Thursday, September 2, 2010

Do we still need something like "ueberhol-prestige"?

In German we have the word "Ueberhol-Prestige". Translated 1:1 this would mean "overtake prestige", it basically says that if you are driving a slow car on a highway and then a car approaches and you see it in the rear mirror, you move to the slower lane immediately to let the fast car, that comes with a lot of "ueberhol-prestige", pass you. In the 60ies this was quite important, because the standard car was able to get to 120 km per hour or so, while your Jaguar E-Type or Ferrari was able to go beyond 200 km/h. So it was much better if people that you wanted to overtake spotted early that you are driving a faster car. Today though everybody drives a fast car, even a family station wagon is able to get to a speed of 200 km/h or 250 km/h. If you really own a sportscar that is substantially faster you rarely can enjoy it, be it because of speeding limits or because of heavy traffic at all times. So, in that sense, "ueberhol-prestige" is something that was important in the past and that car designers tried to embed into the shape and face of the car.

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