Specific Output of Crazy


A funny, IMO, little sign my wonderful wife and I recently purchased. It’s a good thing it’s not a competition because I might win…don’t think so, take a look at this:



As if I didn’t have enough books on Studebaker and Packard and AMC…I have just begun reading the Critchlow book (it arrived yesterday), which focuses more on how company decisions were made and the effect of company history on those decisions than on the details of what cars Studebaker was making during specific time periods.


This post from carbonhans.blog about Hennessey offering performance upgrades for the C8 Corvette led me to think about specific output for automobile engines. Specific output means power per unit of volume or unit of displacement. The article about Hennessey claims the company will offer tunes of the LT2 engine that will produce as much as 1,200 horsepower. That is 193.5 HP/liter or 3.2 HP/cubic inch. Of course, that is an aftermarket value and not from the factory.

American car companies fell all over themselves in the 1950s claiming that one of their engines was the first to produce at least one HP/cubic inch. For the record—sorry, Corvette fans—the first engine available from a US manufacturer that generated at least one HP/cubic inch was the optional engine for the Chrysler 300B, meaning model year 1956, that made 355 HP from 354 cubic inches. (That’s 61.2 HP/liter for the metrically minded.)


See the source image


From journal.classiccars.com a picture of a 1956 Chrysler 300B.

Today, with turbocharged (and supercharged) engines specific outputs are much higher than anyone could have dreamed in the 1950s. Ford’s newest generation GT has an engine, a 6-cylinder engine no less, that produces 647 HP from 3.5 liters or 184.9 HP/liter. (That’s about three HP per cubic inch.)


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From newcarreleasepreview.com a picture of the current generation Ford GT. The picture below from motorauthority.com is a car shown and discussed here before, a car with a 4-cylinder engine of fewer than 100 cubic inches displacement that produced 270 HP, the now-discontinued Peugeot RCZ R:


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In case you’re wondering, or even if you’re not, the RCZ R engine had a specific output of 168.8 HP/liter or 2.8 HP/cubic inch. Both the RCZ R and Ford GT engines are turbocharged. As I have written before I believe it wouldn’t be the worst thing if all internal-combustion engines were turbocharged. The engines could have smaller displacement, meaning better fuel economy, without giving up performance. These engines are also more thermally efficient than their naturally-aspirated brethren and have lower emissions.






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