Speed per dollar

As Sleds O’ Fun go, it’s hard to beat a Ferrari — if you can afford one, and you probably can’t. I certainly can’t. And you’d be forgiven for saying “Well, they ought to be wonderful, for that much money.”

With thoughts like this in mind, Winding Road has come up with a new data point called the Speed per Dollar Index, and it is calculated thusly:

(Horsepower + Weight) ÷ 10,000 ÷ Price Point X 100,000 = SpD


There’s no doubt that the Bugatti Veyron 16/4 is a tremendous technical achievement, but as a value proposition, well, it fails miserably — a development that should come as a shock to exactly no one given its plutocratic price tag.

And the Veyron, which offers 1001 hp, weighs 4162 lb and costs $1.3 million, comes in with a Speed per Dollar index of 185 — about 1/11 that of the less-exalted Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT-8.

Winding Road concedes that this index doesn’t address handling, or the lack thereof, but all else being equal, cheap speed is better than expensive speed, or at least less pricey.

For the sake of amusement, here are the indices for my last two cars, as calculated by yours truly:

Sandy (2000 Mazda 626 LX): (130/2960) x 10000 / 20225 x 100000 = 2172 SpD
Gwendolyn (2000 Infiniti I30): (227/3342) x 10000 / 30519 x 100000 = 2226 SpD

Which is what I’d expect: the Mazda was short on power, but weighed less and cost a lot less, so its Speed per Dollar was almost the same as the Infiniti’s.

(Via Autoblog.)


  1. triticale »

    4 June 2007 · 6:44 pm

    My friendd Dennis Brunton’s supercharged SuperStalker comes in at about 13000 if you shop carefully for components, assemble it yourself, and ballast it to 1500 pounds to make the SCCA class weight break. There are homebuilt Locosts which typically have about half the horsepower, but being built for as little as $2000 they would score even better.

  2. CGHill »

    4 June 2007 · 6:50 pm

    Ah, the miracle of lightness. And as we speak, the automakers are busy shoving out 4500-lb “crossovers.”

  3. Dave »

    6 June 2007 · 9:17 am

    my “fully loaded” 2007 Freightliner Columbia comes in at 63 SpD. Not good? ;)

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