The dust continues to settle from the introduction of new horsepower testing standards by the Society of Automotive Engineers, and Japanese automakers are finding a few less ponies in their stables. It turns out that the new testing procedures have resulted in lower horsepower ratings for a number of Toyota and Honda models, while American carmakers have gone largely unaffected.
Hardest-hit Toyota model is its 2006 Camry (shown) with the 3.3-liter V6 option, which sees its horsepower rating drop from 210 to 190 hp.
Previous rating procedures were vague in many areas, allowing automakers a great deal of latitude in testing methodologies-- which type of fuel and oil were used, which components and accessories were running during testing, etc. In tightening the rating procedures, the SAE has adopted methods commonly used by U.S. manufacturers. As a consequence, vehicles produced by the Big Three remain largely unaffected by the change.
Of course, acceleration tests are always the best indicator of a vehicle's straight-line performance, and those datasets remained unchanged. An awful lot of brochures may have to be reprinted, though.
[Source: The Detroit News]