Monday, 11 February 2008

Anorak Corner 9 - horsepower: metric and imperial

A minor change to the layout of the Verdict means a few more pieces of data are now being included in the small specification table that appears at the top of the test. For example, we are now listing each test car's power output, and the chosen measure is imperial bhp (brake horsepower) rather than the very similar metric horsepower, usually referred to as DIN PS = Deutsches Institut für Normung (the relevant German standards body) and Pferdestaerke (German for horsepower). Where the manufacturer issues a figure in terms of PS, we are turning into an imperial bhp number by applying the relevant conversion factor.

Lots of carmakers like to use DIN PS because it looks impressively techy and German, but the irony is that in Germany itself, in advertising material and so on, the PS measure has now almost completely died out. Power outputs are now normally given in terms of kW (kilowatts), and the PS figure can only be shown in brackets after the main kW figure.

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