Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

How much horsepower is enough?

Author's Note

Whenever I'm drooling over performance cars, that practical (but annoying) voice in my head whines, "But how much horsepower do you really need?" Well, it turns out I need much less than what any car on the market currently offers -- so long as I only want to go one foot per second. Relatively low-horsepower cars, like the Chevrolet Spark, are great for several reasons. They save on fuel costs and they work just fine for moving you (and your stuff) from point A to point B. But, when it's time to get from A to B quickly, it's more horsepower that gets the job done.

Related Articles


  • Brauer, Karl. "Horsepower: Gross vs. Real-World." May 12, 2009. (Oct. 1, 2012)
  • Chevrolet. "2013 Spark Models and Specs." (Oct. 1, 2012)
  • "2013 SRT Viper Specifications." (Oct. 1, 2012)
  • Phillips, Drew. "Shelby Announces 2013 GT500 Super Snake with up to 850 Horsepower." Sept. 19, 2012. (Oct. 1, 2012)
  • 1
  • 2