As any empassioned motorist will tell you, visiting Germany but failing to tour the various carmaker museums would be a capital sin, worthy of guaranteeing you a place in automotive Hell, armed only with a Yugo and the painful recognition of the essentially Sisyphean task on wheels that awaits you.
What you also want to do is arrive there in style, wielding one of the carmaker’s finest sports car as you roll into the parking lot. And yes, most of us don’t have one of those ready to go at a moments notice, especially in a foreign country.
But we could. Over the past decade an online industry of luxury car rentals has cropped up, and companies like Lurento can help you add a bit of spice to your automotive plate.
Now that we have that sorted, where do we go?
Munich, the BMW Museum
First established in 1973 and renovated in 2008, it is home to the story of how BMW became one of the world’s foremost car manufacturers. The interactive exhibit features notable stories from the company’s history, BMW technology, films and more. It is located in Olympiapark 2, and you can’t miss it – it’s the circular tower that dominates the Munich cityscape and has the BMW logo on it. And is there a better way to end the experience than by sliding down to your BMW M4, revving up the engine and hitting the autobahn, for some practical application.
Stuttgart, the Porsche Museum and Mercedes Benz Museum
Stuttgart doubles the fun with two manufacturer museums. The Porsche Museum has about 80 permanent exhibits, all of which are impressive, and it is especially interesting to follow the evolution of the famed 911, the car that made Porsche, from its classic model through the decades and unto its latest incarnations. It is located in the Zuffenhausen district of Stuttgart, easiliy reached with a Porsche 911 Carrera S Coupe. Enter the underground garage of the museum in one of these, and you feel like you own the company.
The Mercedes Benz Museum is another architectural marvel, designed to encapsulate 130 years of automotive history, all the way from the beginning, and has around 160 cars and over 1,500 exhibits ready to induce both thrill and respect. The best car to get you into the Mercedes Benz mood is the SLS AMG, the pinnacle of the company’s sports car line.
Ingolstadt, the Audi Museum
Audi have elected to go a different route. Their museum showcases only historic models associated with the carmaker, and it brings a vintage, relaxed feel, to your motorist experience, reflected in the design of the museum itself. And what better way to integrate into the tradition of Audi than to drive up in one of their latest models, the Audi R8 V10 Plus?
Frankfurt – Klassikstadt
It is an all-in-one kind of thing. In a single building there are housed many small businesses dedicated to the maintenance, restauration and sale of exotic and vintage cars. Simply walking around, you can see some of your favourite models just sitting around. It is a head-turning experience, but well worth your time.
Nuremberg – Norisring racing track
It can’t all be about learning, and we’re done with the museums. You have chosen your favourite sports car, and it is now time to cruise. Nuremberg is home to the Norisring, with the city streets being converted into a racing track for the duration of the races. For the rest of the year, these are regular streets (and we insist you adjust your driving accordingly), but often better maintained than in other places. Want to test your driving skulls on a road both you and the car will enjoy? You are in the right place.
By Maria Maksimovic Exclusive to TheTopTier Digital Media