Is there such a thing as too much horsepower? We all know it’s torque that gets our hot rod accelerating, and it’s horsepower that keeps it moving. However, we also know that horsepower figures tend to be the more relevant numbers for enthusiasts. Mention big power numbers and most can relate to it, visualizing thick plumes of smoke billowing from the wheelwells. Mention torque figures and most people are thinking about stump pullers.
In most cases, I’ve had little concern about having too much power in drag racing applicationsafter all, more is better, right? Simply said, a good set of stickies in a well-balanced chassis will generally take the hit from a dig. With that in mind, I’ve recently learned a valuable lesson about streetable versus usable horsepower.
Later in the issue, you’ll find that our resident Z06 is now sporting MagnaCharger’s latest TVS 2300 supercharger. I won’t divulge too much information here, especially since we go into great detail on its current street demeanor from behind the wheel. However, I am excited to say the power to the wheels was outstanding, producing nearly 500 hp to the wheels and over 400 lb-ft as early as 2,300 rpm!
Unlike the dedicated drag cars I own, this is a real-world driver that we occasionally take out to the autocross and dragstrip for a little fun. Our initial baseline numbers revealed 348 hp to the wheels, and that, my friend, is a lot of fun in a lightweight chassis. With the addition of the supercharger, we upped the ante to 492 hp and 451 lb-ft with minimal boost, and it’s flat-out awesome.
The first time I got back in the seat and throttled it ever so slightly, the rubber out back didn’t have a chance; even in Second gear, you have to roll into the pedal to prevent any wheelspin. Over the past several months, I’ve logged enough seat time to get acclimated to the newfound power and have even considered bumping up the boost levels for a bit more. Fortunately, I came to my senses and realized that this power level is ideal for what I do.
This isn’t a race car by any means, but there’s no denying it’s one potent street car. Sure, there are those who will contest my thoughts and say their insert the power level of your choice ride is perfectly streetable. I won’t argue that, because truth be told, I feel anything is streetable as long as you have the tolerance for it. As for me, I think I’ve found the happy medium between comfort and performance for the street and that’s with the air conditioning on full tilt. Then again, we may have to revisit that in another year. What about you, what’s your number?
As much as I enjoy big power numbers, I’ll leave that for the track.