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Torque recommended

  • Tomlinpl
    Tomlinpl on

    Good day,
    I currently tow a Gypsy Raven with a Kia Sportage 2,0 litre petrol (197nm of torque capacity). I want to upgrade to a diesel vehicle as I find towing with this torque capacity quite inadequate.Can anyone advise of what the minimum torque capacity I should target in a vehicle where towing isn’t a problem?

    Fyko van der Molen
    Fyko on

    You should be aware that torque is just a rotary force exerted on the crankshaft and, although its treated as the Holy Grail by the ignorant many, by itself does not determine the engine’s suitability for any particular purpose.

    In the end it is only by hooking up your caravan to a prospective test-drive vehicle and hitting the road that you will be able to decide if this is the right car for the job.

    Discussions with others in the know will possibly help point you in the right direction for  vehicles to evaluate, but I urge you not to base any decision purely on a performance figure that you clearly don’t fully understand.

    Deon Jacobs
    Deon Jacobs
    Deon Jacobs on

    I get told almost every day that torque is the Holy Grail of motoring. Now you’re saying it isn’t?

    I must admit that when I was a youngster nobody ever mentioned torque as an important parameter.

    Simon Tasman
    Simon Tasman
    Simon Tasman on

    The max torque RPM is pretty useful for finding the road speed at which the engine is at its most efficient, disregarding wind drag of course, which increases relentlessly at the square of speed increase.

    Other than that it’s a bit of a useless number, but it excites the masses. A vehicle in motion has kinetic energy imparted by the engine’s power.

    P = 2pi*TR/60

    Torque is one component of that power. See the torque graph you can produce the power graph. See the power graph you can derive the torque curve.

    Torque without time and distance in the equation is utterly meaningless.

    Dan Perkins
    Dan Perkins
    Dan Perkins on

    On top of which, this torque is measured at the flywheel.

    But where you feel the effect is where ‘the rubber meets the road’ i.e. at the driving wheel, and in between the two are at least one gearbox, an axle ratio, and a wheel diameter.

    All of which greatly influence what will come out as acceleration.



    Josef Konrad
    Josef Konrad
    Josef Konrad on

    Another thing to consider is that engines that have a high torque number are likely ‘under square’. They have a stroke longer than the bore is wide.

    These engines have their peak torque at very low revs – typically ~2000 RPM and will run out of juice soon after passing 3000 RPM.

    If the gears are not perfectly spaced you then sit with a dead spot when you change from 1st to 2nd, 2nd to 3rd, or 3rd to 4th, depending where the biggest ratio jump is, which becomes extremely annoying when towing.

    Only a test drive under full load will tell you if you have the right vehicle for the job.

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