Thursday, 8 March 2007

Are century dash figures accurate?

By Dr Long

More often than not, almost all of us are taken in by performance figures claimed by manufacturers, be it in brochures, pamphlets, specs sheets, showroom display stands, auto mags, popular auto blogs and of course, in media advertisements. But how accurate and reliable are these numbers?

We have tested a precision automotive timing device by Tesla Electronics Inc. called GTech Pro SS Performance Meter over the last 4 months. Here are the eye popping results.

For 0-100km/h sprint, it was indicated as 0-60mph on display, for it is an American instrument. Since every of the following vehicles are tested with the same device, any errors due to differences between timing a sprint up to 96km/h or 100km/h is nullified.

Best timings are recorded as follows, after 8-10 runs (claimed performance figures in bracket):

BMW 325i E90 = 9.66secs (7.7secs)
BMW M5 = 5.33secs (4.7secs)
Brabus K4 = 8.82secs (7.5secs)
Honda City 1.5 iDSI = 14.68secs (10.8secs)
Mercedes-Benz E200K = 11.32secs (9.9secs)
Mercedes-Benz R350L = 8.66secs (8.3secs)
smart roadster = 11.28secs (10.6secs)

So the conclusion is not to take things at face value, not when it comes to century sprint figures!

Next report on the possible reasons and causes for the 'consistent' discrepancies...
Or is it a well-known secret that auto manufacturers are often a tad over-enthusiastic with their claims?


Paul Tan said...

I have a GTech Pro RR, has abit more functions over the SS. This thing not accurate lah. You need a super flat road for it. I guess only suitable for hobbyist use, the guys at mags like Autocar UK use GPS-based performance meters.

drlong said...

Have you compared your GTech Pro figures against stopwatch timings? I think this manual method is worse...more room for human errors!

Thinking of getting a GPS-based meter soon, Paul?