The Simple Difference Between Horsepower and Torque, and Why They Matter

Is Horsepower or Torque More Important

Some may argue whether horsepower or torque is more important, but in the end, it is the driving experience that matters for many drivers.

Is Horsepower or Torque More Important

If you have done even the slightest amount of research into new vehicles, you have likely noticed that the model’s list of specs will include measurements for horsepower and torque. But many will wonder what these measurements even mean. What is horsepower and what is torque, and is horsepower or torque more important when buying a new car?

What is horsepower?

Horsepower is a fun thing to think about, as it is simply a term created that describes how much power a horse has. But it isn’t just a measurement of work. It is also about how long it takes to do that work. refer to a dictionary, you may find horsepower defined as 550 foot-pounds per second, meaning that with one horsepower it would take one second to move 550 pounds a distance of one foot. Therefore, horsepower helps explain that amount of work that can be done in a given amount of time.

What is torque?

Torque on the other hand, is all about force, and you will see it measured in pound-feet, or lb.-ft. It is more specifically a measure of twisting force. The twisting force that gets created by the engine and delivered to the wheels . Torque is what gives you that initial jolt when you travel from a complete stop at a red light to pressing down on the accelerator when it turns green.

The discussion of horsepower and torque gets much more complicated than that, but we will keep it simple here. So, which matters more? Is horsepower or torque more important?

It’s a tough question to answer, as horsepower and torque really go hand in hand. Some may argue that torque is more important, while others will say that horsepower is all the matters. Both are relevant, and the importance of each will depend on your driving style or driving needs, meaning that it is the experience of driving the vehicle that will really matter most for individual drivers. Therefore, the best way to find out if a car has enough horsepower or torque for your driving needs is by trying it out for yourself. Schedule a test drive at Mazda of Lodi with any of our models or contact us to learn more.