Car Wars Speed Program

Many Car Wars players now design vehicles using a vehicle design program such as Aaron Mulder’s Combat Garage or the MADHAT Duel Designer. A few veteran autoduellists, like this blog’s author, still prefer to follow an “old school” method of designing vehicles by using a vehicle design spreadsheet, consulting custom-built reference tables and reading rulebooks.

This weekend, while verifying Car Wars vehicle statistics using my custom design vehicle design spreadsheet, I realized I needed to resurrect a vehicle design tool I created in the 1990s.

The tool is a simple program for my Texas Instruments TI-85 graphing calculator to calculate the top speed and cruising speed of a Car Wars vehicle. After changing the lithium and alkaline batteries, I was pleased to learn my dependable TI-85 is still running like a supercharged V-8 gasoline engine.

The top speed formula for most vehicle types in Car Wars has the format Top Speed = (x * Power Factors) / (Power Factors + Vehicle Weight). The value of x varies depending on the type of power source.

Type the program using the PRGM function.


Prompt x
Prompt PF
Prompt WT
iPart TS*2.5->TS
iPart CS*2.5->CS
Disp TS
Disp CS

When you run the program, you will be prompted to give three values: x, PF and WT.

x is the variable number in each top speed formula. For car and motorcycle electric power plants, x is 360. For car and motorcycle gasoline engines, x is 240. For oversized vehicle electric power plants and oversized internal combustion engines, x is 200.

PF is the power factors of your power source.

WT is the current weight of the vehicle.

When the program is completed, you will be given a value for Top Speed (TS) and Cruising Speed (CS).

The top speed of a Car Wars vehicle must be a multiple of 2.5 mph, rounded down. The program uses the calculator’s iPart function to obtain a multiple of 2.5 mph.

The cruising speed of a Car Wars vehicle is 60 percent of the vehicle’s top speed, rounded down to a multiple of 2.5 mph. The program also uses the calculator’s iPart function to obtain a multiple of 2.5 mph for cruising speed.

This program was developed on one of the earliest editions of the TI-85. I also have a newer edition of the TI-85, but I have not used yet. When I have an opportunity to use the new calculator, I will try the SPEED program on that device and report my results here.


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