What Does a Car’s Torque Mean?

dashboardThere are a lot of confusing terms when it comes to checking out new cars and reading through the specifications. While horsepower is pretty self-explanatory, torque is a widely referred to spec that not many drivers can define. Even more of a mystery is what torque actually does in a car. So, just what does a car’s torque mean? Let us DeVoe Buick GMC explain.

Putting it plain and simple, torque causes a car to accelerate. While the torque specification is a higher number than the torque on the wheels, it’s still a good indicator of how fast a car can accelerate.

There are a few things that can help a car accelerate other than torque. A lighter car and lower center-of-mass will obviously help.

We’ve defined what torque is but not how it effects the vehicle in reality. Take a truck like the GMC Sierra 1500, for example.

If you’ve ever read the specifications on a full-size pickup, odds are you noticed that the engines fall in the range of a V6 or V8 and may include a diesel option here and there. The reason for that size of an engine is simple: the larger the engine, the more torque it can produce.

An engine with high torque won’t be as effective without large wheels and tires, which is why trucks are usually so massive.