Video: BMW Explains the Science Behind 0-60 Times

BMW M, Videos | March 13th, 2019 by 0
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In the automotive world, 0-60 times are regarded by most people as relevant. That’s mostly because of what we like to call ‘bragging rights’, as they are not nearly as important as some people make them out to be. Nevertheless, auto makers must adhere to and offer what customers consider relevant and that’s how we ended up today with cars weighing nearly 2 tons being able to reach 60 mph before you realize it. BMW has one of those and the company decided to put together a short clip, explaining how the numbers are achieved.

There’s a lot to take into account when talking about 0-60 mph times. The video focuses on the most important factors though and they are: aerodynamics, weight, power output, tires and assistance systems. The clip covers all of them nicely and then some, proving to be one of the most useful clips I’ve seen on Youtube lately. And it’s all done under the umbrella of BMW; that’s quite something.

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Basically, in order to achieve faster acceleration, all you have to do is make sure you have enough power on tap to compensate for the inertia of your car. Sounds easy enough but it really isn’t. The aerodynamics of a car are the most limiting factor when it comes to achieving high speeds but when it comes to 0-60, that’s not paramount. Weight, however, is a drastically more important factor. However, you can’t talk about weight without mentioning the power output. Basically, the power to weight ratio is what will make or break a car in a straight line.

Nevertheless, a good power to weight ratio would be useless, unless the car is able to put that power down. Thus, tires and the surface you’re driving on will make a big difference in your acceleration times. Then there’s the assistance the car can offer. If you have 600 HP, a rear-wheel drive setup and a manual gearbox, chances are you’ll have a tough time trying to get the most out of it. Get an automatic gearbox and a Launch Control sequence in the mix and you might see a different result.

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