QOTD: Will the Horsepower Wars Ever End?

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

Watching the reveal on Pimp My Overhaulin' American Hot Rod, I was amazed to see an olde school muscle car receive a 700hp engine implant. As was the new/old owner. "Man, I only go 80mph on the highway, tops." Am I the only one who thinks it peculiar that our current fascination with CAFE standards, tailpipe emissions and street legal golf carts coincides with the widespread dissemination of massive horsepower? The new GTO made 400 the new 300, while the new M5 makes 500 the new 400. And so it goes. Yesterday, octogenarian musclehead Carroll Shelby predicted that the current horsepower wars will end at 600 – 700hp. “The insurance companies will be the deciding factor, as well as the EPA, the government and so forth.” Where/when/how do you think Musclemania II will cease? Or will it? Even if high hp whips leave the scene, will "clean" diesels and hybrids keep the torque times flowing? Is all this power safe for most drivers? Your thoughts please…

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

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  • Areitu Areitu on Jul 22, 2006

    I've ridden in a few (admittedly not many) of these modern supposedly high-horsepower-testerone-waxed cars and while they are definitely fast, they don't feel like they have whatever horsepower rating it is on the brocure. Yes, torque is what is felt, but by the seat of the pants, a 227hp WRX feels faster than a 340 horsepower Charger. Maybe the horsepower wars are just a marketing exaggeration like Intel's absurd CPU clock speeds.

  • Johnny Canada Johnny Canada on Jul 22, 2006

    Great point Areitu. The new VW GTI that I tested was a blast to drive. A much more satisfying event compared to my friends BMW 330. Could it be that big HP is just a lazy way out of building decent cars ? I mean really . A bit more compression, couple more cylinders, a bigger cam. Then a tire burning shoot-out on the cover of Car & Driver magazine. Quite lazy when you think about it.

  • BMan1113VR BMan1113VR on Aug 03, 2006

    Glenn please tell me you are not part of the group of Prius owners that claim that they can take an Enzo or Ninja off the line in a drag race. See link: http://priuschat.com/index.php?showtopic=16201

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