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Will the year of the horse bring you more horsepower

January 31st means the start of the Chinese New Year. The year 2014 is considered as the year of the Horse. There are supposed to be some serious forces at work in the year of the seventh sign of the Chinese zodiac, forces believed to significantly affect newborns. 

Those born in the Year of the Horse are considered to be energetic, smart, influential, freedom-loving, happy individuals.   


In Chinese culture, the Horse is a symbol of nobility, class, speed and perseverance. Western culture has a lot of respect for this magnificent animal as well. Even though horses have been replaced as the ultimate means of transportation by some serious vehicles, we still judge cars by horsepower.


What actually is Horsepower? 

The term Horsepower was invented by the famous engineer James Watt. He is not only famous for this term; James Watts' name is said every time you buy a light bulb. Born in 1736 James Watt is mostly known for his work in improving the performance and speed of steam engines.


But how did he invent Horsepower? 

It is said that James Watt was working with ponies lifting coal from a coal mine and decided to work out exactly how much power each pony possessed. By working out that a standard pony could lift approximately 22,000 foot-pounds every minute, he increased that number by 50 per cent, therefore, discovering the measure of Horsepower being at 33,000 foot-pounds per minute. It is that arbitrary unit of measure that has made it all the way through to the years and is still used today. Horsepower now appears in your car, of course, but also your lawn mower, your chainsaw and many other pieces of equipment. 

Did you know?

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The sports car with the highest horsepower is the SSC Tuatara 6.9L V8 Twin Turbo. This car has a staggering 1350bhp.

With a top speed of 276mph, this is a car that Enjoy Car Hire will probably steer clear of for now. An average family car has around 200bhp so that should explain why.