Date: Mon, 17 Dec 2001 12:54:44 +0000 (UTC)
From: H. <>
Subject: Re: Torque and Power

Curious Pete, In a nutshell, bhp gets you off the line quickly, whilst torque helps you progress more quickly from there. Now just let me elucidate a little before I get flamed for such an oversimplification! In essence, thinking of real-world driving, the more bhp, the quicker your o-60 straight line time is. But put a pile of people in the car, or decellerate to turn a corner, and you're stuffed! With a decent torque figure, the car will haul itself along far more readily - thus you don't have to change down so often to get the speed back on the car - usually you will find cars with higher torque figures are quicker 50-70mph that their less-torque-more-bhp cousins. This makes them far more relaxing to drive - you're not having to change gear every five minutes just to keep going, and for overtaking, more often than not all it needs is a squeeze on the go pedal, and you're off! One classic and rather embaressing example of this is the Saab Viggen (ignoring all it's other failings) - when the Viggen came out, with only 230bhp it could out accellerate a Porsche 50-70..... all thanks to it's huge mound of torque. The BMW 530 and 330, using their new Diesel engine, manage to post ridiculously quick 0-60 for an average diesel, once again helped by the fact that while they dont have too much bhp, they have plenty of torque. So to sum up, the more torque, the beter for easier, faster driving, and moreover, the lower that torque is in the rev range, the better. - in most Saab's for example, maximum torque is somewhere between 1900-3600 revs - fairly low down, rather like diesels. When you see a car with maximum torque quoted up somewhere like 6000-7000 revs, then you can start to panic - that car is may be quick, but it is going to have to be thrashed to get it to do so - low down torque makes for effortless progress.......... Hope this satisfies your curiosity, Helpful H.

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