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Old 11-08-2008, 07:02 PM   #1
AhmadHasib
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Difference between Torque and Horse Power?

I've been looking over the web for quite a few days and most of the information seems to be quite difficult to paint a picture with. I'm trying to get a simple idea of what torque and horse power incorporate into the performance of a vehicle. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong but after days of reading, this is what I can conclude in simple terms:

Horse Power gives you your top speed
Torque tells you how fast you will get to your top speed.

Say all things are constant, Identical cars with Identical body weights, etc.

If one Car A had 100hp and 80tq, and Car B had 100hp and 120tq,, then BOTH cars will reach the exact same top speed at one a point if they have an endless straight road. But because Car B has more TORQUE than car A, car B will read that Top Speed faster.

Now lets say Car A had 80HP and 100TQ, and Car B had 100HP AND 100TQ, if both cars were to race next to eachother, then both cars would be neck and neck the ENTIRE way, until the motor in Car A started "used up" all its horse power and could not go any faster, it would then stick at its top speed while Car B would pass Car A until Car B reached its top speed (which would be faster than Car A since it has more HP).

So in general, Torque gives you the PUSH when you hit the accelerator, and Horsepower gives you the speed you can reach?

Am I on the right page? Someone correct me if I am off with this idea.
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Old 11-08-2008, 07:08 PM   #2
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torque is what moves the vehicle, its what you feel

horsepower does have to do more with higher rpm power, not necessarily top speed though

without torque, horsepower is just for bragging rights, imo
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Old 11-08-2008, 07:11 PM   #3
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horsepower is just a number. torque is a measure of force. horsepower is derived from torque and engine speed, RPMs. HP means NOTHING without torque.
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Old 11-08-2008, 07:11 PM   #4
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Yeah, you are right.

Torque is a measured value. They use a machine to provide resistance to the engine output and measure how fast it can accelerate a measured load.

Horsepower is a calculation based on torque and RPM and is really kinda useless, except it gives a comparison that gives an overall feel of how an engine performs.
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Old 11-08-2008, 07:14 PM   #5
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horsepower = (torque×RPM) / 5252 that is your formula for horsepower. see why i say horsepower is just a number?
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Old 11-08-2008, 07:16 PM   #6
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Nice, Squanto. Therefore his question "If one Car A had 100hp and 80tq, and Car B had 100hp and 120tq,, then BOTH cars will reach the exact same top speed at one a point if they have an endless straight road. But because Car B has more TORQUE than car A, car B will read that Top Speed faster" is not valid unless the lessor car is limited by RPM.

-Curt

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Old 11-08-2008, 07:16 PM   #7
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top speed has to do with how hard the engine can turn the wheel, and how much resistance there is from wind, friction, etc.
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Old 11-08-2008, 07:20 PM   #8
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think of it like this ~ on your bike, when you are cruising at 30 and punch the gas, the initial 'push' is the torque number. when you stay into it, and you feel the power gain near the redline, that's the hp number.
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Old 11-08-2008, 07:26 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxgs View Post
Nice, Squanto. Therefore his question "If one Car A had 100hp and 80tq, and Car B had 100hp and 120tq,, then BOTH cars will reach the exact same top speed at one a point if they have an endless straight road. But because Car B has more TORQUE than car A, car B will read that Top Speed faster" is not valid unless the lessor car is limited by RPM.

-Curt
yes, but there would be other factors such as more horsepower and the same torque means that the engine MUST make the torque at a higher RPM. because of that fact, you have to consider the added drag from the bearings, oil pump, water pump, etc because of the higher engine speed to reach the peak torque. so the one with lower HP would theoretically win

Last edited by Squanto84; 11-08-2008 at 07:29 PM.
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Old 11-08-2008, 07:27 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxgs View Post
Nice, Squanto. Therefore his question "If one Car A had 100hp and 80tq, and Car B had 100hp and 120tq,, then BOTH cars will reach the exact same top speed at one a point if they have an endless straight road. But because Car B has more TORQUE than car A, car B will read that Top Speed faster" is not valid unless the lessor car is limited by RPM.

-Curt
That's correct. Since car B has more torque you could assume it will be able to overcome the air resistance and achieve a higher speed, that is if both cars were the same otherwise.

The thought that HP is about top speed and TQ is about acceleration is just a convenient way to illustrate the difference.
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Old 11-08-2008, 07:32 PM   #11
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sorry about that confusing reply. thought we were talking about the two cars with same torque and diff hp. HAHA that's what i get for not reading!
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Old 11-08-2008, 07:34 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bumblebee View Post
That's correct. Since car B has more torque you could assume it will be able to overcome the air resistance and achieve a higher speed, that is if both cars were the same otherwise.

The thought that HP is about top speed and TQ is about acceleration is just a convenient way to illustrate the difference.
agree completely
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Old 11-09-2008, 04:30 PM   #13
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thanks for the help guys
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Old 11-09-2008, 04:37 PM   #14
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"Torque wins races. Horsepower sells cars." - Carroll Shelby
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Old 11-09-2008, 04:58 PM   #15
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yo

easy as this torque gets you going hp keeps you going..
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Old 11-10-2008, 08:35 AM   #16
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Quote:
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yo

easy as this torque gets you going hp keeps you going..

not so much
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Old 11-10-2008, 09:08 AM   #17
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torque is an actual scientific measure of rotational force.

Horsepower is an antiquated and inconsistently defined derived number, coming from some arbitrary guesstimates and a nice equation. The way I have had the best time understanding horsepower is it is the rate at which torque is produced. So a high torque low horsepower engine may be good for moving heavy weights, but not do as well at rapid acceleration, while a low torque high horsepower engine may do well at rapid acceleration, but poorly at hauling heavy weight.
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Old 11-10-2008, 09:11 AM   #18
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I say get as much of both as you can. Think Top fuel...
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Old 11-10-2008, 09:44 AM   #19
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Nevermind.
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Old 11-10-2008, 10:02 AM   #20
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Torque is the force you feel and the thrust produced.
HP is the ability to gain RMP.
The engine can have power to push you along (thrust) and gain RPM (speed) fast with higher HP and torque rating.
High torque low HP= slow reving with much force (F-250 Diesel truck)
High HP and low torque= quick reving without force (Nissan Maxima)
Good balance= Mustang GT or Suzuki Gixxa
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