Torque is one of those forces that isn't well understood outside of the truly committed car enthusiast. It's defined as the tendency of a force to cause an object to rotate. In the case of cars and trucks, torque is what helps a car or truck accelerate. This is important to truck drivers who have to make hill starts with thousands of pounds in tow, to motorcyclists who want to pop a wheelie, and to drag racers who want to rip a mean quarter mile.
There is a lot more to the uses of torque, but we're interested in where torque can be found, and how much. Some engines produce more torque than others. This can be due to the fuel, the configuration of the engine, or even the altitude of the location where the engine is being used. Some cars have monstrous torque figures but anemic horsepower, while others sacrifice torque for horses. Very few cars have both in high numbers, and it is rare that the two figures approach parity. When they do, it's usually because the horsepower figures are low, not because the torque numbers are high.
So, are you ready to test your car knowledge? Do you think you can say which car has the most torque? Take this quiz and find out!
All of these cars have torque figures north of 600 foot-pounds, though of course, those numbers are achieved with European gasoline--or shall we say, "petrol"--which has higher octane than US gas. The Koenigsegg Regera, a sports car built exclusively for people who are both shockingly wealthy and totally insane, has 1475 foot-pounds of torque (about 8 times the torque of a Camry), the Bentley, which is one of the heaviest cars ever, has 811 foot-pounds, the Pagani (whose name is pronounced hoo-AYA-ra) also has 811 foot-pounds and the Benz has a measly 664.
The Jeep turns out to be the grandest of this lot, with 645 foot-pounds of torque, a figure achieved with the Hellcat engine borrowed from the Chargers and Challengers SRT Hellcat, though the Trackhawk is tuned differently. Coming up behind the Jeep that can no longer go off road (due to its aero body kit) is the Range Rover Sport Supercharged Dynamic with 461 foot-pounds of torque, along with the Range Rover and the Sport, which have the same engine, cranking out 332 foot-pounds of torque.
Crazy, right? The Ford Taurus may have been the occasional cop car back in 2002, but the 2000 Impala was quicker off the line with 205 foot-pounds of torque. Of course, the Ford Explorer was the most powerful of this lot (240 foot-pounds of torque), with the Dodge (190) and the Taurus (185) bringing up the rear.
Back in 2004, Lexus decided that getting onto the highway was a priority for their engineers, so they gave the ES 330 a whopping 240 foot-pounds of torque compared with the Stratus's 160, the Fusion's 156 and the Malibu's 155 just two years later.
The Dodge M4S, made famous by the 1980s movie "The Wraith," leads this group with 440 foot-pounds wrung from a 2.2 4 cylinder engine, paired with its aero-efficient body. It is followed by James Bond's (c. 2007) DBS, which has 420, then the "Fast and Furious" Barracuda with 210, and Doc Brown's time machine at 152.
The Mercedes Benz W100 600 Pullman 4-Door rules this bunch of older cars with 368 foot-pounds of torque, followed by the Oldsmobile with 189, the Honda with 132, and the Lancia with 126.
The Brabus SV12 S Biturbo Roadster is the master of this group at 973.6 foot-pounds. It leads the Pagani Zonda Cinque with 575, the Dodge Viper II (ZB Phase II) SRT10 ACR with 559, and the Dodge Hemi 8 with 353.
The Daihatsu Materia 1.5 is made of the good stuff here, coming in with 97 foot-pounds of torque, followed by its cousins: the Daihatsu Copen 1.3 16v at 88, and the Daihatsu Trevis 1.0 12v and Daihatsu Cuore VII 1.0 12v with 67 each.
The Mercedes Benz Class A Sedan 200 leads this group with 184 foot-pounds, followed by the Mercedes Benz Citan 111 CDI Tourer L with 177, the Mercedes Benz W246 Class B 180 with 147, and the Mercedes Benz Vaneo 1.6 82HP Trend with 103.
The Dodge Nitro 3.7 V6 leads this group with 235 foot-pounds of torque followed by its equally uninspiring cousins, the Dodge Journey 2.4 VVT with 165, the Dodge Avenger 2.4 with 162, and the Dodge Caliber 1.8 with 123.
Of course the Aston Martin has the most torque (90 foot-pounds), but should it? The Cygnet is a re-badged Toyota iQ, as is the Scion iQ, but the Aston has 90, the Scion 89, and the Toyota 67. That's tuning, for you. The Smart ForTwo of the same era also produced 67.
