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What is Torque in Cars?

Red Ferrari 812 Superfast parked

Torque is force applied through a lever. In cars, torque refers to the rotational force generated by an engine. Pistons create torque as they move on the crankshaft. The drivetrain and transmission push this force out to the wheels. Torque is the power used to drive uphill or tow weight. Torque is largely responsible for how quickly a vehicle can accelerate. 

When you press the accelerator, a high-torque engine feels responsive. Torque provides grip and traction on the streets of Chicago. Performance drivers feel a lack of torque and understand its importance relative to horsepower

Torque vs Horsepower: What’s the Difference?

Torque describes the rotational force an engine can produce. Horsepower describes how quickly the engine can produce that force. Torque is pulling power, horsepower is speed. Because these forces are different, they’re measured in different ways.

How are Horsepower and Torque Measured?

Torque is measured in pound-feet. A pound-foot is a unit of measure created by applying one pound of force to a one-foot-long lever. Torque can also be measured in newton meters by the same principle. A newton is an international unit of measurement for force. Newton meters represent force applied to a one-meter lever.

Horsepower is the force needed to lift 550 pounds one foot in one second. The term was coined to provide context for the power of steam railroad engines. One horsepower is the force it takes one horse to pull 150 pounds at 2.5 mph.

Feel the Power of Torque at Continental AutoSports Ferrari! 

Nothing compares to the feeling of driving a responsive, high-torque car. Schedule a test drive today to experience the connection between torque and horsepower for yourself. Browse our inventory of high-end luxury vehicles and find the perfect high-torque driving experience today!


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