Enter the wheel horsepower and engine horsepower into the calculator to determine the drivetrain loss.

Drivetrain Loss Formula

The following formula is used to calculate a percentage drivetrain loss:

DL = (EHP – WHP) / EHP *100

  • Where DL is the drivetrain loss (%)
  • EHP is the engine horsepower (hp)
  • WHP is the wheel horsepower (hp)

What is a drivetrain loss?


A drivetrain loss is a measure of the amount of horsepower that is lost due to inefficiencies and friction within a drivetrain.

In other words, it’s the percentage of the horsepower the engine outputs that actually makes it to the wheels.

How to calculate drivetrain loss?

Example Problem:

The following example outlines how to calculate a drivetrain loss percentage.

First, determine the engine horsepower output. In this example, the engine of the car can produce 500 horsepower (hp).

Next, determine the wheel horsepower. The horsepower the is received by the wheels in this case is 400 horsepower (hp).

Finally, calculate the drive train loss using the formula above:

DL = (EHP – WHP) / EHP *100

DL = (500 – 400) /500*100

DL = 20% loss

This engine is most likely an all-wheel-drive system based on the 20% loss calculated above.