Is Horsepower Everything or Is It All Torque?


Horsepower is a word which is thrown around a lot in the motoring industry. It is such a standard part of our daily conversations when it comes to cars that it is sometimes easy to forget the origins of the term. In the 1800’s, cars were not invented yet and instead people would travel around in a horse drawn carriage. The term literally meant horsepower. So you can really tell the difference between the power of 4 horses drawing a carriage and the hundreds our cars can achieve today.

It is a measurement which equates to 33,000 foot pounds of energy each minute. We don’t need to know the scientific bits about horsepower though to see how it affects our car engines. Engines were invented to do the work that horses used to do, which is why the term is used to measure the effectiveness and power of the engine. It is a constant unit of measurement which can tell us a lot about the power of the vehicle we have and the work it is able to do. However, is horsepower really everything?

You’ll know that the higher the horsepower in a car, the better the acceleration. Acceleration has always been seen as a crucial factor when sorting the Punto from the Ferrari. The speed a car can reach and how fast is one which we all want to increase to feed our childhood wishes. However, it is not only horsepower which affects the way a car will perform overall

If you look at two cars: both with the same horsepower but one is bigger than the other, you will see that the smaller car is quicker due to less weight pulling it down to the ground.

Torque is a factor which measures the twisting force of the car. The torque of the vehicle can tell you how well it is suited to towing and how fast it can accelerate from stationary. Torque compliments horsepower perfectly and is the ideal way to tell how well a car will perform. If both the horsepower and torque are high, the car is better.

Sometimes, however, cars with lower horsepower can be advantageous. It seems like a contradiction but actually in some cases less is indeed more. Small cars don’t need to have a high horsepower because they are lightweight which means they will be fast anyway, and small cars are often cheaper, more cost effective to run, and safer than larger ones.

Of course, we wouldn’t blame you if you rather look at Audi offers from than settle for a mini: but all the same, it depends on the type of lifestyle you lead and how fast you want to drive (all within the speed limit, of course).

Horsepower is an important factor for anyone who wants to purchase a car, however, it is important to remember that there are other factors that can affect the performance too. Try out a few different types of engine, different sizes, and different torque levels until you find the vehicle which fits your standards.


Is Horsepower Everything or Is It All Torque?
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