Illustration for article titled Low-End Torque or High-RPM Power?

Yesterday's QOTD was a really good one for multiple reasons. One of the many topics discussed was power vs. torque, a concept still not that well understood by petrolheads. To radically simplify the argument, push-rod mills have less reciprocating mass and are therefor able to generate oodles of twisting force down low in the rev range. They tend to burble rather than scream, need larger displacements and don't rev all that high. On the other hand, smaller overhead valve engines are able to whirl up to lofty red lines and generate stellar horsepower figures, but sacrifice bottom-end grunt in the process. For example, lets compare the Z06's 7.0-liter V8 to the Ferrari F430's 4.3-liter V8. The uber (for now) Vette stumps up 505-hp at 6,800 rpm while the Ferrari's relatively diminutive power plant blats out 490-hp at 8,500 rpm. However, the Z06 stumps 470 ft-lb of twist at 4,800 rpm while the Italian can "only " muster 343 ft-lb at 5,250 rpm.


There's a Talmud passage that deals with what you should do if both of your parents ask you for a glass of water at the same time. One Rabbi says that you give the water first to your father and then your mother, explaining that within the confines of marriage, the man is the head of the household. "But," another Rabbi asks, "What if the parents are divorced?" The first Rabbi says that you place the glass in the middle of the floor and whichever parent gets to it first gets the water. In other words, I ain't touching this one. Or put another way, who's your daddy?

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