The Kia Sorento 2018 2.2 CRDi 4WD is the champ here, with 325 foot-pounds of torque, followed by the Kia Optima 2019 Sportswagon 1.6 T-GDi at 195, the Kia Ceed Sportswagon 1.0 T-GDi with 126, and the Kia Carens 3 1.6 GDi 135HP Basic 5 seats with 121.
The Koenigsegg Agera R leads this group with an eye-popping 885 foot-pounds of torque, followed closely by the horrendously-named Gumpert Tornante 4.2 V8 with 663, the absurdly-named Ferrari La Ferrari F70 F150 HY-KERS System 963HP with 516, and the collectible-but-forgettable Porsche 911 Coupe (991.2 Series) GT3 RS with 346.
The Smart Forfour 66 kW Turbo Twinamic rules this group with 99 foot-pounds of torque, followed by the Smart Roadster 60 with 81, the Smart Crossblade with 79, and the Smart City coupe cdi with 73.
Sometimes, the old ways are best. Sure, the hybrids pack a lot of power, but the Porsche Panamera 2017 4S Diesel has a whiplash inducing 626 foot-pounds of torque, which is a lot for an executive sedan that will likely never see a race track. It is followed by other Porsche cash cows: the Porsche Panamera Executive Turbo S E-Hybrid with an almost-as-insane 567, the Porsche Cayenne III E-Hybrid with a very respectable 331, and the Porsche Macan with 272 foot-pounds of torque worthy of any Volkswagen family hauler.
The People's Car, the Volkswagen Golf 2017 GTD 2.0 TDI sits atop this list with 280 foot-pounds of torque, followed closely by the BMW E82 1 Series Coupe 120d with 258, the Chevrolet Captiva 2.0 VCDI 127 with 217, and the Ford Fiesta 8 1.5 TDCi with 199.
It's no shock that the 2019 Ford F-150 is continuing the tradition of F-150s being the best-selling pickups in the world, with its 450 foot-pounds of torque when mated to a diesel engine. What's interesting is how its diesel chums follow, with the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 coming just short of the F-150 with 440, the 2019 Ram 1500 with 420, and the baby Ford, the 2019 Ford Ranger, with its mere 350.
The obscure Daewoo Espero 1.5 is the boss of these four with its (very high for a Daewoo) 101 foot-pounds of torque, followed by the equally forgettable Daewoo Kalos 1.4 16v with its 95, the Daewoo Nexia 1.5 with 90, and the Daewoo Matiz 1.0 with 64.
The Fisker Karma has the most torque of these sports cars, with its 959 foot-pounds of torque. Of course, all of these cars are kind of small, and thus don't need much power to get rolling. The Noble M400 comes in second with 290. The BMW powered Wiesmann Roadster MF 3 made 269. The proof that torque isn't everything, the fastest of the group, the Ariel Atom 2 2.0 Supercharged made only 191.
The Tesla 2020 Roadster comes out way ahead of the others in this section, with its staggering and completely unnecessary 7,376 foot-pounds of torque. The Fisker Karma comes in second with 959, then the Tesla P85D with 864, and bringing up the rear is the gorgeous BMW i8 with only 420 foot-pounds of torque!
The GLC-based, all-electric Mercedes-Benz EQC400 is the most torquey of this lot, with 564 foot-pounds of torque to pull it up to speed. Following are the GLS550 with its 516, the G550 with 450, and the GLE350 with "only" 273.
The CT6-V with its custom built "hot V" engine leads this group of Caddies with a jaw-dropping (for a gas powered car) 627 foot-pounds of torque. The CTS-V comes in distant second with 464, then the ATS-V with 445, and finally the CT6 Plug-in Hybrid with 295.
The two most powerful cars here have exactly the same torque figure! The Volkswagen Scirocco 3 R 2.0 TSI 280HP DSG and the Volkswagen Beetle Sport 2.0 TSI BMT 220HP DSG 6 Speed have 258 ft. lbs. of torque, then the Volkswagen Polo 6 2.0 TSI GTI comes in third with 236, followed by the Volkswagen Jetta 6 Facelift 1.4 TSI 150HP DSG 7 Speed with 184.
