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Old 26th April 2017, 14:53   #1
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Default Red markings at 30, 50 & 130 kmph in VAG speedometers - What are they?

Recently, when I purchased a Polo GT TSI, I observed something on the speedometer. All the speed markings from 0-240kmph were marked in white except the 30kmph and 50kmph. They were marked in red.

Red markings at 30, 50 & 130 kmph in VAG speedometers - What are they?-20170218_204720.jpg
Polo GT TSI

I kept on wondering about it but then, I thought I'll get answer when I read the owner's manual. After some days when I finished reading the owner's manual, I still didn't get any answers to it.

But someone in my friends' circle told me that these red markings are specific to VAG group cars only. I dug up the TBHP Official reviews and he was right.

Red markings at 30, 50 & 130 kmph in VAG speedometers - What are they?-vw_polo_17.jpg
Polo

Red markings at 30, 50 & 130 kmph in VAG speedometers - What are they?-vwameo08.jpg
Ameo

Red markings at 30, 50 & 130 kmph in VAG speedometers - What are they?-vwvento04.jpg
Vento

Red markings at 30, 50 & 130 kmph in VAG speedometers - What are they?-volkswagenpassat02.jpg
Passat

Red markings at 30, 50 & 130 kmph in VAG speedometers - What are they?-vwjetta10.jpg
Jetta

Red markings at 30, 50 & 130 kmph in VAG speedometers - What are they?-img_0129.jpg
Fabia

Red markings at 30, 50 & 130 kmph in VAG speedometers - What are they?-skodarapid012.jpg
Rapid

Red markings at 30, 50 & 130 kmph in VAG speedometers - What are they?-skodayeti25.jpg
Yeti

Red markings at 30, 50 & 130 kmph in VAG speedometers - What are they?-skodaoctavia35.jpg
Octavia

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Laura L&K

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Porsche

Red markings at 30, 50 & 130 kmph in VAG speedometers - What are they?-1-custom.jpg
Porsche

Addditionally, in Audi cars the 130kmph marking is also in red.

Red markings at 30, 50 & 130 kmph in VAG speedometers - What are they?-audia315.jpg
A3

Red markings at 30, 50 & 130 kmph in VAG speedometers - What are they?-audiq308.jpg
Q3

One strange exception was the Skoda Laura VRS

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Laura VRS

So what exactly do these red markings at 30kmph, 50kmph and 130kmph signify? there are three possible things.

Most common speculation was that it might be the optimal fuel economy zone. But...
  1. Generally economy zones are marked in green (makes sense too)
  2. 30kmph to 50kmph is too low and too small a range (usually economy zone is around the 50-80 range)
  3. Economy zones in Audis and Porches? you must be joking!

One other theory was that they are optimal gear shift speeds at 1st and 2nd gears respectively. But...
  1. If they were gear shift points, it would make more sense to shown the points on the tachometer, wouldn't it?
  2. Such points will differ vary from engine to engine, won't it?
  3. going by the same logic, a 3rd gear change at 130kmph is not "optimal", is it?

Third possibility is that in Europe (especially Germany since VW is a German company), the speed limits in residential/populated areas of cities is 30kmph, speed limit is all cities is 50kmph and maximum limited speed on autobahns is 130kmph. Since Laura was only for India (other places it was Octavia- which is what it actually is) They removed it. Although this makes more sense out of all the three possibilities, it still leaves some questions in my mind...
  1. Why is it marked in speedometers of VAG group cars manufactured and used other countries worldwide where the speed limits are different?
  2. When they can remove it in Laura, why didn't VW do it for other cars?
  3. Why is 130kmph marked in red only for Audis?
  4. Why don't the Mercs and BMWs have it?

I tried checking with some friends working in VW India, but they are not sure about the exact reason. I'm sure sales guys at car showrooms will not know it. So, I'm looking for answers here. Didn't find any thread or post regarding this, so starting a new post myself.

I'm more interested to get an answer to this question than the current trending question "Why did Kattappa kill Bahubali"
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Old 27th April 2017, 09:25   #2
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Default re: Red markings at 30, 50 & 130 kmph in VAG speedometers - What are they?

