Horsepower - Ferrari Life
 
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post #1 of 17 Old 08-30-2010, 06:56 PM Thread Starter
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Horsepower

While at work I had some down time and was just thinking about the power of modern/current ferrari's. The 355 has 380HP, the 360 has 400HP, and the 430 has 490HP, which by the way is a lot. Now comes the 458 with 562HP. This is the entry level ferrari. The 'base' ferrari. If these numbers continue at the same rate by 2020-2025 the base ferrari will have around 750 HP. And the top of the line V12 flagship will have close to 1000 HP. (give or take 100) Now I know that the Bugatti has 1001 but its not a normal car. It was built with one purpose in mind, top speed. In my opinion road cars shouldn't have this much power, Bugatti aside.

So I want to know what everybody on here thinks about the progression of horsepower and whether it will either continue to increase or a halt for a number of years. (probably not the case) And although it would be very cool to see what a ferrari road car could do with 1000HP, I don't see it plausible for quite a while, mainly because even good drivers wont be able to handle it.

Please comment heavily on this. I would like to know what everyone thinks.





My numbers by the way...1999 355 has 380HP. Current 458 has 562HP. Difference over the 10 years is 182HP. So if that continues 562 + 182 is 744HP.
The differences are less with the V12's. 1999 550 has 485HP and the 599 has 611HP. Thats only 126HP difference. But eventually the numbers might approach 4 digits. And for further power references the 599 GTO which is a road car has 661HP.
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post #2 of 17 Old 08-30-2010, 07:25 PM
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I too have wondered where it will all end? Back when I was a musclecar nut, the top of the heap was cars like the LS6 Chevelle with 450hp and 490 ft-lbs of torque. There were a few cars with lots more power like an L-88 Corvette, though it was rated at 430hp in fact it had over 500hp. In those days with skinny tires and weak brakes....anything close to 500hp was insane. Then the lull in performance occured from the early 1970s to around 1990 when power levels started moving up again. Only this time the chassis and brakes could usually cope with the higher horsepower. But when power levels are getting over 600hp like the Viper, ZR-1 Corvette, Enzo, Cerrara GT and so on....I felt the same as you. Just how much higher can power levels go before they exceed the driver's ability to control the car? The Veyron will likely be the highest powered factory built car for many years - maybe ever. But getting upwards of 600hp on the street does scare me a bit. I say you can never have too much power, but then I'm thinking of myself behind the wheel, not some joe-blow with a lot of money and no common sense. The 458 Italia is truly an incredible machine with a specific output higher than any other engine on a hp/liter basis. That car is an engineering achievement no doubt and should be touted as such. But I think it's getting to the realistic limit of what the public can handle. I can see cars with maybe 700hp but not much more - with the Veyron being the exception. I would be interested to hear more from others on this subject too.
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post #3 of 17 Old 08-30-2010, 09:19 PM
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Great post and question. I run a F430 and the ~490 BHP @ 8500 RPM is more than enough. It’s quite ridiculous actually for the curb weight if you think about it. I think your point is well taken in that HP does not create performance. I have a few buddies with modified cars in the 700+ HP range and quite honestly they are not as fun as a 430 or even a 4-cylinder Lotus that you can whip around like a toy. With the exception of straight line dragging, its not all that appealing to me. The 458's is an AWESOME car but I am trying to figure out how the ~70 HP increase only buys me an extra 6 MPH of top end. What a waste. I don't want to dog the 458 but its negatives right now are a) either the owners don't know how to run them (as they keep burning them up or crashing them!) and the extra HP hopefully buys you some AWESOME handling vs the 430 because the top end is not night and day. I hope that all Ferrari owners take their cars to the track to fully appreciate the handling component of what they own vs staring parking them in a garage. HP is useless if you suck on the track and God help you in the city if you don't know how to whip your baby in and out of traffic with confidence and ease. Great post. HP doesn't = Bigger Balls as you may end up in the ditch if you don't know how to harness it!
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post #4 of 17 Old 08-31-2010, 01:27 AM
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Very timely topic and here is my comment, coming from someone who is out of touch, do not track, and not interested in such specs.

