I’ve tried reading about it online, but it’s always complicated and hard to understand. What exactly does it do, if anything, for an engine/motor and why is it important?


It’s force caused by rotation. Can you be more specific?

So in classical physics, an applied force, F, causes a mass, m, to accelerate at a rate, a. And we express this as F=m*a. This describes the linear motion of a mass with a force applied on it.

With rotational motion, we have a derivative of that equation where a torque, T(tau), causes an object with a moment of inertia, I, to accelerate rotational, a(alpha). So we say T=Ia.

So basically, torque is just the rotational analog of force — it is the force that causes rotation. And the reason it’s important in cars is because the engine or motor will do work on the driveshaft which turns the axles which in turn apply torque to the tires which ultimately get you rolling.

The more power your engine has, the more torque it produces (other factors affect this too not just engine power output), and the faster you will accelerate. Since in a car the rotational acceleration gets translated into linear acceleration because of the fact that we roll on a straight surface.

Torque is the force with which something is rotating.

In a car, the torque of the engine is important because regardless if the RPM of the engine, it must be producing enough torque to overcome friction.

This is most noticeable in a manual car. The difference in the cars performance when starting from a stop when the car is in first and third grear is drastic because third grear has much less torque than first.