What is Brake Horse Power? A short history lesson...
We are all familiar with the term Brake Horse Power or BHP. We know that it is used to measure the power of cars and that the bigger the number the BETTER! We know that car enthusiasts pull a funny face, often followed by "CORRRR", when they hear about the new Lamborghini Aventador SVJ Roadster kicking out 759 Break Horse Power. But what actually is it? Where did it come from and what on Earth does it have to do with horses?! Pendle Lease explain all...
The invention of horsepower - James Watt
Horses had been used as part of a work force for hundreds of years, but with the development of the steam engine, horses were being replaced. But it became apparent that there needed to be a way to compare the output of horses compared to the output of the steam engines replacing them. After all, horses had worked effectively for years, and who would want to switch to something less productive? Workers needed a steam engine that was capable of doing the work of up to 20 horses!
James Watt was a Scottish inventor who bolstered the industrial revolution with his steam engine in 1776. The Watt Steam Engine was an improvement on the Newcomen steam engine of 1712.
With some extremely complicated mathematically calculations that we will not pretend to understand here, Watt calculated horsepower to the rounded number of 33,000 foot pounds of force per minute. Still a respectable amount. But the steam engine was more than capable, hence why we are not all using horses for work and they are now a popular pet for the middle class. Watt used these findings to market his new and improved steam engine.
Brake Horse Power - the automotive industry
Brake Horse Power, or BHP, calculates how much work an engine can do as opposed to how much work a horse can do. BHP is typically calculated in the output shaft of the engine, but it can also be calculated in the crankshaft, rear axle or even the rear wheels. Again, a lot of engineering and clever maths skills is used here and it is highly unlikely you will be calculating your own BHP.
You may also see some cars power using the PS unit of measurement. Don't worry... PS, or PferdStarke, is another unit of measurement for horsepower. In fact, 1 HP is the same as 1.01389 PS. So, they are very similar. For those looking for some bonus points in a pub quiz, PferdStarke is the literal German translation of Horse Power.
A vehicle's engine needs to be capable of producing enough power to drive the motor, auxiliary components, any complimentary devices whilst simultaneously being efficient and meeting safety regulations.
BHP, unlike HP, takes into consideration the effect of friction and how much power that loses. In Layman's Terms, to measure BHP, the engine is revved to the max and then left to naturally slow down to stop.
Put bluntly, the more BHP a car kicks out, the power the engine is producing. Hence why the Lamborghini Aventador we mentioned earlier with its eye watering 759 BHP can do 0-62 miles per hour in 2.9 seconds and 0-124 miles per hour in 8.8 seconds.
Pendle Lease have put together our own mathematical equation to work out the amount of "CORRRS" a car can get from car enthusiasts: More BHP = More CORRRRS
More or Less BHP?
Not everyone is in the market for a beast of car. The large majority of us are looking for a car that will comfortably get us from A to B in one piece. Whether you are looking for a 500 BHP 5.0L V8 engine, or a 100 BHP 1.0L that is great on fuel, Pendle Lease can accommodate all. Take a browse through our latest business and personal lease deals today!
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