Automotive glossary starting with letter W

Weight-to-horsepower ratio

The weight to power ratio is the result of a vehicle's weight divided by the power its engine develops, thus enabling a measurement of performance.


Wheelbase is the distance between the front axle and the rear axle of a vehicle. Cars with a longer wheelbase are more stable at high speeds and provide better interior room, while cars with a shorter wheelbase have better city handling and are generally shorter.


A winch is an externally mounted mechanical device consisting of a cable spooled onto a drum. It is used to pull heavy or bulky objects or to retrieve a vehicle that is stuck in mud. The drum can be driven in a rotating motion by the engine itself, by hydraulic power or even electrically.

Windowbags (window airbags)

Like any other airbag, windowbags are designed to protect a vehicle's occupants in case of an accident. They are called windowbags because in the event of a side collision the occupants' heads are protected by the slim airbags which surround each lateral window within milliseconds of the crash.