Horsepower (HP) / Brake Horsepower (BHP): What does it mean?

Measurements of an engine's power output and braking power. More horsepower means faster acceleration.

Horsepower (HP) / Brake Horsepower (BHP): The long answer

Horsepower (HP) and Brake Horsepower (BHP) are car-related terms that refer to the power output of a vehicle's engine. In the UK, these terms are commonly used by drivers to understand the performance capabilities of their cars.

Horsepower (HP) is a unit of measurement that quantifies the power produced by an engine. It represents the rate at which work is done, indicating how quickly a car can accelerate or maintain speed. The higher the horsepower, the more power the engine can generate, resulting in better performance.

Brake Horsepower (BHP) is a slightly different measurement that also represents the power output of an engine. However, BHP specifically refers to the power measured at the engine's output shaft, before any power losses occur due to components like the transmission or drivetrain. It provides a more accurate representation of the engine's true power potential.

For UK drivers, understanding the horsepower and brake horsepower of a car is crucial when comparing different models or deciding on the desired performance level. It allows drivers to assess the car's capabilities, such as its ability to accelerate quickly, overtake safely, or tow heavy loads.

It's worth noting that in the UK, brake horsepower is often used as the standard measurement for engine power, whereas in some other countries, horsepower may refer to the same measurement. Therefore, when looking at car specifications or discussing engine power, UK drivers should pay attention to whether the term used is HP or BHP to ensure accurate comparisons.

Overall, horsepower and brake horsepower are essential terms for UK drivers to understand when evaluating a car's performance and choosing a vehicle that meets their driving needs and preferences.