Engineering Marvels

by Handsome Matt

To get a car to go 155mph it only takes “a pithily 270 horsepower.” To break the 250mph mark it takes an additional 730 horsepower.

Why on earth would I talk about horsepower and speed records on an environmental blog? Aren’t the two completely against each other? Sort of…

We’ve become obsessed with speed, and have broken engineering benchmark after engineering benchmark in our pursuit of speed. The Concorde, the F-22, land speed record vehicles, The Veyron, and others are modern miracles. Akin to the Pyramids of Machu Pichu, the Great Wall of China, and others.

We’ve broken the sound barrier in the air and on the land so often, it’s old hat.

Yet we start talking about averaging 30mpg in the city, and automakers begin to hem and haw and balk at the challenge…


We can build a car that can average 700+ mph on two runs over the Bonneville Salt Flats, but we can’t manage to squeeze a measly 30mpg city driving? 100mpg on the freeway is apparently so impossible that not even MIT students can manage it… Yet you talk about squeezing 1,000HP from a V-6 engine and it’s basically a bolt-on kit.