This page will help explain how we have put together the car data for the performance cars listed.
With so much data flying around the internet, is it any wonder people get confused. Straight off, let us say that the car specifications that we used are only as good as the data we have managed to collect from the internet, our library of books and manufacturers quotes. See below.
These vary from one source to another and we have either averaged those figures or gone with the ones we feel are the most accurate or from a reliable source. You have to remember that both the manufacturers quoted figures and test drive results are really a guide and it isn’t unusual to have a slight difference to both the performance and power between two seemingly identical cars. Also we have dated some cars specifically, as due to year to year changes the specifications may well be different.
Some of the car data and performance figures will be from road tests and others from the manufacturers, but as mentioned above, they are a guide to the cars likely abilities. Also 0-60 times are just a guide, some cars gearing may mean that a change to 3rd gear for instance may come just before it hits 60 mph and therefore will have a negative affect in its 0-60 time and not be the best representative for its performance. Also with modern cars having more powerful engines, the 0-60 time isn’t necessarily the best performance measure due to off the line wheel spinning or power being limited by traction control systems.
As a side note: We’re only human and occasionally we make errors or typos, if you see any, we would be grateful if you would let us know.
Pre 1972 American car engine power = gross horsepower. Measured using a blueprinted test engine running on a stand without accessories, air filter, exhaust system, or emissions control devices and sometimes fitted with “test Manifolds”. The resulting gross power and torque figures therefore reflect a maximum theoretical value and not the power of an installed engine.
Post 1972 American car engine power = net horsepower. Complete and installed engine, it measures engine power at the flywheel, not counting transmission losses (or anything after the flywheel).
Remember – American cars use their large CU engines “torque” to provide the performance from their cars.
All Other Cars:
Brake horsepower (bhp) is the measure of an engine’s horsepower on a dynamometer. It is measured at the engine’s output shaft (crankshaft – which is connected to the flywheel). The final figure arises from the engines torque being used to calculate the bhp (see Horsepower and Torque explained).
Note: PS (Pferdestärke – German for horsepower) is another measure. Many manufacturers use the PS figures for the BHP figure, See below:
Essentially and approximately –
1 Bhp = 1.005 Hp (net) – (just measured slightly differently)
1 Bhp = 1.0187 PS
1 PS = 0.986 Hp
1 Hp = 1.01387 PS
The confusion comes from people talking about cars being dyno’d and quoting figures for corrected (losses taken into account) and WHP (wheel horse power – measured at the wheels).
We have mostly used the correct BHP figure, as oppose to the PS figure, but due to time constraints, we may well have left some power figures as PS, but quoted BHP.
There is a difference. 4WD usually has it’s power put through a 2 speed transfer box which allows the vehicle to be driven at a low range for off road driving and when normall driving takes place most power is transfered to the rear. An AWD system ususally has just one transfer box and normally has most of its power directed to the front wheels until more traction is needed. Note: Manufacturers and motoring journalists can and do often mixed the two up (sometimes deliberately for marketing purposes), therefore a car may be quoted as having 4WD, when in fact it is AWD.
The dimensions used are that supplied by the manufacturers or from reference books. Differences may occur, as each country may have different bumper requirements and some quoted width sizes may or may not also include the mirrors in the measurement.
Always amazes me the large difference in vehicle weight from one car data source to another. Again, many sources will quote the manufacturers (average) weight for that car, or the dry weight (without consumables like oils, fuel etc), with or without a driver and of course the equipment levels will have an affect on the weight to. Others will be from the road test weight, which sometimes will include the vehicle weight, plus the driver and plus fuel. We have however where possible used the Kerb weight or an average weight from several sources or straight from the manufacturer. But like so many real world car measurements, there are variations and the date should be used as a guide only. This will also obviously affect the BHP/Ton figure.
The pictures are of cars of that particular model, but not necessarily of the exact model the figures are quoted for. Some models have face lifts/trims changes from one year to the next, but still fall under the same MK, Series or model code as the previous years.