In the middle of a piece of automotive copy the Lump is often found: the engine performance figures. I really don’t care for it much and it’s time it retired.
Typically the worst case is when a model is revised to be even more “ultimate”. As your eyes wander across the lines you stumble across it like a hiker in a mire: “The unit develops 178 bhp, up 23 bhp from before, at 6500 rpm, 450 lower than the outgoing model, and produces 194 lb fb of torque, 23 lb ft extra”. I find this incredibly unpalatable.
It’s a line requiring a good edit and some interpretation to make it meaningful. The best automotive writing lets you in on the meaning of the changes rather than assuming you are an engine developer used to scanning lines of raw numbers. The work involved in writing clearly is to
say things in a new way and to be brief (where possible) and clear. Space limitations can work against long-form prose but then you need to ask yourself, does the item need to force two engines’ characteristics into one line? So, to be polite to the reader something like this could be used: The revised engine allows you to access the increased torque earlier in the rev range. With 23 lb more torque, the car accelerates faster than the outgoing model, or allows less effort for the same engine speed. That’s what I think the lump is there to tell us. Then put the numbers in a box, safely out of the way.