Car of the Day

Opining on Automotive Opinion

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0-60 in 4.3 Seconds

September 11th, 2008 · 2 Comments

0-60 times are used all over the automotive media as a benchmark for measuring a car’s performance.  The magazines will publish varying times for each cars.  This leads to the wildly inaccurate sport of bench racing.

There are numbers that the magazines publish and then there are the numbers that cars and normal drivers can actually run.  

This week I took my GTO to the drag strip and I ran a run that equates to a 0-60 time of 4.3 seconds.  I hit a 8.3 in the 1/8th mile that would equal a 12.9 in the quarter mile.  The best time I’ve seen published from the car magazines is a 0-60 time of 4.6 seconds.  

The trick with the 0-60 numbers that are published by car magazines is that they are often performed by experienced drivers that are used to squeezing the best time out of any car.  And of course thae automotive manufacturer wants the fastest times possible listed in the magazines.  

However, what happens is people end up with cars that are a lot faster than they think.   Cars that can really only achieve their amazing 0-60 times with highly dangerous and potentially damaging runs that need a professional driver to pull it off.    This is ends up with people with false ideas of how fast their car is and ends up with people who may be a little over confident in how fast their car actually is.  

A few years ago I raced a guy with a 2002 M3.  The day he bought he car he proudly proclaimed that his car could hit 0-60 in 4.8 seconds.  I then asked him “but can you hit 60mph in 4.8 seconds?”  We lined up and I raced him in my 1998 Jeep.  A 1998 Jeep really has no chance of running with an M3, but my Jeep had a little work done and could hit 60mph in about 5 and a half seconds.   Long story short, the M3 wasn’t able to pass the Jeep until the Jeep was traveling over 70 miles an hour.  (And when I say the M3 passed the Jeep, it isn’t accurate, the M3 flew past the Jeep, the M3 had to be going nearly 90 at that point)

Anyway, if you want to find out how fast your car is, how fast it really is, get to a track or get a good accelerometer.  

As for Blue Lightning, it only needs 4.3 seconds to hit 60.

Tags: Cars · GTO

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 jonpaul // Oct 9, 2009 at 8:47 am

    Its not what equates to but what the actual timing is,to many variables to equate so if its not actually timed your guesses for the times are also all of and at least the magazines actually timed theirs of course they used professional drivers. yfi

  • 2 garythepowers // Oct 30, 2009 at 6:46 pm

    My times came from drag strip so it is a lot more than an estimation. The 330ft mark is right around the time the car is hitting 60mph. That combined with a computer simulator give a very accurate match of 0-60 times.