Just how fast is a Top Fuel drag car?









































Did you know

an NHRA Top Fuel dragster accelerates from 0 to 100 mph in less than 1 second, almost 11 seconds quicker than it takes a production Porsche 911 Turbo to reach the same speed!

Take a look at the graph on the right (click for an enlargement) the 0-100 mph time is actually about 0.9 secs and the 0-60 mph time is approx 0.4 secs. The 300 mph mark comes up in less than 4 seconds!!! Notice that the Lamborghini Diablo has not even reached 60 mph by the time the Top Fuel car is doing 300 mph.... yes read that again!... and by the time the drag car crossses the finish line at 326 mph, the Lamborghini has just about cracked 60 mph, half way through it's run!! Even the Rahal Reynard single seater Indy car, with power and weight something akin to Formula 1, is left for dead somewhere around midway along the quarter mile, doing about 110 mph, as the top fuel car "wins the race" at 326 mph! This is a match up I would love to see - why has nobody ever done this?



the nitromethane-powered engines of NHRA Top Fuel dragsters and Funny Cars produce approximately 7,000 horsepower, about 37 times that of the average street car!

one cylinder of the eight cylinders of a Top Fuel dragster or a Funny Car produces 750 horsepower, equaling the entire horsepower output of a NASCAR engine!

an NHRA Funny Car is slowed by a reverse force more than seven times that of gravity when both parachutes deploy simultaneously!

NHRA Top Fuel dragsters and Funny Cars consume between four and five gallons of fuel during a quarter-mile run, which is equivalent to between 16 and 20 gallons per mile!



an NHRA Top Fuel dragster leaves the starting line with a force over four times that of gravity, the same force of the space shuttle when it leaves the launching pad at Cape Canaveral!

Check this graph too - all the road cars only manage around 0.5G of acceleration and even the Indy car just about 1.5G for the first 400 feet... the Top Fuel car exceeds 4G acceleration for over 350 feet, more than 2G for approx 800 feet and more than 1.5G for approx 1000 feet

Hows this for the ultimate demo... a super car with a 200 mph top speed has a mile run up to the start line, where a Top Fuel dragster is staged and ready to launch down the quarter mile strip. So the "super car" has the advantage of a flying start and crosses the starting line at 200 mph, passing the stationary dragster. At this moment the 'tree' start light goes green and the dragster launches... Well, the Top Fuel car would still pass the 200 mph car and win the drag race!! Yes, it takes 4.5 secs to cover a quarter mile at 200 mph - but the current Top Fuel dragster elapsed time record is 4.420 seconds for the quarter mile (Doug Kalitta). The top speed record is 336.15 mph. (540.98 km/h) as measured over the last 66' of the run (Tony Schumacher).



NHRA Top Fuel dragsters and Funny Cars use between 10 and 12 gallons of fuel for a complete pass, including the burnout, backup to the starting line, and quarter-mile run!

a fuel pump for an NHRA Top Fuel dragster and Funny Car delivers 65 gallons of fuel per minute, equivalent to eight bathroom showers running at the same time!

the fuel-line pressure for NHRA Top Fuel dragsters and Funny Cars is between 400 and 500 pounds, about 20 times greater than the pressure on passenger-car fuel pumps!

Engine failure movie

* Nitromethane burns yellow. The spectacular white flame seen above the stacks at night is raw burning hydrogen, dissociated from atmospheric water vapor by the searing exhaust gases.

* Dual magnetos supply 44 amps to each spark plug. This is the output of an arc welder in each cylinder.

* If spark momentarily fails early in the run, unburned nitro builds up in the affected cylinders and then explodes with sufficient force to blow cylinder heads off the block in pieces or split the block in half.



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