On some level, a good performance car is all about the numbers, from the iconic 911 Porsche to the displacement and horsepower figures for engines. It’s a common question from our Westford customers here at Porsche of Nashua, but there’s another number that deserves attention: torque. In short, if there’s not enough torque, all that horsepower is going to waste. And that would be a shame.
Let’s start with some definitions. Horsepower describes the amount of power required to move a 550 pound object one foot per second. You’ll want a fair amount of horsepower to move a 4,244 pound 2016 Porsche Macan Turbo, for instance, especially if you want an exciting drive. But torque, which is expressed in pound feet (lb. ft.), is a measure of twisting force. That force is being applied to your car’s wheels. If horsepower is engine power — which is easy enough to remember — then torque is an indication of how that power is transferred and put to use by the car.
It can make sense to sacrifice horsepower for more torque; it can also make sense to opt for lower horsepower to cut down on your vehicle’s curb weight.* Although a six-cylinder engine might put out more power than a flat four-cylinder engine, the former usually displaces and weighs more. That means that those horsepower have to move more mass, so you might be sacrificing a degree of agility for power.
Numbers are only part of the picture, of course. Each driver’s priorities are different; some will value quick acceleration, while others prize agile handling, and other drivers just want a ride that’s smooth and refined. The only solution is to call or come to your Westford Porsche dealer and take a test drive. We’re located at 170 Main Dunstable Road in Nashua, NH. Experience a new Porsche the right way — from behind the wheel — and see for yourself what all that torque and horsepower feels like.
*Curb weight: The operating weight of your vehicle, minus cargo and occupants