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    • crispy_chris
    • By crispy_chris 13th Apr 18, 10:48 AM
    • 479Posts
    • 316Thanks
    Torque, BHP, 0-60 times - real world feel?
    • #1
    • 13th Apr 18, 10:48 AM
    Torque, BHP, 0-60 times - real world feel? 13th Apr 18 at 10:48 AM
    I'm currently looking to get a new car, but I'm struggling to work out what engines will 'feel' like in the real world. Obviously in this day and age you're bombarded with stats, but I'm not entirely sure what they really mean.

    Currently I have a 2.0L Diesel Vauxhall Insignia with the following numbers
    - 140 BHP
    - 258 lb/ft torque
    - 10.5s 0-60 time

    Picking a similarly sized car at random (1.5L Petrol BMW 3 Series) with the following numbers
    - 134 BHP
    - 162 lb/ft torque
    - 8.9s 0-60 time

    Or a smaller car (1.5L Petrol Audi A3) has:
    - 148 BHP
    - 236 lb/ft torque
    - 8.5s 0.60 time

    So, perhaps naively I would imagine that the Audi would be the more powerful car at accelerating due to the lower 0-60 time. However in my own head previously I'd though torque represented accelerating power, which would make the Vauxhall look to be the more powerful accelerating car. Then looking at the BMW which has a pretty similar 0-60 time to the Audi, but has a far smaller amount of torque.

    I'm just trying to work out which car would be the fastest feeling car at accelerating in the real world, but colour me confused!
    Last edited by crispy_chris; 13-04-2018 at 10:53 AM. Reason: typo
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    • onomatopoeia99
    • By onomatopoeia99 16th Apr 18, 2:41 PM
    • 5,262 Posts
    • 11,774 Thanks
    Lots of good info above. Gearing has been alluded to in places but one thing that needs to be borne in mind when considering 0-60 times, is that not all cars will make it to 60mph without two gearchanges. The extra gear change and having to gain the last few mph in third can have a noticeable effect, so while a reasonable indicator of performance, the time isn't in any way definitive.

    Torque doesn't mean much unless you know the rate at which it is applied - give me a long enough bar and I can apply more torque than a Ferrari, I just couldn't do it quick enough to move it very fast.
    Originally posted by foomanchu
    Torque is quoted with the length of the lever, so either lbs ft or N m.
    INTP, nerd, libertarian and scifi geek.
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    • IanMSpencer
    • By IanMSpencer 16th Apr 18, 3:35 PM
    • 1,476 Posts
    • 1,088 Thanks
    The main benefit with the modern torquey diesels is not the high torque but the wide, flat band in which it is delivered.

    A petrol engine tends to be peaky - I remember my 1.6 Golf really only delivered interesting acceleration over 4000 revs - it was tuned to be economic, but they also wanted to give performance, so you had to work the engine and gears to get the performance - it was there but needed thought and effort to get it.

    On a modern diesel, you have something that delivers torque and power very low down the rev range, 1300-1400 revs is producing large amount of torque on my car, and it can deliver beyond 4000 revs, so something like 80% of its usable revs are giving high torque, whereas a petrol engine may not deliver large amounts of torque until 3000 revs and may drop off after 5000 revs. Combine a torquey diesel with a good auto box and you can get a pretty steady and continuous acceleration 0-70 - you can watch the accelerator follow a steady and rapid climb.

    So modern injected turbo-diesels feel good because not only can they deliver strong acceleration, they can sustain it across the rev range, and they make very little fuss and noise doing it.
    • oscarward
    • By oscarward 16th Apr 18, 3:35 PM
    • 656 Posts
    • 261 Thanks
    Just for illustration I used to have a twin turbo 3.0d which had 240hp, 0-60 6.5 secs.

    I was loaned a 2.0 turbo petrol similar sized saloon when the other car was in service.

    This also had 240hp 0-60 6.5 ish .

    What I did notice to get the same performance the revs were considerably higher. e.g. 70 was 1800rpm in the diesel or 2400 in the petrol. 100 was 2000 rpm vs 3000 in the petrol.

    So to travel in my usual style the revs were much higher which did seem to be more stressful to me. If I had bought one then I may have got used to it but I decided I didn't like the loan car for more reasons than just the engine package.
    • Tarambor
    • By Tarambor 16th Apr 18, 3:47 PM
    • 4,481 Posts
    • 3,445 Thanks
    BHP per tonne is what matters from 0-60. Smaller cars lower to the ground feel faster than larger cars. My MX5 has only 160BHP and 0-60 of around 7.8 seconds but you're sat on the floor so 40 feels like 60 and it feels a lot faster whereas in my Mondeo 60 feels like 40.

    However we don't spend all our time accelerating from 0-60. 40-70 acceleration time is more important to me as I spend a lot of time overtaking braindead holiday makers on my way to and from work on a single carriageway A road. My Mondeo can out drag a BMW 328i from 40-70 despite being lower down on power and having a slower 0-60.

    As IanMSpencer alludes to, where the power is delivered is important. Diesels feel pokier than petrols because they deliver their power from quite low down in the rev range, between 2000-4000 RPM they have a fair amount of grunt. Petrols do it much higher. My MX5 for example feels as flat as a fart below 3500 RPM but when it hits that it is off like a rocket. Most people rarely drive around at 3500/4000-6000RPM during normal daily driving so they rarely use the maximum power their petrol engined car has.
    Last edited by Tarambor; 16-04-2018 at 3:49 PM.
    • Gloomendoom
    • By Gloomendoom 16th Apr 18, 4:02 PM
    • 15,767 Posts
    • 22,047 Thanks
    BHP per tonne is what matters from 0-60.
    Originally posted by Tarambor
    When my wife was looking for her first brand new car, she worked out the power to weight ratio of all the candidates on her shortlist and bought the one with the biggest number.
    Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience. - Mark Twain
    • Head The Ball
    • By Head The Ball 17th Apr 18, 12:22 AM
    • 3,610 Posts
    • 9,422 Thanks
    Head The Ball
    When my wife was looking for her first brand new car, she worked out the power to weight ratio of all the candidates on her shortlist and bought the one with the biggest number.
    Originally posted by Gloomendoom
    When my wife was looking for a new car I discussed with her all the issues such as manual versus automatic, petrol versus diesel, performance versus fuel economy, bhp, torque etc.

    In the end she chose a red one because it matched her favourite lipstick.
    • gregpot2000
    • By gregpot2000 19th Apr 18, 8:08 AM
    • 47 Posts
    • 24 Thanks
    Simply put. Torque is that pinned back in your seat feeling you get when accelerating hard, more Torque generally means it's funner to drive if you're into all that
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