Article on The Internet Mini Encyclopædia
The key is that torque and power and very closely related by power = torque x revs
I think of power as being 'a big bucket of energy ready to do business' and torque is a small cup being used to scoop out this energy and put it to the tarmac.
If you use a small cup you need to scoop faster (higher revs) to get the same energy flow
If you use a large cup you need to scoop slower (lower revs) to get the same energy flow
The size of the cup is determined by the gearing, crank throw, etc
The amount of energy in the bucket is determined by fuel type, igntion, etc
Torque is the scoopfulls of energy
Power is the energy reserve in the bucket
Bigger scoop, same speed = more torque.......but same power (the engine max power is unchanged by gearing)
This means that top speed (max energy flow) is related to 'how fast you can scoop a big'ish sized cup'.
You can scoop small cups fast, or big cups slow. Depends on engine design/rev limits etc.
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