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200Q: Ruminations on low-end torque
Last week, when I read on this list that the 20V Turbo I-5 had
peak torque at 1,950 rpm, I was quite curious. As someone pointed
out, it's pretty hard to have the turbo spooled up at this (almost
off-idle) engine speed, so maybe it's really a red herring.
I drove my '91 200Q a lot this weekend (up to the Sierras and back)
and had a real blast. On the other hand, try as I might, I could
see no evidence of this vaunted low-end torque. Off-the-line, my
Charlie Smith assisted '85 5KT seems as fast or faster -- I would
certainly think twice before challenging Mustang 5.0's at the
I haven't really done any A-B comparisons (like having my wife
race me -- NOT!), so it's just possible that I'm not used to
the lack of drama in getting up to speed. But from a seat-of-the-pants
assessment, it would seem that the 20V Turbo I-5 is very much
like other 4-valve/cyl turbo engines: serious amounts of horsepower
and torque above 3,000 rpm, but much less potent at lower engine rpms.
Mind you, I'm not really expressing disappointment here -- hard
to be disappointed with a car that will accelerate uphill at 75 mph
in *fifth* gear :-) But I'm almost tempted to believe that the
peak torque rating is a typo.
Any comments, O Knowledgeable Ones?
'91 200Q, 38K mi
'85 5KT, 119K mi
1001 W. Cutting Blvd.
Pt. Richmond, CA 94804