# How can I tell if a given car can go from 0 to x MPH over a distance of d feet?

• AxiomOfChoice
In summary, you need to know the engine torque, the drivetrain ratio, the tire diameter, and the amount of grip the tires have.

#### AxiomOfChoice

What information do I need about the car to make this determination?

(Specifically, I'm talking about a 2000 VW Golf.)

AxiomOfChoice said:
What information do I need about the car to make this determination?

(Specifically, I'm talking about a 2000 VW Golf.)
You need to know how long it takes for the car to accelerate from 0-60 mph. This is kind of a standard for comparing acceleration of cars.

That will enable you to determine the approximate average acceleration (there is some inaccuracy because the car may not accelerate evenly). From that you can determine the time it would take to reach x MPH. From that you can determine the distance covered in that time. Then you can compare it to the distance d.

AM

Andrew Mason said:
You need to know how long it takes for the car to accelerate from 0-60 mph. This is kind of a standard for comparing acceleration of cars.

That will enable you to determine the approximate average acceleration (there is some inaccuracy because the car may not accelerate evenly). From that you can determine the time it would take to reach x MPH. From that you can determine the distance covered in that time. Then you can compare it to the distance d.

AM

Ok, thanks. This was certainly my first instinct, but I wanted a second opinion. I managed to complete the calculation. Thanks again for your help!

You need to know the force applied by the tires to the road. To do that, you need to know the engine torque, the drivetrain ratio (which will change if you shift gears on your way to X mph), the tire diameter. You need to know something about the tires (or assume something, like 'no slip').

I think the assumption of constant acceleration is not to accurate.

It's difficult to accurately predict based on just simple numbers. You'd need to know the amount of grip, which affects the launch, as well as the gearing, shift times, torque curve of the engine, weight of car, ...

Well I think all you need to know is when it was dropped ;-)

Fish

## 1. How do I calculate the acceleration of a car?

To calculate the acceleration of a car, you will need to know its initial and final velocity (in miles per hour) and the distance it traveled (in feet). Then, you can use the formula: acceleration = (final velocity - initial velocity) / time. Time can be calculated by dividing the distance by the average velocity.

## 2. What is the significance of 0 to x MPH in determining a car's performance?

The 0 to x MPH acceleration test is a common measure of a car's performance as it shows how quickly the car can reach a certain speed from a standstill. It is also a good indicator of the car's engine power and overall efficiency.

## 3. How does the car's weight affect its ability to go from 0 to x MPH over a distance of d feet?

The weight of a car can significantly impact its acceleration performance. A heavier car will require more force to accelerate, resulting in a slower acceleration time. On the other hand, a lighter car will require less force and therefore can accelerate faster.

## 4. Can the type of tires on a car affect its ability to achieve 0 to x MPH over a distance of d feet?

Yes, the type of tires on a car can affect its acceleration performance. Tires with better traction and grip can help the car accelerate faster and maintain control during the acceleration process. Additionally, worn or under-inflated tires can decrease a car's acceleration ability.

## 5. How can I improve a car's ability to go from 0 to x MPH over a distance of d feet?

There are a few ways to improve a car's acceleration performance. Upgrading the engine, reducing the car's weight, and choosing high-performance tires can all contribute to faster acceleration times. Additionally, proper maintenance and regular tune-ups can help optimize a car's overall performance, including acceleration.