Horsepower: A Brief Tale

Anyone who has ever gone to buy a new vehicle has heard the phrase "this model now has more horsepower!", which sounds great, but what exactly is horsepower and why is more of it a good thing? Horsepower is defined as the ability to move 33,000lbs one foot per minute. The term was coined by James Watt in the 1800s while he was working with ponies in a coal mine.

The horsepower stated by car companies tend to be the "indicated horsepower", or the horsepower available without friction from the engine, which can be about 10%. The way to test horsepower is to attach the vehicle to a dynamometer, which tests the electrical current that the engine produces and convert it to pounds per foot per minute.

Horsepower is useful to learn and understand because it helps give you an idea of your vehicle's work capacity. Come to Audi Stevens Creek in San Jose, CA today to test some of our vehicles for yourself.

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