What is Horsepower?

Horsepower is a unit for measuring the power and rate mechanical energy is expended. One horsepower is the equivalent of 550 foot-pounds per second or 745.7 watts.

The use of the term horsepower to describe this process can be traced to Scottish engineer James Watt in the 18th century. Watt used the term to help people understand a steam engine's output by comparing it to a draft horse's power.

Generally speaking, horsepower is defined as the amount of work done over a specific period of time. The exact definition is 33,000 lb.ft./minute. That means lifting 33,000 pounds one foot for one minute, uses one horsepower.

James Watt used this measurement to help him sell steam engines. Today, horsepower is used to describe the potential force mechanical engines in an array of industries can exert. In the automotive industry, the amount of horsepower an engine has is a major selling point.

If you would like to see our selection of vehicles, or if you have any questions about their power underneath the hood, we invite you to visit us at i.g. Burton & Co. Inc.

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