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 hp, up from a previous record of 135 hp seen in 2011 and 130 hp in 2010, according to the CAR-Center 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 sports utility vehicles or SUVs, according to the study's author Ferdinand Dudenhoeffer.
Luxury sports carmaker Porsche has the engines with the biggest horsepower, averaging 323 hp in the first seven months of this year, compared with 194 hp for BMW, 179 hp for Audi and 175 hp for Mercedes.
But mass producers such as Opel have also upped the horsepower of their engines to 126 hp in the January-July period compared with 109 hp in 2009 and Volkswagen has increased its horsepower to 124 hp.
Nevertheless, "more horsepower does not automatically translate into higher fuel consumption," given new generation fuel-saving technology, Dudenhoeffer wrote.