While we were all most likely sleeping, Bloomberg broke some interesting news that a Porsche Test Engineer was killed while testing a new 998 911 Cabriolet prototype on the Autobahn, earlier this morning.
It is not yet confirmed exactly what happened and/or why it happened. Another car following the lead car was able to come to a safe stop and avoid the other Porsche. However, the 51-year old man driving the 911 Cab was killed at the scene of the accident. Porsche has also confirmed that this was not a high speed test, because they don’t do high speed tests on public roads.
According to Autoblog the accident happened about 2:40 am on the A5 portion of the Autobahn that is between Frankfurt and Heidelberg.
There is no doubt this is not a good PR event for Porsche. And my thoughts and prayers go out to the engineer’s family and friends. Also, this will definitely not help the advocacy for the Autobahn remaining limitless on speed.
Since this early afternoon when I found this article and posted it, I have found new information out for you guys. First of all, eyewitness reports claim that the 911 Cabrio was doing a high rate of speed. How fast, I don’t know. It is also confirmed, through Porsche, that the 51-year old driving the car was a 25 year veteran high speed tester for Porsche. One of the longest running test drivers for the auto group. This portion of the A5 where he wrecked is notorious for high speed testing by the automakers do to long straights with no speed limits and up to five lanes. This portion of the A5 is also the record holder for the fastest speed on a highway at 268 mph.
Due to how low the front end of a Porsche 911 is, it seems that it was able to be forced right under the guard rail. It seems obvious that the tester would have died on impact.
According to Global Motors the test engineer was doing his usual 10pm-6am shift.
It should be noted that the Autobahn is still the safest interstate in the world! Also, Germany is only third to the United States and China in terms of the length of its interstate system. The Autobahn has had well under 1,000 fatalities since 1970, as records show. Also, Germany has one of the lowest death rates per 100,000 drivers, at 6.2. America has 14.7 deaths per 100,000 drivers.
[Updated source: GlobalMotors.net]
[Photo taken from: PaulTan.org]