Brake horsepower (BHP), horsepower (also referred to as ‘PS’ or ‘Pferdestärke’) and kilowatts (kW) are three different metrics that are often used to measure engine power. They are all regularly cited in car advertisements, reviews and other automotive media.
Our car power calculator tool allows you to easily convert between bhp, kW, and PS, so you can accurately determine your vehicle's power output.
The below table provides a comparison of three different units used to measure power: horsepower (PS), kilowatts (kW), and brake horsepower (BHP).
|Horsepower (PS)||Kilowatts (kW)||Brake horsepower (BHP)|
|0.1 PS||0.073 kW||0.098 BHP|
|1 PS||0.735 kW||0.986 BHP|
|2 PS||1.47 kW||1.972 BHP|
|3 PS||2.206 kW||2.958 BHP|
|4 PS||2.941 kW||3.945 BHP|
|5 PS||3.677 kW||4.931 BHP|
|6 PS||4.412 kW||5.917 BHP|
|7 PS||5.148 kW||6.904 BHP|
|8 PS||5.883 kW||7.89 BHP|
|9 PS||6.619 kW||8.876 BHP|
|10 PS||7.354 kW||9.863 BHP|
|20 PS||14.709 kW||19.726 BHP|
|30 PS||22.064 kW||29.589 BHP|
|40 PS||29.419 kW||39.452 BHP|
|50 PS||36.774 kW||49.316 BHP|
|60 PS||44.129 kW||59.179 BHP|
|70 PS||51.484 kW||69.042 BHP|
|80 PS||58.839 kW||78.905 BHP|
|90 PS||66.194 kW||88.768 BHP|
|100 PS||73.549 kW||98.632 BHP|
|200 PS||147.099 kW||197.264 BHP|
|300 PS||220.649 kW||295.896 BHP|
|400 PS||294.199 kW||394.528 BHP|
|500 PS||367.749 kW||493.16 BHP|
|600 PS||441.299 kW||591.792 BHP|
|700 PS||514.849 kW||690.424 BHP|
|800 PS||588.399 kW||789.056 BHP|
|900 PS||661.949 kW||887.688 BHP|
|1000 PS||735.499 kW||986.32 BHP|
Different manufacturers and publishers use different engine power metrics, this can sometimes lead to confusion among readers.
For instance, you may be familiar with BHP (and have a good idea of what can be considered a ‘powerful’ engine reading in that metric). However, when ads and articles cite engine power in PS or kW, interpreting these statistics can be tricky if you are unfamiliar with the metrics used.
Similarly, if you are comparing the engine power of one car model to another, but different metrics are used on the respective manufacturers’ websites, it can be difficult to gauge which model has the more powerful engine.
Are you unfamiliar with the various engine power measurements and what they mean? Here is a quick explainer:
Brake horsepower (BHP) refers to a car’s horsepower after accounting for the friction between its tyres and the road. Therefore, a BHP figure will always be lower than the equivalent horsepower (PS) reading.
Horsepower is often shortened to ‘PS’ (this stands for Pferdestärke - and translates to ‘horsepower’ in German’).
This PS metric refers to how much power a car’s engine can produce. It is calculated through the power needed to move 550 pounds 1 foot in 1 second (or the power required to move 33,000 pounds 1 foot in 1 minute).
Kilowatts (kW) is a metric that is often cited by European car manufacturers, as this is the EU’s standard measurement for engine power. A single kilowatt of engine power is the equivalent of approximately 1.34 BHP.
Torque of the engine is also measured with the kW metric (this refers to its turning power, or how hard it can push forward).
Whether you are ready to sell your car and make the switch to a newer model (or simply want to learn more about the automotive world), it is important to understand the various metrics that car manufacturers and journalists use.
These tools and resources can help you to better understand different car metrics and make an informed decision when shopping for your next car: