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Or maybe too much is… too much?

Too much horsepower… is never enough.

Or maybe too much is… too much?

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Filed under: Opinion, European Car News

Every month a new manufacturer seems to roll out the new “King” stats… “385hp”…”472hp”… 563hp”… “628hp” they proclaim!  And we petrol headed enthusiasts ga-ga en masse.  It has always been said too much HP is never enough.

What’s next?  Seems we are mere hours away on any / every given day for the next proclamation to be proclimated “746hp!”… “819hp!!”… “952hp!!!

Then what?




Geesh. I never thought I would ever find my enthusinutter self synapse’ing these thoughts – nope. But I do. I am. I will.

Sure the latest greatest EuroOldsmoBuick (insert: Audi/BMW/Mercedes/Porsche/etc) doles out a quadzillion horsepower, only to be supplanted a coupla hours later by the next up-and-comer rockin’ out a quadzillion-and-two horsepower.

Competition is not the problem – heck that is rather healthy. Problem is, power goes upupup in direct proportion to sheer porkiness, netting no – um – net effect.   Today’s consumer expectation and federal mandatation have cars so entirely technoladen with gizmonetry that we are told we just hafta have, that we have regressed back to 1950s car weights and more. FartSensors and PerspirantOmeters and KamaSutra Transceivers – well if it’s on TV it MUST be true… throw it in add it on bolt it up! And this is progress? Yeah but its got 831hp!!!

Careful, we’re seemingly a couple years away from driving our living rooms… or worse yet – having our living rooms DRIVE US. Eeeeek. Sure power to weight ratios are cited and acknowledged – but – something is most certainly lost in the translation. Lost is spirit, lost is character, lost is SOUL. Drivers are more and more along for the ride in today’s cars, and the ride is more and more like a tour in a mobile home.

Colin Chapman was a pillar of genius – add lightness he ground breakingly proclaimed. Certainly it costs money to do such, yeah. Though, the R&D expense associated with implementing 18bajillion horsepower is astounding. R&D expense related to radical thinking for lighter materials and execution?

But… how much horsepower does THAT make??? :slaps forehead:

Give me a car that “only” makes 372hp (near Model-T type power in today’s game seemingly)… but shod around it a mere 2,800lbs. Well Tickle Me Elmo… now THAT is a HIT. But… where are the FartSensors et al???

oy – we are likely doomed

The quest for horsepower superiority has undeniably grown into a member-measuring contest – can 836hp write its output in the snow I wonder? Give me a balanced combo of power, weight, traction, and handling and let’s grab back ahold of that silly and long forgotten concept called *reality* – hi I’m reality… have we met???

Does 938hp really hook up? Without every electronanny known to man intervening, all the while decimating the tires to molten lava?  Do insurance companies even bother to insure a car with the specific output equivalent to the population of  Anacoco, Louisiana (866)?? How many miles will a 913hp daily driver last???

Shoot – listening to mesself… now I’ve gone and done it… “back when I was your age… I used to walk uphill to school. BOTH WAYS. In the SNOW!”  Crap... I’ve become an old man before even going Over The Hill.  Don’t care much though, as I’m right. Darn it – there I go again… our elders were always right, right?

But…aren’t I, maybe just maybe? Stop. Look. Listen. It is around you and is about to overcome you. Think weight not horsepower. Time to put the pencils back to paper, take 1+1 and come up with 3 or something. Ten quintillion horsepower is not the answer, despite the petroljunkie within each of us screaming out for ‘it’. Think about it…

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