I’ve been working on a quick way to tell the category of a vehicle’s performance by using its power-to-weight ratio. The world of performance is changing and I wanted to create a system that gives some perspective as to how much more factory performance we still have to go past the hybrid “hypercars.” Also, I wanted to point out that cars like the 210 hp Golf GTI and 220 hp Golf GTI are in COMPLETELY DIFFERENT SEGMENTS.

I’m trying to avoid turning this into a huge post (for now) so ask questions and check in the comment section and I’ll expand on these more.

Performance Segments

Novelty > 30 lbs/hp.

Penalty - Benchmark 24 lbs/hp.

Economy - Benchmark 20 lbs/hp.

Sporty / “Warm” - Benchmark 16 lbs/hp.

Entry Sports / “Hot” - Benchmark 14 lbs/hp.

Full Sports - Benchmark 12 lbs/hp.

Entry Performance - Benchmark 10 lbs/hp.

Full Performance - Benchmark 9 lbs/hp.

High Performance - Benchmark 8 lbs/hp.

Ultra Performance - Benchmark 7 lbs/hp.

Super Performance - Benchmark 5 lbs/hp.

Hyper Performance - Benchmark 4 lbs/hp.

Mega Performance - Benchmark 3 lbs/hp.

Giga Performance / 1.1 - Benchmark 2 lbs/hp.

Specialty < 1.5 lbs/hp

*Until a vehicle hits the benchmark, it is at the top end of the class BELOW the benchmark.

**Also understand that this list is intended for on-road, gasoline vehicles.


Vehicle 1 can be had with a P2W ratio of 12.10 lbs/hp. Vehicle 1 is at the top end of Entry Sports vehicle. If Vehicle 1 is a hatchback then it would be an “Entry Sports Hatchback / Hot Hatch” that’s about to go “Full Sports Hatch.”


Vehicle 2 can be had with a P2W ratio of 11.97 lbs/hp. Vehicle 2 is at the bottom end of a Full Sports vehicle. If Vehicle 2 is a sedan then it would be a “Full Sports Sedan.”

Vehicle 3 can be had with a P2W ratio of 10.51 lbs/hp. Vehicle 3 is in the middle of an Entry Performance vehicle.

Pick some cars and see where they stack up! You can help me test out this list.

More examples:

Mazda3 Touring 2.5 MT Hatch (16.55 lbs/hp) - Top-level “Economy Hatchback.”

210 hp, Golf GTI S MT 2-Door (14.15 lbs/hp) - Top-level “Sporty Hatch / Warm Hatch.”

220 hp, Golf GTI Sport MT (13.78 lbs/hp) - Low-level “Entry Sports Hatch / Hot Hatch.”

Ford Focus ST (12.79 lbs/hp) - Mid-level “Entry Sports Hatchback / Hot Hatch.”

Subaru WRX STI (11.12 lbs/hp) - Mid-level “Full Sports Sedan.”

BMW M3 MT (8.33 lbs/hp) - High/Mid-level “Full Performance Sedan.”

469 hp, Mercedes-AMG C63 Sedan (8.04 lbs/hp) - Top-level “Full Performance Sedan.

503 hp, Mercedes-AMG C63 S Sedan (7.5 lbs/hp) - Mid-level “High Performance Sedan.”

Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport MT (7.45 lbs/hp) - Mid-level “High Performance Car.”

Dodge Challenger Hellcat MT (6.29 lbs/hp) - Mid-level “Ultra Performance Muscle Car.”

Lamborghini Huracan LP610-4 (5.21 lbs/hp) - Top-level “Ultra Performance Sportscar.”

Porsche 918 Base (4.16 lbs/hp) - Top-level “Super Performance Car.”

McLaren P1 (3.77 lbs/hp) - Low/Mid-level “Hyper Performance Car.”

Bugatti Chiron (est. 2.97 lbs/hp) - Low-level “Mega Performance Car.”

Koenigsegg One:1 (2.23 lbs/hp) - Upper/Mid-level “Mega Performance Car.”

—Feel free to give me more examples, I’ll toss them in.