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Here's Why The Tesla Roadster Doesn't Actually Make 7,000 Lb-Ft Of Torque

Electric Car / 9 Comments

Did you really expect a tiny roadster to make three times more torque than a semi truck?

As a force of argument-ending good in the automotive world, Engineering Explained is the channel to pay attention to because not everyone who loves cars knows as much about them as the people who build them. EE spends an ample amount of time debunking myths and testing hypothesis using the rational eye of a scientist and the dependability of an engineer to answer the industry's biggest questions, which now tend to spill over into the arena of the electric car.

As it usually does when electric cars become the topic of conversation, Tesla is at the forefront of this video today. Specifically, the absurd torque figure the new Roadster is touted to have. Musk's specs sheet dropped a mention that the Roadster would produce over 10,000 newton-meters of torque.

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That translates to roughly 7,000 lb-ft on a conversion calculator. It seems unbelievable, especially when considering that Ford's SuperDuty F-250 powered by a turbocharged 6.7-liter diesel makes "only" around 915 lb-ft of torque. The key to Tesla's huge figure all lies in the term "wheel torque." According to Engineering Explained, that distinction makes the figure pretty much meaningless. Without knowing the RPM that those 10,000 nm of torque are produced at, the horsepower output, or the gearing the electric motors send their power through, there's no way of knowing wha the actual torque output is on a time scale that makes it relevant to straight line speed.