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Torque vs Horsepower?

Long story short, I landed a nice job so it's time to make my first serious car purchase. But I'm having a lot of difficulty comparing the performance differences between the vehicles. 4 choices: Hyundai Genesis 3.8 (306HP @ 6300RPM, 226 Torque @ 4700RPM) Hyundai Genesis 2.0 Turbo (210HP @6000, 223Torque @ 2000) Nissan Altima 3.5L Coupe (270HP @ 6000, 250Torque @ 4400) Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution (291HP @ 6500, 300 Torque @ 4000) Those are my 4 choices I'm having a hard time deciding between. I'm looking for a vehicle with a lot of pick-up. I currently drive a manual transmission vehicle, and all of the above choices would be in manual for more RPM control. I'm car illiterate when it comes to RPM and Torque and how they affect going from 0-60, so if someone could please shine some light on my choices and possibly give me a comparison or explanation on how they will differentiate between each other. I should elaborate a bit more on my car illiteracy. I know next to nothing about cars, and don't have the necessary time to read up on each and every single specification on each vehicle and look up tests to see the minor differences that I more than likely wouldn't fully understand. From knowledge, or research, could you help me find the key differences in performance and what it will mean on the road? *also to the first answer, I never said I could out-shift an automatic. I mentioned more control over my RPM and where it's at.

Asked By: - 5/22/2011
Best Answer - Chosen by Asker
If you want get-up-and-go from a standstill, then it's torque you're after rather than power. You also have to take into consideration that while the Genesis 3.8 has the most power, the Evolution X has about as much power and the added traction of an AWD system which means it will be significantly quicker from 0-60... More
Answered By: Murcie_LP640 - 5/23/2011
Additional Answers (5)
1. Torque is real... More
Answered By: Vipassana - 5/22/2011
 
Don't try to understand it. Just look up the 0-60 times on the internet. Keep in mind that some of your selected cars do not have a reputation for long life, and they may be quicker at more things then 0-60 times (like to to the junk yard and repair shops).
Answered By: Old Man Dirt - 5/22/2011
 
Drive em and see if they do what you want... More
Answered By: Top Source - 5/22/2011
 
Torque gets you going, Horsepower lets you accelerate further faster. is the simplest way to see it... More
Answered By: Mike S - 5/22/2011
 
First, congratulations on landing a great job that enables you to have a great car... More
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Answered By: Rolla Fan - 5/22/2011
 
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