The Way You Think About Horsepower In Cars Is Completely Wrong

One can image some horses scampering on the plains while stepping on a man. This is the first image that strikes one’s mind hearing the word ‘horsepower’. Do disregard this article and all others existing in your mind. horsepower in cars is a measurement, coined by engine James Watt. Its formula helps in calculating the potential of a car engine and other machinery.

What Is Horsepower In Cars?

Horsepower (hp) is a unit of measurement which is used to measure power in cars. One horsepower is equivalent to a horse lifting 75 kilograms by 1 meter in one second. In other words, it is 746 watts. James Watt – a Scottish engineer was the first person who compared the output of steam engines with the power of draft horses. He deemed that one horse could do 33,000 foot-pounds of work a day and it is useful being a consistent unit for measuring the power of a car engine.

what is horsepower in cars
The metric horsepower (Photo source: Wikipedia)

Comparing Horsepower With Other Factors

The more power the car has, the better its acceleration – a strong factor in its overall performance. This is the reason why car marketing talks a lot about horsepower capacity of high-performance or best class car models. However, one surely cannot ignore other factors as well. When driving a large or compact sedan, the compact car will run faster being lighter in weight. Torque is another feature that affects the performance of a car. Its main motive is to measure to twisting force. Cars with high torque accelerate better from a spot and carry more strength for towing. The engine that shows high performance consists of powerful torque and horsepower in cars. Complementing each other, both the specifications provide a well-balanced driving experience.

Horsepower Myths That People Still Believe

Horsepower Is More Important Than Torque

what does horsepower mean in a car
Torque or Horsepower is better? (photo source: Flickr)


Many people have been duped into believing myths that extreme horsepower numbers win not only bragging rights but also drag races. However, they should have praised other one, torque. Thanks to a ton of twist on tap to seamlessly feed onto top end thrust, many cars such as the Chevy Camaro SS received a lot of notice from experts and customers. In fact, high horsepower don’t always make you fast. And Jay Leno claimed: “Horsepower sells cars, but torque wins race”.

Cars With Lower Horsepower Are Of No Good

Most people assume that lower-horsepower cars are not worth buying. This is just an illusion. Cars with high-horsepower get a lot of attention. They look stylish, expensive and are simply gorgeous and fun to drive. Manufactures work constantly to ameliorate the quality of their horsepower in order to put a competition on the automobile industry. in the light of stylish and expensive cars with high-horsepower, it’s important to discuss that cars with lower-horsepower are worthy too. Compact and midsize vehicles do not have high-horsepower. In fact, they work fairly better without it. Modest power engines keep these cars popular because of their prices, fuel, safety and efficiency. Thinking, what does horsepower mean to such cars? Such cars do not only reply on horsepower instead, they offer distinct performance over high-horsepower cars. They may not achieve the highest speed in a fraction of seconds but fun to drive because they are lightweight and agile.

does horsepower matter
Does horsepower really matter? (photo source: Steve Morris Engines @ Youtube)

The More Horsepower, The Better

Indubitably, cars with more horsepower satisfy buyers and considered powerful in terms of performance. While horsepower in cars is important, it is certainly not the only factor to consider when purchasing a car. If speeding from zero to 60 miles in a fraction of second is not important to yoy, there is  range of cars holding numerous other features to consider.

FAQs Related To Horsepower In Cars

What’s The Difference Between Torque And Horsepower?

Torque is a complex definition that represents a rotating force produced by an engine’s crankshaft.  The more torque an engine produces, the greater its ability to perform work. It’s quantified by the units pound-feet and newton-meters (Newton x meters). Horsepower is determined from torque because torque is easier to measure. While power shows how “strong” and how fast the car is, the torque represents how long it will take to achieve that speed. The higher the torque is, the better the ability to pull, climb and cross terrain is. You can see this video below to get more information of differences between torque and horsepower in cars?

How Much Horsepower Does An Average Car Have?

The horsepower varies from car to car and country to county. In general, a typical car in America has something around a 120-horsepower engine. A big SUV might have a 200-horsepower engine, and a small car might have only 70 horsepower. Read this article about the average car horsepower to know detail four cars’ average horsepower.