The Physics
An encyclopedia of scientific essays

Acceleration of a Car

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Bibliographic Entry Result
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Zitzewitz, Paul. Merrill Physics Principles and Problems. New York: Glencoe, 1995: 91. "A drag racer tries to obtain maximum acceleration over a quarter mile course. The fastest time on record for the quarter mile is 4.801 seconds. The highest final speed on record is 301.70 miles per hour." 28.1 m/s2
2000 Acura Integra GS Coupe. Edmunds. "Acceleration (0-60 mph): 7.9 sec." 3.4 m/s2
Jaguar XK8 (2001). The Auto Channel. "0-60 mph 7.0 seconds" 3.8 m/s2
Taruffi, Piero. The Technique of Motor Racing. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Robert Bently, 1958: 58. "exceed an acceleration of 6 mph/sec" 2.7 m/s2
2000 Mitsubishi Eclipse GT. Edmunds. "Acceleration (0-60 mph): 7.0 sec." 3.8 m/s2

A high performance car is basically any automobile that can accelerate very quickly in a short amount of time. To calculate the actual acceleration you need to use the formula

a = delta-v/t = vf – vi/t

where "a"is the acceleration, "delta-v" is the change in velocity, vi is the initial velocity, vf is the final velocity, and t equals time. The acceleration of cars in the United States is stated as a "zero to sixty" time, where vi is zero and vf is 60 miles per hour or 27 meters per second.

The average rate of acceleration of all the ordinary cars I found was between 3 and 4 m/s2. You can find the acceleration of any car listed under its performance. Under these categories you can also find other important information such as a car's horsepower and braking distance. The acceleration of a car is important to know because it tells you how the car handles (how it performs) during merging and evasive maneuvering.

Meredith Barricella -- 2001