• Jun 1st 2007 at 6:34PM
  • 16

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The good boffins at Winding Road have come up with a metric called Speed per Dollar (SpD). Its aim is to put straight-line vehicle performance into an easy-to-understand financial perspective. In light of the monetary component, the best and worst SpD ratings among the sample cars tested aren't entirely surprising: Ariel Atom at the top, Bugatti Veyron at the bottom. Supercars -- and their super prices -- would of course fare poorly. However the Mazdaspeed 3, with "just" 263 hp, climbs up the charts to score second place. As Winding Road admits, the chart doesn't take handling (or luxury or Making the Jones' Jealous) into account. But Autobloggers (and Winding Roaders, we're sure) are hugely interested in price-for-performance, and this is a novel new way to compare speedsters. Let the calculations, comparisons, and commentary begin.

[Source: Winding Road]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      (as I commented on the WR site):

      As others have noted, the formula is clearly faulty, because it makes the price completely bias the outcome.

      What you want is a flexible formula where the outcome dependends on how much money means to you, i.e. if you have more money to spend you don't mind paying disproportionaly more to get a car with higher HP (or other features) than a mazdaspeed3.

      So I suggest the formula:


      (the lower the better). Where N indicates how rich you are, i.e. higher N means you care about money less.

      So if you take for example N=2 as a nice starting point, you get this top "bang for your buck" cars which looks like a pretty accurate "enthusiasts" list (in order of best score):

      2006 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 64890 6.2
      2006 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe 43690 8
      2006 Ford Mustang GT Deluxe Coupe 25140 11.5
      2006 Dodge Charger SRT8 35320 9.8
      2006 Nissan 350Z Coupe Base 27650 11.2
      2006 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution RS 28679 11.3
      2006 Dodge Viper SRT-10 Convertible 81895 6.7
      2006 Chrysler 300 C SRT-8 39920 9.8
      2006 Pontiac Grand Prix GXP Sedan 27330 11.9
      2006 Nissan Altima 3.5 SE 23600 12.9
      2006 Chevrolet Impala SS 26330 12.3
      2006 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX 31399 11.3
      2006 Subaru Impreza WRX STI 32995 11.2

      (first number after the name is $, second is weight/HP)

      if you increase to N=5, you get the list where price is almost no object, but still favouring good bang for the buck cars:

      2006 Saleen S7 Twin Turbo 555000 3.7
      2006 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 64890 6.2
      2006 Dodge Viper SRT-10 Coupe 83145 6.7
      2006 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe 43690 8
      2006 Ferrari F430 Coupe 168005 6.7
      2006 Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder 195000 6.7
      2006 BMW M5 Sedan 81200 8
      2006 BMW M6 Coupe 96100 7.8
      2006 Lamborghini Murcielago Coupe 288000 6.3
      2006 Morgan Aero 8 Convertible 109434 7.7
      2006 Dodge Charger SRT8 35320 9.8
      2006 Chrysler 300 C SRT-8 39920 9.8
      2006 Mercedes-Benz E-Class E55 AMG Sedan 81800 8.7

      If you decrease N to very low, like N=1.2, you get the "budget power" list (N=1 is too low to factor in performance):

      2006 Chevrolet Aveo Special Value Sedan 9350 22.9
      2006 Suzuki Aerio Sedan Base 13999 17.2
      2006 Saturn ION 2 Sedan Manual 11925 19.9
      2006 Kia Rio Base 10770 21.8
      2006 Mazda MAZDA3 i 4-Door 13710 18
      2006 Kia Spectra LX 12895 20
      2006 Ford Mustang GT Deluxe Coupe 25140 11.5
      2006 Nissan Sentra 1.8 13200 20.2
      2006 Nissan Sentra SE-R Spec V 18300 15.5
      2006 Nissan 350Z Coupe Base 27650 11.2
      2006 Mazda MX-5 Club Spec 20435 14.5
      2006 Chevrolet Cobalt SS Sedan 17400 16.6
      2006 Nissan Altima 3.5 SE 23600 12.9
      2006 Hyundai Accent GLS 12455 22
      2006 Toyota Corolla XRS 17880 16.3

      So... what N do you rate yourself at? I'm clearly an N=1.8 person :)
      (this data is taken from an excel sheet which lists all US 2006 cars for sale with HP, weight, price... the last number is pounds per HP)
      • 8 Years Ago
      I think the vehicle weight is supposed to take the place of a 0-60 ratio (and actually, considering the weight of the rider can dramatically alter the bicycle thing I mentioned before). Heh, my Jetta TDI comes in somewhat better than a Porsche 911 at 1391, though a regular Jetta would come out way better with this equation. Should they figure in fuel economy?
      • 8 Years Ago
      haha, this is dumb. 2000 echo(108 hp, ~2050lbs) gets 4909. what a performer
      • 8 Years Ago
      I've got a stock 2k7 rabbit 2dr auto @ 2901.52...
      • 8 Years Ago
      Too funny. My S2000 when new came in around 3065. My '93 Civic CX when new comes in at 3850.

      However, when I bought them, the S2000 was 4232 and the Civic (had an engine swap) came in at 16136.
      • 8 Years Ago
      At first I thought this kicked ass, but what if you have a very high horsepower truck, but it's actually very slow from 0-60mph? Like an 18-wheeler?

      Maybe they should factor 0-60 in here somehow.
      • 8 Years Ago
      They should throw Bikes and Used cars up there for kicks.

      Any liter bike would throw that graph way off.

      not to mention any single turbo supra, well modified grand national, syclone or typhoon.
      • 8 Years Ago
      very useless IMO

      this tells you nothing, as mentioned it's best to buy a used car

      wtf does this tell you?

      IMO it jsut tells you that if you use this equation you're a cheap a$$
      • 8 Years Ago
      A 2001 Ford Ranger Edge Plus SuperCab 4x4 comes in at 2138, just above the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT-8 and below the Lotus Elise. Pretty good spot for a Ranger.
      • 8 Years Ago
      This just looks like a rather complicated way of saying you'll get diminishing returns for money spent on improving your 0-60 times.

      Big surprise.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I calculate 3284.73 for a base 2007 350Z. Just a few points shy of the Mustang GT....
      • 8 Years Ago
      They should put together a MPG per 0-60 index as well. It would be a ratio of MPG to 0-60 time, so cars with really high MPG would probably have slower 0-60 so just do average. Cars with really high speed would probably have low MPG so just do average. Cars with high MPG and fairly quick 0-60 would have a bigger ratio so would be on top. Obviously you won't get optimum MPG if you always use the max 0-60, but if you reserve it for only when needed you can still average out.

      These are approximate numbers but they give a general idea of how the forumula would work. I used combined MPG from newest EPA methods when possible.

      MPG 29
      0-60 8.6 sec
      29/8.6 = 3.3

      MPG 46
      0-60 10 sec
      46/10 = 4.6

      Ferrari F50
      MPG 9
      0-60 3.7 sec
      9/3.7 = 2.43

      Corvette Z06
      MPG 19
      0-60 3.5 sec
      26/3.5 = 5.42

      Chevy Volt
      MPG 50
      0-60 7 sec
      50/7 = 7.14

      Velozzi Concept
      MPG 200
      0-60 3 sec
      200/3 = 66.6
      We'll see if they are stating an average MPG after charging from plug-in or if it is 200MPG to charge only from the turbine without external electricity.
      Even if it were 50MPG running without plugging in:
      50/3 = 16.66

      You can see that electrically driven vehicles (series hybrid or electric-only) have a serious advantage in the overall speed and efficiency ratio.
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