What is the ultimate meaning of speed? Is it something that fuels our desire for excitement? Is it the passion for the unknown? We strive for challenges that need to be accomplished and be precisely calculated. Scientifically, the speed of an object is the magnitude of its velocity, the average rate of change, and the change of its position. It is thus a scalar quantity, a noun, not an adjective, and the rate at which someone or something can move or operate.
You could look up different sources and define speed in many ways, but in a sense of feeling, how does speed feel to you? Are you a 1/4 mile kind of person? Zero to over 100 mph in 8 seconds is the best adrenaline rush you know? Do you track laps at a speedway continually cutting your previous time down by 1/10th of a second?
Each of us has a different definition of speed and it is what makes us unique. It is what brings out our inner passions and emotions, what makes the love for the sport and car one of a kind. Growing up I had a passion and desire for speed, as well as for bigger, faster, and more luxurious. Most times challenging with friends on who would get there faster I soon realized I was addicted to the feeling of speed.
In the automotive world, almost every aspect of manufacturing is involved around speed. The companies at the forefront of innovation are constantly striving to make lighter and faster vehicles and come together to reimagine and bring innovation even to maths.
Thinking about speed and the wheel. Enter the diameter in feet and multiply it by pi, which is approximately 3.14. If the diameter of a tire is two feet, then the circumference is 6.28 feet: 2 x 3.14 = 6.28 feet. Next, if we multiply by the rotational speed (RPM), this gives as a result a value for feet traveled per hour based on the rotational speed and the circumference of the wheel. If the rotational speed is 2500 RPM, enter 2500. Then multiply this number by 60 to convert it from feet per minute to feet per hour. Now, divide this number by 5,280, which converts feet per hour to miles per hour. Push the equal sign to see the speed in mph. So, the 2500 revolutions per minute is equivalent to about 178.4 mph! (2 x 3.14 x 2500 x 60 / 5280 = 178.4) The Rotations Per Minute of a 300-mph vehicle can be only imagined by how fast that wheel is traveling.
Time, financial, technological and human resources come together to develop wheels that withstand such amount of pressure and speed. Product testing, research and development every year in the challenge of being the fastest.
In August of 2019, Bugatti announced that they did something truly remarkable. A 304.77 mph Bugatti Chiron was the first ever street legal road car to hit such an impressive speed at Volkswagen's Ehra Lessein test track. Rumors have it that Bugatti could have gone faster but the road where it was initially placed, was deemed unsafe and even at a 3% gradient on the track Bugatti says, “The road, it just didn’t feel right”.
Feeling right or not, with 300 plus MPH record I would say the Bugatti team has done remarkable things, placed new records, and made it very hard for competitors to keep up with. This will be now a matter of time to see how long they can hold this record. Koenigsegg and other hyper car manufactures will surely be chasing this dream and attempting to overcome it.
The future always seems to have something new and spectacular. Where do you think the evolution of speed will take us? Will we be still on the ground or flying in the air? Will Highways be the norm at 75-mph, or will they increase with higher norms?
I cannot wait to see and feel what the future may hold for the ultimate meaning of SPEED!