Have you ever had that mate who seems to get all of the attention to matter where you go? You know, the bloke that seems to have at least one really hot bird hanging on at all times, yet there is no discernible reason for it. Well, that is how torque must feel about horsepower. Torque is the number that truly measures a vehicle’s power. After all, you can have a million ponies under the bonnet, but if your gearbox only pushes 100 N-m to the wheels, you are just wasting your time. To that end, we tracked down nine cars that offer more torque than horsepower. Ah, torque, sweet, sweet torque. By, the by, if you do not laugh about number five, you should nip down to see a doctor.
You would expect a bespoke car to offer lots of everything. The Pagani Huayra delivers. Currently the fastest road car to make a trip around the Top Gear test track, the Huayra’s time of 1:13.8 shaved about 1.5 seconds off the time set by the Ariel Atom V8. The Huaryra is powered by a Mercedes-AMG-sourced 5980 cc V12 engine. The 12 cylinder twin-turbocharged powerhouse slams 720 bhp through a gearbox that coverts it to 1,100 N-m of torque. That is good for a 0-100 km/h time of 3.0 seconds and a top speed of 370 km/h. The Huayra uses a somewhat unusual gearbox arrangement. Pagani opted for a seven-speed sequential gearbox with a single disc clutch. The choice over a double-clutch saves 70 kg, more than making up for the faster gear changes from a double.
There is a Cadillac to fit any need. The ATS can be many things to many buyers. The base engine is a 2.5L I4, but those who like to have more torque than horsepower, will want to opt for the turbocharged four cylinder engine that offers 272 bhp. That engine can be mated to either a 6-speed GM 6L45 Hydra-Matic automatic gearbox or the optional 6-speed Tremec M3L TR3160 manual. Either pairing will render 400 N-m of torque to the rear wheels. Granted the CTS-V Sport offers more power, 640 bhp to be exact, but the torque falls short, so it doesn’t meet today’s requirements.
Bentley Mulsanne Speed
The Bentley Mulsanne is an opulent monster of a car. The base unit offers comforts that most drivers will never know. Fortunately, even the monied elite see a need for more torque than hp: perhaps to escape fans or agents looking into their insider trading schemes? To meet that demand, Bentley produces the Mulsanne Speed. The Speed is powered by the same 6,752 cc turbocharged V8 as the base model…slightly tuned, of course. Horsepower numbers rest at 530, but the 8-speed ZF automatic gearbox with electronic shift interface helps to covert that to 1,100 N-m of torque. That makes the Mulsanne Speed even more torque heavy than the Huaryra!
The BMW i8 is an interesting looking hybrid that combines a turbocharged three and electric motors to offer 357 bhp. The setup also allows for 570 N-m of torque. As an added bonus, the electric motors provide ample torque to over any turbo lag.
Chevrolet Spark EV
We told you that you would find this one funny. Sold around the world as an inexpensive electric alternative, the Chevrolet Spark is as unassuming as a car can be. If it stands out for anything it is because of its ability to disappear in a crowd. The tiny engine is capable of just 140 bhp, nearly small enough to meet Japanese kei car regulations, yet the Spark EV manages to offer 540 N-m of torque. That number is higher than some Ferrari and Porsche offerings. Now, if Cheverolet would work on making it more attractive to, well, anyone.
Ford Mustang with EcoBoost
The Mustang may be a North American sensation, but it is iconic around the world. In most instances, admirers think of the V8s as the only engine worthy of praise, but the 2.3L turbocharged Ecoboost offered as a standard engine in the base Mustangs is rated at 310 bhp. Admirable from a base engine. The flipside is that the powerpland and gearbox coombine to provide 433 N-m of torque, tha thits peak at just 4,000 rpms. That is good enough for a 0-100 km/h time of 5.5 seconds. Not bad at all for a base model.
Tesla Model S P90D
How can you resist a car that offers a Ludicrous Speed option? The add-on allows the P90D to slam 532 bhp down the gearbox’s throat. How does said gearbox respond? With a mind-bending 967 N-m of torque. 0-100 km/h takes a scant 2.8 seconds. The strangest thing about the P90D is that it seats seven. Beats the hell out of a minivan!
Anything with the AMG tag on it is going to have plenty of go fast in its blood. The S65 uses a twin turbo V12 that is similar to the one sourced to Pagani, but better. This one rams 621 bhp through a five-speed 5G-Tronic automatic gearbox that happily helps turn that into 1,000 N-m of torque. Power like that will make it hard to keep fresh tyres on this beautiful lady.
Porsche 918 Spyder
The Porsche 918 Spyder has become a driving legend in the two short years that it has been in production. The hybrid drive system features a turbo-charged 4.6L V8 and two electric motors. The trio of engines combine to offer a total of 887 bhp and 1,279 N-m of torque. Yes, you read that right…1,279 N-m. Can you feel your neck breaking as this thing jumps ahead? Hey, if you are going to make an eco-friendly car, that is the best way to do it.