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For 0-60 times, power to weight ratio and traction are probably the most important factors. Low end torque helps too, but you can use clutch "feathering" in a manual trans to launch at higher RPMs.

As you go faster, max HP and coefficient of drag start to become more important (as wind drag starts to limit acceleration).

Since the IS300 has a good "C.D.", and 215hp max (more than most of the other cars you mentioned), then - YES - I would expect that (as speeds increase) the IS300 would start to overtake some of the lighter smaller cars which have less HP.

The number of cylinders is not really much of a factor here. Looking at vehicle weight, engine output curves, coefficient of drag, tire traction and transmission characteristics are the main things you need to know.

The main benefit to having 6 cylinders (instead of 4) is in engine smoothness.

One benefit to have a broad, flat torque curve is that gear selection is less important when requesting passing power. With the IS300, you should be able to hit the gas at 50 mph and get to 70mph (for passing) without much concern. In a car like the Integra Type R, you better hope that you are in the right gear (say 3rd) to have the engine revving high otherwise you won't be getting alot of response when you hit the gas.

[This message has been edited by TEG (edited October 08, 2000).]
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