Things that I consider important are: do I get excited with a car (regardless of the specs) even when I am simply gazing at one, there's got to be a WOW factor, which is subjective; do I bond with a car when I drive one; visceral feedbacks in all senses are essential factors; is a car FUN to drive even when I am driving at around 60kph; am I in touch with a car when I am in control, not the other way around; got to be a
FUN experience. As an example, I own a 1958 Abarth 750GT Zagato which has pathetic 85HP or so,...but, what a FUN car it is. You don't realize that when you get out of this little worm, there's a big smile on your face and a gratifying experience of driving a car.

The other extreme is my 1997 RUF Twin Turbo S with over 500HP. It is a blast to drive, a rocket, very raw sensations all around. Very exciting and nervous to drive. However, I do not think I possess the skills nor can I find roads to unleash even half her potential power.

Getting back to the topic, I do not see the point of ever increasing HP and other specs. But that is just me. Let us hear what others have to say. w/ smiles Jimmy
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post #5 of 17 Old 08-31-2010, 06:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gmast827 View Post
1999 355 has 380HP. Current 458 has 562HP. Difference over the 10 years is 182HP. So if that continues 562 + 182 is 744HP.
The differences are less with the V12's. 1999 550 has 485HP and the 599 has 611HP. Thats only 126HP difference.
Your math is a bit off - you should look at the year of introduction, which is 1994 for 355, 1996 for 550, 2007 for 599 and 2009 for 458. It works out at 12 bhp increase per year for V8s and 11.5 for V12s, so very similar.

As for the madness of it all - well I think that that speed is fun when enjoyed responsibly. Just like alcohol, women, ...life in general when you come to think of it. No-one needs a car that is quicker than my first Ferrari, a 550. But then no-one needs a car that is quicker than a 308 either. For me, it is the driving experience that counts. Therefore I've gone to classics after buying my 550: just as much fun at slower speeds.

But having said that - I love the 458 Italia and am seriously thinking of buying one. The 458 is 30% quicker to 60mph, and 30% quicker to 120mph than my 550.

Yes - 30%! That is an amazing speed increase! Do you need it? No. Is it fun? Yes - but only because the car handles so well. For me, the point of any car is that it must be fun to drive. The speed at which it does it is a largely irrelevant.

It does leave you to wonder where it will all end. Personally, I think that the 458's limit is more than quick enough for me. I hope that manufacturers will start concentrating on the pure driving experience rather than just accelleration numbers. If we can make cars lighter, then we do not need all the power. But the primary "problem" is grip - everyone wants the new model to go 'round the 'Ring quicker than the previous model. For this to happen, you need phenomenal cornering speeds, and this is where the danger lies. Unexpected oversteer at 100mph is usually not catchable, whereas at 50mph it would be. The same is true for Formula 1 - driver's skill is becoming more irrelevant because of grip levels, which is why the FIA regulations have made cars slower and slower over the years trying to stop technology's advances to a certain extent. If manufacturers would be left to implement all the F1 technology of the last 10 years, the cars would be 10 - 20 seconds a lap quicker. But needing less input from the driver.

I like driving. The mechanics of it, the feeling of controlling the machine. If I am not involved, I don't enjoy it so much. So for me, I will mostly concentrate on my classics and I have a feeling that trend will continue into the future - I might very easily end up in a 1935 Bugatti simply because I can drive it sideways, enjoy myself, and still not register on the radar gun.


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post #6 of 17 Old 08-31-2010, 07:45 AM Thread Starter
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[QUOTE=JazzyO;126307]Your math is a bit off - you should look at the year of introduction, which is 1994 for 355, 1996 for 550, 2007 for 599 and 2009 for 458. It works out at 12 bhp increase per year for V8s and 11.5 for V12s, so very similar.

I was just showing the ten year gaps for a reference point mainly because the horsepower doesn't usually change within the same car model unless it's a lightweight version like the 430 scuderia. And with your numbers the base Ferrari would have 684HP by 2020. Certainly less than 750HP but nevertheless mad.

Not to keep playing the math card but I'm curious as to how you got to 12 HP per year. You seem to have a vast knowledge of many topics on here and was intrigued by your numbers. Cheers!

