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To put it simply: people DO go that fast in conventional cars - when they take them to the race track. There are plently of open public race tracks in the United States, and they don't all require you to take or own a race car in order to drive them. In fact, there's plenty of races that pit completely unmodofied commercial cars against each other. Not ...


5

Actually, the US is one of the few places to have enforced a limit on the maximum speed shown on a speedometer (reportedly to stop people trying to "speed test" their vehicles). For vehicles produced from 1979 to 1981, you'd only see vehicles showing up to 85mph: *The same law dictated the highlight at 55mph ...


0

Zhaki nailed it. In addition, there is some benefit in a gauge of placing the most common reading in the middle of its range rather than close to the high end. Many measuring devices exhibit different systemic errors in the mid range than they do at the top end. Old fashioned voltmeters and multimeters behaved this way. you could get a slightly more ...


1

I think it's far more mysterious why some people would think that a speedometer would omit showing speeds above typical speed limits. The jurisdiction of laws is limited to specific roads. There are places where one can drive at higher speeds than highways, such as private race tracks. Also, if your speedometer was so in awe of typical speed limit laws ...


6

Speedometers are an good example of UX hierarchy of needs The aspirational speed markings (e.g. above 130mph) are functionally useless for many cars, but they enhance the driver's experience by providing the illusion of performance for drivers who have spent tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars on their car. Aspirational markers may be ...


2

The UX aspect of this is that by squishing all the important detail into a smaller part of the dial it makes it harder to read and less sensitive to minor variations in speed - particularly if the speedo is trying to show both kms and miles. And it begs the UX question as to why the analogue speedometer doesn't seem to have been replaced with the digital ...


2

I imagine there's some parts commonality going on. My Toyota has a 140 mph speedo which is shared among a number of models. Mine is a sports car that I take to the track and have hit 125 mph in. Track users kind of need the speedo to go that high, other people don't, but there's no extra cost in setting the speedo higher and being able to use one across ...


4

It's often set so 65mph / 110km/h (which is a common speed travelled on the highway in north america, legal or otherwise) is on top. It makes it easier to glance down and see your speed on the highway. If it's pointing up, everything's good.


37

Others have focused on the psychological effect of the practice, primarily with relation to sales. But I'd like to focus on what one should think of with a speedometer that is free of these sort of plots. Different countries different rules In places like Germany or the Isle of Man, there are highways on which there are no speed limits. Different ...


40

Doing a Google search for "Why do speedometers go so high?" yields the following top 5 links: http://ask.metafilter.com/182569/Why-do-speedometers-go-so-high http://mentalfloss.com/article/59478/why-do-car-speedometers-list-speeds-are-way-over-legal-limit ...


2

It is the same here in Europe. I think it is for 3 reasons: Industry costs: It would be too expensive to make different speedometers models for each car based on their max speed Precision: Depending on the speed, speedometers can be quite unprecise (+/- 5 km/h). Increase the scale allows to hide that fact. Marketing: Have the same speedometer scale for a ...


5

Interesting question. Looking around online, it seems to be a combination of marketing (makes the consumer think the engine is powerful) and manufacturing efficiency (can use the same speedometer in faster cars as well as minivans). http://mentalfloss.com/article/59478/why-do-car-speedometers-list-speeds-are-way-over-legal-limit



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