The man was driving a hatchback Volkswagen on the A14 motorway when for reasons unexplained he lost control of the vehicle just before arriving in the tunnel at around 2am, Lucerne cantonal police said.
The car crashed through a security guardrail and skidded up the side of the tunnel wall, striking the ceiling and overhead lights, police said.
The vehicle dropped to the ground and continued for a further 60 metres before coming to a rest.
The man died on the spot, police said.
No other vehicles were involved in the accident.
Damage totalled 45,000 francs ($47,500), including the car, which was a writeoff, police said.
The tunnel was closed until 8am while crews cleared up the mess and police investigated the area.
An investigation continues into the causes of the accident.