Why is it that

Why is it that a rolling start (5 mph-60) is always a little bit slower than a 0-60 time?

I noticed this in Car and driver where on all the cars the 0-60 time are quicker than the 5-60 times.

Why would this be? it makes little sense to me.

Because starting at 0 means you can rev the engine so you start in its powerband, which is the RPM range where you get the most acceleration. Starting at 5 means the transmission’s already engaged, and at 5mph your engine isn’t nearly at the ideal RPM range for acceleration.

Well stated. The Shadow Knows.

Oh. XD I was thinking this was some complicated problem, like the gas tank puzzler. Thanks for some common sense.


And to round out the thread, here’s some acceleration entertainment for you.

HA AHA HA That’s awesome.

Spanked by the mommy mobile.

With many manual trans cars you have to start in 2nd gear at 5mph.

How about if I am rolling at 5mph with the clutch in and the engine in a 4-6000rpm range and I dump the clutch. Will the car at a standing start still beat me to 60?


Not in any of the manual cars and truck I’ve ever owned. I can drop into first when going less than 10 mph.

Who cares??

C & D must really be scraping for automotive news if they’re doing a test like this.

I know that with my old muscle cars (Roadrunner, Superbee) a rolling start of 5 to 10 MPH was far better for me in a street race. Otherwise, from a dead standstill traction was a serious problem and the 0 to 60 time could be measured in double digits.

Learn something every day! It makes sense, too! Even to me; I know next to nothing about the mechanics of cars, yet I enjoyed this forum.

I wonder if it is in driving technique. If you are rolling in gear and floor it certainly you would have a lag over someone ramping it up to 2500 rpm and hitting the clutch.

They’ve always done tests like that. The 5-60 is a more realistic “what can I really do with this car on the street” number, because 0-60 is tested using a proper racing launch, which involves a little wheel spin and a hell of a lot of engine noise - two things guaranteed to catch the eye of a cop.

Waterboy’s right, btw. If you launch it properly (and on those old muscle cars, you had to be REALLY good, and it didn’t help that the tires sucked back then) a standing start will beat the rolling start, even in a Roadrunner.

How about in an automatic (or ‘manumatic’) trans, both starting in drive?

with all this clutch talk, it kind of muddies the water. I wanted to know the physics of the problem.
Both starting in drive with an auto trans
dead stop vs 5mph
which would be faster to 60 mph.