Originally Posted by CanAutM3
I think we are saying the same thing
Torque is an actual measurable force that an engine produces, hence it makes a car go.
Horsepower is a mathematical concept that evaluates the ability to provide work over time. On a car, this translates to the potential
for the engine to produce torque at the wheel, hence what makes a car go fast (i.e. accelerate rapidly and achieve a high top speed).
I probably over simplified it too much in my previous post
Not quite. It is also incorrect to think of one quantity as physical and the other derived. Neither is less mathematical nor more physical. It is just that given one (and engine speed) you know the other precisely. You should read some of the length debates and discussions here in old topics on the forum to better understand these fundamental concepts. There are other much simpler ways of describing the differences. E.g.:
-Peak in gear
acceleration will occur at the rpm where peak torque occurs (not counting minor corrections from parasitic losses)..
-Peak acceleration at any given speed occurs by making peak hp (mostly equivalent to saying lowest gear = most acceleration).
-Engine torque is meaningless without speaking of gearing to describe any aspect of vehicle performance
-Overall vehicle performance is much more dependent on peak hp than peak torque (again refer to point above)