Quoting from a4anurag's post:

Quote:
These marks are speed limit reminders. Depending on the car it may have marks at one or all of 30, 50 and 130 km/h. 30 km/h is a common speed limit in residential areas in Europe, 50 km/h is a common 'default' speed limit in cities and towns around the world.
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Old 27th April 2017, 10:09   #3
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Default re: Red markings at 30, 50 & 130 kmph in VAG speedometers - What are they?

Good find!

Quote:
Originally Posted by hemanth.anand View Post
Why is it marked in speedometers of VAG group cars manufactured and used other countries worldwide where the speed limits are different?

When they can remove it in Laura, why didn't VW do it for other cars?
I just had a friend who's in the US check his Jetta; no marking on the corresponding speeds on the speedometer.

Naturally, the speedometers for the US market must be separately developed since they're in mph whereas Europe and India share kmph.

Could be economies of scale that prompted them to not bother developing a India-specific speedometer for all VAG cars.

Last edited by GTO : 27th April 2017 at 11:01. Reason: Editing quoted post
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Old 27th April 2017, 10:38   #4
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Default re: Red markings at 30, 50 & 130 kmph in VAG speedometers - What are they?

Also, 130kmph is the recommended speed on German Autobahns while it is the speed limit on Autobahns in some European countries. Hence the mark at 130kmph. 30kmph is the residential zone speed limit in Europe and also the speed limit in congested cities/towns etc. This progressively increases to 50 and then 80kmph.
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Old 27th April 2017, 10:52   #5
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Default re: Red markings at 30, 50 & 130 kmph in VAG speedometers - What are they?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hemanth.anand View Post
Recently, when I purchased a Polo GT TSI, I observed something on the speedometer. All the speed markings from 0-240kmph were marked in white except the 30kmph and 50kmph. They were marked in red.
Hemanth, you should have known the reason for these markings since you have driven in Germany extensively.

30kmph is for residential areas and areas where there are schools and kindergartens.

Link : http://etsc.eu/germany-unblocks-30kmh-zones/

50kmph is for Urban roads. 130kmph is the recommended speed on Autobahn.

Link : https://ec.europa.eu/transport/road_...it_policies_en
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Old 27th April 2017, 11:29   #6
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Default Re: Red markings at 30kmph, 50kmph and 130kmph in VAG group cars - What are they?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MCR View Post
Hemanth, you should have known the reason for these markings since you have driven in Germany extensively.

30kmph is for residential areas and areas where there are schools and kindergartens.

Link : http://etsc.eu/germany-unblocks-30kmh-zones/

50kmph is for Urban roads. 130kmph is the recommended speed on Autobahn.

Link : https://ec.europa.eu/transport/road_...it_policies_en
I'm definitely aware of the speed limits and their applicable regions, but I did not know for sure that the red markings in VAG cars are linked to that. Again, As I mentioned in my post, it still leaves some questions unanswered. I can think of answers to those questions too, but then I wanted a confirmation and hence this post

1. Why is it marked in speedometers of VAG group cars manufactured and used other countries worldwide where the speed limits are different? Advantage of common parts is what I can think of, but then it leads to my second question
2. When they can remove it in Laura, why didn't VW do it for other cars?
3. Why is 130kmph marked in red only for Audis? No idea...This is not present on VW and Porsche
4. Why don't the Mercs and BMWs have it? probably because it is not a regulation but just a practice followed by VAG

Last edited by hemanth.anand : 27th April 2017 at 11:35.
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Old 28th April 2017, 12:15   #7
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Default Re: Red markings at 30, 50 & 130 kmph in VAG speedometers - What are they?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hemanth.anand View Post
But someone in my friends' circle told me that these red markings are specific to VAG group cars only. I dug up the TBHP Official reviews and he was right.
Well, there are some other cars that have similar markings too.

Example: Premier 118NE

pic source

Though I believe these are to mark the max speeds per gear, as the car neither had a tachometer nor an actual red-line (being carburated there was no revv limiter).

Last edited by Rehaan : 9th May 2017 at 14:39.
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Old 28th April 2017, 12:27   #8
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Default Re: Red markings at 30, 50 & 130 kmph in VAG speedometers - What are they?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rehaan View Post
Well, there are some other cars that have similar markings too.

Example: Premier 118NE
Wow! How old is that pic R? Yenkay speedo (our lambretta in the early 70s had YenkaY speedo) with just 28000+ kms on the clock?!! Boy! That must be one old photograph that you dug out from the archives.
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Old 28th April 2017, 12:31   #9
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Default Re: Red markings at 30, 50 & 130 kmph in VAG speedometers - What are they?

