Dave, torque is a measurable "twisting force". This quite simply put is the amount of twist your engine can apply to the drivetrain. It is, all other things considered equal, what gets you and your car moving at a prodigious rate of speed. Longer piston stroke usually produces higher torque. Measured in foot pounds (US). I remember a chevy 454 large block we built (in my old or should I say my younger racing days.) With these engines, it was not necessary to do much with the displacement, bore and stroke (pretty big already). With a Holley 3 barrel, oversize valves, ported/polished heads, Edlebrock cross ram intake manifold, Crane high lift, long duration cam, Simpson roller lifters, etc, etc, we got an easy 735 hp@6500 rpm and 575 ft/lbs torque@5200 rpm. This was on a chassis dyno too!! This beast wouldn't idle below 1000 rpm. But I can tell you, it left nothing to the imagination when you dumped the clutch at 5000 rpm. It was that big torque number that got you down the track real quick. I hope this helps your understanding. You may get other responses which may be more scientific, but, when all is said and done, the torque your engine produces is what gives you that "seat of the pants" feeling previously described. The engines used in most MBZ's are long on rpm's, short on stroke (good for the upper limit of revs) and, depending on the engine, average to above for bore.
[Edited by jeffsr on 07-19-2001 at 08:40 PM]
2000 Dodge Grand Caravan SE
No matter what you fix, there will always be something else to fix..
"Warranty" is just another way of postponing the inevitable.