Algebra 101 is now in session.
Algebra, love it or hate it, is pretty handy. It’s one of the more accessible branches of mathematics to understand, and can help solve everyday conundrums. For example, have you ever wondered how fast a particular car could go in reverse? Without a track, a top-notch driver, and the specific car you’re curious about, determining the max reverse speed of the vehicle is difficult but not impossible. The video above does a fantastic job breaking down how to determine a vehicle’s max speed in reverse without drowning you in algebraic jargon or flashbacks of high school.
In the DriveTribe video above, the host wants to determine the top speed of Brian O’Conner’s Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 7 in 2 Fast 2 Furious. To do so, you need three things: the gear ratio of the whole system, the circumference of the wheels, and the engine’s rev limit. Once you determine those numbers, you can then plug them into an equation and solve for whatever variable you want. In this case, we’re trying to figure out the Evo 7’s max speed in reverse.
According to the math, the Evo 7 is only capable of a top speed of 35.56 miles per hour (55.23 kilometers per hour) in reverse. That’s a far cry from the movie’s intention of letting the audience think the Evo is rushing through highway traffic and overtaking cars that are supposed to be traveling at least 65 mph (104 kph). To make the Evo capable of hitting 70 mph (122 kph), the car would need a gear ratio that’d make reverse nearly useless.
So, is O’Conner’s Mitsubishi flying down the highway in reverse at speed? No. The film crew used some movie magic to intensify the otherwise modest pace with the other cars on the road likely traveling much slower than they should be, making it appear the Mitsubishi is speeding down the highway in reverse. If you watch the clip closely, you can tell the surrounding cars aren’t going highway speeds, but it doesn’t make the scene any less thrilling. However, no amount of movie magic can fix the Mitsubishi Eclipse also in the scene.
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