reimburse.  The tires are all normal pressure, so I’m guessing it’s a sensor problem.

Did I mention the car has a standard transmission?  I used to drive them around a lot during my Toyotatown days, but haven’t in a while.  Yes, I have stalled it a couple of times.  But it restarts the engine for me automatically!

So naturally once I get going down a relative straight stretch, I shift into second, and push the pedal down.  It turns out this car has power too!  From what I can tell, this car has a 150hp engine, turbo diesel.  Plus, its a little car, so it accelerates quickly.

So we are driving out of Munich, winding our way through construction, when we finally merge onto a 3 lane highway.  I get in the middle lane and get up to 100 km/h, as I am still getting used to the car.  I look in my rear-view mirror and see a Porsche, very small at first, and then it blows past me.  We have found the Autobahn!  I always had thought that I would be the tiny, underpowered car that is trying to avoid getting smashed if I ever drove around in Germany.  Not so!  I stay in the middle lane and keep up with traffic, and easily go 160km/h for about an hour.  On a straight stretch I got to 200 km/h for a minute and it didn’t feel like we were going that fast.

It turns out that my tires are only rated for 210km/h, so I can’t safely go any faster.  But I’ve learned that good cars and good roads make for fun, fast driving.

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