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      09-13-2010, 09:59 AM   #1
esqu1re
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Horsepower inflation adjustment

I was reading about a Chrysler Omni having 143 hp in 1985. That doesn't seem like a lot, but I'm sure it was pretty high back in 1985, when cars didn't have 400+ hp from the factory. Would it be like 300 hp today or 250hp? Rhetorical question, but it would be interesting to have a site that could compute horsepower from a given period into hp that is relevant today. I don't know how this would be done, but I would assume, someone would have to take all the cars of that year, and average them. The car with the most hp back then, would be equivalent say 1200hp from the Bugatti SS, the most powerful production car in 2010, or some other performance adjusted horsepower number...

Anyway, I don't know how this would be done, but it would be pretty neat to see how 300hp would stack up to other cars in 1985, in today's terms. eg: 160 hp in 1985 is a a 400 hp mustang in 2010. Just an example.
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      09-13-2010, 10:17 AM   #2
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It would be neat to see a regression analysis done on this. I remember about 10 years ago if you had a 300+hp car you were king of the streets. Now it takes about that from getting run over.

Would also be neat to see HP Vs MPG's at those given years.
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      09-13-2010, 10:28 AM   #3
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Old cars were over rated before they were standardized testing procedures not the opposite.
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      09-13-2010, 10:33 AM   #4
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so in other words... you're too lazy to do the research and make a chart.


like me.
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      09-13-2010, 10:40 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rob612 View Post
so in other words... you're too lazy to do the research and make a chart.


like me.
Well from how I read it it seemed you were saying 145hp was equivalent to 200 hp now, but I'm pretty sure it went in the opposite direction and it would be more like 100hp now.
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      09-13-2010, 11:05 AM   #6
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A couple years ago, the Japanese manufacturers were cited for over inflating power figures, and I've driven some cars that feel under reported. It would be fun to have my own personal dyno to play with, lol.
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      09-13-2010, 12:36 PM   #7
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I'm not actually talking about manufacturers inflating horsepower numbers. I'm talking about how horsepower in cars have gone up over the years. A ferrari used to have no more than 300 hp at one point but it was king of the hill because other cars had less. The type of innovation needed to produce a 300 hp car today is much less, but back then, the type of innovation required for 300hp may be equal to today's innovation needed to produce a 600 hp engine, for example.
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      09-13-2010, 12:41 PM   #8
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The OP's question is a bit confusing. Are you asking how the average HP in a given car segment has gone up over the years? A 143HP engine back then would be equivalent to... a 143HP engine today! lol. Cars were lighter then due to lack of safety equipment, but cars today, even with a considerable weight increase, are still faster due to the increase in power and efficiency.
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      09-13-2010, 12:45 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by esqu1re View Post
I'm not actually talking about manufacturers inflating horsepower numbers. I'm talking about how horsepower in cars have gone up over the years. A ferrari used to have no more than 300 hp at one point but it was king of the hill because other cars had less. The type of innovation needed to produce a 300 hp car today is much less, but back then, the type of innovation required for 300hp may be equal to today's innovation needed to produce a 600 hp engine, for example.
I gotcha. I guess look at how much it costs to by a 300HP car today vs. 15 years ago. I have a feeling that HP is getting cheaper.
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      09-13-2010, 12:48 PM   #10
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Wouldn't the easiest thing be to plot lb/hp to try to normalize things? My CRX Si had 108hp, but only weighed 2220 pounds, which would be 20.6 lb/hp, or about the same thing as a 118d with 143hp and 3075 pounds, ignoring the 300 ft/lb of torque.

Of course I remember the NSX and FD RX7 being big news for having under 12 lb/hp, a number that a large number of rather pedestrian cars easily surpass now.
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      09-13-2010, 12:54 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by esqu1re View Post
I was reading about a Chrysler Omni having 143 hp in 1985.
That would have been the Omni GLH which only weighed 2200 lbs. There was also the GLH-S which made about 205 HP and still weighed 2200 lbs.

To do what you are asking would need to consider weight as well but also emissions output and possibly fuel economy to get a full analytical comparison.
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      09-13-2010, 02:08 PM   #12
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Here is one for the 60's Chevy Impala SS 409 (360hp-425hp depending on year/model) big block car weighs less than a new Toyota Camry (268hp) however the Camry is faster 0-60 and also through the 1/4 mile.
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      09-13-2010, 05:10 PM   #13
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While it's less dramatic than with computers, you're basically noticing the significant advancement in technology. Look at the performance figures for cars 20 or 30 years ago. Now with less equivalent dollars you can get a car that both outperforms its relavent predecessor, plus is significantly safer, plus is better quality, plus probably also gets better mileage. I mean I used to think the Testarossa was purely a dream car that I'd never own, now I have car that outperforms it which is more fun for me.
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