httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XcFwwAlIixQSo how odd it is to find that a WRX and an SRT-4, at least stock (psht, yeah right) both do 0-60 in about the exact same time: 5.7 seconds, give or take. Which is why 0-60 times are popular - it adds together the power-at-wheels to weight ratio as well as how much grip the car has, and spits out a real-world number. Which is why Rihanna raps that she goes from 0 to skank in 3.5, rather than about her power to weight ratio. So what's the problem here? Well, for one thing, why sixty? Back when the US had a national 55mph speed limit, manufacturers quoted 0-50 times. And why zero? How many people do you know that are willing to do a high-rpm clutch dump every time they want to go fast? People actually own their cars and are responsible for repairs, and if you've ever dumped the clutch on a car at high rpm, you know it is not exactly mechanical sympathy. Also, 0-60 times are usually recorded by large publications. They get their test cars from the manufacturer. Do you really think the 224 horsepower Subaru Forester 2.5XT 5-speed runs to sixty in 5.3 seconds, nearly as fast as a 450 horsepower Porsche Cayenne Turbo (double the power, twice the price)? Or do you think maybe Subaru gave Car and Driver an XT with, say, a more aggressive ECU tune and larger injectors to make themselves look good? Or maybe Car & Driver just put it in first, spun the motor to the rev limiter, and side-stepped the clutch. Hey, you'd get a great 0-60 - once or twice before the gearbox exploded. Going further, the environmental conditions of all 0-60 tests are different. A car will generally make more power on a cold day, especially a turbocharged one, because the air is more dense. However, it'll be more prone to tire spin. So on a hot day, a C5 Corvette is probably faster than a Cobb-tuned STI. On a cold one, probably not. I've heard a story of someone putting a mildly modified C6 Corvette (tune, headers, mild cam upgrade) on a dyno on a hot day in July, and putting down 470rwhp. They put it on again in December with no further upgrades and put down 503rwhp. Many publications allow a certain amount of roll-out before timing begins; some don't. A factory hotshoe or "ringer" of a driver will post 0-60 times that only he and God could replicate. You get the picture. Some magazines have the wisdom to publish "rolling start" acceleration times, usually a 5-60mph time. This is a lot more relevant that 0-60, but still a little weird. Have you ever floored it from a roll in first gear then let off once you shifted out of second? Why would you do that? Far more relevant are what magazines call passing times, usually measure in 30-50, 50-70, or a composite of the two. These in-gear passing times are a lot more relevant. I don't know about you, but I more frequently wind out my car in second and third gear WOT merging onto the highway than I do trying to get a perfect launch through second gear off a stop light. Now that we've talked about the why and the whether or not we should care, the question is, what cars hold records for 0-60 times? Thankfully the internet is rife with resources on this topic, and the results are somewhat astounding. For reference, an object in free-fall straight down with no aerodynamic resistance (in other words, 1g of acceleration) will accelerate to sixty mph in 2.83 seconds. Keep in mind these are "production" cars, although the quotes are somewhat necessary for some.
|Vehicle||Power||MFR 0-60 claim||Tested 0-60 time||Weight|
|Bugatti Veyron SS||1,184bhp||2.4||2.4||4,400lbs|
|Ariel Atom 500||500bhp||2.7||2.5||1,212lbs|
|Porsche 911 Turbo S||530bhp||3.1||2.7||3,252lbs|
|SSC Ultimate Aero||1,183bhp||2.78||2.78||2,850lbs|
|Saleen S7 TT||750bhp||2.8||2.8||2,950lbs|
So, are 0-60 times really all that relevant? I'd say no. But every measurement needs a benchmark, and once it's set, it's hard to set a new one. So when you and your buddy are in the pub and he's saying his Evo IX GSR FQ360 is 0.2 seconds faster to sixty than a Jaguar XKR or Aston DB9, remind him that it's a mostly irrelevant, made-up statistic that no one really cares about. He probably won't listen, but hey - it's better than hearing someone brag about the most irrelevant statistic - horsepower per liter! That's a story for another day.