what is the true importance of torque?


Asked by Sep 15, 2009 at 09:21 AM

Question type: Car Customization

The only thing I still can't understand is the true importance of torque.I mean I know the definition of torque and all but I still can't  
satisfactorily explain the importance of torque to anyone who asks me about it.Could you please clarify this topic for me.

8 Answers


Torque is the force your car puts out. In literal terms it's how hard a car can push on the pavement. Force=mass*acceleration, the higher the torque, the faster the acceleration. That's about as straight forward as it gets

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Cheers mate,thanks for that!!

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

definitely! i'm surprised it was answered so soon. haha i always tune for torque, since it's usually horsepower that likes to break traction.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

riddle me this you drive ahonda dont you

1 of 1 people found this helpful.


1 of 1 people found this helpful.

ok i understand that torque pretty much makes u accelerate faster but like i've been looking at motorcycles and well.....some go from 16ft/pds to how ever high they go.....so i guess my question is this...wat is a good amount of torque? 16 ft/pds enough or wat?

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

torque is the turning force, tune for torque! horsepower is the ability to do work. its physics

5 of 5 people found this helpful.

Torque on your car's brochure is calculated from the crankshaft. Its turning force and is calculated the same way as moments though of course here it applies to an actual turning motion. The formula is force x distance from pivot which no doubt you've been taught in school. Momentum developed by long pistons like those in diesel engines will help to achieve higher torque. So as you can see torque is the raw calculation of power your car will develop and is what allows you to break inertia, throw you back in your seat and have your tires squealing. Obviously you're comparing it to horsepower so I'll explain. Horsepower is a little bit more abstract. By definition power is work done over time or work/time. It uses torque to calculate work done and then divides by time, therefore making it more more rpm dependent and is more of a calculated number than an actual present thing. Just think of horsepower as merely the end of an equation that we use to figure out how powerful a car is, but torque as the actual force present. But wait! you say. Doesnt torque seem to be rpm dependent as well? It changes with the power curve! Well its not that its rpm dependent, seeing as its equation has nothing to do with time. Its just due to mechanical efficiency. That's why the torque curve is an arc that reaches its peak at a relatively low rpm and dips down slowly after that. Higher rpm is not conducive to using torque efficiently. If you think about it you should be able to figure out why. Also I dont understand what people mean when they say they tune for torque since well, by increasing torque you proportionally increase horsepower anyway, which adds up to the same thing. The only way to manipulate the behaviour of how torque is being used is by messing with the mechanics like changing the weight of the flywheel or changing your gear ratios so that you'll maximise the use of your torque band. So anyway when you're looking at a car you're looking for a balance of peak torque and horsepower, and if you ever have a chance to dyno it, how long the peak lasts. I hope that was sufficient to answer your question. You're not the first to ask and I wish they had a sticky function so questions like that could be answered easily.

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