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Old 05-10-2009, 09:42 PM
 
Location: Middleton, Wisconsin
4,229 posts, read 15,071,182 times
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I was discussing this today with my brother. I wonder if my Maxima really has the power of 190 horses. We own two horses and I think they could tow more then a Geo.lol Just wondering if anyone could shed some light on this? Is their really that much power in a car? Or is it scam?


Josh
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Old 05-10-2009, 10:13 PM
 
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Horsepower - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 05-10-2009, 10:56 PM
 
Location: Earth
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Because hp is what sells cars, but torque is what moves them.............??????????????????
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Old 05-11-2009, 12:18 PM
 
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I prefer torque numbers over anything. HP is just a function of torque and RPM...
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Old 05-11-2009, 07:36 PM
 
Location: Poway, CA
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horsepower is not some magic lingo made by the car companies. it's a measurement of power that predates the car by a few decades. the wiki above basically sums up all you need to know.

Mike
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Old 05-11-2009, 08:04 PM
 
Location: I think my user name clarifies that.
8,293 posts, read 22,466,140 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoshB View Post
I was discussing this today with my brother. I wonder if my Maxima really has the power of 190 horses. We own two horses and I think they could tow more then a Geo.lol Just wondering if anyone could shed some light on this? Is their really that much power in a car? Or is it scam?

Josh
It is interesting, this whole issue of horsepower. And horsepower is not a "one size fits all" kind of thing.

My dad has a couple tractors that are rated around 190 horsepower, and any comparison of those tractor engines to a Maxima engine is completely absurd. Just not the same thing...
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Old 05-11-2009, 08:06 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
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The thing is, an engine is rated in horsepower, equivalent to what a horse could do all day, regardless if the *engine* can run at that level all day or not.

The term was used first for steam engines that pumped water out of mines, and replaced horses. So in the beginning it actually made sense.

But today, more than peak HP or torque numbers, most useful is a graph of torque vs RPM. HP can be on the graph, almost always is, but the torque curve tells the tale.

Consider how most BMW engines make almost constant torque from 1500-2000 RPM up to redline - then look at how many old American Iron engines peak in torque at 1500 to maybe 2500 RPM and then it falls off.
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Old 05-11-2009, 09:00 PM
 
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I think the real question is, why do carmakers use bhp instead of whp?
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Old 05-11-2009, 09:06 PM
 
Location: Phoenix metro
20,005 posts, read 67,969,120 times
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Originally Posted by JTraik View Post
I prefer torque numbers over anything. HP is just a function of torque and RPM...
Torque is nice and all, but... give me the hp anyday.
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Old 05-11-2009, 09:22 PM
 
Location: Winter Springs, FL
1,789 posts, read 3,960,227 times
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Bhp is a higher number than whp. The horsepower for bhp is measured at the flywheel. There is more bragging to be done when you say your car has 450hp
when the wheel hp may only be 380hp(you will lose some power through the drivetrain). Tq is the number that matters unless you are driving at high rpm's which most people never do. Tq is what gives that seat of the pants feel when you accelerate off the line. Look at dyno readings and you will see that tq starts off high in the lower rpm's and hp is at it's lowest. As you get into the higher rpm's the tq number decreases and the hp increases.
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