Difference Between Horsepower and Torque and Which Is More Important?

Difference Between Horsepower and Torque and Which Is More Important?

Horsepower and torque are two terms often (wrongly) used interchangeably. In our autos related blogs, we often write on these two both for cars and motorcycles. Though, we’ve never explained the difference between the two until now. 

This blog will help you understand the difference between the two and most importantly which number you should consider more important when buying a car or motorcycle.

Both, however, reflect a car’s engine’s power and perhaps this is why it is used interchangeably.

To simplify things in the beginning, horsepower and torque are two DIFFERENT things and therefore it’s important that you appreciate this difference. 

What is Horsepower (hp)?

An engine’s total power output is measured in horsepower. 

Try to understand it in this way: Imagine there’s a horse which weighs 550 lbs. One horsepower will be work done by this horse by moving one foot in one second.

How to Calculate Horsepower?  

The mathematical formula for calculating horsepower is H=T✕rpm. 

Let’s try to explain this in the simplest way possible: assume your car’s engine produces 200 lbs of force and moves at a speed of 2 feet per second. Its horsepower is 200✕2=400. 

What is RPM in a Car?

RPM or rotations/revolutions per minute is another term associated with horsepower and torque. What you need to know is that RPM is the measurement of how fast your engine is rotating while torque is a measurement of rotational force. 

What is Torque?

The turning ability of the engine is expressed in terms of torque. 

Still confused?

Post an Ad For Free

✓ Get Access to 30 Million Active Buyers

✓ Get the Best Possible Price

✓ Sell Your Car in less than 24 Hours

Horsepower and Torque Explained in Simplest Terms

When you press on the accelerator pedal, the force you feel pushing you back in the seat is torque, while the speed achieved at the end of that acceleration is called horsepower

As you can see both are concerned with the speed of the car and perhaps this is why they are often wrongly used interchangeably.

There are different units to measure horsepower and torque. For example, in Pakistan, we measure torque in Newton Metre (Nm), while in the US, the same is measured in pound-feet (lb-ft). However, horsepower is measured in foot-pound-second (ft-lb/s) all over the world. 

What’s More Important, HP or Torque?

Both are. Since you can’t have one without the other.

Just because the car you are about to buy has impressive hp and torque numbers doesn’t always mean it’s a fast car. If it’s a heavy car, it still wouldn’t be very fast. So the weight of the vehicle matters too. 

Simply put, if you are looking for an instant rush of adrenaline, then go for the torque, but if you want to win races, horsepower will get you beyond that finish line. 

Torque in EVs

Even those who do not own an electric car (yet), know that EVs are “torquey”. And this is despite the fact that they carry very heavy batteries. 

To put things in perspective and show how fast they are, look at Bugatti Veyron and Tesla Model S P90D. Tesla would go from 0 to 100 Km/h in 3.3 seconds, while Bugatti would do the same in 2.5 seconds. And there’s a price difference of about $1.9 million between the two with Tesla being cheaper. 

So, one of the many reasons why we often hear EVs are the future, is their cheaper price and very impressive torque stats. 

CC vs HP vs Torque 

Now that you know the difference between hp and torque, let’s throw in another term often used when talking about engines – cc. CC which stands for Cubic Capacity is the measurement of the volume of the engine or its size. Engine size, by the way, is the volume of air and fuel that can be pushed through a vehicle’s cylinders. Engine size is measured in cc. 

We hope you found this blog helpful in deciphering the difference between horsepower and torque and some other associated terms. Let us know if you found it easy to read and understand. 

You may also like to read:

Top 9 Fastest Cars in the World

Most commonly seen sports cars in Pakistan 

Download the OLX App Now!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *