Question of the Day: Do You Care About Accurate Horsepower Ratings?
As you may have seen, Car and Driver did what they're supposed to do and stuck five Nissan GT-Rs on dynamometers to find out just what's up with the cars' world-beating performance. Er, I should say to find out what's up with the discrepancy between their various performances. C&D concluded that U.S. non-press cars make about 520 hp at the crank. Our man Berkowitz concluded that Nissan is feeding the buff books (and Edmunds) ringers. Regardless, does it matter? Here's a for instance… You know the Bugatti Veyron and how it makes 1,001 hp from its quad-turbo, 8.0-liter W16 motor? Well, in Europe it makes 1,020 hp. Something to do with the difference between our more accurate SAE net and the funny Euro (probably metric) whatever system. How does Bugatti explain it? The engines actually produce 1,040 hp, so who cares? And that's kinda my point. Remember when Mazda got "nailed" a few years ago for overrating the horsepower in the Miata. They said it made 155 hp, but in reality it only made 142 hp. Did it really effect the car? Or, closer to (my) home 2006 Subaru WRX had 230 hp when I bought it. Then a few months later the SAE rejiggered how they measure horsepower. Now my car makes 224 hp. Which is actually three horses less than my 2001 WRX. Do i care? Actually, I do. That really pissed me off. You?