Be crazy for sprint times

I wonder why we’re not so crazy for sprint times. When it comes to performance, one of the key figures in a vehicle stat sheet is the 0 to 62 mph (100 kph) sprint time. This figure corresponds to acceleration – how quickly the car gets to speed.

You can forget about maximum torque or brake horsepower or even the top speed. Torque and horsepower is only as helpful as the amount that gets translated to getting the car off the line. You can have all the earth-moving torque and horsepower but with a shitty gearbox, differential and tires, that can all be translated to tire smoke. And where can you find the time and place to blast cars to their limit? Not with the speed limits on all the good-ish roads.

And we’re not working with too much in terms of power and acceleration to compromise. Most Japanese hatches and compact sedans would not go all the way to 100 kph in under 10 seconds. Not even a Ford Focus with a larger 1.8L engine would cut it. And that’s just the way it is.

This is why I find it funny how quite a lot of youths and middle-aged men turn to tuning their cars, slapping on body kits and whatnot in hopes of turning their Jazzes, Vioses, and Civics into instruments of speeds. Those actually do almost absolutely nothing to help the car go quickly. Improperly placed, they just add weight and would probably slow cars down even more. But no, dad has turned to an 8-year old believing that Autobot sticker on the Vios will give the car the balls of Optimus Prime. If there’s one thing dad succeeds in doing is that he just gave himself the pungent whiff of some Shia LeDouche douchiness.

But here’s why I find acceleration quite important. You might not realize it when driving in city roads. Overtaking in the metro is almost a surefire way to get an MMDA ticket for “swerving” or “reckless driving.” But when you’re out in a rural highway and you get fed up following one of those tricycles or farming hand tractors that won’t pull over, and decide to blow past them, it’s where acceleration becomes one of those things you wish your car had.

It’s because every time you do, you’re playing chicken with the provincial bus driven. And with luck it’d be driven by some bus driver already in his eighth trip of the day ¬†hopped up on a Red Bull/Lipovitan/meth cocktail barreling down the other way. In those occasions, you’d probably be praying that your car can just sprint faster than a Quiapo snatcher.

Author: Alex

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