Last edited by gmast827; 08-31-2010 at 09:08 AM.
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post #7 of 17 Old 08-31-2010, 08:46 AM
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I think the hp numbers you’re seeing these days are more about marketing than anything else

The limit with actual hp is the tires really. Modern ECUs wil limit the output to match the available traction so it doesn’t really matter what number the car makes on the dyno, the actual number will be lower, at least in the first few gears. As an example I can tell you that my 550hp 308 with no traction control was nearly undriveable on wet roads and even in the dry 1st gear was worthless for anything but idling around a parking lot and this is with stick 285 tires… when it rolls out with the 750-800hp engine the car will have traction control, gearing change, less low end torque with a progressive torque increase to about 6500 and should be all around better, but below 80-100 mph it won’t be any faster because the old engine would keep the tires spinning to 85mph.

My guess is that Ferrari upped the displacement on the V8 cars primarily to get the low end torque up…because most drivers spend most of their time at lower rpm and more low end torque makes the car “feel” faster.
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post #8 of 17 Old 08-31-2010, 08:57 AM
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can't add much to that. might as well close the thread.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimmy Chen Shiba DDS View Post
Very timely topic and here is my comment, coming from someone who is out of touch, do not track, and not interested in such specs.

Things that I consider important are: do I get excited with a car (regardless of the specs) even when I am simply gazing at one, there's got to be a WOW factor, which is subjective; do I bond with a car when I drive one; visceral feedbacks in all senses are essential factors; is a car FUN to drive even when I am driving at around 60kph; am I in touch with a car when I am in control, not the other way around; got to be a
FUN experience. As an example, I own a 1958 Abarth 750GT Zagato which has pathetic 85HP or so,...but, what a FUN car it is. You don't realize that when you get out of this little worm, there's a big smile on your face and a gratifying experience of driving a car.

The other extreme is my 1997 RUF Twin Turbo S with over 500HP. It is a blast to drive, a rocket, very raw sensations all around. Very exciting and nervous to drive. However, I do not think I possess the skills nor can I find roads to unleash even half her potential power.

Getting back to the topic, I do not see the point of ever increasing HP and other specs. But that is just me. Let us hear what others have to say. w/ smiles Jimmy


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post #9 of 17 Old 08-31-2010, 08:58 AM
 
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i agree...

Last edited by T.C.F.B.; 08-31-2010 at 09:03 AM.
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post #10 of 17 Old 08-31-2010, 09:06 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by T.C.F.B. View Post
It has nothing to do with higher horsepower. Try to explain a single-car off-track event at a spec-racer Ford event.

"Driver aids" that over compensate for your lack of concentration or desire for skill are the problem.

People are more concerned about looking at who is looking at them than they are about car control. PLUS, they have insurance so f-it! I'll get another one.
I believe that it has to do with higher horsepower. If cars today didn't have the power they do, drivers couldn't enter corners at near 3 digit speeds. Nobody can say that entering a turn with a cobalt and an f430 are the same. The extra power and the driver aids like you said make you feel over skilled. So i agree with you about the driver aids, but the horsepower makes an enormous difference.
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post #11 of 17 Old 08-31-2010, 09:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gmast827 View Post
I believe that it has to do with higher horsepower. If cars today didn't have the power they do, drivers couldn't enter corners at near 3 digit speeds. Nobody can say that entering a turn with a cobalt and an f430 are the same. The extra power and the driver aids like you said make you feel over skilled. So i agree with you about the driver aids, but the horsepower makes an enormous difference.
That right, but exiting the corner is normally the bigger problem. When I was racing bikes, a 750s made up less than 10% or the bikes at the track and over 50% of the crashes. They just light up the tire mid-corner so easily. High HP cars are the same thing and in slower corners where you’re in a low gear can be extremely difficult to handle and a little knob that limits wheel spin can be a HUGE help.
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post #12 of 17 Old 08-31-2010, 12:22 PM
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I agree fully with Onno's comment. Make the math...the 1970 Daytona had 352 hp's, the successor the 550 Maranello 26 years later 485hp's, without a calculator..thats roughly 5 hp per year increase...well ?

Agree too on the fun factor, which after all is the main argument which counts to keep the car in the stable long term.
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post #13 of 17 Old 08-31-2010, 02:09 PM
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Yep, the fun-factor is going to be crucial for sports car manufacturers. This will entail weight reduction, particularly dynamic weight reduction. The car which can be driven fast needing as little electronic handling interaction as possible will take the cake.

