Lets assume... - Miller
...in 20 or so years time, through the use of technology, it becomes impossible for any car on the UK's roads to break the speed limit.

Would that mean the end of the line for the sports/exec/performance car market? And if so what effect would this have on the UK economy?
Lets assume... - THe Growler
The economy would be primarily bazaar-based, widely based on barter and run by Afghans. Britons would largely be an illiterate underclass ruled by bigoted tree-huggers who had dug up motorways and replaced them with vegetable gardens. Cars would long ago have been banned. Nations like Canada, Australia and New Zealand would be economic powerhouses as a result of the enormous wealth of technical and intellectual expertise which sensible governments truly interested in democracy would have long before attracted via generous and liberal immigration programmes for all whose IQ exceeded baseball cap directional wearing abilities. The EU would have crumbled into a useless body of fractious bureaucrats renowned for their mind-boggling levels of corruption and have even less meaning purpose and direction than it does today.

Australia would be the world's largest sports car market with the magnificent Stuart Highway from Adelaide to Darwin the place to see how quickly you could cover 2,500km on a weekend.
Lets assume... - nick
Any chance of a serious discussion on this?
Lets assume... - Andy P
If it happens, I don't see it making much difference - we have very few wholly British car manufacturers anyway, plus there will still be overseas markets for them.

Besides, how many people buy sports cars and actually make use of all that performance. A lot of people buy these cars as status symbols (in the same way people buy brand new cars).

Lets assume... - Baskerville
Have you seen/read Minority Report? Philip K. Dick is so often accurate on these matters.

But seriously why would that matter? Executive cars are primarily luxury cars and I presume they are still comfortable at below 70mph, though many "executives" may not believe it. And as for sports cars, how fast is an MG Midget? It should be pretty easy to set up a system of "allowed derestriction" to cope with track days, such as the cars having GPS instructions to allow full power only in areas covered by approved tracks.

As for the economy, well lower top speeds of the fastest vehicles and less difference in speed between the fastest and slowest generally means better traffic flow overall, so I doubt it would make much difference to journey times assuming the limits stay the same as now. Having tried the "do the journey without going over seventy" then do it again without that restriction (but still within reason), it's a matter of seconds difference: the effect of congestion plays a much greater part and lower average speeds would ease that.
Lets assume... - THe Growler
Vote the current lot of spivs back in for another term and you'll have a serious discussion all right :-)
Lets assume... - Flat in Fifth
Vote the current lot of spivs back in for another term
and you'll have a serious discussion all right :-)


Nice one G! Right on the money..........unfortunately.

If the "let's assume" position were to be correct.

Then I would be buying up a disused airfield or two sharpish and running track and hooning days. In other words there will always be a market for quick motors and places to drive them. The market size of such cars might decrease admittedly. Consider the following.

When the 70 limit came in we had as a family car an A40 Somerset. 60mph(ish) flat out. Car after that was a 105E, tad over 70 flat out?

Considering that the max limit has not changed one iota since then all cars in our little family fleet today are capable of >100mph. One of them, I would say, could give a run for their money against cars considered seriously quick sports models back when the 70 limit came in.
Lets assume... - nick
The technology exists now, but is not applied due to expense, political will and the likely public reaction. I can't see there being many votes in a move like this so I doubt it would happen. This is a democracy after all, despite what some people think. Even if it did happen, there would still be a market for fast accelerating cars and more luxurious ones. I doubt if it would have a serious impact on the UK economy. Most of our motor industry is foreign-owned anyway and we'd just get speed-limited versions of what they sell elsewhere. Makers like TVR would suffer though.
Lets assume... - M.M
I rarely post about speed issues because the threads mostly get lost into that collective speeding one....but hey I might as well get carried there once in a while.

I would be absolutely sickened at the thought of any move towards speed limiters related to national limits for cars. It would be a move too far in regulation, there are so many times when it could be dangerous in overtaking situations.**

However I would be happy to see limiters capping speeds at say 110mph for all vehicles because so few folks are really capable of handling the information rush above those speeds and in some ways they need saving from themselves.

If there was any thought of introducing limiters I bet they wouldn't retro-fit to older cars so the demand for quick Citroen TDs may well increase.....might have to store a few!

