Top 10 Torque Titans of America

Stephen Elmer
by Stephen Elmer

On American Independence Day, better known as the 4th of July, we celebrate everything to do with the United States of America, and where would this nation be without its cars.

But this all-American list celebrates the unsung hero in every one of our vehicles that usually doesn’t catch the headlines: Torque. It helps you jump off the line and provides the grunt for hauling heavy loads or getting work done.

So which American-made cars make the most lb-ft of twist? Read on to find out.

Both the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra can be equipped with a 6.2-liter V8 that cranks out 460 lb-ft of torque, besting the segment by a healthy margin. Ram’s new 1500 EcoDiesel and Ford’s F-150 EcoBoost come close to toppling GM’s torque monster, each housing 420 lb-ft of torque.

SEE ALSO: 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 High Country Review

And really, is there anything more American than a naturally-aspirated Chevy V8?

Jumping from big trucks to small cars, the Ford Focus ST uses a small 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine to create 270 lb-ft of torque, the most of any American-made hot hatch. This small car is a riot to drive, offering stiff suspension and a tight steering rack that make it easy to dart around the racetrack.

SEE ALSO: 2014 Ford Focus ST vs Mazdaspeed3 Comparison

Chevy sells the only other true American hot hatch with the Sonic RS, but its meager 148 lb-ft of torque can’t compare to its cross-town rival.

The 2015 Corvette Z06 will deliver unprecedented levels of aerodynamic downforce, at least 625 horsepower from an all-new supercharged engine, and an all-new, high-performance eight-speed automatic transmission, and the suite of advanced driver technologies introduced on the Corvette Stingray.

The battle of the all-American sports cars has raged since the Dodge Viper hit the scene in 1989, but currently, the 2015 Corvette Z06 dominates the torque war punching out 635 lb-ft of workforce from its supercharged 6.2-liter V8. The motor is matched to either a seven-speed manual or an eight-speed automatic, sending all that power straight to the rear wheels.

SEE ALSO: 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Track Test

The standard Viper makes 600 lb-ft of torque from its V10, but its not quite enough to topple this performance-oriented version of the General’s budget supercar.

GALLERY: 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06

Even though there is a new CTS prowling the streets, Cadillac stills sells the last generation CTS-V with a whopping 551 lb-ft of torque and four doors. All that power comes forth from a supercharged V8 that lets this big cruiser jump from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.9 seconds.

But the Cadillac needs to be put on notice. Rumor has it that Dodge is planning on fitting the upcoming 2015 Charger with its new Hellcat V8 that creates and insane 650 lb-ft of torque and 707 hp. If it comes to fruition, the Charger will become the most powerful American sedan by a wide margin.

When it comes to big trucks, torque is everything and no American pickup makes more low-end grunt than the Ford F-350. This big rig’s 6.7-liter diesel churns out 860 lb-ft of torque, allowing this beast to haul loads up to 19,000 lbs when hooked up to the conventional hitch.

That means that this Ford could pull roughly 4,750 apple pies, 9,500 baseball bats or five 2014 Ford Mustangs. That’s a pile of Americana in tow!

Arguably the most American segment in all of automobiles, the brand new Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat pumps out a commanding 650 lb-ft of torque. It’s brand new supercharged V8 makes 707 hp, claiming the title of the most powerful muscle car in history. This is one segment where the horsepower and torque wars are alive and well.

With a new Mustang coming out this year, you can bet that the next generation Shelby GT500 will be pushing boundaries, trying to crack Chrysler’s hold on the power crown.

GALLERY: 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat

Although American’s love affair with big SUVs is dwindling, high-power people movers stills exist, and none create more twist that the SRT Grand Cherokee pumping out 465 lb-ft of torque from its naturally aspirated 6.4-liter V8. This thing is an SUV with the heart of a sports car, capable of sprinting from 0-60 mph in just 4.8 seconds, a very impressive number considering the 5,150 pound curb weight.

SEE ALSO: SRT Jeep Grand Cherokee Review

The GMC Yukon Denali comes close with its 6.2-liter V8 that makes 460 lb-ft of torque, but its not geared toward tearing up the race track like the SRT Jeep.

Ford has stuffed every single car it builds with a turbocharged engine, and the Fiesta’s little 1.0-liter EcoBoost makes more torque than any other tiny American car at 148 lb-ft. The Fiesta’s 1.0-liter is also one of the very few three cylinder engines currently on the market. And at 123 hp, this little engine holds nearly the same displacement-to-horsepower ratio as the Ferrari 458 Italia and Porsche 911.

SEE ALSO: Ford Fiesta 1.0-liter vs MINI Cooper

These small city cars are crucial for automakers as US government fuel economy regulations continue to grow stricter.

Yes, Cadillac’s high-power CTS-V makes this list twice thanks to it multitude of body styles. Just like the sedan, the CTS-V wagon makes 551 lb-ft of torque and offers four doors. But, the wagon also provides 58 cubic feet of cargo space, allowing you, your family and a pile of stuff to get from point A to point B, very quickly.

Electric cars are still fresh on the automotive scene, and start-up American automaker Tesla currently builds the torquiest EV on the market. The Model S pumps out 443 lb-ft of twist when equipped with the 85 kilowatt hour battery pack. Total range is 265 miles, allowing Model S owners to drive farther than any other EV currently on the market.

SEE ALSO: Tesla Model S Review – Video

Tesla is also the newest American automaker in existence.

Stephen Elmer
Stephen Elmer

Stephen covers all of the day-to-day events of the industry as the News Editor at AutoGuide, along with being the AG truck expert. His truck knowledge comes from working long days on the woodlot with pickups and driving straight trucks professionally. When not at his desk, Steve can be found playing his bass or riding his snowmobile or Sea-Doo. Find Stephen on <A title="@Selmer07 on Twitter" href="">Twitter</A> and <A title="Stephen on Google+" href="">Google+</A>

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  • Soyntgo4it Soyntgo4it on Jul 04, 2014

    Not so American when parts are made all of the the world for these vehicles.. lol

  • Willied1029 Willied1029 on Jul 04, 2014

    "Excluding the hot hatch ST version of Fords small car, the Fiestas 1.0-liter is also one of the very few three cylinder engines currently on the market." Huh? The ST has a 4 cylinder.

    • See 2 previous
    • Alex Kozovski Alex Kozovski on Jul 05, 2014

      Seriously, that sentence makes 0 sense to me.