What's The Difference Between Horsepower & Torque?
Why Is Peak Acceleration At Peak Power? https://youtu.be/cb6rIZfCuHI
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Which is better, horsepower or torque? Two words that are often stated in the car community, but often misunderstood. This video seeks to clarify the difference between the two, without silly analogies like "horsepower is how fast you hit the wall, torque is how far you take it with you" (which, by the way, is highly inaccurate).
Torque is a force acting at a radius, while horsepower simply incorporates time into the equation. This video will discuss the differences, how each applies to internal combustion engines, how they relate, what peak torque and peak horsepower actually mean, and how to analyze torque and horsepower curves. Finally, what's more important for acceleration, a car with lots of power, or lots of torque?
Let's get technical. With the context of an engine: Power = Torque x Angular Velocity. In imperial units, this translates to Horsepower = Torque x RPM / 5252.
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You obviously never saw Rod Millen thrashing all those mega powered v8 American pickups with his undersized underpowered v6 ....Rod proved over and over that bigger power is not faster than smaller power
I know torque makes for an "easier" transmission consideration .. when perfect gearing is impractical .. but Torque I always think of are raw "work" .. horsepower I think of as raw "output". So brute vs fast .. elephant vs hare? Horsepower that doesn't blow up the gearing is nice but Torques is almost a gearing in itself as you can manipulate it in a manner to have it "act as gearing" more easily. I know this because Dodge saved $$$ on the Neon by using a OLD 3 speed transmission from actually the Omni/Horizon cars (it was cheap but durable they said) .. they lowered the horsepower on the engine to boost the torque as they said the engine torque made up for the lack of gears. So explain how you can "loss horsepower" but gain torque .. how it is a trade off on grunt vs output. An interesting conversation as your excellent explanation was more about speed over distance being what it is all about .. so run at optimum rpm and get it to the ground without affecting the rpm.
More torque produces higher HP with with lower amount of RPM. For example we can compare a motorcycle (Yamaha YZF R6 600CC) with 42ft-lb of torque will produce 8HP when idling at 1000RPM, if you rev the bike up to 2000RPM then it'll make 16HP. Compare this to a diesel truck motor with 1850 lb-ft torque, it'll make 352HP with the same amount of revs @ 1000RPM.
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Biggest pet peeve of mine; lb-ft is really pronounced "foot pounds". NOT POUND FEET. Dont understand how so many car enthusiast get this wrong. He lost a little credibility from me but still a great video 👍
2018 Honda Accord Touring has 252HP and 273 lb- ft torque while 2018 Camry XSE has 301HP and 267 lb-ft torque so it means Camry is faster than Accord, isn't it ??? I kinda lost in middle of this video... CAN YOU HELP ME EXPLAIN THAT THEORY THROUGH MY EXAMPLE PLEASE?? I really appreciate
In the example of 200hp/100lb-ft car vs 100hp/200lb-ft car, what if the 100hp/200lb-ft car was given a transmission that produces more development with taller gears than the 200hp/100lb-ft car? Would that enable the car with lower hp to achieve a higher top speed with less shifting?
The confusion comes from the inclusion of gears in the simplified equation. Look at tractors and their high torque and low hp engines. Look at why hot-rodders turbocharge their cars. Early HP doesn't necessarily translate into quicker acceleration, but early and consistent torque does. Work performed is such a simple statement.
Using your long handled wrench as an example - you get more torque with it. Make one revolution every minute. Now every 30 seconds. Now every 10 seconds. Getting tired? Now every 1 second - generating the same torque but doing more work - hence higher horsepower. Now if you add gears, you can magnify your torque and your horsepower as you see fit, carefully trying to find the right balance with your human engine. If you add a 10 foot extension to your wrench, you'll get super high torque, but very little horsepower as its a lot of work to go one revolution. If you shorten it, it will be harder to get up to speed, but you can spin it much faster. This is why we have multiple gears; so we can have usable torque and HP.
Now if Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson takes over for you and does the turning, he can generate more torque than you. He may not be able to spin it much faster, but when you factor in gears, his torque will spin a gear faster, doing more work and hence more horsepower.
I hope I didn't mess up too bad with that explanation. And we haven't even got to engine torque vs torque at wheels....
Idk man. It's very well explained but I don't think it explains it dead on. Like the part where he got the longer wrench, it increases torque right? So, according to that logic, if I wanna increase torque in my vehicle, all I gotta do is get longer connecting rods, right? Well, how come you can get higher torque (and hp) with some simple bolt ons? Aftermarket intake, exhaust, tuning, etc, without even touching the engine block. Then you got some small engines producing high hp and torque figures (i.e. motorcycles) compared to some car engines. Look at the older engines. You had some BIG 7.0 engines only producing like 200 hp and 240 ft-lbs torque.
This is just something that's difficult to explain.
Good video, thanks. How about a video comparing torque and power of internal combustion and electric powered vehicles? To keep it simple, eg. a bicycle with a bolt-on two-stroke engine and a bicycle with an electric motor.
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In the past I drove rallies with a 1981 Opel Ascona 2.0E. At 1st I used the original engine bottom block. To keep the car in the 2.0 class we used the original crankshaft and used BMW piston rods, which are 7 mm longer and Opel Omega pistons.(The pistonpen is 7mm(0.276 of an inch) higher in the piston. This also gives more torque in the lower rpm's without changing the stroke.
No matter how obvious the difference between power and torque is, no matter how basic and simple the explanation, most people will still have no idea whatsoever and continue to come out with BS cliches about how fast you hit a wall and how far you push it.
As silly as it sounds it's true. Like in tractor pulls. Torque is how far you pull the sled. Horsepower is how fast you got it there. One of the foremost crank maker-engine builder (RIP Gilley) used the wall analogy. If it was good enough for him, it's good enough for me.
You just need to lighten up, instead of being so full of yourself. 😡
I don't know if anyone has brought this up but I think it would aid the explanation to imagine a fictitious car where the wheels are attached directly on the crankshaft and the wheel radius is exactly the same as the distance between the centre of the crankshaft axis and the centre of the crank pin axis. Then, it follows naturally that distance and force in the Torque = distance*force and Power = distance*force*rpm equations are the same in both equations. I think that would help bridge the mental leap required by the viewer.
faster is not greater HP as you showed in your example . HP can be defined as the rate of Change of KE if the KE doesnt change, no hp is required..... Hp is only required to keep the speed constant. (aero drag and friction are the factors). Now, its not the longer lever of the higher HP car, (to use your analogy) its the greater force that a higher hp engine will make . in fact, its quite the opposite. the higher reving, lower hp cars use the longer "levers". but if the levers are the same, and the only change is the HP, then all that means is that the force is greater at the same speed. (or RPM)
I'm a mechanical engineer student. I live this video cause it made me understand better the difference.
Will you mind explaining to me why when you are going up to a great hill people say you should go on "reverse" because apparently it's the strongest torque.
Thanks and keep the good work up.
Oval track example: In long sweeping turns, the car isn't going to lose many RPMs, it doesn't need the torque to pull it out of the turns. It needs the HP to maintain speed and some acceleration to make up for a slight RPM drop.
On a track with tight turns, with a big RPM drop, you need a lot of torque to pull it up off the turns. Then hit max HP at max RPMs just as you are ready to let off for the next turn.
In other words keeping the engine in it's torque range while at racing speed. The camshaft and the other parts of the valve train are most responsible for where the torque range is for the engine.
Internal combustion engines can only supply torque once they have reached a certain rpm: a steam engine can apply maximum torque at zero rpm - and so can an electric engine - hence why diesel locomotives use electric transmission.
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