These 7 cars had way more power than the factory rating
Automakers occasionally underrate a model’s output for a variety of reasons—like when they built these seven machines
If you built a car with a tonne of horsepower, you would think waving the figures around in the face of your rivals would be the ultimate flex. And, yes, that is sometimes the case.
However, other times, automobile manufacturers keep the true horsepower rating of their vehicles under wraps, opting to advertise a more conservative number instead. It may seem illogical on the surface, but there are actually a few reasons why carmakers may choose to deliberately understate their vehicles’ power. I
Some might do so to keep insurance premiums at bay; others to pass EPA tests or avoid taxes on certain classes of car. However, this kind of underrating doesn’t count as cheating, at least not in the strictest sense of the word. They might just, say, carry out the horsepower rating tests in less-than-ideal conditions, or measure peak horsepower below the maximum engine rpm.
“GR” stands for “Gazoo Racing,” and having that badge on a Toyota projects quite loudly – to the right people – what type of vehicle that is. The 2021 GR Yaris was a radical hot hatch, a complete departure from the original Yaris, a subcompact city car.
Packed within its small frame is a peppy 1.6-litre inline-three turbocharged engine that’s officially rated at 268 hp and 272 lb-ft of torque in Japan. A dyno test of a Euro-spec model, rated there at 257 hp, showed that Toyota has been rather coy about actual horsepower figures. The hot hatch delivered up to 278.1 hp at the crank. It’s little wonder then that it can zip to 100 km/h in a little over five seconds.
At the time, there were rising concerns carmakers were becoming downright reckless thanks to the muscle car craze. Insurance companies were beginning to respond, levying prohibitive charges on vehicles deemed too powerful or, in extreme cases, refusing to cover them at all. For these reasons, GM had an internal rule limiting all passenger cars except the Corvette to a maximum of one gross horsepower per 10 pounds of curb weight. Pontiac executives freely admitted to Car Life magazine that the 370 hp rating of the Ram Air IV engine in the ’69 GTO Judge was merely for political correctness and was nowhere near what the car made at full steam.