Six Ways To Increase Power And Torque

Despite the fact that not everyone can be a professional racecar driver or perhaps own a sports car, many car owners wish to make their ride faster.

A variety of modifications can be made to your car in order to make it run faster. In saying that, it comes down to two different things – one, increasing the power of the engine, and two, raising its torque.

In this article we will address some of the best ways you can maximise the performance of your engine without having to go broke in the process. But, before we get into it, let’s first take a look at what power and torque are in a little more detail.

What Are Power And Torque?

A car’s power and torque are commonly mentioned specifications when it comes to researching and discussing cars. When we are talking about power and torque, we are referring to the amount of work your engine is capable of with regards to burning fuel and converting it into energy.

It can help to imagine it like this: your car’s engine can be viewed as a big air pump. As such, it is responsible for pulling in air and pushing it out again into its system. The more air as well as fuel your car engine is capable of injecting into the system, the higher its performance. Another important factor when it comes to increasing the output of the engine is efficiency.

Measuring how quickly work is undertaken in your car’s engine in a given amount of time is referred to as its power. Despite the fact that increasing the power of a car’s engine doesn’t automatically result in faster speed, it can certainly indicate how sound the engine is. You will find that power is often expressed by the means of horsepower (hp) or kilowatts.

The rotating force which is generated by the crankshaft of a car’s engine is what characterizes torque. Torque is what comes into play when accelerating your vehicle from a stop. It is also a decent indicator of a car’s towing power. Torque is usually measured in Newton metres (N m) or pound-feet (lb-ft).

Now we’ve cleared up the definitions of both power and torque, let’s take a look at some of the best things you can implement in order to up the power and torque of your ride.

Invest In A Larger Throttle Body

Despite the fact that the installation of a throttle body larger in diameter than your stock unit does not necessarily equal more power, it is required as a supporting modification. Both increased velocity and air flow are the result of reducing air restrictions by boosting the size of the throttle body – meaning increased power and a stronger throttle response.

Due to being a non-invasive mod (i.e. causing the performance of your car no harm), it can be a good idea to go ahead and invest in a better aftermarket throttle body sooner rather than later.

Tune The Engine Control Unit (ECU) Chip

Reprogramming the ECU chip in your ride means you can make adjustments to your car’s settings in order to increase its overall performance. Doing so means you have the opportunity to optimise different aspects of your car, including adjusting the ignition timing, improving its fuel to air ratio, increasing its rev limit as well as lifting its maximum speed.

Here are two different ways you can tune the ECU chip in your vehicle:

1. Replace The ECU Chip: This involves replacing the stock ECU chip found in your car using an aftermarket, pre-programmed chip.

2. ‘Plug And Play’: Alternatively, you have the option to plug into the OBD-II port and then complete the installation of new software (hence ‘plug and play’) and from there, optimise your car’s relevant settings.

Did you know that your engine’s performance can be enhanced by up to 10 to 15%, when the ECU chip configuration is changed alongside making other non-invasive engine adjustments?

To err on the side of caution, be sure not to fix the maximum speed of your vehicle above what is permitted by the law.

Upgrade To High-Performance Camshafts

By simultaneously permitting a larger amount of air to enter the engine and further exhaust fumes to exit it, high-performance camshafts sure are a nifty aftermarket installation option. Camshafts incorporating larger cam lobes have the ability to widen the valve lift as well as maximise valve lift height.

Another modification that you may choose to make in line with upgrading to high-performance camshafts is what is referred to as the ‘port and polish’. This process involves removal of the intake and exhaust ports located on your cylinders and taking your vehicle to a machine shop whereby they grind a little on the ports in order to increase their size. Following this step is polishing of both the intake plus exhaust ports, for removal of any dirt that may potentially clog the system. As a result, air flow entering the combustion chamber is improved.

Switch To High-Flow Catalytic Converters

Despite little difference between a high-flow cat and the stock unit found in a car, high-flow cats have the ability to reduce emissions a lot faster. Due to an increase in both the flow and capability of a car’s engine (by means of utilising less dense cell count and boosting the volume surrounding the catalyst), you are able to increase your ride’s power and torque.

It is good to note you will be required to replace the exhaust manifold alongside the catalytic converter found attached to it. For the ultimate results, it is worth researching and locating a solid replacement for your factory exhaust pipe plus shock muffler (due to being more restrictive) with regards to a high-flow cat-back exhaust system. Systems including an increased diameter in addition to bent pipes are preferred.

Change To A High-Performing Cold Air Intake (CAI)

If your vehicle includes a naturally aspirated engine, upgrading your Cold Air Intake unit will firmly enhance your engine’s ability to keep the air cooler. Along with the piping that captures cool air further away from your car’s engine, the responsibility of the CAI unit is to supersede the original air filter box. Hence, cooler air flows through the engine. Due to a heightened amount of oxygen, cooler air promotes better engine combustion.

Upgrading your intercooler instead is what is required where your engine is either supercharged or turbocharged. Hotter air is created as a by-product as a result of the compression in both supercharged and turbocharged engines, and as much as you can, you want to achieve cooler air for the engine to be as efficient as possible.

More Aggressive Wheel Alignment

Now let’s take a look at what a change in tyres can do for your car’s performance in terms of power and torque.

Replacing your stock tyres with shorter tyres is one way to largely increase the acceleration capability of your car. In saying that, be very careful to note that your speedometer’s accuracy will be reduced as a result. Investing in lighter wheels is an additional way to benefit from this modification.

Keep in mind that making this change to your car can be rough on the hip pocket. However, if you do find yourself with some money to burn and you’re looking for something top-of-the-range, you might look to consider making an investment in a set of carbon-fibre wheels.

Finally there are other areas like Car Body Kits, Spoilers and other modifications that are manufactured with different materials and can have an affect on the weight and aerodynamics of your can and improve downforce.

So, is it time you increased the power and torque of your ride?

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