Everything you knew about the horsepower — an exaggeration
What is the horsepower? This is not the shampoo, which together with horses advertise effeminate hairdressers and measure the performance of the car. For many, the main measure of truth against which to evaluate the car before purchase. Actually it’s just one of the many components of a good car. Horsepower is an important element, but not decisive. And now we will try to convince you of that.
Horsepower is, first and foremost, a marketing tool
First, let’s talk about what is the strength of this really is. In reality it is nothing more than a number that defines the power of the engine. Compare the engine with the trucks came up with James watt, the great engineer and inventor, who was one of the originators of the industrial revolution. It is already 1700 years, while working on a steam engine. By the way, the unit of power named after him. Watto needed to lure people with their steam engine, but the common people had no idea how you measure the power of the steam engine, what is it all about and how this iron machine moves by means of steam. So I decided a cunning engineer to use familiar to all the cattle and thus to show that its engine will replace so many horses. Watching the traditional source of energy — the horse, watt came to the conclusion that a barrel weighing up to 180 kg can pull out of the mine two horses at a speed of 2 mph (3.6 km/h). In this case, the horsepower in the English action takes the form 1 HP = 1/2 barrel, 2 mph = 1 barrel-mile/h (barrel adopted as a unit of force, not mass). The same thing in smaller units is 380 pounds at 88 feet/min. Rounding calculations in lb-ft per minute, he decided that horsepower is equal to 33,000 lb-ft per minute. And the whole world realized that one machine replaces, say, 20 horses. All seemingly so simple, but marketers have made him a gold mine, which peck motorists. With horse manure, of course, but lived.
The most powerful is not always the fastest
Horsepower is just a number, and this number can tell you a lot about how fast the car can accelerate. But this is only one piece of the pie. The torque of the engine, transmission, differential, tires, aerodynamics, and vehicle weight all play a big role in vehicle performance.
For most cars, and their owners, the main indicator is the acceleration in a straight line. And on this straight line often wins the car with fewer horses. Just need to consider all the factors.
If you had to sit behind the wheel of one of modern sports cars, you can accelerate from zero to hundred in 3.8 seconds. However, this does not guarantee that on the turns it will behave obediently. As is the case with the Camaro SS. Like a lot of horses, but good? A lot too depends on the skill of the driver, and how many «horses» in the car do not stick, if the head is bad — it is not gone.
Mini vs Mustang
Let’s talk about weight. Even the presence of the lighter in the car, these pitiful few grams, affects the speed. Reducing vehicle weight improves not only its straight-line acceleration, but braking as the ride turns. If you want to see how a lightweight car with a small capacity nagabuchi heavy car with big power, then look at the battle of two titans, American and British cars — Mini Cooper and Mustang.
The original Mini won the legendary rally Monte Carlo three times, twice European championship touring cars and five times the championship of Britain. So cars, as practice shows, this is a quick car.
When I first was driving the car, where the hood hid 700 «horses», you can compare it with the jump to hyperspace. The chest aches, the body tries to find a balance, and the brain tries to keep up with the rate at which the landscape becomes increasingly blurred. Breathtaking! For the second time? All right, but the more you do it, the faster it gets boring. This before before you get in a car, I had to stock up on a batch of diapers and bags of vomit. Now the technology of safety, controllability and comfort have reached such perfection that you feel like in the plane. First, admire the roar of the engine, vibration, sense of speed, and then be like Jeremy Clarkson, which is nothing to hit. 640 HP Cadillac CTS-V seem to be completely carefree during acceleration from one hundred to two hundred.
Here you sit behind the wheel, pressed the gas to the floor and realize there are things in the world more important than all sorts of horsepower. Quite spoiled.