Re: Let's Discuss the Romulan Bird of Prey!
I am increasingly of the opinion that the Romulan BoP does in fact have warp engines, but, rather than an anti-matter reactor, they have a fusion reactor, very much like the Federation uses for Impulse engines. So, in this case, Scotty's line refers to their reactor that generates far less electricity than Kirk's does. "Simple Impulse" in this case would be a colloquial expression that everyone would understand meant a powerful fusion reactor, not unlike their own impulse engine reactors, but far inferior to the M/AM reactors the Enterprise enjoys.
That makes sense. It also allows for the possibility that the Romulans would be able to upgrade their warp drive once they learned how to harness the power generated by a quantum singularity as seen in TNG.
"He clapped his captain—his friend—on the shoulder. Yes, this man was very much like James Kirk, in all the ways that mattered." --Christopher L. Bennett-- Star Trek: Mere Anarachy, The Darkness Drops Again