Forget soaring fuel prices and concerns about the environment. Germans are suckers for horsepower, and the trend is to buy cars with ever-bigger engines, a new study showed on Tuesday.
In the first seven months of 2012, the average horsepower of the engines of new cars sold in Germany stood at 138, up from a previous record of 135 seen in 2011 and 130 in 2010, according to the Center for Automotive Research at the University of Duisburg-Essen.
One of the reasons behind this trend is the rise in the number of cars with diesel engines, which are more powerful than petrol-driven ones. And diesel engines are more frequently used in SUVs, according to the study's author, Ferdinand Dudenhoeffer.
Porsche has the engines with the biggest horsepower, averaging 323 in the first seven months of this year, compared with 194 for BMW (IW 1000/36), 179 for Audi (IW 1000/69) and 175 for Mercedes.
But mass producers such as Opel also have upped the horsepower of their engines to 126 in the January-July period compared with 109 in 2009, and Volkswagen (IW 1000/10) has increased its horsepower to 124.
Nevertheless, "more horsepower does not automatically translate into higher fuel consumption," given new-generation fuel-saving technology, Dudenhoeffer wrote.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2012