How Does Horsepower Work?

Horsepower is the work done over the time it took to complete the task. This measurement is calculated by 30,000 ft-lb per minute. In perspective, a human can maintain an average of .1 horsepower. Furthermore, cars have on average low- to mid-100’s horsepower; a truck averages anywhere from high 100’s to high 400’s. One would observe that the faster a vehicle can move in a smaller amount of time, the higher the horsepower.

Horsepower originated from measuring the work of a steam boat in comparison to a horse. James Watt wanted to measure and compare the force and energy it took to move. He took measurements and calculated a horse moved at approximately 181 feet per minute and multiplied it by the force (180 in this case) and received 32,580. He then rounded this to 33,000 ft-lb per minute, which is what dealers such as MINI of Portland uses today. If you need further information, feel free to contact our Portland, OR dealership.

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