Automakers understating a model's horsepower and torque aren't new. It's far better than overstating because you'll have a host of angry customers calling lawyers – and that's never good. It appears Porsche may be the latest automaker to understate power figures. A new report from Motor Trend suggests the 2020 Porsche 911 Carrera S makes more power than advertised – a lot more.
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On Paper, the 911 Carrera S makes 443 horsepower (330 kilowatts) and 390 pound-feet (529 Newton-meters) of torque. However, when Motor Trend took its Racing Yellow 2020 911 Carrera S to the dyno, the numbers didn't add up. Motor Trend recorded 414 hp (308 kW) and 406 lb-ft (550 Nm) of torque at the wheels. While horsepower is below Porsche's advertised number, torque is above it.
Automakers rate horsepower and torque figures at the crank while a dyno measures power at the wheels. Cars are expected to lose some power between the crank and the wheels due to drivetrain loss – power lost to spinning the transmission and other mechanical bits. A drivetrain loss of 15 percent is a good approximation for some back-of-the-napkin calculations.
Gallery: 2020 Porsche 911 Carrera S
According to Motor Trend, when you do the math backward, starting with the dyno numbers and compensating for the 15-percent drivetrain loss, the Carrera S makes 487 hp (363 kW) and 478 lb-ft (648 Nm) of torque at the crank. That's 44 hp (32 kW) and 88 lb-ft (119 Nm) more than Porsche's official numbers.
Motor Trend says the car they have is an early build, writing, "It's hard to say if its dyno performance is representative of the standard-production 992 Carrera S." If the publication's 911 is representative of the car consumers will be able to purchase, then they will receive a lot more power than advertised. That sounds like a win to us.