All race cars are powerful, but the NHRA’s Top Fuel dragster and Funny Car are the beefed-up Arnold Schwarzeneggers of the motorsports world.
Autoweek recently caught up with a shop manager at a top NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series team, and he set us straight:
• Consider, a 358-cubic-inch V8 NASCAR engine delivers 750 horsepower. One 44.75-cubic-inch cylinder produces 93.75 horsepower per cylinder.
• The low-slung open-wheel IndyCar machine uses an 86.6-cubic-inch V6 powerplant that puts out 700 horsepower. One cylinder (14.43 cubic inches) yields 116.6 horsepower per cylinder.
• A Formula 1 car is slightly more impressive, with a 62.9-cubic-inch V6 motor capable of 1,050 horsepower. Each 10.48-cubic-inch cylinder contributes to a 175-horsepower efficiency.
• But the nitromethane-fueled Top Fuel dragster and Funny Car, with a stout 500-cubic-inch V8 engine, goes full-throttle at about 12,000 horsepower. A single cylinder—one single 62.5-cubic-inch cylinder—makes upwards of 1,500 horsepower.
That means one cylinder alone from a Top Fuel dragster or Funny Car manufactures more horsepower than an entire Formula 1 power unit, or about the equivalent of two complete NASCAR or IndyCar entries.
That, my friends, is one powerful statement.