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oldtin UltraDork
6/6/13 1:53 p.m.

to be at the top of the heap for a challenge car for the last few years it's taken a ratio of somewhere around 9lbs/hp or less.

93EXCivic MegaDork
6/6/13 1:56 p.m.

I think it is more about the power delivery then anything else.

pinchvalve GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
6/6/13 2:10 p.m.

There's Goldmember / Austin Powers joke in there somewhere.

Zeitgeist New Reader
6/6/13 2:43 p.m.

Many posts have already hit on some of my thoughts on the topic like 10:1 ratio being about right for fast enough and fun but not crazy as well as how much more fun it is to push in a slow car and drive at the limit more easily without being triple digits speeds. However my thoughts change from one side of the issue to the other when I think about track vs street.

On track I love having a slightly less powerful car and pushing to the max where it is safer to do so. I also get the most satisfaction when my lower powered car sneaks up or passes the higher powered car because I know it is coming down to skill. On the street however there are far fewer turns linked together and even when there is a nice stretch traffic,laws and common sense safety make pushing risky at best. Thus my thoughts for the street are more along the lines of more power for ease of entering traffic, passing and short stop light jumps to speed to get out in front of traffic or a fun,short show of performance. This way I am exploring the limits of the car with a good no spin launch and run to redline in a few gears while sightlines are good and more people engage in the activity. Where getting near the limits of handling you are more limited in sightlines and less people to have a spirited encounter.

ProDarwin SuperDork
6/6/13 2:46 p.m.

On the street I don't think I can remember the last time I used more than maybe 55whp in my DD. On the street the golden ratio is the one that gets me the best gas mileage.

wspohn Reader
6/6/13 5:46 p.m.
mazdeuce wrote: Anything better than 20:1 is something I can live with. The car's I've been in that have 10:1 or better are all really fun.

Agree - fun starts at 10:1

I have 4 cars that qualify and all are a hoot to drive.

Redline New Reader
6/16/13 11:55 a.m.

My little Neon ACR had about 18.25#:1hp, the little S14 has about 17.3:1. It's ten times more fun to drive. Must be the RWD factor...

Knurled GRM+ Memberand UberDork
6/16/13 11:59 a.m.
Giant Purple Snorklewacker wrote: The correct amount of grip is infinity.


Warren v
Warren v Reader
6/16/13 2:16 p.m.

Here's a little chart I keep up with:


stan_d Dork
6/16/13 4:52 p.m.

My v8 240sx was 7.2 and was easily driven in snow and rain. But it was difficult to remove the grin off of my face. After 5 yrs I wanted more power though,I was used to it and thought it had slowed down.

Jaynen Dork
6/16/13 5:49 p.m.

A mildly built tune/cam/exhaust 1.8 NA warren should be putting down 145-150whp and is one of the cheaper ways to go that gets you into 10.0 territory on the exocet without adding FI

Hasbro Dork
6/16/13 7:06 p.m.

Weight:hp to me is like hertz for suspension; it gets you in the ball park. For a street car I like between 14:1 and 8:1 whp, with about 10 or 12:1 being ideal, depending on the type of vehicle. I had a gorgeous '04 Miata with a really nice suspension set up and a stock motor. It really needed about 200+whp. My Si is currently 17:1 (stock is 20.4:1) and the goal with the current K20A3 is 12:1. After that will come a K24 at a little under 10:1.

Appleseed UltimaDork
6/16/13 9:02 p.m.

Golden power/weight ratio? As "Maverick."

Redline New Reader
6/16/13 10:33 p.m.
stan_d wrote: My v8 240sx was 7.2 and was easily driven in snow and rain. But it was difficult to remove the grin off of my face. After 5 yrs I wanted more power though,I was used to it and thought it had slowed down.

nice! I was looking at KA-T for 4xxhp at 5.2#:1hp

Mr_Clutch42 New Reader
6/22/13 8:47 a.m.

Power to weight ratio is an excellent determination for an auto-x car or a track car. For the street, i gets complicated of course.

You also forgot about the Toyota Supra, and the Hyundai Genesis Coupe.

oldeskewltoy Dork
6/22/13 1:01 p.m.

My Corolla is 12.94....

MichaelYount Reader
6/22/13 1:16 p.m.

I guess I'd add - it depends on what one, as a driver, gets the biggest kick out of. If you just must have stupid acceleration levels, then that LBS/HP number has got to be low, and you need the chassis dynamics to put the power to the ground. If you really enjoying turning/stopping -- then the weight to power ratio just isn't that important, although you probably want the weight number to be smaller. I've been playing with cars (including racing them) for almost 45 years. If you twisted my arm and made me answer the question 'which one has been the most fun to drive day in and out?' I'd have to say it's the naturally aspirated Mini Clubman I have right now. All stock but for a sticky set of Kuhmos. With 116HP and about 2700 lbs, weight to power is nothing to write home about. But it sure is responsive to driver inputs - and to me, that = the most fun.

jere Reader
6/22/13 1:27 p.m.

I suck at math but as long as I can spin the tires from a roll in the first three gears I am happy.

jmc14 Reader
6/22/13 3:57 p.m.

My self built Speedster weighs 1980lbs and has a modestly modified LS6. On a Dyno it shows 415 rwhp. With me in the car it weighs 2210 lbs. 5.32lbs per HP seems about right to me.

MichaelYount Reader
6/24/13 7:05 a.m.
jmc14 wrote: My self built Speedster weighs 1980lbs and has a modestly modified LS6. On a Dyno it shows 415 rwhp. With me in the car it weighs 2210 lbs. 5.32lbs per HP seems about right to me.

That oughta git 'r done.

KyAllroad (Jeremy)
KyAllroad (Jeremy) UltimaDork
3/22/20 11:24 a.m.

Dragging this one out of the mothballs.  I suspect that the Zoomboni should be about 7:1, enough to be lively.    The new Fiero might be as high as 6:1.  Hopefully it lives up to it's potential.

kb58 SuperDork
3/22/20 11:34 a.m.

These threads are fun but kinda pointless for reaching any sort of conclusion, like defining the "perfect" woman based upon only one quality.

McDesign New Reader
3/22/20 11:45 a.m.

In reply to DanyloS :

The answer is "Two"

1500-lb Can-Am car with a 750-horsepower, injected BBC.


Forrest in Atlanta

mw Dork
3/22/20 11:58 a.m.

The SSM Datsun I drive is currently right at 4lb/hp. The new motor and slight weight reduction should get us closer to 3.5. 4 is really fun. I can't imagine 3.5 is less fun. 

wspohn Dork
3/22/20 12:30 p.m.

Holy thread resurrection! 

I'll add a couple of comments. Fun factor isn't necessarily related to a given weight to power ratio. One of the most fun cars to drive was a Bugeye Sprite with a stock 1275 engine in it.

OTOH, too much power in an inadequate chassis can be a pain and will get you in trouble.

My 88 Fiero was 300 bhp in a car that weighed around 2700 lbs. It was a lot of fun (especially around non-turbo 911s).

My Solstice coupe is 375 bhp with 3000 lbs., also a lot of fun, as is my BMW Z4MC with 340 bhp hauling 3200 lbs.

Those are all around the 10:1 area, but I have owned lots of cars that were gangs of fun at lower ratios including old English sports car with half the ratio that would keep a smile on your face all day long in a cross country run on winding roads.

OTOH, friends of mine have owned American cars with horrid handling mated with far too much power that were really awful to drive unless you had a short attention span and got your jollies 10 seconds at a time in a straight line, over and over and over......

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