Originally intended to document my experience of DeLorean ownership, focus is often radical and strange, boring and obtuse.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

How Much HP Does a DeLorean Make?

How much hp does a DeLorean make at the wheels? Let's find out!

How much hp does a DeLorean make at the wheels? Let's find out!

DeLoreans look exotic, but their powerplant is anything but. The 174 cubic inch PRV V6 was very common in Europe... about 3 decades ago. It's rated at 130 hp. But how much hp does a DeLorean make at the wheels?

Horsepower at the wheels is less than what the engine actually makes. Things like the alternator, transmission, and wheels all require power to turn them. Power at the wheels tells you how much power you've actually got, in real life, to move the car.

So how much power DOES the DeLorean make at the wheels? Using my ultra scouring skills I've scoured the internet in search of the answer. There's a lot of speculation, people stating what it SHOULD make, and results of many modified DeLoreans. But I've never found documented, accurate numbers for a stock (unmodified) car. Bob Brandes dyno'd a couple of cars, but the graph is difficult to read. Even Tamir, internet-famous for his superb DeLorean website only posted an unusually round number for an automatic, and offers no dyno graph.

In newsgroups and forums, people have stated that a well-maintained 5-speed manual transmission DeLorean will make anywhere from
95 to 100 hp at the wheels. Some say 90 is more likely. Most agree an automatic will make somewhere in the mid 80s.

My goal was to hit 100 hp, ohh that magical number!

I took my DMC-12 to a mechanic I've trusted for a decade. He uses a Dynojet dynamometer. The rear wheels sit on two huge rollers that weigh 5,500 lbs. and the car is strapped down so it can't move.

My engine: 100% stock and 112,400 miles. My air intake: 100% stock. My filter: dirty. My exhaust: 99% stock. The only difference is that it is ceramic coated to keep the heat out of the engine bay and away from the air intake. My tires, unfortunately are larger than stock. They are 245/60R15 which means they weigh more.Click the tiny graph to see the full size graph of the DeLorean dyno results. From my mechanic's experience with dyno-ing the same car with different sets of tires, he estimates I lost about 2 hp with the heavier tires.

So, how much power did my DeLorean make? We tested the car in 4th gear and made 4 runs on the dyno. All the runs were very consistent, almost identical actually. Maximum horsepower was 98.4 @ 4700-5100 rpm. Maximum torque was 131.6 @ 2100 to 2300 rpm. So close!

Then we did something else. My pal Ken, the one with the Time Machine DeLorean, let me borrow his cold air intake with a filthy K&N filter. The intake looks almost stock, except it's missing the box where the hot air stove pipe attaches.

And how much power did I make with the cold air intake? Maximum hp jumped by six! I made 104.3 @ 4800-5200 rpm. Maximum torque was 132.6 @ 2400-2800 rpm.

So now you know how much power a 5-speed DeLorean will make with the stock air intake and exhaust, and with the cold air intake set up. Click here to see the dyno chart & details up close.

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Blogger Unknown said...

Martini: Do you think John would have opted for an engine change if he had the benefit of time and capital?

4:26:00 AM

Blogger Martini said...

Not an engine change exactly, no. A twin-turbo was in the works and there are two original prototypes out there. I have seen one in person, know the owner a little. Very impressive and would utterly destroy any domestic V8 of the day, yet still give decent fuel economy if you kept the rpms low.

This is still a viable option to update the car.

3:39:00 PM


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