To German motoring magazines, comparing cars is more a matter of scientific
researches than one of expressing feelings, impressions or disappointments. They
explore them just as an unknown phenomenon and don't believe, unlike other
countries' publications, in auto manufacturers' claims.
By the use of precise high-tech measuring instruments, acceleration, flexibility and
fuel consumption are exactly determined as well as deceleration rates with cold and
warm brakes. Extreme stress at high speed driving on the German autobahn requires
fade-free brake systems which is why German mags check out how good cars decelerate
after 10 full brake applications from 100 km/h. All that gives evidence of cars'
quality and reveals what brochures conceal. Even the noise level inside a vehicle
is ascertained exactly.
However top speed isn't checked since the 1980's because it has turned out that
automakers' claims are correctly done and furthermore, top speed of cars has
increased in the last years, and subsequently the number of vehicles which are
governed to 250km/h so that it finally would just be a test to find out if speed
limiters work correctly. But, in case that a specification is not credible, top
speed is checked too, which admittedly occurs very rarely.
By means of special conversion factors, adapted to the respective class'
requirements and expectations, a specific score is worked out to depict in numbers
how good a car is on the several fields. Achieving top score presupposes perfection
and the conversion factors are permanently updated according to new technologies
and changed standards.
Recent revaluation refers to luxury cars. As Mercedes & Co offer executive saloons
generating over 400hp, the German magazines want them to brake as super sports cars, no
matter how heavy weighted such vehicles are. Means, now they have to decelerate as abruptly as
a Ferrari Enzo or a Porsche Carrera GT to reach top score.