Do you know the origins of horsepower? I’m not talking about the history of cars possessing lots of it, but rather where the term itself comes from and how it was derived. Turns out, the term actually goes back to the power generated by a horse. More specifically, it compares the power of a draft horse to the output created by a steam engine. You need one metric horsepower to lift 75 kilograms up one meter in one second. That can be translated into watts, and in its horsepower form it’s a figure we use to examine the output of a given vehicle’s engine.
Now Nissan wants to add a different metric into the mix.
Say hello to Camelpower.
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The camel is an incredibly well adapted animal that thrives in the desert regions of the world. A horse would struggle in places where the camel thrives. In this video produced by National Geographic Abu Dhabi, we see that Nissan is looking to create a metric to measure how well its dune-loving machines that can venture into terrain where a high-horsepower car wouldn’t make it ten feet. Horsepower is not a strong tool for measuring the potential dune-driving ability of a given vehicle.
Nissan has worked to create a formula based on actual science. It involves calculating an amount based on a vehicle’s weight, velocity, and trajectory up a pre-determined path. The output is then found in watts before being converted to Camelpower. With this new metric, Nissan can provide some insight into the potential off-road driving prowess of a given vehicle.
In the video, the Nissan engineers test out four vehicles. First, they have a camel with a rider run up a grade. Then they drive the vehicles up the grade and compare the results. The most powerful vehicle in terms of Camelpower? A V-8-powered Nissan Patrol. How much Camelpower does it have? You’ll have to watch the video to find out. Unless you are of Middle Eastern descent, you’ll need to read the subtitles, but it’s interesting stuff and it’s worth your time.
Nissan is taking this new metric so seriously that it has submitted its findings to the Emirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology. The automaker plans to utilize Camelpower in its marketing efforts and showrooms in the Middle East and is hoping that other automakers use it as a unit of measure.
Now we just need to line up a bunch of the competition and bring back the Camel Trophy events.