Yeah... Well, about this whole gearing thing... I dont know where you get your information but it seems that White98LS has got a few points that seem to disprove your argument to say the least...
1. reducing you final drive by 12% will not "net you a 12% reduction in quarter mile times. Sorry. An engine's power band does not peak at the redline on most cars, and having shorter gearing will not necessarily put you in the prime power band.
2. getting traction would not result in a felt "14.78% increase in engine SIZE". yeah. As honda has proved repeatedly, engine size is not really a determining factor in performance. Yes "there is no replacement for displacement" but you can come pretty damn close with technology. Getting traction is always a factor, but you have to realize that just because you change the final drive by a certain percentage that does not directly translate to a certain change in you timeslip. It is not a direct linear relationship.
3. "However on the flip side you will also lose 15% of your top speed" Once again you are trying to assign a linear relationship to something that is clearly non linear. A car does not have a straightline graph that depicts what sort of power it makes. I'm sure you have seen a dyno graph so it is kind of ridiculous for me to describe it in detail here. In addition, as White98LS was saying, most cars do not max out their gearing achieving top speed. Cars are drag limited by aerodynamics and rolling resistance. Just reducing a car's gearing will not eliminate these factors, rather it might help to overcome them, as the car now may have a greater mechanical advantage, not really having an easily predictable effect on the top speed of the car. ie, its not just simple arithmetic here.
4. The points you made about the LS's top speed being 170 ish and the Viper being capable of 220 according to gearing just strengthens the position that I am taking. You yourself point to aerodynamic drag as the deciding factor. Logically, if you are not winding the car out as far as the gearing will allow, then realisticly if you lower that limit by 14.73% you will not see an equivalent 14.73% reduction in top speed.
I'm not trying to flame you or tell you that you are completly wrong, just that the percentages and numbers that you claim are optimistic at best. If it were really that simple to calculate what changing the gearing would do to the drivability and overall performance of the car everyone would be dialing in their ratios for their optimum mix. Clearly this is not the case. This is the fundemental flaw in your argument. There are performance benifits to be had from changing the gearing, but they are not as clear cut as you seem to present them.
Sorry for the long post.
Oh, and don't flame me for being a newbie, I have had plenty of posts under my belt, this just happens to be the first after I reregistered.