The ultimate performance car test: One mile acceleration

One mile acceleration is the ultimate performance car test.

1609,344 meters. One mile acceleration may never get any attention on mainstream car magazines, but in reality it is the most demanding performance test on any motor vehicle, including electric cars.

Reasons why One mile acceleration is the ultimate performance car test:

One mile acceleration creates the most demanding load on your engine vs. any other performance test such as quarter mile, 0-100km/h, or 0-200kmh etc. Prolonged heat accumulation (BTU) during the one mile run can have drastic results on your car’s performance, and durability.

Since the test is very demanding – and dangerous – it is performed only on closed tracks such as airstrips. CAUTION: Never try one mile run on public roads.

Although my car is designed as cafe racer, not on drag strip, I was interested to see what is M60B44 engine’s real world performance. On one mile run you can compare your car against a vast array of other performance cars. I was lucky to be able to test performance of my E30 on airstrip. I was planning ahead two shifting point scenarios:

The secret sauce for high performance is the torque band on rear wheel, divided by your car weight.

SCENARIO 1: Shifting on maximum torque:

1st to 2nd gear on 7500 rpm @65 km/h,

2nd to 3rd gear on 7500 rpm @110km/h,

3rd to 4th gear on 7000 rpm @152km/h,

4th to 5th gear on 6500 rpm @191km/h,

RESULT: One mile acceleration top speed: 253 km/h @6950rpm


SCENARIO 2: Shifting on maximum rpm:

1st to 2nd gear on 7500 rpm @65 km/h,

2nd to 3rd gear on 7500 rpm @110km/h,

3rd to 4th gear on 7500 rpm @164km/h,

4th to 5th gear on 7500 rpm @220km/h.

RESULT: One mile acceleration top speed: 254 km/h @7000rpm


One km/h difference between the tests is pretty much negligible. The possible reason is increased tyre pressure after the first run. Subjectively I felt shifting is performed too late on scenario 2, although it yielded into better top speed. M60B44 engine has amazing torque band, so it really doesn’t matter when you change to fifth gear. On the same day, my 335d with 382hp resulted in 248 km/h top speed. In addition, my naturally aspirated E30 was able to kick asses of much higher performance cars (on paper) due to 26 C weather, whereas turbocharged cars running on petrol were clogging due to heat accumulation. Cars running with ethanol (E85) are not facing this issue though. Tesla Model S was one of the biggest disappointment with top speed on 230 km/h range. It was pretty staggering to realize the difference in between paper horses vs. real world performance.

PS. There was a notable side wind on the airstrip, and organisers did indeed gave a warning to motorbikes about the pesky wind. Nevertheless, I did not noted any side wind issues on E30 whatsoever, although the wind on the above video is substantial. A few really understand how seriously stable car E30 with M-technic 2 aerodynamic package is to drive at high speeds. There is so much reason why E30 is legendary. E30 is pretty much beating all never cars (read: heavier) in driving response, and feel. Due to its light weight, it just goes like a thought. It is much better than 335 M-Sport, which I did not felt comfortable at all to drive due to pesky side wind. 335 is just too heavy, rear axle gets slump, car lacks top speed stability, and it is nowhere as nimble on twisty roads as E30.

Why to build custom 4,4 litres BMW V8 M60B44 engine?

Final assembly of M60B44 engine in E30 chassis.

M6x engine swap for E30 chassis is a pretty interesting setup. A budget swap is based on M60B40 engine, mostly due to its simplicity with both wiring harness and ECU. The other low cost option is to go with stock M62B44 engine. M62B46, and M62B48, and S62 are viable, but these options are expensive, and their availability is also scarce.

So how about installing M60B44 engine? Hey, wait a minute! There is no official engine type such as M60B44 from the factory line. The aforementioned code simply refers to a custom built engine, utilizing the best components from both M60 and M62 engine generations. This unique combination creates a high compression engine, a ratio typically found only in S-series of engines. In the land of “what ifs”, this engine could have been rolled out from the factory as hypothetical, high power S-variant for M60 engine family. This homebrew engine modification is also know as M60B44 hybrid motor, or M60B44 frankenmotor.

The base recipe for M60B44 consists of:

M62B44 bottom end,

M60B40 cylinder head,

M60B40 robust timing assembly with duplex chain,

M60B40 wiring harness, sensors and ECU.

Benefits of building M60B44 engine:

  • Increased 11:1 compression ratio,
  • Almost ideal stroke-to-bore ratio. In comparison, Ferrari 458 engine with 4,5 litres capacity has 94mm x 81mm (Bore x Stroke) whereas M62B44 engine is 92mm x 82,7mm,
  • 4,6 litres and bigger M6x bottom ends increase stroke, which leads into increased piston speed, and compromised high rpm performance,
  • Wide selection of high quality M60 engine cams from Cat Cams,
  • 32 valve cylinder heads are capable to flow over 600hp,
  • Very robust duplex timing chain that can take the beating,
  • Stiffer dual spring valve train. To gain real benefits from the M60 springs, you must assemble lighter lifters, see my other article here,
  • 600 grams of weight saving with aforementioned lifters, allowing the top end to sustain revs up to 8400 rpm,
  • Durable Alusil block,
  • Lighter forged crankshaft, thanks to revised design with the central hollow cavity,
  • Oil spray nozzles for pistons,
  • Gaining the benefits of using M62B44’s MLS-type cylinder head gasket.

Building tips for M60B44 engine:

This is where it all begins, the building of custom M60B44 engine.

M60B44 dry engine weight without starter motor and generator. Not that heavy!

The oil assembly leg to use with E30 M6x swaps.

Hydraulic brake booster and brake master cylinder from BMW 850i (E31) for high quality brake assembly.

M60B44 engine with the robust M60 timing chain, lightweight lifters and hollow cam shafts. This engine is built to take some serious beating up to 8400 rpm!