When we discuss the power and performance of the engine, terms like HP and CC horsepower (HP) and cubic centimeters (cc) often come as part of the discussion. These metrics provide insights into the engine’s capability and represent different aspects of its performance. 

The prime difference between HP and CC is in their definition. 

Horsepower – It is the measurement of the power of the engine 

Cubic Centimeter – It depicts the measurement of the volume of the engine.  

Let’s break down the distinction between HP and CC and shed light on how they contribute to the engine’s overall performance. 

What Does Horsepower Mean?

Horsepower (HP) is the unit that measures an engine’s power output. It presents the rate at which the engine can perform. The higher the HP, the more energy the engine can generate and deliver. 

Horsepower plays a critical role when considering the vehicle’s performance. Cars with high horsepower exhibit quicker acceleration with greater speed potential. Fuel efficiency, engine design, and mechanical efficiency are some of the prime factors that influence horsepower. People looking for high-speed vehicles usually focus on the HP of a vehicle. 

Types of Horsepower 

It has two types. 

Frictional Horsepower – the power lost because of friction in the engine. 

Indicated Horsepower – It is the original power used by an automobile engine. 

To understand the performance and speed of the engine, you need to be aware of its horsepower. 

What Does a Cubic Centimeter Mean in Engine?

Cubic centimeter (CC) refers to the total volume of all the cylinders in the engine together. In simple words, CC is the measure of engine size that shows the amount of fuel or air the engine can fill within one complete castle. The higher value of CC depicts a larger engine size with more cylinders or larger cylinders. 

The cubic centimeter plays a vital role in determining the engine’s torque output. The torque is the twisting force that pushes the vehicle forward. More significant engine displacement usually means higher torque, which is highly useful for towing and accelerating from a standstill. 

What Does Liter Mean in The Engine?

1000cc = 1 liter 

This means that a 1000cc engine is equivalent to a 1-liter engine. The CC on a vehicle shows the total volume of all the cylinders in that particular engine. You can achieve a higher CC by making the vehicle’s engine larger and more robust. 

Main Difference Between Horsepower and CC

  • CC measures displacement, while horsepower measures the engine’s ability to perform. 
  • The CC of the engine remains constant, while the HP is variable 
  • CC is measured in cubic centimeters, while horsepower is measured in kilowatts. 
  • HP is the power measurement unit, while CC is the engine’s capacity
  • HP signifies the vehicle’s speed, while CC indicates the physical dimension of the automobile engine.

Relation Between HP and CC

Cubic centimeters and horsepower are essential factors to consider when comparing vehicles or exploring engine options. However, when it comes to performance, they are measured differently. 

If your priority is top speed or brisk acceleration, HP will be your prime consideration when selecting the vehicle. 

However, if you are looking for low-end towing capacity, then CC takes the spot. 

It is important to note that the perfect balance of CC and HP is based on your needs and preferences. A vehicle with higher engine displacement has a higher torque, but there is no surety that it will be fast if its HP isn’t optimized. Just like that, a higher HP indicates higher speed, but it can lack displacement.

Maintaining Engine’s Performance 

Whether your priority is speed or engine size,  ensuring proper vehicle maintenance is essential for it to work optimally. Regular care and servicing of your vehicle can help you maintain the health of your engine and prolong its lifespan. 

CC to HP Conversion 

The relationship between CC and HP is based on various factors, including efficiency and engine design. However, according to a general rule of thumb, one HP roughly equals 15 ccs. 


HP = CC/15

Through this formula, you can convert CC to HP.

Influencing Factors 

There are several factors that affect the vehicle’s displacement and horsepower. For example, when it comes to the engine’s displacement, the engine design, stroke, bore, and number of cylinders determine the result. 

Similarly, engine design, capacity, timing, and its size influence the vehicle’s horsepower. Moreover, the type of fuel you use also affect the HP. 


Knowing the difference between HP and CC assists in making an informed decision when evaluating cars and their performance. 

HP represents power output, and CC indicates engine displacement and torque. By considering both factors, you can determine the relation between these and understand your driving needs.  It will help you choose a vehicle that aligns with your preferences and help you get the experience you desire.