7 Sports Cars that Lied about Their Horsepower Output

Cheating on horsepower ratings is not an uncommon practice in the automotive world. In theory it's not unlike a food company putting less calories on the package than what the food contains but in reality a few less calories will cost a lot less than a few less horsepower.

Sports cars manufactures often report lower output figures than what the car and the engine actually delivers, even today !

This technique saves them a lot of money and of course saves us, the sports cars lovers, a lot of money too. The expected winnings from a new sports cars model are not as high as from a family sedan or a compact SUV. It's the easiest way to go around newly imposed taxes on emissions and cheat EPA and insurance houses. Even further, manufacturers often adjust the desired horsepower in order to get a more NHRA classification. In reality they didn't lie about the figures, just measured the power in conditions that were more favorable to their needs.

There are numerous ways to cheat, on of the tricks for lowering the insurance cost and category is to measure the peak horsepower below the max engine speed or when decreasing the RPM. If sports cars manufacturers wanted to achieve opposite results they would measure hp at the crank and not at the wheels or use an open-exhaust system. There are plenty of combos and tweaks that produce the desired results.

Either way figures can be manipulated but lets face it there are a lot more cars that are underrated than the once that are overrated, so here is our list of five cars that lied about their power ratings and gave us more than what we thought we got. Here's a spoiler, no Muscle cars, they will be covered in a different article.

Ferrari F40
Years: 1987-1992

ferrari f40

I can't but hold it in me - this is my favorite sports car of all times. I was five years old at the time that car came out, and it was just amazing ! Apart from being the best Ferrari car to ever roll out of the factory the F40 secretly offered more than the Italians wanted us to believe. But there was a small catch, it all comes to where you lived. Originally the car was advertised with 471 hp, produced by the beautifully engineered piece of art 2.9L twin-turbo V8 Engine.

Unfortunately the US version had a catalytic converter which severely happened the performance and most of the US spec cars wouldn't even match the initial 471 hp rating, while their European counter parts would push as much as 510 hp on the dyno without breaking a sweat ! Like it or not, that's the sad truth, cats have been spoiling the petrolhead's dream for more than 50 years now, just ask any muscle car fan.


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