Tag Archives: car power

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Making The Case For Power To Weight Ratio Over High Bhp

The new rat race in the modern world of automotive engineering is trying to making the most horsepower producing sports cars in the world. From the Mclaren P1 hybrid producing 904 bhp and 723 lb-ft and the LaFerrari it’s the closest rival producing 950bhp and 664 lb-ft, is seems like the top supercar manufacturers right now, want to boast the largest figures. However, despite all that power, both cars still have a curb weight of around 1500kg, about the weight of an average-sized family car. Now that’s still around 600bhp per ton, but with that amount of weight, the handling undoubtedly suffers, the braking distance is longer than it could be and the acceleration also suffers. Generally speaking, lightness is the ethos of sticking a car to the tarmac and carrying great speed through corners, so why how might this be transferred to the road?

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Credit – Brian Snelson

Stripping the interior

If you want to make your car lighter, it’s easier than you think. Simply strip out anything you don’t need. Strip out the interior first. Remove the mats, car seats you don’t use, spare wheel and the jack. At this point, on average you’ll save around 20-40kg, resulting in the car becoming more balanced. Replace your passenger and driver’s seat with bucket seats that aren’t adjustable in the tradition sense i.e. rotational tilting and height. If you want to go further, you can set the seat permanently, saving a few kilograms on the rail underneath the seat.

Lower the center of gravity

For performance, you want a total 50-50 weight distribution. But the body roll will commence, albeit, to a lesser extent even if you have taken this measure. You need to hunker down the vehicle so it’s hugging the floor and closer to the wheels and suspension. Talking of suspension, buy a sports suspension that is strong, light and designed to take on lateral G loads as well as the stroke system. Buy a sporting service product from a company like GC Suspension, because for responsive handling, you’ll need a strengthened compression stroke suspension to absorb the bumps in the road.

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Image by – Bill Abbott

Applying the doctrine

Having fully committed to the doctrine of speed and performance, you now need to transfer this to the road. You need to look for a tyre which has a low profile, as the less rubber incorporated into the design, the less flex the tyre will give you. A low profile tyre will also help you to minimize skidding upon corner entry. Next, you’ll need to choose a spaced and thick tread. A tyre like the Continental SportContact 6 is great for to channel the car’s chassis and give the driver feedback on what’s going on, in terms of steering angle and grip. But don’t forget, a grasp of the road surface is just as important in wet conditions as it is in the dry. This is where the tread depth and pattern will come into play, as the key goal is to stop your car from aquaplaning. Look for a tyre which will dissipate standing water and make room for the majority of the rubber to hold onto the tarmac.