Ferrari is as always in the lead with very refined chassis and particularly very refined engines producing usable, fun, linear power on a long powerband. Ferrari has always been synonymous with dynamic weight reduction. In the fifties Ferrari were making three litre engines that peak powered at 300bhp at well over 7000rpm in 800kg cars whilst the competition (Merc and Jag) where at a mere 200+bhp with equivalent engine displacements, narrower power bands and heavier cars.

Ferrari now needs to be sharper on static weight reduction. The promised mille chili project needs to materialize soon. It is likely to surface as the F70 (I hope). In addition, a smaller 800kg Ferrari would be optimal. Imagine an 800kg Ferrari with a light weight 3,5 litre V12 revving to 10.000rpm! Add to the recipe titanium and carbon fibre on all moving chassis parts. Who cares if it makes 400bhp or 500bhp? It would be hilarious either way.

The days might soon be gone when sports car manufacturers will get away with putting grossly souped up lorry engines into somewhat sporty chassis (Viper), or mounting mechanically or exhaust driven superchargers on saloon car engines for sports car purposes (Corvette, AC Mk VI, AMG 55/65). In the future, I am certain there will be lots of highly entertaining sports cars to compete with our beloved classics.

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post #14 of 17 Old 08-31-2010, 03:26 PM
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Horsepower figures sell cars.

Regardless, the evolution goes on, and think that in the mid/late 80s a Jag V12 4 door was just about the fastest (affordable) production car with 4 real seats. You could cruise at close to 235 Kmh near the redline for as long as you had gas in the tank, that thing had 300HP.

Ferrari's 400 could do that at around 240 Kmh, with well over 300 HP, although the rear seats were not as comfortable.

Tires were V rated.

By the end of the century, a 4 door 300HP V8 Mercedes S500 could level comfortably at 250 Kmh limited. Lower RPMs than the 80s Jag V12, smaller engine, better fuel burn.

By this time, Ferrari's 456 and 550s were between 400 and 500HP and could cruise over 300 without engine stress with plenty of new aids.

In 2005 the 400 HP Jag S-type R limited at 260 Kmh is traveling comfortably at 4100 RPMs with 4 good seats and suitcases.

The 599 has over 600HP, reaches a top speed that one would seldom drive at, and on we go.

Maybe this will continue on, as long as they sell them.

And I think a lot in terms of road travel, which I love doing in my cars, and high power is a must.

I am really appreciative of the evolution. Power is much more usable now than before, tires grab much better, traction control is there, and brakes are more efficient.

In the 60s, Miuras were extremely dangerous, so were Porsche 911 turbos in the 70s/80s.

I don't have a problem with ever increasing HP figures and large engines.

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post #15 of 17 Old 08-31-2010, 06:16 PM
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I didn't know there was such a thing as having to much HP! That sounds like something my wife would say.
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post #16 of 17 Old 08-31-2010, 09:21 PM
 
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All I'm going to say is the future of sports cars and cars in general is greater efficiency...I know, I said that. What I am hinting at is that I feel that now is the time for cars to get lighter. This is the key to getting performance and efficiency from vehicles. Have you noticed cars are getting heavier and heavier? The 1998 Honda Civic 4-door sedan weighs 2500 lbs. The 2009 Honda Civic about 100 lbs more. Not "that" bad considering the brand new 2011 Cadillac CTS-V COUPE (yes, 2 doors) weighs about 300 lbs more than the 2005 CTS-V sedan. When comparing the top line Ferrari's, we all know the F40 weighed in at about 2,200lbs while the Enzo weighs about 3,000 lbs. There's an obesity problem in the car industry, and this is totally killing our efficiencies and driving dynamics. I do hope Ferrari is able to make a 1,000kg Enzo successor. And I do think turbo's will have to be used more often. But will they take it much beyond the horsepower levels seen in today's age? I don't think so. Like mentioned earlier, I think advancements will be made to reduce the weights of all vehicles, allowing better performance from current engine power levels. Finally, I do think Ferrari will continue to lead in the department of seamless computer assistance for better driving pleasure, rather than interference.

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post #17 of 17 Old 09-24-2010, 07:00 AM
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I like HP .......... as long as the factory will offer a lightweight version.

........... F355 ...........
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