It is speed limit marking, like Rehaan mentioned other cars also have the same markings, depending on country or region in which it is sold.

Why it is not a uniform practice? My guess is, it is not mandated by law and hence adopted here and there. Is it a good feature? Not sure because in real life noticing the small dot or line would be more difficult. But yes acts as a good pointer in the first place, if people notice and realize what it is for.

Last edited by GTO : 28th April 2017 at 13:40. Reason: coz :)
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Old 30th April 2017, 19:39   #10
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Default Re: Red markings at 30, 50 & 130 kmph in VAG speedometers - What are they?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rehaan View Post
Well, there are some other cars that have similar markings too.
Some Padminis had dots marked on the speedo dial. Max speed for each gear. See if you can dig up a picture of that.

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Old 1st May 2017, 00:03   #11
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Default Re: Red markings at 30, 50 & 130 kmph in VAG speedometers - What are they?

Similar marking is also given in the Creta.

My Creta @ 22222 kms
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Old 3rd May 2017, 00:56   #12
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Default Re: Red markings at 30, 50 & 130 kmph in VAG speedometers - What are they?

These markings are not specific to VAG only. Similar markings are in the Hyundai Verna too.




It is mainly because of the speed limits. For example: Most of the roads in Delhi have speed limit of 50 kmph, and 30 kmph for Residential Areas/Commercial Markets.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MCR View Post
30kmph is for residential areas and areas where there are schools and kindergartens.

50kmph is for Urban roads. 130kmph is the recommended speed on Autobahn.
Most of the European countries follow this. 50 kmph in city and 30 kmph in residential areas.

Last edited by ampere : 3rd May 2017 at 13:33.
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Old 3rd May 2017, 01:35   #13
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Default Re: Red markings at 30, 50 & 130 kmph in VAG speedometers - What are they?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sutripta View Post
Some Padminis had dots marked on the speedo dial. Max speed for each gear. See if you can dig up a picture of that.
Mercedes used to have that as well:

http://www.benzworld.org/forums/atta...r-p1010605.jpg

Quite high speeds, I suspect this is on some autobox.

As other members already indicated these red numbers tend to indicate various maximum speeds. Note that 130 km/h isn’t the advised speed on German motorway. It’s the advised maximum speed on unrestricted stretches, or on some restricted stretches the maximum speed.

Whereas on unrestricted stretches you are allowed to go faster than 130 kmh, it does increase one’s potential liability in case of an accident.

From Wikipedia:

Quote:
German autobahns have no federally mandated speed limit for some classes of vehicles.[1] However limits are posted (and enforced) in areas that are urbanized, substandard, accident-prone, or under construction. On speed-unrestricted stretches, an advisory speed limit (Richtgeschwindigkeit) of 130 kilometres per hour (81 mph) applies. While going faster is not illegal as such in the absence of a speed limit, it can cause an increased liability in the case of an accident; courts have ruled that an "ideal driver" who is exempt from absolute liability for "inevitable" tort under the law would not exceed Richtgeschwindigkeit.

A 2008 estimate reported that 52% of the autobahn network had only the advisory speed limit, 15% had temporary speed limits due to weather or traffic conditions, and 33% had permanent speed limits.[2] Measurements from the German State of Brandenburg in 2006 showed average speeds of 142 km/h (88 mph) on a 6-lane section of autobahn in free-flowing conditions.
Jeroen

Last edited by Jeroen : 3rd May 2017 at 01:39.
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Old 3rd May 2017, 10:03   #14
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Default Re: Red markings at 30, 50 & 130 kmph in VAG speedometers - What are they?

Hyundai too has such marking as already pointed out by others. Apart from the Verna dna Creta, the i20 too has it.

Mods - maybe we can change the thread title to make it non-VAG specific
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Old 6th May 2017, 17:38   #15
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Default Re: Red markings at 30, 50 & 130 kmph in VAG speedometers - What are they?

Same case with Hyundai Grand i10 too. Maybe it's not specific to VAG cars. My earlier Fiat Grande Punto had the same markings IIRC.

Maybe it represents either speed limits or economy zone depending on the vehicle.
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