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Question What makes a car faster, torque or horsepower?


Putting the math aside, here are two things to help you differentiate Torque and Horsepower as they apply to engines in vehicles.
Horsepower gives you an idea of the maximum velocity of a vehicle, Torque tells you how quickly it can get to that velocity.
Horsepower tells you how quickly an engine can covert gasoline into rotational energy, Torque is how efficiently that can happen.
In a nutshell, speed is to Horsepower as fuel economy is to Torque.
Part of the problem of the initial question is the interpretation of the word “Faster”. Does faster mean a greater maximum velocity or a greater maximum acceleration. Same with the word “Quicker”. So the initial question could be asked: “What makes a car have a greater maximum velocity? “ That would be Horsepower. If it was: “What makes a car have a greater maximum acceleration?” That would be Torque.