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My Car's Better Than Your Car

June 06, 2005
June 06, 2005

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June 6, 2005

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My Car's Better Than Your Car

For every race, from a quarter mile down a strip to 500 miles around an oval--and every kind of track in between--there's a car built to produce MAXIMUM PERFORMANCE. Here's a comparison of those machines, each significantly different, but each the best horse for its course

This is an article from the June 6, 2005 issue Original Layout

SPRINT CAR

HORSEPOWER 700

0-60 mph N/A

TOP SPEED 155 mph

COST $50,000

LENGTH: 148 INCHES

Former United Sprint Car Series champ Kenny Adams's methanol-fueled, 360-cubic-inch Chevy V-8 racer delivers its power to the rear wheels through direct drive, meaning there's no gearbox. The car has to be push started, and once it hits top speed, it doesn't slow up until it rolls across the finish--or rolls over.

FORMULA ONE

HORSEPOWER 850

0-60 mph 2.3 sec

TOP SPEED 225 mph

COST $14 million

LENGTH: 178.9 INCHES

Michael Schumacher's 183-cubic-inch V-10 Ferrari has a semiautomatic, finger-operated transmission with a gear for every F/1 world championship that he's won--seven.

AMERICAN LEMANS SERIES

HORSEPOWER 750

0-60 mph 2.9 sec

TOP SPEED 210 mph

COST $1 million

LENGTH: 183 INCHES

The Champion Racing Audi R8, co-driven by 2004 series winners JJ Lehto and Marco Werner, is powered by a 220-cubic-inch V-8 and has headlights, taillights and side position lights for night racing.

NASCAR

HORSEPOWER 850

0-60 mph 4.0 sec

TOP SPEED 200 mph

COST $150,000

LENGTH: 200.7 INCHES

Greg Biffle's Ford Taurus may look like yours and may run on Sunoco unleaded (112 octane), but the 358-cubic-inch V-8 engine hits 9,000 rpm--and the headlights are decals.

INDY CAR

HORSEPOWER 675

0-60 mph 3.6 sec

TOP SPEED 235 mph

COST $500,000

LENGTH: 202.7 INCHES

The 183-cubic-inch Toyota V-8 in Sam Hornish's Penske Racing Dallara runs at 10,300 rpm for 500 miles--and gets two miles to the gallon (of methanol).

TOP FUEL

HORSEPOWER 7,000

0-60 mph 0.5 sec

TOP SPEED 327 mph

COST $250,000

LENGTH: 300 INCHES

That 0-60 time? It's a guess. Driver Morgan Lucas's nitromethane-burning dragster has a 500-cubic-inch V-8 and hits 100 in 0.8 of a second.

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