L&M Newsletter

Horsepower Lost From Drag Calculator

If you want to go fast you are going to need to beat the aerodynamic gatekeeper known as drag force. The faster you plan to go the more drag is going to slow you down as you try to push a barn door like cross section through a column of air. The calculator below makes some assumptions such as being at sea level with a nominal air density. You will need to know your drag coefficient and front area value for your given vehicle in order to get a proper value for horsepower lost.

If you play with numbers in the calculator you will notice as you double the speed requirement, the horsepower lost to drag increases by a factor of 8.


  • Cd - drag coefficient for a given vehicle. No units.
  • Area - frontal area in square feet.
  • Velocity - vehicle velocity in mph.

Area (ft^2)
Velocity (mph)
Horsepower Lost to Drag