Why is Horsepower the Measurement of Choice for Vehicles?

Today the term "horsepower" is common for the measurement of the amount of power that a motorized vehicle of any kind can produce. When you are at you’re here at Boyd Cars of Virginia looking at a vehicle to buy, the term horsepower usually is discussed.

The word came from the famous inventor, James Watt in the 18th century. He was looking for a way to help customers understand how powerful his new invention, the steam engine, was so they would purchase them. He was observing ponies hauling coal at a coal mine, and he estimated that they could move 22,000 foot-pounds per minute. He extrapolated that figure to 33,000 foot-pounds per minute for horses, and the term "horsepower" was born. Since horses were the primary source of transportation at the time, the use of the word was easy for people to relate to. It still is used today as an easy way to equate the measure of the power of a vehicle.

For a more modern example of horsepower, be sure to explore the new inventory and find your next vehicle with us!


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