Friday, March 11, 2016

Horsepower per Weight Calculator - Really?

There is saying “Horsepower is what sells cars”. That is mostly true. This blog post is about pointing out another factor that is important in determining what the horsepower number really means. If you are a car enthusiast, then you are probably bored by this post, but even we car enthusiasts need to be occasionally reminded about it.
Here is the link to this simple calculator and my explanation is below:
The horsepower number tells you how powerful the engine of that car is. It does NOT tell you how fast that engine can move the car. This is where you need to look at the overall weight of your car. The laws of physics cannot be broken. If object A is heavier than object B, then you will be slower running with object A in your backpack. The same rules apply to cars.
Let’s look at one example. My 2008 Honda Fit has a 1.5L engine producing 109hp and it weighs 2465 LB. 2016 Honda HR-V has a 1.8L engine producing around 141hp and it weighs 2888 LB. If you calculate power-to-weight ratio and you use the Honda Fit as the BASE, then Honda Fit stays at 109hp and Honda HR-V ends up being 120hp. So when Honda HR-V is compared to Honda Fit, it does NOT really have 141hp; it has 120hp. This is how I like to compare cars; I use my current car as the baseline.
Another way to approach this is by calculating Weight/Horsepower ratio. Keep in mind that smaller number is better.
This is not a deciding factor but it could be one of factors for some of us. At the end of the day, nothing replaces a test-drive and the X-factor of a given car without looking at any calculations. For example, based on my list below, my car has the top 2% worst ratio, but I still have a big smile on my face as the power is not a deciding factor for me. However, I might be an exception.
Here is the list of WEIGHT/HORSEPOWER ratios of some cars for your reference. Keep in mind that smaller number is better.
  • 22.6 lb/hp (2008 Honda Fit LX) … current car :)
  • 16.9 lb/hp (2016 Acura TLX, 2.4 AUTO)
  • 14.4 lb/hp (2016 Acura MDX SH-AWD)
  • 16.6 lb/hp (2016 Audi A4 2.0T quattro)
  • 11.6 lb/hp (2016 Audi S4)
  • 8.9 lb/hp (2015 Audi RS5)
  • 7.1 lb/hp (2015 Audi R8 V10)
  • 13.8 lb/hp (2016 BMW 328)
  • 16.5 lb/hp (2016 BMW i3)
  • 9.7 lb/hp (2016 BMW i8)
  • 7.2 lb/hp (2016 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray 1LT)
  • 11.0 lb/hp (2015 Dodge Challenger R/T)
  • 5.8 lb/hp (2015 Ferrari 458 Italia)
  • 23.4 lb/hp (2016 Fiat 500)
  • 8.5 lb/hp (2016 Ford Mustang GT)
  • 19.3 lb/hp (2016 Honda Fit LX)
  • 20.5 lb/hp (2016 Honda HR-V LX)
  • 17.7 lb/hp (2016 Honda Civic EX CVT 2.0L)
  • 16.7 lb/hp (2016 Honda Civic EX-T CVT 1.5L Turbocharged)
  • 17.8 lb/hp (2016 Honda Accord Sport CVT, 2.4L 189hp)
  • 14.6 lb/hp (2016 Honda Pilot EX 2WD)
  • 12.1 lb/hp (2009 Honda S2000)
  • 5.6 lb/hp (2014 Lamborghini Gallardo LP-560 AWD)
  • 8.5 lb/hp (2016 Lexus RC-F)
  • 10.5 lb/hp (2011 Lotus Elise Base)
  • 15.0 lb/hp (2016 Mazda MX-5 …Miata)
  • 19.6 lb/hp (2016 Mini Cooper Base)
  • 14.7 lb/hp (2016 Mini Cooper S)
  • 7.2 lb/hp (2016 Nissan GT-R)
  • 7.7 lb/hp (2016 Porsche Carrera S)
  • 6.3 lb/hp (2016 Porsche Carrera Turbo S)
  • 6.3 lb/hp (2016 Porsche GT3 RS)
  • 7.7 lb/hp (2016 Porsche Cayman GT4)
  • 10.0 lb/hp (2016 Tesla Model S P90D AWD, 463hp)
  • 25.4 lb/hp (2016 Toyota Prius Two …..121hp)
  • 18.2 lb/hp (2016 Toyota Camry LE)
  • 15.6 lb/hp (2014 VW GTI)

Almir M. (
#cars #horsepower #lightweight #racing 

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