Regardless if you’re a car enthusiast or not, a car’s 0-60 mph (0-96 km/h) is probably among your first metrics you notice, right up there with power output, top speed and, probably, fuel consumption.
BMW recently decided to explain what it is that actually makes a car really quick off the line. The Bavarian automaker even built a dedicated microsite for 0-60 acceleration, which you can access right here.
One thing you can forget about right off the bat is aerodynamics. So, for example, when someone says that the Mercedes G-Class is shaped like a brick and is therefore the exact opposite of sporty, that actually has nothing to do with its 0-60 prowess. A car’s aerodynamic properties kick in at high speed and in fast cornering, and definitely not in a 0 to 60 mph (96 km/h) sprint.
What you actually want when it comes to bursts of acceleration, especially off the line, is a good power-to-weight ratio and optimal grip, both in terms of tires and road surface. Striking a good balance between these factors can be more important than just having a super-powerful car or even driver assistance systems like Launch Control, although the latter definitely comes in handy.
As for what we can look forward to in the future, well, get ready for a a world in which peak instant torque will be available to you in just about any sports car or supercar thanks to electric motors. According to BMW, it won’t be long before super-powered electric sports cars are breaking the two-second barrier – something unthinkable until recently for even the most powerful of conventional or hybrid-powered hypercars.