What Car? Q&A - PS – what it is?

Article 6 of 6 See all
  • Green 4x4s
  • Speeding tickets
  • PS and BHP
Why do some car makers' websites state power output in PS rather than BHP? What's the difference? It's really confusing when trying to compare cars.
David Jennings


A: Many European and Japanese manufacturers still quote power figures output in PS, which stands for Pferdestärke (horse power in German). It was the German Institute for Standardisation’s unit for power until an EU directive replaced it with the kW in 1992.

However, manufacturers have found that few motorists have any understanding of kW ratings, so many continue to quote power in PS or BHP also.

PS is a slightly higher figure than the BHP that we quote. As a rule of thumb, you can knock off one PS for every 100PS to reach a rough BHP figure. If you want to be spot on, multiply the PS figure by 0.9864 to reach the BHP total, or BHP by 1.0139 to get back to PS.

We only quote BHP figures to make comparing cars easy. To save yourself some calculations, use our car comparison tool .
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