What is Torque in Cars?

2023 Mercedes-AMG® SL Roadster

When you look at a car’s spec sheet, you’ll notice everything from top speed to towing capacity. And while those figures might be self-explanatory, what about torque? What is torque in cars and why is it so important for your performance and drives in South Riding? The team at Mercedes-Benz of Chantilly is here to shed some light on what does torque mean in a car and how it differs from horsepower. 

Torque Car Definition

So, what is torque in cars? The “torque” car definition is the twisting force generated by the engine at full power. Today’s cars and trucks generate around 100 to 400 lb-ft of torque, on average. When the pistons inside your engine move back and forth, they rotate the crankshaft. The energy from this rotation is called torque, and it is directed to the drivetrain and transmission to propel the car forward.

What is Considered “Good” Torque in a Car?

You know the torque car definition, but moving beyond that, what is considered good torque in a car? That depends on your vehicle. Smaller cars with non-turbocharged engines might have lower amounts of torque around 100 lb-ft, while bigger cars typically have in excess of 400 lb-ft. For example, a compact hatchback will have less torque than a pickup truck.

Higher torque vehicles have faster acceleration from low revs in high gear, and they require fewer gear changes as you travel Centerville. You’ll find that Mercedes-AMG® vehicles offer a tremendous amount of torque for quick acceleration.

Horsepower vs. Torque

Vehicle power is often given in terms of horsepower and torque, so how are the two different? We’ve broken it down into five main points:

  1. What They Measure: Torque measures the twisting force of the engine’s spinning crankshaft, while horsepower measures the power transferred from the engine to the wheels.
  2. How They Affect Acceleration: Torque gets the car into motion when you accelerate, while horsepower keeps your speed going in Ashburn.
  3. Towing: If towing is important to you, torque should be your main focus. Higher torque generally means greater towing performance. 
  4. Vehicle Performance: A combination of good horsepower and good torque is necessary for a well-balanced performance. Horsepower describes the speed of the engine, while torque describes the capabilities of the engine.
  5. Fuel-Efficiency: Vehicles with higher horsepower burn through fuel at a rapid clip, while torque tends to be more fuel efficient.

Learn More About Car Performance from Mercedes-Benz of Chantilly! 

Now you know what is torque in cars, but what if you still have questions? Contact us at Mercedes-Benz of Chantilly to continue your research, or just stop by our Chantilly showroom. Our team would be happy to chat with you about car specs, and we can get you behind the wheel of a new model


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