When I was a young lad a fast car was anything that could go 0-100 MPH in 20 seconds. An 08/09 Bullit will do it in 12.6 seconds! A 2019 Bullit will go 0-115 MPH in ~12.5 seconds!! Obviously a new definition is needed. The generally accepted definition of a fast car now is based on power to weight, and that is 10 pounds per horsepower is considered fast. An 01 Bullit is ~12.9 Lbs/HP (quick), and 08/09 ~10.8 Lbs/HP (Fast), and a 2019 is about 8.3 Lbs/HP (FAST). The advertised weights of each car, in ascending order are 3360 Lbs, 3520 Lbs, and ~4000 Lbs for the new Bullit! More about weight later.
So what's my point? We all know an expert driver in an 01 can be competitive with a rookie in a new Mustang, on a tight track. The 01 Bullit is a great momentum car, and the 08/09 is for me, the perfect balance of weight and horsepower. The big difference is when you get out on a fast track, the driver of the new Bullit has to make a big brain adjustment. In a new Bullit you get to 150 MPH probably 6 seconds faster than an 08! Add to that greater top speed and a lot more weight to manage your brake and steering inputs, you are likely to "run out of talent" without proper Adrenalin and Endorphin management. Your senses need training and repetition to adjust to the greater acceleration, narrowed field of vision and general input overload.
Police officers, who drive fast frequently, learn to manage their emotions and brain chemistry. I am quite frankly concerned about some of the high powered cars that are being sold today. We, as drivers are not capable of handling these vehicles safely at high rates of speed and handling without training. My 08 Bullit is plenty fast and I don't think I'd be comfortable in anything with much more performance. I've driven a
Trans Am car a few laps for fun and 2600 Lbs and nearly 800 HP is plain scary. (That's about 3.5 Lbs/HP!)
So how do we manage these Beasts. I suggest first, a skid control school, (good for adjusting to the feel of the weight and power) and then a good HSDE with an experienced instructor. When I used to instruct, I would only allow rookies to lap the track in third gear, at first. Once they had learned the "line," we would work on braking, shifting, and throttle management until we had a nice momentum and pace going. Only then would I let them drive to their max comfort level. And, every driver has a different skill level. They need to know how far their talent goes before they brain fade. Driving fast is a skill that requires frequent "refreshment," and it is a perishable skill. I'm definitely not as fast as I was at 30, but experience is helpful. I would never race competitively now, because I know what can happen and I've seen how long it takes for bones to heal properly. I am much more "risk adverse" now.
Years ago I built a car for a young kid to regional race. This kid was so talented, his Dad and I had to put a lower horsepower engine in the car to slow him down. He was borderline reckless, and it took a whole season for him to learn his limits. The next year we put the "big motor" in the car and he was on the podium in every race he ran.
So for God's sake, if you are moving up 160 or 220 HP, get some training. And once again if you are tired or hot at the track, come in before you run out of talent.