I see there are a lot of misconceptions of what torque and power are.
I agree with all of you when looking at standard published values of engine performance of peak power and peak torque, the peak power number is the most important factor in terms of ultimate performance
However, torque is fondamentaly what an engine produces, this at any RPM. Power is simply calculated
by multiplying measured
torque by measured
RPM at any given point over the entire rev range. Power is a number that represents the ability of an engine to generate useable torque. The distribution of torque on the rev range is therefore very important to performance.
As for saying that torque does not mean anything, well without torque there is no power!
Even on a high strung F1 engine, it is still torque that propels the car. Since the torque is produced at high RPM, it is possible to use a highly demultiplied gearbox and the torque transmitted to the wheels is drastically increased giving the car great performance.
In my world of 30,000 RPM turbine engines (very high power and low relative torque) it becomes even more obvious