What Is Horsepower?
All Jeep Vehicles
What is Horsepower?
The engineer James Watt invented the term horsepower. Watt lived from 1736 to 1819 and is most famous for his work on improving the performance of steam engines.
The story goes that Watt was working with ponies lifting coal at a coal mine, and he wanted a way to talk about the power available from one of these animals. In Watt's judgment, one horse can do 33,000 foot-pounds of work every minute. So, imagine a horse raising coal out of a coal mine. A horse exerting 1 horsepower can raise 330 pounds of coal 100 feet in a minute, or 33 pounds of coal 1,000 feet in one minute, or 1,000 pounds 33 feet in one minute. You can make up whatever combination of feet and pounds you like -- as long as the product is 33,000 in one minute and you have a horsepower.
Using all of this information, you can begin to see that there are lots of different ways to make an engine perform better. Car manufacturers are constantly playing with all of the following variables to make an engine more powerful and/or more fuel-efficient.
Courtesy of Walker Exhaust