What does engine torque mean in a car?

In essence, torque is the pulling power of an engine, the force that’s needed to get a car in motion, and keep it going. Diesel engines tend to produce more torque than petrol engines at lower RPM, so they’re very useful for getting larger, heavier cars going from a standing start. 

Officially, torque is defined as the rotational force of a car’s engine and describes the amount of work that an engine can exert. It is expressed in pound-feet (lb-ft) or Newton meters (Nm), rather than how much power can be delivered – which is expressed in horsepower).

Related Jargon

What does brake horsepower (BHP) mean in a car?

Brake horsepower (BHP) is a measurement of how much power a car engine produces.

What does PS mean in car terms?

PS (short for Pferdestärke - Horse Strength in German) is how the power produced by an engine is measured and is defined as metric horsepower. 

What exactly does horsepower refer to in a car?

Horsepower is how the power produced by an engine is measured.

What does rpm mean in a car?

RPM stands for revolutions per minute and is a measure of how fast the engine is spinning.

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