**Having said that the thought of an old diesel LR belching smoke and flying past speed-limited BMWs has some appeal.

Lets assume... - Aprilia
Japanese market has speed restricted cars; sports cars seem to sell well there.
Lets assume... - volvoman
Can't see our glorious leaders doing anything which would seriously affect car ownership - they need the income derived from it. If they genuinely cared about the environment or health of the nation they'd have banned smoking decades ago - they won't do it 'cos it generates too much tax.
Lets assume... - pmh
Lorries and coaches have speedlimiters, so the logical extension is to fit to cars. I suspect that a staged introduction may be sellable to the public at large, how about white vans, colored vans, 4x4s, followed by all vehicles above 2500cc as a starting point?

The question is what do you do for police vehicles? The mind boggles if you limit them to maybe 10 mph over the national limit, thus allowing pursuits with a closing speed of 10mph.

With the loss of speed camera revenues maybe taxes would have to go up?

As I think David MM has said the market for legacy vehicles could take off.
I will hang on to the GTI, DTR BX, TR7 etc for ever now, that will upset SWMBO!

pmh (was peter)
Lets assume... - Flat in Fifth
Lorries and coaches have speedlimiters, so the logical extension is to
fit to cars. I suspect that a staged introduction may
be sellable to the public at large, how about white vans,
colored vans, 4x4s, followed by all vehicles above 2500cc as
a starting point?

Did you know that legislation is already extending 56 mph limiters to goods vehicles > 3.5 t gvw and PCV with more than 8 seats? Also older vehicles will have to be retro fitted.

see this old thread >>


Since then the UK Government which were the only country to vote against this have thrown in the towel. Jan 1 2008 is the implementation date.

There is a consultation paper out on the DfT website about this. This paper makes a dog's breakfast of the rules relating to rerofitting on older vehicles though.
Lets assume... - Canon Fodder

I think that your hypothesis is odds-on Miller.

We are already seeing manufacturers concentrate more on interior features such as flexible seating, DVD, errrrr, cup holders, etc and I think that's where the future focus will be.

SUV's and 4x4's will still be popular, as engine and transmission advancements will allow them to post reasonable ecomony figures, but out and out performance motors will fade away.

No effect on the economy - the chancellor will contiue to extract his 50bn per year in duty.....

Lets assume... - Dan J
Can't see it happening and if anyone tried it I imagine accidents would increase significantly. It removes one more thing to pay attention to so I imagine everyone would drive round with an "on/off" approach to the throttle and pay even less attention to what is going on around them than they already do.
Lets assume... - Garethj
Fortunately, governments have a long and established track record of not being able to make technology work for them so I think we're safe from it.

I owned a Japanese K-Class car which was limited to 87mph and it was still good fun, but if maximum speed is limited some drivers will just go faster around corners, probably much more dangerous?
Lets assume... - GrumpyOldGit
This is already possible and has been demonstrated. A GPS receiver loaded with the position of all speed limits is connected to the engine management system. The GPS receiver knows where the car is, and tells the management system to restrict the speed to that of the limit as the car enters. Simple and effective. I think it's inevitable.
Lets assume... - Garethj
I've seen the test of it installed (was it in a new Skoda?) but I don't think it will lower accidents because it can't warn of inappropriate speed.

Aside from that, it's a long way from the technology working in one prototype car to being used nationwide. I guess we'd want it quite free of faults too, no nasty switching to 30mph while on a perfectly legal NSL overtake at 55mph? Any system like this can only be 99.999 etc % safe and that still adds up to a fair few accidents or near misses because of it. Add in a few hysterical newspaper front pages to the mix, simmer and leave to collapse after costing billions to implement.

In my opinion, of course.
Lets assume... - Cardew
"Would that mean the end of the line for the sports/exec/performance car market?

In the 1970s the blanket 55mph speed limit in the USA was rigorously enforced and penalties were severe. Very few people exceeded the limit as the chances of getting caught were just too high.

However it didn't dent the sales in the sports/exec/performance car market. If I remember correctly the Mustang/Corvette sector saw increased sales.

Value my car