What is Torque in Cars?

2022 Mercedes-Benz CLS Coupe Side Exterior


You may have seen specs like “top speed” and “0-60 mph acceleration” on specs sheets, but what is “torque” in cars? Torque is a measurement of force to help you determine how powerful and capable a vehicle is. What is considered “good” torque and how does it differ from horsepower? Let’s dive deeper into the torque car definition with Mercedes-Benz of Tysons Corner and explain why it’s such an important component of your next car.

Torque Car Definition

Let’s start with the definition of torque. Torque, like horsepower, is created in the engine. The pistons move back and forth on the crankshaft, which creates a rotating or twisting force. This force is known as torque, and it is routed to the wheels through the drivetrain and transmission. Today’s cars and trucks generate around 100 to 400 lb-ft of torque on average.

What is Considered “Good” Torque in a Car?

What’s considered “good” torque in a car will vary depending on your needs. A smaller gas engine without a turbocharger will produce lower amounts of torque, while larger turbo engines will typically have more torque. The more torque your engine can produce, the more capable it is on the Mclean roads. Higher torque is also associated with greater fuel efficiency.

Horsepower vs. Torque

What is torque in cars compared to horsepower? Let’s explore the similarities and differences below:

  1. What They Measure: Torque is a measurement of rotational force of the crankshaft, while horsepower measures the power sent from the wheels to the engine.
  2. How They Affect Acceleration: Torque gets your car moving as you accelerate, while horsepower maintains the speed once you’re in motion.
  3. Towing: If you need to do a lot of towing around Great Falls, torque is the most important factor. Torque helps move the vehicle from a stop, which is crucial when towing heavy loads.
  4. Vehicle Performance: Horsepower and torque are both necessary for a powerful engine. Your horsepower gives a snapshot of the engine’s speed and power, but the torque showcases its capabilities. 
  5. Fuel-Efficiency: High-horsepower engines tend to burn through fuel quickly, while engines with more low-end torque tend to be more fuel-efficient on average. 

Learn More About Cars at Mercedes-Benz of Tysons Corner! 

Whether you want to know the specs of a new car or you want to experience high torque on a test drive, visit Mercedes-Benz of Tysons Corner in Vienna to get started! We’re only a short drive from Chantilly, and we’d love to answer all your automotive questions. Contact us today to learn more about other performance features, like Mercedes-Benz 4MATIC®® and AMG®.


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