There are several variations of the Chevy 350 engine that come with different horsepower ratings. Chevrolet indicates that the deluxe model of its small crate engine has 290 horsepower. Other Chevy models, such as the ZZ5, have up to 400 horsepower. Engines with more horsepower often have higher revolutions per minute; regardless of the engine, most can be modified to increase the horsepower.
Horsepower is closely tied to torque. Whereas torque is the measure of force over distance, horsepower is the rate at which torque is performed. To calculate horsepower, the following equation is used: horsepower = [(force x distance)/(time)]/550. A common conversion for horsepower is pounds-feet per minute. One unit of horsepower is equal to 33,000 pounds-feet per minute.
Horsepower is an important factor in a vehicle's performance. When a vehicle is traveling at a high speed, the ability of that vehicle to accelerate to a greater speed is a function of horsepower. As this vehicle accelerates, the rpms of the engine increase and more power is exerted. This concept also applies to a vehicle that is towing an object. If a vehicle lacks horsepower, the odds are that it is not able to accelerate with the extra load.