Power to Weight

August 30, 2015

With a new 2016 MINI Cooper S making its way to me I’ve been thinking a lot about cars lately. The Cooper S has a reputation for being quick and nimble. It boasts a sub-seven second zero-to-sixty time. I was curious how the MINI compared to the other cars I’ve owned. Some Internet searching and a spreadsheet later and I had my answer.

Year Make/Model Engine (cc) Weight (lbs) Horsepower Torque (ft-lb) lb/HP
1984Pontiac Fiero247124629213426.76
1987Honda Prelude1958241011011421.91
1992Mazda Navajo3958398015522025.68
1994BMW 318i1796335213812924.29
1992Lexus ES 3002959336218519518.17
1999Nissan Altima2389285915015419.06
2000Lexus ES 3002995335121022015.96
2001Audi TT Coupe1781320818017317.82
2001Lexus LS 4304300395529032013.64
2010Honda Insight133927349812327.90
2016MINI Cooper S2000278518920714.74

With the exception of the 2001 Lexus LS 430, the MINI Cooper S has the best power-to-weight ratio of any car I’ve owned. The 430 had a monster 4.3 liter engine, more than twice the size of the MINI’s 2 liter engine, but it’s also roughly 1200 pounds heavier. I think the MINI will feel faster, and it’ll certainly corner better.

The best power-to-weight ratio vehicle I’ve ever owned was a 1987 Suzuki Katana 1100F. With a dry weight of 537 pounds and 136 horsepower, it’s ratio is 3.95 pounds-per-horsepower. Incredibly fast with instant acceleration at any speed. Not much fun in the winter though, and no room for a cello.

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Mark H. Nichols

I am a husband, cellist, code prole, nerd, technologist, and all around good guy living and working in fly-over country. You should follow me on Twitter.