0-60 MPH times are often somewhat underwhelming here in the mountains (at about one mile above sea level). The lack of oxygen means that engines produce less power, and vehicles are noticeably slower. There is also really no such thing as a definitive 0-60 MPH time. The results depends on so many variables.
A good baseline assumption is that the elevation accounts for a roughly 15% decrease in power across most vehicles. Of course, things like forced induction come into play here, but 15% is a good rule of thumb. However, there is another factor that can make a big difference in 0-60 MPH times, and that is weight. Specifically, the weight of any additional passengers that you may be carrying with you. Roman and Tommy got a bit scientific to see what kind of difference this makes, and whether it affects cars or trucks more. The goal is to answer the question: How much does a passenger slow you down?
To get data that as reliable as possible, Tommy would take each car on his own and record a 0-60 MPH time with a relatively light driver (144 lbs). Then, Roman would get in, adding 230 lbs to the total vehicle weight. Tommy would do another 0-60 run with Roman in the truck or car, making sure to launch the same way in order to get reliable times. Then, some math would happen to see what percentage difference a 230 lb passenger makes for each vehicle.
Representing the truck in this test is our trusty 2014 long term Ford Raptor. This has a 6.2L naturally aspirated V8 that makes 411 horsepower and 434 lb-ft of torque. Power is sent to all four wheels through a 6-speed automatic transmission.
Representing the cars is a 2017 Jeep Renegade Trailhawk. This comes with a naturally aspirated 2.4L four-cylinder that makes 180 horsepower and 175 lb-ft of torque. Power is sent to all four wheels thanks to a 9-speed automatic transmission.
Raptor 0-60 baseline: 8.10 seconds
Raptor 0-60 with Roman: 8.60 seconds
Percent Change: 5.81 %
Renegade 0-60 baseline: 10.74 seconds
Renegade 0-60 with Roman: 11.80 seconds
Percent Change: 8.98%
Going back to our original question: How much does a passenger slow you down? Well, it depends…
As Tommy and Roman expected, the Raptor saw a much smaller difference when adding a passenger, than did the Renegade. This could be due to a number of factors. First, the Raptor has way more power than the Renegade, so it will deal with the additional weight much better. However, the Raptor is also experiencing a lower percentage of additional weight. The Raptor already weighs around 6,244 (6,100 lb curb weight) lbs with Tommy in the driver’s seat. Roman’s extra 230 is only a 3.5% increase in weight. The Renegade weighs 3,676 lbs (3,532 lb curb weight) with Tommy driving. Adding Roman, the Renegade experiences a, much more noticeable, 5.89% increase in weight.
This combination of the Raptors significant power advantage, plus the fact that it experiences a relatively smaller increase in weight, should give a decent explanation as to why the Renegade saw a much larger decrease in 0-60 times.
Hopefully this has provided a decent answer to the question: How much does a passenger slow you down?
Especially up here at altitude, weight makes a huge difference. If you want to go faster, ditch the passengers and get skinny!
Be sure to watch the entire video for some more commentary by Roman and Tommy.