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Torque vs. Horsepower Explained In Detail

The word torque and horsepower in cars may sound like jargons. However, they are important and one needs to understand these concepts. You cannot fully understand how your car performs without getting to know all about the torque and horsepower. Other than the technical meaning and implication, it is mandatory that every driver knows the benefits of these performance issues and how they compare to each other. With these understanding, you will be able to comprehend the performance of your car and be able to make the necessary assessment when buying a car or when you are running your vehicle in torque vs horsepower in cars.

What is Torque?

Torque technically is a vector force. It is calculated as a force that takes a vectored orientation and is exerted in a straight line. Vector is force that has magnitude and direction. You may have heard of torque in bolts and nuts when they are tightened. It is the same as defined above. The same applies to the engine. Torque is actually a rotation around an axis. A simple way of defining torque is that it is twisting force.

If you are to imagine what torque, then consider a long shaft say a car’s axle, and then consider it being in a room that is suspended within the air with a very heavy weight at one end. Imagine the amount of force that would be required to move the shaft at an angle. That is torque. In motor vehicle, torque determines how fast a particular speed can be reached by influencing the force that is required for the force on the engine to move the axle to rotate the wheels. The greater the torque the much faster acceleration and it is measured in rotations per minute (RPM).

What is Horsepower?

Horsepower can be translated to imply the power of an engine. The horsepower is a measure of power and power is the rate of doing work. In physics work is force multiplied by distance. If you get to compute the rate of doing this work by diving it by one second, the unit you get is computed in horsepower. One horsepower means the power that is required to move 550 pounds one foot in one second. One horsepower can also be defined to be the power that is needed to move 33,000 pounds a foot in one minute.

When considering car engines, the engine horsepower is measured using a dynamometer. The dynamometer is placed as a break that resists the power and in effect measures the level of power. The dynamometer measures the power released in multiples of 550 pounds moved one foot within one second.


Without a doubt, horsepower is a key element in selling a car, and design and price are performance. Over decades, horsepower has become a key factor in determining who is better than whom. The one with the most power will be the winner. That’s all there is to it.

Unfortunately, the way to measure a vehicle’s power is not universal. Countries and brands use different ways to calculate horsepower, so the glossary changes for everyone. To learn more about horsepower and torque check out this website, they provide automotive tips and great product reviews.

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