Why It's Hard To Match Magazine 0-60 Times

Illustration for article titled Why It's Hard To Match Magazine 0-60 Times
Screenshot: LegitStreetCars on YouTube

Alex, the host of YouTube show LegitStreetCars, has a few Mercedes AMGs kicking around his garage. In recent testing, Alex saw his old C43 AMG lose a few drag races against a car it probably should not have lost to. In looking at the data from his runs, the car was producing 0-60 times a couple seconds slower than what the magazines saw in testing when the car was new. He wanted to know what he could do to make the car compete with the brand new version of itself.


As it turns out, the reason is temperature. During those timed runs Alex says the temperatures were hovering in the 90s, which simply kills engine performance. Combustion likes a nice cool air temperature, as cooler air contains more oxygen. Because it was so hot, this C43 AMG was running in the mid-eight-second range rather than the low sixes, as published by the glossy mags.

After checking compression on all eight cylinders and making sure the fuel system wasn’t giving up the ghost, Alex figured it would be a good idea to re-fit the cold air intakes that were missing when he purchased the car. This AMG came with a couple tubes running to the front grille that supplied cool ambient air to the intake box. Without them in place, the engine was sucking up pre-warmed engine compartment air. That alone was worth a full second in the car’s 0-60 run, but it was still over a second off the magazine times.

Magazines, as Alex found out, print “weather corrected” 0-60 times, which account for warm ambient days and high humidity. As Alex lives in Chicago, that humidity is a huge factor. So, he got up early the next morning to do some testing before the heat of the middle of the day. With 70-ish degree exterior temps, he saw an even further reduction of his sprint time. It’s closer to the magazine times, close enough that things like road surface, tires, and humidity will fudge the numbers even lower.

So, if you can’t seem to replicate the 0-60 times of your car as printed in the buff books, don’t worry. For one thing, it doesn’t really matter in the grand scheme of things. For another, they’re kind of cheating.

Jalopnik contributor with a love for everything sketchy and eclectic.



It makes me sad to have dismissed Cold Air Intakes for Large $$ Amounts as as “just for show” thing for poseurs to point to.  Now, after all this time, I find that they actually are helpful?!?  I’m crushed.