2021 McLaren 720S cruising up a curved road

Why are speeds electronically limited?

Reasons for Electronic Speed Limiting in Vehicles

Here at McLaren Chicago, we deal in fast cars. Very fast. As speedy as they are, however, many of the vehicles on our lot could go faster than they do, if not for a little thing called electronic speed limiting.

It’s not just supercars, either. Lots of vehicles out there in the world have their speeds electronically limited by their makers, and have for some time. Why are the top speeds of vehicles electronically limited?

Human drives a McLaren 720S

The main reasons that speeds are electronically limited in vehicles are to protect key parts of the vehicle, keep people safe, follow legal regulations and keep prices down.

Check Out: How quickly does the McLaren Artura go from zero to 60?

How does driving fast affect a vehicle?

High speeds can cause a significant amount of damage to key parts of a vehicle, such as the engine and tires. These elements have to work much harder than normal at high speeds; thus, driving extremely fast reduces the lifespan of a vehicle significantly. For example, while you might only get your tires rotated every few years, think how often tires are replaced on race cars by comparison.

Tire Disintegration

Speaking of tires, a vehicle’s tires have a speed that they’re rated as being able to handle. If you surpass this speed, the tires can disintegrate. As such, it’s not a good idea for automakers to allow their vehicles to go faster than whatever the tires are rated for. A tire’s speed rating is often detailed on the side of the tire, along with its size information.

Legal Reasons

For some classes of vehicles in some jurisdictions, speed limiters are a statutory requirement. Thus, automakers will limit a vehicle’s speed in order to comply with laws. In a similar vein, some areas place a higher tax on vehicles depending on how fast it can go. As a result, limiting the speed helps keep prices down.

Safety and Environmental Consciousness

Overall, the main reason that a vehicle’s speeds are limited is safety. In addition, the faster a vehicle goes, the more fuel it consumes and more pollution it produces, both of which are harmful to the planet on which we live.