a 500 horsepower Corvette

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NewAmerica

Banned
Mandarin
Does "a 500 horsepower Corvette" here refer to a very powerful car engine? Because it rides on a jalopy.

Thanks in advance

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And rationally we know that all cars travel at the same speed on our roads. How then can we rationally explain the need to purchase a 500 horsepower Corvette, when it will ride the bumper of a jalopy in traffic, but cost 10 times as much? Marketing skillfully manipulates emotion—tapping into how we feel—to nudge our purchasing decisions.

-Scientific American

Source
 
  • Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    To ride someone's bumper is to follow behind them very closely. The new powerful sports car will be driving very close behind a jalopy. There are two cars in the sentence, not one.
    A fast car does you little good because you are always in traffic behind slow cars.
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    Yes 500HP is very powerful. However, it doesn’t ride “on a jalopy” it “rides the bumper” - i.e. it can go no faster than the bumper of the jalopy in front of it on the road - as in “bumper to bumper traffic” means there’s litte space between the cars because they are all stopped or going slowly.
     

    NewAmerica

    Banned
    Mandarin
    :thumbsup::idea:

    I wonder what "ride" exactly means there. You ride a horse, you clearly not ride a bumper, which is simply close to your car.
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    It is a metaphorical exaggeration - a hyperbole. You are so close that it is as if you are sitting on their bumper and riding on their car instead of driving your own car.
     
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