A horsepower is a unit of measurement used to denote power or the “rate at which work is done” by an engine or motor. As with torque, there’s differentiation between manufacturer-supplied figures representing horsepower, with the main four being horsepower, brake horsepower, metric horsepower, and kilowatt. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Especially when what you’ll feel when you mash the throttle is mostly torque.

A: Depends, do you like schlocky Fast and the Furious rip-offs with motorcycles and a scene where a turbine-powered superbike called the “Y2K” enters warp speed? Horsepower is the most commonly used figure to denote a car’s power and most often relates to how much power a car’s engine develops at the crank of an engine, not at the tires.

But what about the greater moral issue confronting mankind in general and car enthusiasts in particular: Which is better? Brake-horsepower is commonly used by countries outside the U.S. and denotes the engine’s power at the tires of the car, not at the crank. Observing a horse could turn a mill wheel 144 times per hour, and that the wheel had a 3.7-meter radius, Watt determined the horse could travel 2.4 × 2π × 12 feet in one minute. Cooling and lubrication needs are roughly proportional to the power produced. Boosters—superchargers, turbochargers—deliver additional air to help small engines act large. Practically put, a Bugatti Chiron can operate between 1 mph and 261 mph. We may earn a commission through links on our site. Factor fuel efficiency and exhaust cleanliness into the development equation and it’s clear why engine wizards rarely hang out at the water cooler. You’ve got questions, The Drive has answers! One is making all the components tough enough to handle the loads they’re subjected to by combustion pressure and, in the case of moving parts, their own inertia. H = T x rpm/5252, where H is horsepower, T is pound-feet, rpm is how fast the engine is spinning, and 5252 is … We may earn money from the links on this page. Horsepower = (RPM * Torque)/5252 Here rpm stands for revolutions per minute, or the number of times a crankshaft of the vehicle rotates per minute. Here's what they actually mean. Definition & Formulas Torque - Horsepower (hp) conversion is a method of converting one unit from other and vice versa. The Drive and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links. The difference is torque is doing the work, while horsepower is how fast that work is being done. Horsepower and torque, along with where each fall on a vehicle’s engine rotation per minute (rpm) range, as well as gearing, determine the car’s speed and acceleration. We throw horsepower and torque figures around all the time when talking about cars.