The Peugeot 407 Coupe 2.2i is the most powerful of this drab list of French econoboxes, with 161 foot-pounds of torque. That may not sound like much, and it isn't, but compare that to the Peugeot 306 Break 1.4's 81, the Peugeot 208 3-door (Facelift 2015) 1.0 PureTech 68's 70, and the Peugeot 206+ 3doors 1.1i 60 with its microscopic 69.
Of these Hyundais, the Hyundai Kona 1.6 T-GDI 7DCT is the torque-est, with 195 foot-pounds of the good stuff. Bringing up the rear, you have the Hyundai i40 cw 2015 2.0 GDI 165HP Auto with 150, the Hyundai Elantra (AD) 1.6 MPI 128HP with 114, and the Hyundai Ioniq Plug-in-Hybrid with 108.
With an electric motor that gets all of its torque instantaneously, it's not shocking that the electric Jaguar I-Pace EV400 is on top here with 513 foot-pounds of torque. The Jaguar F-Pace V8 S/C SVR comes in second with 501. The Jaguar XF (X260) Sportbrake 30t AWD comes in third with 295. The Jaguar E-Pace P200 AWD Auto doesn't get a trophy, though, coming in fourth with 269.
Obviously, it's the pickup.The Mitsubishi L200 5th 2.4 DI-D 181HP Kaiteki edges a win here with 317 foot-pounds of torque, drafted by the Mitsubishi 3000GT VR-4 with 314, then the technically-impressive Mitsubishi Lancer VIII Evolution VIII with 261, and finally the humdrum Mitsubishi Space Wagon I 1.8 TD with 112.
The folks at Isuzu must have thought there was a way to distract the world from their cars' tendency to roll over horribly if you turn the wheel while moving at any normal speed. Isn't it nice how Isuzu thought they could fool people into thinking their cars were Italian? The Isuzu Piazza Turbo has the most torque of this group, coming in at 165 foot-pounds. It's followed by the Isuzu Trooper I SWB with 138, the Isuzu Aska 1800 with 112, and the Isuzu Gemini 1600 LD Sedan with 101.
Given its size, it's no wonder the Rolls Royce Corniche comes out on top, with its 6.7 liter engine making 774 foot-pounds of torque. The Dutch-made Spyker C8 Aileron comes in second with 354, followed by the Tvr S Series S 2.0 Supercharged with 196, and finally the Samsung--yes, Samsung--SM3 1.6 Automatic with 107.
The Saab 9 7X 5.3 V8 takes the cake here with 329 foot-pounds of torque. The also-very-safe and very not-available-anymore Saab 9 4X Aero 2.8 Turbo 300HP AWD Auto and Saab 9 5 II Sedan Vector 2.0TiD 190HP XWD come in with 295, trailed by the Saab 9 3X Griffin Edition 2.0T XWD 220HP Auto with 258.
Of these very old-fashioned, wooden Morgans, the one with the most torque is the Morgan Plus 8 4.0, with 224 foot-pounds of the stuff. Second is the Morgan Roadster 3.0 V6 with 206, followed by the charming Morgan Plus 4 2-seater with 140, and the Morgan 4/4 2.0 with 137.
The Mini Mini III John Cooper Works is a fountain of torque at 236 ft. lbs, but the confusingly-named Mini Mini III Cabrio Cooper S is no slouch with 221, followed by the Mini Clubman (F54) Cooper S ALL4 and the Mini Countryman (F60) Cooper S Countryman with 206.
All of these sedans, which are on sale today, have insane torque figures, but the Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat is the top, er, dog at 650 foot-pounds of torque, followed by the Caddy at 630, the Benz at 516, and the Alfa at 443.
Despite being the oldest of the group, the McLaren F1 LM rules the roost with a (remember this was built in the 1990s) insane 519 foot-pounds of torque coming from its engine, which sits in a gold engine bay. Second in this group is the McLaren 675LT Spider with 516, then the McLaren 570S Coupe and the McLaren 570GT, both with 442.
The Pontiac Solstice GXP Coupe Auto has the most torque in this group, with 260 foot-pounds. Coming in behind it is the Pontiac Firebird III 5.0 Trans-Am with 239, followed by Walter White's Pontiac Aztek 3.4 V6 FWD at 210, and finally the Pontiac Grand Prix Coupe 3.1 with 185 foot-pounds.