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    What Makes A Car Fast? A Look At 4 Parameters

    By sbanderas | February 24 2022
    220

    To make a car go fast, 4 main parameters need to be looked at-the engine, transmission, suspension, and tires. Each of these components plays an important role in making a car go fast and if any one of them is not up to par, it will affect the overall performance of the car. Let’s take a closer look at each of these parameters and see how they can make or break a car’s speed!

    1. Engine

    The engine is responsible for making the car move and it does this by converting fuel into motion. There are many different types of engines out there-from 4 cylinders to 12 cylinders, gasoline to diesel, rotary to reciprocating, and so on. Understanding each type of engine and how they work goes beyond the scope of this article – however, we can discuss some key points that play a role in making an engine powerful enough for a car that needs to go fast. You can learn more at www.0-60specs.com if you’re interested. The number one thing that plays a role in how fast an engine can make a cargo is displacement (volume swept by the pistons during one complete rotation). The bigger the displacement of the engine, the more power it will be able to produce and move a heavier-weight vehicle. The volume swept by the pistons is equal to the volume of the cylinder (L) times the number of cylinders (n). Displacement = L × n Cubic centimeters (cc) or Liters(l) are used to measure a car’s engine displacement. An example would be a 2 liter 4 cylinder engine or a 3.5 liter V6.

    2. Transmission

    The transmission is responsible for making sure that power from the engine gets efficiently transferred to the wheels so that it can move a car at its top speed. There are many different types of transmissions out there and they all function differently, but their purpose stays relatively similar-to get power from point A to point B as efficiently as possible with minimal power loss. One way that transmissions do this is by utilizing gears to reduce the rotational speeds of components before they are transferred to another component (which operates at a different rotational speed). The higher the gear, the slower the engine speed – conversely, the lower the gear, the faster it will be rotating. Transmission can also make or break a car’s top speed because one factor that affects how fast it goes is its gearing ratio. A 4-speed automatic transmission may be able to handle 300 horsepower just fine, but if it has a 5th gear also known as an overdrive, then chances are that you won’t be achieving your desired top speed without modifying other parts on your car unless you’re planning on driving your car recklessly. 

    3. Suspension

    The suspension is what keeps the car on the ground by keeping all of its weight balanced between each wheel and preventing it from somersaulting (flipping) or lifting off into the air. Many different parts make up a suspension system-everything from the steering rack to control where your wheels are pointing, to coil-overs that control how high/low your chassis sits, to shocks & struts that act as cushions for bumps in the road. Each component plays an important role in controlling weight transfer while driving and although they keep your car on the ground, if they’re not performing at their best, then your car won’t be able to harness all of its potential horsepowers.

    4. Tires

    I saved probably the most important factor for last – tires! If you’ve ever watched racing on TV, then this won’t be new information to you – tires are what make or break a race car’s lap time around the track (in NASCAR, all cars run on the same Good Year tire which has different performance ratings based on its wear). On the road, not only is it important how sticky your tires are to improve traction in wet conditions or during launches at the drag strip, but also make sure that they’re not over or underinflated. Overinflated tires will increase your contact patch with the ground and decrease performance while underinflated ones will do just the opposite. Tires are what keep your car connected to the ground – you can have the most powerful engine in the world, but if it does not have good tires, then you won’t be driving anywhere fast.

    No car can ever be fast without all of its parts working together in harmony. I hope that this article gave you a better understanding of how these 4 factors affect your car’s top speed. So, always make sure to have all of your car’s parts in good condition when you’re attempting to reach high speeds!