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      03-01-2020, 10:25 AM   #1
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How much horsepower is enough?

What is the reasonable amount of power to propel a 3000 pound sedan to 60MPH (100KPH)?

200HP, 500HP, 1000HP ?

Response time of
5 seconds, 3 seconds, 1 second?

I know it's probably a blasphemy in a BMW enthusiat forum to say that acceleration time does not matter in the real world. Everyone is limited by law and traffic. Yet most vehicles are measured by their response time instead of how practical or efficient they are or how enjoyable they are to drive.

That being said, my 440i xdrive is a lot more enjoyable to drive than my C7 Corvette. It's a lot slower but it's more forgiving, more predictable, less delicate and much roomier. The C7 tried to kill me once or twice and it almost succeeded one time.
I never have to worry about bad roads or bottoming out in a 440i. I know they're not in the same league but people cross shop for vehicles in the same price range all the time.

Isn't it about time for a more practical matrix to measure performance than just power?
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      03-01-2020, 10:34 AM   #2
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In my opinion the sweet spot for a "powerful" DAILY DRIVER is 350-400 hp and awd. Of course more will be more fun but it's not exactly usable and can be draining in stop and go traffic. Again I'm talking about a real life daily driver car though.
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      03-01-2020, 10:44 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GenXer View Post
What is the reasonable amount of power to propel a 3000 pound sedan to 60MPH (100KPH)?

200HP, 500HP, 1000HP ?

Response time of
5 seconds, 3 seconds, 1 second?

I know it's probably a blasphemy in a BMW enthusiat forum to say that acceleration time does not matter in the real world. Everyone is limited by law and traffic. Yet most vehicles are measured by their response time instead of how practical or efficient they are or how enjoyable they are to drive.

That being said, my 440i xdrive is a lot more enjoyable to drive than my C7 Corvette. It's a lot slower but it's more forgiving, more predictable, less delicate and much roomier. The C7 tried to kill me once or twice and it almost succeeded one time.
I never have to worry about bad roads or bottoming out in a 440i. I know they're not in the same league but people cross shop for vehicles in the same price range all the time.

Isn't it about time for a more practical matrix to measure performance than just power?
Your post leads up to the old saw: it is more fun to drive a slow car fast than it is to drive a fast car slow.

There are so many variables. When I was buying my 530e (250 HP) I cross shopped a Volvo XC60 with 400 HP. The BMW felt faster. What is the weight of the car? How is it tuned, especially the transmission? Is it a hybrid (faster initial acceleration, slower late acceleration)? And, most importantly, are you going to track your car?
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      03-01-2020, 10:59 AM   #4
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      03-01-2020, 11:16 AM   #5
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I've had 600+ rwhp Z06's, 700+ terminators, and just feel after awhile what's the point. You're not driving down the street with slicks on....or even drag radial's hopefully.

With my current car, I stopped at around 460/460 to the wheels.

Stock clutch, drives very docile, and just enough power to have fun every now and then. And not so overwhelming that you can't control it.

It's very tame as a daily, but fun as a weekend car if you want to push it.
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      03-01-2020, 11:29 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rmtt View Post
I've had 600+ rwhp Z06's, 700+ terminators, and just feel after awhile what's the point. You're not driving down the street with slicks on....or even drag radial's hopefully.

With my current car, I stopped at around 460/460 to the wheels.

Stock clutch, drives very docile, and just enough power to have fun every now and then. And not so overwhelming that you can't control it.

It's very tame as a daily, but fun as a weekend car if you want to push it.
To be fair, my wife’s old 650i (450/450 iirc) was about all the fun I could handle - I came away from that thinking that was about the magic number. And that was on the great streets in Arizona. I wouldn’t want all that up here where the potholes are big enough to rent out on AirBnB
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      03-01-2020, 01:05 PM   #7
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depends on the car. You can have plenty of fun in a miata or BRZ. lol just gotta turn off traction control and brake late to get your thrills.

But i'd say after 500rwhp and 600awhp and 200mph top end you're really getting to the limit of whats actually usable on the street, even if you don't care about speed limits, you run up onto traffic real quick and those little craters and dips in the roads feel huge.
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      03-01-2020, 01:39 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeastieBombRacing View Post
To be fair, my wife’s old 650i (450/450 iirc) was about all the fun I could handle - I came away from that thinking that was about the magic number. And that was on the great streets in Arizona. I wouldn’t want all that up here where the potholes are big enough to rent out on AirBnB
I agree. Although a lot has to do with power delivery as well. I've had TQ monsters that the first 2 gears are useless. They are fun....but there is the other side of the spectrum where you have high HP and lower TQ and have to rev it out. Those are equally as fun!
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      03-01-2020, 01:45 PM   #9
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I think anything north of 400 really starts to expose the drivers ability
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      03-01-2020, 01:53 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chenry View Post
I think anything north of 400 really starts to expose the drivers ability
I've seen drivers with 108hp make a total idiot of themselves on track. But yeah, apparently 414hp or whatever a Mustang GT has is the standard Idiot Level.
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      03-01-2020, 01:55 PM   #11
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I always subscribed to Carroll Shelby's theory that "if a lot of power is good, then way too much ought to be just about right." But it can certainly be taken too far. If it's a daily driver or even a weekend cruiser or road-trip car, anything under 6 or 7 pounds-per-horsepower is big-time overkill. My tuned F15 50i is about 8 pounds per horsepower, and that feels about right to me. My GT40 is right at 3 pounds per horsepower, and is outrageously fun to drive, but not the least bit relaxing to drive.
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      03-01-2020, 02:08 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Bread View Post
I've seen drivers with 108hp make a total idiot of themselves on track. But yeah, apparently 414hp or whatever a Mustang GT has is the standard Idiot Level.
These days it's 460 to 475 depending on model.

