# 0-60 Calculator

In this **0-60 calculator**, you will learn what 0-60 means and why the 0-60 time is one of the most important parameters when it comes to **car performance**. You will also discover other similar car acceleration measures like the **0-100** or **the quarter-mile** times.

After presenting the definition and usefulness of the 0-60 parameter, we will show you the most critical factors affecting a car's acceleration and present the method we used in this 0-60 calculator to estimate a vehicle's 0-60 time. Finally, we will show you, with an example, how **you can use our 0-60 calculator to quickly and easily estimate the 0-60 time** of any car.

## 0-60 definition and usefulness

If you are a sports car enthusiast, you most probably appreciate the importance of the 0-60 time, and you may have researched things like what car has the fastest acceleration? If you're not, chances are you've heard the term "0 to 60" when referring to a car's performance. But what is 0-60? **What do we mean when we say a vehicle's 0-60 time?** And why is it important?

**0-60 or "0 to 60" means 0 to 60 mph, or the time it takes a vehicle to go from 0 to 60 miles per hour**. It is a standard automotive performance indicator used, mostly in the United States and the United Kingdom, to evaluate a vehicle's acceleration.

💡 When referring to a car's 0 to 60 time, it is always assumed that the acceleration exercise is carried out in a straight line and on a flat, horizontal surface. |

In other parts of the world, a very similar parameter is more often used: the **0-100**; It means 0 to 100 km/h. Also, another widely used car acceleration indicator is the quarter mile time or **the time it takes for a vehicle to cover a quarter-mile distance from a complete stop**.

Some other similar parameters are sometimes used, like "**0 to 62 mph**", "**0 to 100 mph**", or "**1/8 mile time**". In essence, these are all **car acceleration measures** used to evaluate how fast a car can go from a standstill and reach a given speed or cover a given distance.

When it comes to car performance characteristics, along with gas consumption and braking/cornering capacity, a car's **acceleration** is often considered more important than top speed because it is a useful feature that the driver can appreciate in everyday driving situations.

## What factors impact the 0-60 performance?

A great many variables and conditions can affect a car's capacity to accelerate. Beyond the obvious **engine power** and **vehicle weight**, important factors include:

- Tire size and type;
- Road quality and wetness;
- Car chassis and suspension;
- Electronic aids and launch control;
- Gearbox and transmission;
- Car aerodynamics;
- Atmospheric conditions;
- Car center of gravity; and
- Driver skills.

This multitude of parameters makes it **practically impossible to accurately compute a vehicle's acceleration times in a single, well-defined formula**. But based on physics from first principles and real-world experimental data, we can calculate a close approximation of a vehicle's 0-60 time from a few **crucial variables** like:

- Engine power;
- Vehicle weight;
- Type of tires;
- Type of drivetrain; and
- Road conditions.

Now that you know what is 0-60 and what factors affect a vehicle's acceleration, read the next section of our 0-60 calculator to see the method that we used to estimate a car's 0-60 time and understand the importance of the parameters that have the most impact on acceleration.

## How to estimate 0-60 times?

This section will present the method used in our 0-60 calculator to estimate the 0-60 time of any given vehicle.

💡 This is not the only method, but it is based on physics principles to define the structure of the "estimation equation", and real-world experimental data to identify and "tweak" the equation's parameters in order to best fit the multitude of existing production cars' performance figures. |

The general form of the 0-60 time estimation equation is built in 5 steps:

- Calculate, from physics first principles, the
**minimum theoretical 0-60 time**based on engine power and vehicle weight, assuming 0 losses and continuous maximum power delivery; - Apply a
**proportional penalty to account for all secondary effects**like engine torque/power delivery fluctuations, aerodynamics, friction losses in the vehicle's moving parts, car center of gravity position...; - Apply an
**absolute minimum threshold on the 0-60 time**to account for the impact of drive type, tire type, and road conditions on the maximum usable grip for power delivery; - Apply
**proportional penalties**reflecting the losses related to engine type, tire type, and road conditions; and - Add an
**absolute time penalty**representing the total gearbox shift times of the most common transmission types.

Following these steps results in this equation for the 0-60 time:

`Time = max(a * X, b + c + d) * e * f * g + h`

,where:

**X**is the minimum theoretical 0-60 time:**X = vehicle kinetic energy at 60 mph / vehicle maximum power**;**a**is the proportional penalty to account for all secondary effects;**b, c, and d**are the absolute grip threshold penalties from drive type, tire type, and road conditions;**e, f, and g**are the proportional penalties of engine type, tire type, and road conditions;**h**is the absolute penalty of gearbox shift times; and**max()**is a function that returns whichever argument has the maximum value.

A set of values for each element of our estimation equation - **except for X** - are identified and optimized to **yield good fitting results with automotive experimental data for 0-60 times**.

When you fill in the fields of our calculator with a few key elements related to your vehicle, the calculator seamlessly selects the appropriate values for the parameters of the estimation equation and gives you the resulting estimated 0-60 time of your car.

## Using the 0-60 calculator

Now that you've seen how the 0-60 calculator works, let's look at a practical example and see how we can use it to quickly estimate the 0 to 60 time of a car (real or hypothetical...).

Suppose that you bought a new **RWD** (rear-wheel drive) **sedan** with a **260 hp** (horsepower) **petrol** engine, an **automatic gearbox**, and running on **normal tires**. The car weighs **3,500 lbs** and you want to know how fast can it go from **0 to 60 mph** when you're driving it with one other passenger and a half tank of fuel in **dry weather** conditions.

No problem, here's how you can do it:

- Enter
**260 hp**in the field**Engine power**; - Input
**3500 lbs**in the field**Empty weight**; - Add the weight of the fuel and the weight of your passenger to your own weight, and provide the result in the field
**Payload weight**(say:**400 lbs**); - In the field
**Type of vehicle**, choose**Sedan**; - In the field
**Drive type**, choose**RWD**; - Choose
**Internal combustion engine**in the field**Motor**; - Enter
**Automatic**in the**Gearbox**field; - Input
**Normal tires**in the field**Tires**; and - Choose
**Dry**for the field**Conditions**.

The calculator will give you a time of **6.65 s** in the field **0-60 time**. Not bad!

💡 Note that electric cars rarely have a gearbox and almost always use a direct-drive transmission. On the other hand, petrol cars have an internal combustion engine linked to a manual, automatic, or dual-clutch gearbox and rarely have a direct-drive. Keep that in mind when choosing the gearbox options in the calculator. |

💡 Very low powered cars (< 25 - 30 hp) may never be able to reach 60 mph. These cars are very rare nowadays and the calculator is not designed to produce reliable 0-60 times for these kind of power figures. |

Go ahead and try some numbers and combinations. See, in each case, what's the **minimum 0-60 time** you can achieve when you keep increasing engine power, for example and try to understand the **effects of different limiting factors on the maximum achievable acceleration**. Try to find the **optimal car, engine, and drivetrain setup** that yields the **fastest acceleration**. Have fun! 😉