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10 things you didn’t know about horsepower

10 things you didn’t know about horsepower

Posted by Glenn Rowswell on 12th October 2012

horsepower facts info

1. The Swiss-made Beck LM800 is claimed to have the highest power-to-weight ratio of any production car with an impressive 1,129bhp per tonne.

2. The peak power of an actual horse has been measured at 14.9hp. But for prolonged periods of time the average horse actually delivers less than one horsepower.horsepower facts info

3. The world’s most powerful engine produces a whopping 108,920bhp at 102rpm! It’s the 14-cylinder Wartsila RT-flex96C, which is over 27 metres long and 13 metres high.

horsepower facts info

4. Many European manufacturers quote power in ‘PS’ which is German for Pferdestarke or ‘horse strength’.

horsepower facts info

5. The least powerful production cars on sale in the UK are from the Aixam range, including this 20bhp Scouty.horsepower facts info

6. The term horsepower was first used by the Scottish engineer James Watt in 1782 while working with steam engines. He saw that a mine horse could pull 22,000 lb/ft of load per minute but for some reason increased that by 50 percent to 33,000 lb/ft of load per minute and called it horsepower.horsepower facts info

7. The most powerful production car in the world is also the fastest. The 256mph SSC Ultimate Aero TT delivers 1,183bhp from its 6.3ltr V8.horsepower facts info

8. The ‘brake’ bit in the term brake horsepower refers to a brake band, which is a device used to measure the torque delivered by a rotating shaft.horsepower facts info

9. Although the official figures were never released, many people believe that the most powerful rally car in history is the Audi Quattro S1, which had over 500bhp.

horsepower facts info

10. The most powerful F1 engines ever made were the BMW BT54 1.5ltr 4-cylinder turbos which delivered up to 1,400bhp in qualifying spec. The engine blocks were taken from used BMWs which had done at least 100K miles because BMW claimed it ensured that the majority of the stresses in the metal were relieved after going through so many thermal cycles.

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