On paper, it makes 443 bhp and 390 pound-feet of torque.
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.
On Paper, the 911 Carrera S makes 443 bhp and 390 lb-ft 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 bhp and 406 lb-ft 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 bhp and 478 lb-ft of torque at the crank. That's 44 bhp and 88 lb-ft 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.