We can’t all be car experts. That’s why people hire knowledgeable mechanics and rely on industry professionals to explain the complicated jargon to them. Active suspension, cam profile, locking differential –these terms might not mean much to you, but to us in the industry they tell us a lot about what a car is made for and how well it will perform.
By no means do you have to know all the auto terminology out there in order to get your hands on a high performing vehicle, but there are at least two terms that it helps to be familiar with—particularly when buying a truck: horsepower and torque.
Horsepower vs. Torque
The debate over horsepower vs. torque has been going on for decades now. Horsepower enthusiasts love the high acceleration they get from their car while shooting down the interstate, while torque fans would never give up the strong low-end pull that a big engine provides.
The power produced by an engine is called its horsepower. For cars, horsepower translates into speed. Therefore, if you want to go faster, you need more horsepower; slower, less horsepower.
Torque, on the other hand, can be viewed as the “strength” of a vehicle. It’s the force that rockets a sports car from 0-60 in seconds and pushes you back in the seat. For big trucks, torque is also what enables a vehicle to haul heavy loads.
One helpful way to understand the difference between horsepower and torque is by twisting off the cap of a new jam jar. By using all your strength to open the jar, you are applying torque—regardless of whether or not the cap comes off (they can be tough to open sometimes!). Horsepower, however, only exists with movement. So you need torque to loosen the lid first, and then you can apply horsepower with your hand by spinning the lid off quickly.
Ultimately, your choice of horsepower vs. torque isn’t black and white. Both are important to have in a vehicle and all modern cars and trucks contain a bit of each.
Instead, what you must decide is whether you want a vehicle that has greater horsepower or higher torque. Which is better? It all really depends on how you intend to use the vehicle and what you want.
Take a closer look at horsepower and torque by visiting our Knowledge Center or feel free to call one of our friendly automotive experts at (800) 886-2701 with any questions you have.
At Bryant Motors, we sell the best new and used vehicles in all shapes, sizes and features. Whether you are looking for a high horsepower sports car or a heavy duty truck with a powerful torque capability, start your search with us. Come by and see us at our location serving Sedalia, Marshall and surrounding areas!