But back to the question, if the car can put down the power, 450 I think is the sweet spot. But particularly in cars which struggle with traction 350 may be too much.

If you have a well tuned, rigid chassis, and nice grippy rubber out back that sweet spot certainly moves higher.
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      03-01-2020, 02:19 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5.M0NSTER View Post
These days it's 460 to 475 depending on model.

But back to the question, if the car can put down the power, 450 I think is the sweet spot. But particularly in cars which struggle with traction 350 may be too much.

If you have a well tuned, rigid chassis, and nice grippy rubber out back that sweet spot certainly moves higher.
The 414hp GT PP was plenty fast to be an HPDE champion. I was lapping people in that thing!
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      03-01-2020, 02:24 PM   #14
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I'd rather have less weight than more hp
Cars are too big and heavy now
This is the reason I'm hunting to get my grubby hands on a 1st Gen 3.2 6spd Honda NSX
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      03-01-2020, 02:25 PM   #15
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Cars are too big and heavy now
I want to shout this from the rooftops
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      03-01-2020, 02:47 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeastieBombRacing View Post
The 414hp GT PP was plenty fast to be an HPDE champion. I was lapping people in that thing!
I know, I had a 420hp version which I modified over time. Suspension mods were first, than brakes, then more power. I ended up around 405 to the wheels, and with a solid suspension setup and wheel/tire upgrades I was giving Corvettes a run for their money in the corners during HPDE weekends. They would still pull on the straights though. I would say tuned GT and good amount of driver mod was the best bang for the buck at an average HPDE event.

Case and point here, against a 650HP/650TQ ZL1 1LE with a not so driver moded person behind the wheel. On the straights no contest, rest of the track, game on!

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      03-01-2020, 02:48 PM   #17
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This is a rhetorical question right?
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      03-01-2020, 03:03 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5.M0NSTER View Post
I know, I had a 420hp version which I modified over time. Suspension mods were first, than brakes, then more power. I ended up around 405 to the wheels, and with a solid suspension setup and wheel/tire upgrades I was giving Corvettes a run for their money in the corners during HPDE weekends. They would still pull on the straights though. I would say tuned GT and good amount of driver mod was the best bang for the buck at an average HPDE event.

Case and point here, against a 650HP/650TQ ZL1 1LE with a not so driver moded person behind the wheel. On the straights no contest, rest of the track, game on!

I chased a ZL1 up the mountains in my 911. One of the best days ever
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      03-01-2020, 03:09 PM   #19
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if a car makes you to use the brake pedal more than the gas pedal.. its enough..
above that level, makes the party even better with some pumpkin soup, neons and weird drinks without whipped cream..
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      03-01-2020, 03:23 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GenXer View Post
What is the reasonable amount of power to propel a 3000 pound sedan to 60MPH (100KPH)?

200HP, 500HP, 1000HP ?

Response time of
5 seconds, 3 seconds, 1 second?

I know it's probably a blasphemy in a BMW enthusiat forum to say that acceleration time does not matter in the real world. Everyone is limited by law and traffic. Yet most vehicles are measured by their response time instead of how practical or efficient they are or how enjoyable they are to drive.

That being said, my 440i xdrive is a lot more enjoyable to drive than my C7 Corvette. It's a lot slower but it's more forgiving, more predictable, less delicate and much roomier. The C7 tried to kill me once or twice and it almost succeeded one time.
I never have to worry about bad roads or bottoming out in a 440i. I know they're not in the same league but people cross shop for vehicles in the same price range all the time.

Isn't it about time for a more practical matrix to measure performance than just power?
There are already many Matrices by which to measure.

You favor slow, forgiving and predictable. Some people prefer fast, nimble and tight. Some might way your 4 series is too low to the ground and does not have enough space. They might prefer an SUV.

You are missing the boat if you think that 0 to 60 matters not in the real word. Perhaps in YOUR world it doesn't, but for many it does.
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      03-01-2020, 03:36 PM   #21
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It's never enough..In 10..9..8..7.....
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      03-01-2020, 03:40 PM   #22
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If you‘re saying 3000 pound sedan which isn‘t much for a modern car than I‘d say about 300hp is more than enough. You have to have a chance to put the power down. And here the power to weight ratio kicks in. My RS6 „needs“ a lot more power because it‘s about 4700 pounds an has quattro.

If the car has less weight and it isn‘t all wheel drive you don‘t have the same amount of contact pressure and traction from your tires. So the car tends to feel unstable and perhaps a bit to engaging.
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