What is the difference between bhp and torque? And what should matter you more, is it bhp or torque? Find it out here.
There has been a lot of debate in the past about judging the performance of a car based on the bhp or torque figures they put on paper. For some people, bhp is the ultimate parameter of deciding how powerful a car is when compared to the other options they have in mind. However, there’s more to the story, and this article somehow tries to clear the air and make you aware what ‘bhp’ and ‘torque’ actually are.
First, the basic crust:
Both the terminologies of bhp and torque rely heavily on the concepts of physics. While both of them do involve complicated theories of working which might not be too easy to understand for a layman, we try our best to explain in the simplest way possible. The three different aspects on which the performance of an engine relies are energy, power and vector and scalar forces.
Energy – We all have been taught in early stages of education that energy is the ability to do a particular work and it can neither be created not destroyed. In the context of a car’s engine, energy is converted from the burning of fuel inside the engine and transferred to the wheels via different mechanical components of the engine.
Power – Power is basically the rate at which energy if being consumed. It can determine whether a particular work can be done faster or slower, depending on the energy available.
Scalar and vector forces – While scalar forces are those which are free of direction, vector forces depend on a certain direction. In the context of an engine, while energy and power (bhp) are scalar quantities, torque is a vector quantity, as it is a rotational force, caused due to the rotation of engine.
As mentioned above, bhp is a unit of the power produced by an engine, minus the possible losses like noise and heat. The bhp is responsible for determining the top speed as well as acceleration of a vehicle. In simpler words, if your engine reads higher power output as compared to others, including the factor of weight, it might be faster and quicker than others.
Also, there is one thing which should be kept in mind, that hp is somewhat different from bhp. Compared to bhp, hp readings do mention the power produced by the engine including the losses of noise and heat. There are two type of hp – crank hp and wheel hp. While crank hp is the actual amount of power produced by the engine without including the losses of transmission, wheel hp includes the losses produced while transfer of power from engine to the wheels.
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Torque is essentially the amount of force of something which rotates with respect to a particular axis. There are many parts of an engine as well as car in a whole, which do have rotational motion, such as rotation of a flywheel and upward and downward movement of a piston inside the cylinder. The torque output of a car is essentially the mount of turning force produced by the vehicle and does determine the performance of a car with relation to the amount of load it carries and can sustain further.
Difference Between BHP and Torque
While there are more complexities involved in explaining the differences between bhp and torque, if it is put into simpler words, the bhp and torque determine two different things. While the bhp output explains how a car fares in top speed and acceleration, the torque output of a car explains how the performance of a car affects under varying loads, which can be either of number of people traveling in it or the amount of load it carries.
If the torque of a car is more than that of another, the former car has a better load carrying capacity and moves more effortlessly with lesser acceleration given to it. This is the reason why superbikes and naked roadsters focus more on bhp output, while cruisers and adventure tourers focus more on their torque outputs.