Is horsepower really the cure for every automotive malady?
Unless it’s been touched by a tuner, it’s pretty easy to know how much power a McLaren makes. Just take the number in front of the S, GT, or C part of its name and viola, that’s its power rating in PS. And given that the mechanical horsepower rating we Americans use (as opposed to metric horsepower) is whatever the PS rating is times 0.98, it’s not too difficult to derive a red, white, and blue-friendly power metric from a MaCa’s name.
Take the 570S for example. It makes 570 PS, which converts over to 562 horsepower. That’s quite a lot, especially for a car that weighs only weighs 3,186 pounds, and it should be more than enough to smoke a standard F10 BMW M5. Even with a twin-turbo 4.4-liter V8 churning out 550 horsepower—only 12 ponies less than the McLaren—the M5 weighs more.
Actually, it weighs quite a bit more, just over 1,100 pounds to be exact. It's because of its own mass that most Bimmers would shy away from a race against a domineering McLaren if given the chance, but not this M5. Graced by an ample amount of tuning hardware, it makes upwards of 750 horsepower. That's quite a leg up, enough to put the 570S' lead in question even without the new F90 M5’s all-wheel drive system helping all 600 horsepower hook to the pavement. Unfortunately, the BMW still has trouble during this race, not with getting off the line, but with keeping its lead. What the BMW learns the hard way is the fact that horsepower isn’t always the cure for being overweight and less aerodynamic.