What Does Torque Mean?

If you like to know all the specifications of the latest cars, then a term you’ve seen hundreds of times is torque, usually in the form of pound-feet (lb-ft). But what does torque mean? Essentially, torque is the amount of turning power an engine has.

Let’s take the Ford Fusion as a starting example. Its 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine delivers 175 lb-ft of torque at 4,500 RPMs. This means, if you had a one-foot long wrench and applied 175 pounds of pressure, you would get 175 lb-ft of torque. This force is what causes a vehicle to accelerate.

Obviously different types of engines produce different amounts of torque. Diesel engines have some of the best torque ratings, which is essential for pulling power while towing. The 6.7-liter Power Stroke Turbo Diesel V8 in the Ford Super Duty delivers best-in-class torque with 925 lb-ft of torque at 1,800 RPMs.

2016 Ford Super Duty

2016 Ford Super Duty

Torque is a car’s ability to move at lower speeds. With this amount of available power at a lower engine speed, drivers can achieve ideal towing abilities. Whereas in the Fusion, the engine has to turning a lot faster to reach the maximum available torque rating.

Horsepower works directly with torque to deliver speed at higher engine power.