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Discussion Starter #1
Let me give you a hypothetical situation...

Car A) 60hp, 300ft/lb torque.
Car B) 300hp, 60ft/lb torque.

What is the difference from the perspective of the driver's seat?
 

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a) Slow to start but unstoppable. Driving on a mountain road feels like driving on a flat land. Hills? What hills. Too bad though that revving up that engine doesn't make the car accelerate any quicker.

b) Feels like it would it be able to go so much faster if just you can unload some extra weight from the car. Like racing a go kart, got to be careful not to lose that speed in the corners because it's hard to get back up to speed quickly.

About ten or so years ago someone wrote the following on a Subaru forum: "Horsepower gets you bragging rights, but torque wins you races"
 

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"Horsepower gets you bragging rights, but torque wins you stoplight races"
Fixed ;)

For all out drag racing horsepower is still faster. For example, the A3 gas 2.0T and GTI 2.0T are still faster than the A3 TDI and Golf TDI. The torque of the TDI makes them feel about as fast in daily driving but when you stomp on the pedal all the way, you do notice the 2.0T is faster.

But how many times a day does a car get redlined with 100% throttle? Most of the time there is traffic or the road doesn't permit this safely for more than 5 seconds. Many people never even go to engine redline over the life of the car. For this reason, I believe that torque is more applicable to most people's driving styles.
 

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a) Slow to start but unstoppable. Driving on a mountain road feels like driving on a flat land. Hills? What hills. Too bad though that revving up that engine doesn't make the car accelerate any quicker.
300 ft lbs is plenty to get up to speed but in the average sedan you'd probably be limited to 50 or 60 mph top speed. I'm sure there's a calculator somewhere which measures top speed vs. hp and torque.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Well, I don't know where you all live, but where I reside, there are legal restrictions on how fast you can go :p

That said, I'd rather have a car that FEELS faster than it really is, because FEELING like you're going fast is all about perception, and that's the key to having FUN. I won't be drag racing [ever] and I wont be street racing [ever] and I wont be exceeding the speed limit [mostly], so I'd prefer the car that feels fast going 40mph, to the one that IS fast going 100mph.

Thanks for the input :D
 
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