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Renault limiting its cars' top speed to 180km/h

Australia's highest-posted speed limit is 130km/h but soon it won't just be the police stopping you from doing over 180km/h in your Renault.

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2021 Hyundai i30 N hatch here in June
2021 Hyundai i30 N hatch here in June
William Stopford
William Stopford

Renting a Renault in Germany? Keep to the slow lane on the Autobahn.

Renault has announced it’s capping the top speed of all its vehicles at 180km/h, as part of its new environmental and societal strategy.

This also applies to Dacia models, while the upcoming, all-electric Megane-E will go one further and feature an automatic speed limit adjuster set by default.

According to Der Spiegel, CEO Luca de Meo told shareholders at the company’s recent general meeting he wants to prevent traffic accidents.

The Renault boss cited excessive speed as the cause of a third of fatal accidents.

The company wants to equip all its vehicles with an automatic speed control system called the Safety Coach, which will adjust the speed based on posted limits while also taking into account factors like sharp curves and inclement weather.

Should you crash your Renault, the company is also employing QR codes that’ll allow first responders to easily access its structural information.

In a move that may have some Autobahn drivers muttering “bloody Volvo driver”, Volvo confirmed in June 2020 all Volvo vehicles’ top speeds would henceforth be limited to 180km/h.

That’s considerably lower than, for example, German automakers, who limit their vehicles’ top speeds to 250km/h though, with BMW M, Mercedes-AMG, and Audi RS vehicles, allow you to pay to remove the limiter.

“We want to start a conversation about whether car makers have the right or maybe even an obligation to install technology in cars that changes their driver’s behaviour, to tackle things like speeding, intoxication or distraction,” Volvo Car CEO Hakan Samuelsson said when announcing the move.

Volvo also introduced what it calls a Care Key, allowing owners to set additional limitations on the car’s top speed.

It’s a similar concept to General Motors’ Teen Driver feature in North America, which allows owners to program a key fob and impose certain restrictions.

These include a maximum speed, a maximum audio volume, and preventing the driver from turning off active safety features.

Teen Driver also produces a report card which tells the owner, among other things, how many times the stability control and forward-collision warning intervened.

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William Stopford
William Stopford

William Stopford is an automotive journalist based in Brisbane, Australia. William is a Business/Journalism graduate from the Queensland University of Technology who loves to travel (remember that?), briefly lived in the US, and has a particular interest in the American car industry.

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