Can Cars Go Faster?
Have We Reached The Limit? Today We'll Find Out..
Ever since cars came to fruition, we have been trying to make them faster. In doing so, we've learnt all about aerodynamics, weight reduction, and the age old saying that "bigger is better". But have we reached the apogee of speed? Can cars get any faster? Let's find out.
I hope you enjoy.
The History Of Speed
The first speed record was broken by the Benz Velo in 1894, which achieved an almighty... 19kph. To be fair, it was one of the first cars ever made, so it was crowned the fastest.
"1895 Benz Velo" by Sicnag is licensed under CC BY 2.0
The Velo would hold this record for nearly 60 years, until the Jaguar XK120 came about. It was able to achieve a much faster 200kph. For the next few decades, the #1 spot would highly contested, and dozens of cars would claim their place. 1993 saw the release of one of the most incredible cars of all time, the McLaren F1, but the biggest leap forward took place in 2005, with the release of the Bugatti Veyron.
The Veyron Effect
The Veyron re-defined what we thought was possible. It could casually cruise to 400kph with little effort, and boasted more radiators than my house. This was an immense effort for the time, and dominated leaderboards for some time. Fastforward to 2017, and cars are updated more often than ever before. Koenigsegg has managed to send an Agera RS to 277mph, making it the new fastest car. The Agera RS managed to hold it's title for 2 years, before being surpassed by the Chiron Super Sport 300+ in 2019. The car, like technology, is constantly being updated, so you have to try even harder to be ahead of the game.
Have We Reached The Limit?
It took 93 years for the automobile to reach 200mph, 22 years to reach 250mph, and 14 years to reach 300mph. By my calculations, it should take only take 8 years to reach 350mph, but this is based on maths, not engineering. 300mph was an extremely difficult number to surpass, and in reality, took 135 years to achieve. The car had to be fitted with special tires, and was a very heavily modified version of the "standard" Chiron. So can we go faster?
Whilst cars could hypothetically go faster, the human factor comes into play. The risk of crashing rises exponentially as you go faster, but this is not the reason we can't go faster. The reason is simple: It's getting dangerous.
In 1967, Don Campbell was killed trying to beat the water speed record. Although water speed records tend to be more dangerous, cars are not much safer. More people die in road related accidents than in boat, plane and train accidents combined.
There is also a limit to which cars can withstand the sheer force of wind hitting body panels at 300mph. Any faster, and some materials will deform, crack, or even shatter.
We are trying to go faster - but we need to make more advancements in the fields of mechanics, aerodynamnics, and engineering, before we dare put pedal to the metal again.
In short, it's a work in progress.