0 -100kph is Dead; Long Live the Feel!
Automologist MAC laments the passing of another motoring ‘tradition’.
In the world of automotive, the 0-100kph has long been the measure of any performance car. Every school boy knows the number for the Bugatti or Ferrari something or other. I fear, though, that the days of boasting about your car’s time to get to what is, in essence, a completely arbitrary speed could be numbered, as the latest batch of electric-powered cars is starting to make a complete mockery of it.
Yes, just another great tradition the electric car may well kill. What is the point of having such a fantastic and long-relied upon performance benchmark when soccer mums’ electric-powered minivans the likes of Tesla’s Model X or Faraday FF91 can accelerate at speeds that had previously been reserved for the supercar elite? There comes a point when measuring a car like this becomes redundant.
Petrol-powered cars simply do not stand a chance. Sure, Dodge has an offering of the Demon that managed 2.3 seconds but they had to give it super sticky tyres and probably a bunch of other cheats to achieve this. Oh, and I doubt that it would have been much fun in a corner. Current FWD cars seem to be stuck at about 5.5 seconds. Some AWD offerings can challenge the 4-second barrier but to get into the 3-second range, you really need to spend six figures and plan your journey on roads where there are no speed bumps.
Tesla is now talking about the next Tesla Roadster going into the sub-two-second range, which is probably fast enough to rip the skin off your face. Of course, in some ways, I do take my hat off to Elon Musk’s ambition as he challenges the frontiers of technology and anything that could remotely be described as sensible. But now we find EV manufacturers adding decimal points to the 0-100 numbers as Faraday did when it announced that its FF91 managed the sprint in 2.389 seconds compared to Tesla’s 2.4 seconds. Okay, so Faraday’s pee-pee goes farther up the wall than Tesla’s, so what?
Let’s face it: I have a car that is capable of getting to 100kph in the four-second range but I never, ever use the acceleration, and I am not just writing that because my mother may read this article. It’s more to do with the fact that every time I get to the lights, some dick on a Honda Cub manages to get in front of me so I can’t use the alleged power that my car has. Thus, by definition, the time to reach 100kph from a standing start has become about as pointless as a very pointless thing, and thus very much in the spirit of ‘if you can’t beat them then forget about it and go home’. I think it is high time that we started to develop a new measurement of excellence. The trouble is I have no idea what it should be.
“Perhaps we should start with the how the car makes us feel, does it create a fizz in your lower stomach as James May would say. Let’s face it most electric cars are about as emotion charged as a golf cart with which they have a lot in common. So how about some clever motoring hack coming up with a feel factor, now your talking”