Drivers are just realizing the true meaning behind car horsepower – but there’s a catch
A car expert has revealed that despite what some drivers believe, today’s horsepower does not represent your car’s strength in horses.
The motor enthusiast revealed the precise mathematical equation automakers use to measure a vehicle’s horsepower in a TikTok that garnered over 65,000 views.
This TikTok clip from The Jerry App (@thejerryapp) begins with a narrator explaining that automakers determine a model’s horsepower by multiplying a vehicle’s torque by its RPM, divided by 5,252.
The narrator adds, “More torque means more power, and more horsepower means more speed.”
Rpm stands for revolutions per minute and indicates how many times the crankshaft of an engine makes a full revolution every 60 seconds.
While scientists today have a formula for determining vehicle performance, the term has equine-related origins that predate the simple equation.
Scottish engineer James Watt invented an improved version of the first commercially available steam engine in the late 1760s.
Watt decided to use the term horsepower to describe the performance of his new engine in a way that the public could quickly grasp.
Horsepower was an apt term in the late 1760s because many people used the original steam engine to pull, push, or lift objects, ThoughtCo reports.
Watt also chose the term after claiming that one of his improved steam engines could outperform and replace ten horses pulling carts.
Other car manufacturers soon followed in Watt’s footsteps and advertised the performance of their engines in horsepower format.
Several viewers turned this narrator’s TikTok lesson into jokes for added fun in the video’s comments section.
A viewer wrote “Mustang owners disagree,” with numerous crying, laughing emojis.
Another TikTok account commented, “No it [horsepower] is the number of miniature horses under the hood.”