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Nürburgring article highlights:

  • The historic Nürburgring race track in Nürburg, Germany, instituted an 80 mph speed limit, more than doubling the previous limit. 
  • As a result of the new limit, many new and old cars aren’t fast enough to keep up with the track’s requirements.
  • Among the cars that can’t keep up, the Fiat 500, Peel P50, and iconic Willys Jeep won’t get any track time due to their top speed limitations. 
The Nürburgring Nordschleife shows off its fast corners that don't allow slow cars.
The Nürburgring Nordschleife | Xavier Bonilla via NurPhoto via Getty Images

Thanks to the new minimum speed limit on the iconic Nürburgring, these five vehicles won’t even be allowed on the track 

That’s right; some cars can’t keep up with the new 80 mph minimum speed limit on the storied Nürburgring. Check out some cool, albeit sluggish, standouts that won’t get a track pass. 

  • Fiat 500
  • Peel P50
  • Willys Jeep
  • Renault Twizy 45
  • Smart Fortwo Electric Drive

While the Fiat 500 and Willys Jeeps have newer iterations that are fast enough to keep pace with the Green Hell’s speed limit, the original versions were painfully slow. Moreover, the Peel P50 (along with other microcars) doesn’t have the oomph necessary to reach the 80 mph limit. However, some newer urban commuters fall short, too; the Smart Fortwo Electric Drive and Renault Twizy 45 are two European options that can’t keep up. 

Can you drive a Fiat 500 on the highway?

While the more recent Fiat 500 is capable of highway speeds and beyond, the original 500 isn’t exactly in a hurry. The original model, with its air-cooled 479cc twin motor, produced just 13 bhp, per Classics World UK. As a result, the 500 could muster around 53 mph flat out.  

This slow classic car, a Fiat 500, shows off its short wheelbase.
A Fiat 500 | National Motor Museum via Heritage Images via Getty Images

Unfortunately, that means the handsome little classic isn’t up to the task of taking on the Nürburgring without serious modification. The little Fiat model isn’t alone; the original Mini, the 500’s closest competitor, topped out at around 72 mph, eight shy of the track’s limit. 

The original gas-powered Peel P50 and its new DIY electric kit variant are street-legal. However, they cannot hit the track speeds necessary to share the Nordschleife with Porsche 911s and BMW M3s. Specifically, the adorable little three-wheeler refuses to go faster than a paltry 38 mph. 

This blue, three-wheeled Peel P50 is too slow of a small car to take on the Nürburgring.
Peel P50 | Michel Porro via Getty Images

How fast can a WW2 Willys Jeep go?

The official vehicle documentation says the service-ready Willys Jeep that saw action with the allies in World War II will hit 65 mph flat out. However, in the conditions that the Jeep feels most at home, a bouncy jaunt is the best the Willys-Overland military vehicle will accomplish. 

While the 2.2L “Go-Devil” four-cylinder produced just 60 horsepower and 105 lb-ft of torque, it was more than enough for combat, per Autozine. It isn’t, however, enough to take on the straights of the Nürburgring.

A green Willys Jeep parks at a show.
A Willys Jeep | Elizaveta Becker via Ullstein Bild via Getty Images

What is the top speed of a Twizy 45?

The Renault Twizy 45 takes a nimble urban-commuter approach to car ownership, but it’s not getting anywhere briskly. The automaker says the small-frame electric vehicle (EV) is limited to just 27.96 mph in the Twizy 45. That’s too slow to contend with the Nürburgring’s old limit of 37 mph. 

Is the Smart Fortwo Electric Drive fast enough to hop on the Nürburgring?

Smart says the Smart Fortwo Electric Drive will hit 81 mph with its pedal depressed to the floor. However, a one mph grace might not be enough to gain entry to the famed Nürburgring. Owners should be careful if they (for whatever reason) decide to take on the track.


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