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How to Convert CC to HP for Small Engines

Updated February 21, 2017

The relationship between cubic centimetres (cc) and horsepower (hp) is complex and depends on many factors. First of all, it's important to note that cc is a measure of engine size, while hp is a measure of how much power it produces. Generally, a larger engine will produce more power, but the ratio isn't uniform across all engines. It depends on how well-tuned the engine is, as well as the type of fuel it uses. Most modern passenger cars, however, do fall into a small range of ratios.

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  1. Divide the cc of the engine by 15. For example, the 1800cc of a 1.8-litre 16V Ford Escort's engine divided by 15 yields 120hp.

  2. Divide the cc of the engine by 17. For example, the Escort's 1800cc divided by 17 yields approximately 106.

  3. Recognise the horsepower falls somewhere in the range established by the previous steps. In fact, the Escort's horsepower is 115. Its cc to hp ratio is 15.6522.

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About the Author

Joe Friedman began writing in 2008 while in the U.S. Air Force as a KC-10 tanker pilot. He is now an equipment engineer in the semiconductor manufacturing industry. Friedman holds a Bachelor of Science in engineering physics from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and a Master of Science in electrical engineering from Drexel University.

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