Can the powertrain's drivetrain losses really be as low as two percent?

Early evidence from dyno graphs suggests that the Honda Civic Type R is quite adept at efficiently translating its engine’s power to the wheels with minimal drivetrain loss.


One graph and accompanying brief video show the new hot hatch making an impressive 295 horsepower at the wheels. Compared to the factory-specified engine output of 306 hp, that equates to a loss of roughly four percent through the drivetrain. A separate graph shows an even more impressive figure by pointing to a Civic Type R sending 301 hp to the wheels, which works out to a loss of only around two percent.


When automakers quote a vehicle’s output, they generally use the figures directly from the engine. However, a few ponies go missing in the journey from the crankshaft to the road in part because of things like friction in the transmission and differentials – this is the drivetrain loss.

More on the Civic Type R:

The drivetrain loss from a two-wheel drive performance vehicle would generally be in excess of 10 percent. As an example, Motor Trend found drivetrain losses of 12 percent from the Dodge Challenger Hellcat in 2014.

The Civic Type R features a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder that produces 306 hp and 295 pound-feet of torque. It routes through a six-speed manual gearbox and then goes through a limited-slip differential before reaching the road. Rumours suggest that more variants could be on the way, including a softer grand touring version or an all-wheel drive variant as a more direct rival to the Ford Focus RS, Volkswagen Golf R, and Subaru WRX STI.

For now, we need to treat this pair of dyno graphs as anecdotal evidence of the Civic Type R's drivetrain efficiency because these impressive figures could be outliers. 

SourceDynoCenter, Elvis Perez via Facebook Via: Jalopnik

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