Have you ever wonder what is fuss about horsepower and torque? Everyone who has gone through cars review or promotion certainly have. Let me shade some light on the less discussed topic on car market.
What is Torque ?
Torque is a rotating force produced by an engine’s crankshaft. The more torque an engine produces, the greater its ability to perform work. The measurement is the same as work, but slightly different. Since torque is a vector (acting in a certain direction), it’s quantified by the units pound-feet and newton-meters. Of course, there’s always an exception. In this case the distinction is static torque, the kind you apply with a wrench to tighten head bolts. To avoid confusion, the units for static torque are traditionally foot-pounds. Just to be contrary, SI sticks with newton-meters for both static and dynamic torque measurements.What is Horsepower ?
To unravel the mystery of engine power measurement we travel back to 18th Century Scotland and inventor James Watt. He was trying to compare the power of horses to the power of steam engines that were gradually replacing them as a guide to the work a steam engine could do. Here is where Horsepower (hp) was born! After many experiments, James Watt calculated 1 Horse Power was the equivalent of 1 horse lifting 33,000 pounds overs 1 foot in 1 minute on the surface of the Earth. In a car, hp describes the total amount of power an engine can produce. In this way, the higher the hp the more power the car has and so the faster the top speed.
What is Brake Horsepower (bhp) ?
However, Brake Horsepower (bhp) is often used as a more realistic measurement of power. This is because bhp considers the power left after other car parts are working such as the gearbox, alternator, and water pump as well as any loss of power due to friction.