"Horsepower sells cars, torque wins races."
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Old November 16th, 2008, 06:52 PM   9 links from elsewhere to this Post. Click to view. #1
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"Horsepower sells cars, torque wins races."


I was reading this explanation of torque in relation to horsepower. But what do you think? I believe carroll shelby is correct in that torque wins races because if you have more torque, you can get off the line faster.
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Old December 20th, 2008, 01:23 PM   #2
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torque is not just "off the line". It directly affects the car's ability to accelerate throughout the entire rpm curve. You car will and can only accellerate as quickly as your torque curve. Your car accelerates fastest at it's torque peak. If your torque peak is flat then it will give you a great feeling in your bottom throughout the RPM range.

Car's are sold off of the "peak HP" rating which may just be a peak. Avg over the whole rpm range is what wins races.

HP = (TQ*RPM) / 5252

Plug some values in and you can see that although your HP may be low due to low rpm, that your torque can still be high.

This is why the ricers have to get up in the RPM's before they have any real power becuase their torque numbers are low.
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Old December 22nd, 2008, 10:34 AM   #3
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Shelby's point was that what you need is a good amount of torque across a wide RPM range; without this you can downshift and fall into an RPM band where the engine isn't pulling that hard. An engine with good peak HP in a narrow band may not make the same total amount of power in the range from one shift to another. You can just as easily fall into the trap of obsessing about peak torque as you can about peak HP.
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Old December 23rd, 2008, 10:23 AM   #4
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Old October 2nd, 2009, 08:39 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Matt Cramer View Post
Shelby's point was that what you need is a good amount of torque across a wide RPM range; without this you can downshift and fall into an RPM band where the engine isn't pulling that hard. .
Does anybody know if "horsepowers sells cars, torque wins races" actually is a quote of Shelby? When did he say it?

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