How Should We Measure Fast?
Pushing the limits, in a variety of waysby Jonathan Lopez, on
Mercedes recently announced the top speed of its upcoming hybrid F1-inspired hypercar, the Project One, and a lotta folks are less than impressed. 217 mph is the figure in question, and while that’s certainly a whole lot faster than the old family minivan, it’s not quite up to snuff compared to the world-eating Bugatti Chiron. Thanks to four turbos, 16 cylinders, and a veritable ocean of gasoline, the Bug tops out at 261 mph. Amazingly, the Chiron can, in theory, go even faster, but finding the right tires to do so is a challenge.
But while Merc has yet to actually reveal the Project One, I think the relatively low 217-mph top speed isn’t really the point. What really makes it stand out is its F1-inspired powertrain, and as such, I’m expecting godly levels of grip and physics-defying acceleration numbers. In this case, it’s not how fast you can go, but how fast you can get there.
Which opens up the question of how we should measure what it means to be “fast.” 217 mph might not seem that quick compared to 261 mph, but if you can hit 217 from a dig in 10 seconds, I think we’ll all agree – that’s fast (or maybe “quick” would be the more appropriate nomenclature). Or take something like a Dakar rally machine. Top speed in those things is only about 130 mph, but thanks to crazy suspension travel and an unbreakable chassis, they can do 130 over just about any kind of terrain. And that’s fast too.
So then, dear reader, what’s fast mean to you?