Torque Vs. Horsepower

What’s the difference between Torque and Horsepower? Which one should I be focusing on regarding the acceleration of my car?  These are all frequently asked questions regarding sports cars, especially among first time buyers.  While both horsepower and torque are important in your vehicle, what they measure and what they do are different.  Let’s start with horsepower.  Horsepower is the total output of your car’s engine and in the weight aspect is the best measurement of your car’s top speed.  Torque on the other hand is the measurement in your car’s turning ability and how fast it can accelerate.  

For those of you shopping for a car that can accelerate fast you need to be looking at the amount of torque the car has.  Torque is basically the force behind your car’s acceleration.  While having a car with a lot of torque has it’s upside, it can also be a dangerous feature if not driven correctly.  When there is limited traction on a road, think ice, dirt or gravel, having a higher torque in your car can cause it to spin out and have a more complicated time setting in motion from a stand still.  It can also cause you to lose control more easily on a road with less traction.  

Horsepower on the other pretty much measures the amount of weight compared to the fastest acceleration speed.  If you want a car to move from idling to motion fast the power of the engine needs to be able to pull the weight of the car.  The faster it can pull the weight the faster you accelerate.  Having a engine with a lot of horsepower gives you a very strong car.  Unlike torque when roads have less traction having a lot of horsepower will not cause you to spin out so easily.

   In the end both the measurement of torque and horsepower factor into buying a new car.  As I have suggested before it is always good to do your research into things before you purchase them.  From engines, to tires, and all things in between.  Sports cars are no joke when it comes to speed, educating yourself on the effects of these powerful machines will make for a much more safe and enjoyable drive!

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