Not long ago, the Tesla Model S P100D was announced as one of the fastest-accelerating production cars on the planet, taking 2.5sec to reach 62mph.
Five minutes or so passed, and Faraday Future announced that the FF 91 – not yet a production car, but it will be soon, the firm said – undercut the Tesla by 11 hundredths of a second at 2.39sec.
Tesla has now responded, albeit indirectly, by claiming that in a certain spec, the P100D could actually accelerate to 62mph in 2.34sec.
On the surface, it’s petty, but this masks a more serious point; that the de facto single decimal-place system for measuring 0-62mph times is now out of date. Things, literally, are moving so fast that they’re ageing our measurement system.
Many run-of-the-mill supercars now reach 62mph in three seconds or less, and so the difference between 2.9sec and 2.95sec could be the difference between vanquishing rivals’ times, or succumbing to them.
Formula 1 uses three decimal places – and has done for many years. As road cars continually close the performance gap between themselves and the racers we idolise, our system of measurement looks increasingly archaic.