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What is horsepower and torque?

What is horsepower and torque?

Tata Motors | Dec 3, 2018 5:06 am
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Very often we see truck companies advertise and boast about the massive horsepower and torque value of their vehicles. Apart from the many features that distinguish one brand from the other, these two values play equally important roles while determining a purchase. So how can one explain these two terms that are often used interchangeably, to a layman?

Horsepower and torque are used to describe the power of any given Passenger Vehicle. And although they are often misinterpreted to be more or less the same, there is a stark difference between the two.

While one describes the ability of an engine to produce power, the other is nothing but the force that tends to cause the rotation.

What is the difference between horsepower and torque?

Horsepower is the power produced by an engine. It is the unit of measurement to quantify the amount of work that an engine is doing. While talking about vehicles, horsepower means continuous power. After the car picks up speed, horsepower keeps it there. More the horsepower, smoother the ride after acceleration.

Torque, on the other hand, is the rotations the engine makes around an axis. It can also be called as the 'strength' of the vehicle. Simply put, it is the force that takes your vehicle from 0-100 and pushes you back in your seat. It is also what powers big trucks hauling heavy loads into motion. The more torque an engine produces, the greater its ability to perform work. Torque is the force required to rotate an object.

Relationship between horsepower and torque

Horsepower and torque, both affect a truck's overall speed and performance. The greater the horsepower an engine produces, the higher the torque potential.

Although horsepower and torque are closely related, they perform completely different functions and do not have much in common. Torque is used to determine the horsepower since torque is easier to measure.

Look at it this way, a sports car is capable of producing high horsepower. But there is not a lot of work needed to push the car forward. So, less work is accomplished, leaving more power for the car to speed. However, for a truck with the same horsepower and torque, the truck cannot reach high speeds, but it definitely can tow lot of weight.

It is important to consider what your requirements from a vehicle are when you consider buying one. Only then will you be able to make a wise choice.


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