While browsing your local CL, you see 2 Hupmobiles for sale - one with 500hp V36 and one with a 400hp V36. I can read your mind to see that you would take the 500hp car.

What you didn’t know, is that when both engines were placed on a dyno, their power curves looked like this:

Yeah, the orange Hup makes a maximum of 500 hp at the top of the tach, but it’s a complete dog until then. Meanwhile, the 400hp Hup has 400hp almost everywhere.

If you pick the orange Hup to have a better chance of smoking a Subaru Justy at every stoplight, prepare to be disappointed.

But every engine must be paired with a suitable transmission. To make the most of its short-lived >450hp, the proper transmission for the orange hup would need very close ratios to keep the engine in that 5500-6000 range. Even then, it would still be sluggish off the line. Meanwhile, the orange Hup would be well off with wider ratios.

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Then there’s the factors of torque, and gearing...

To the engineers: Is there anything that I missed? Specifically, what’s the role of torque here? Besides that it combines with RPM to make HP.