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A term used in automotive circles to describe a top speed of a car that is limited by the available power of the engine. This means that at the top speed, there is no more engine power left to go faster. Power limited top speeds usually occur in cars that have a low numerical rear-end ratio, which describes most cars except the muscle cars of old.

A car that has this characteristic will accelerate at a somewhat constant rate at full throttle up to a point lower than the top speed. Then the speed will slowly drift up to the specified top speed. The presence of a tailwind or going downhill will increase the top speed, as the engine is not rev limited, and the extra force from gravity or air augments the engine power.

Compare to rev limited top speed

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