Tech Jargon simplified: CC, Litres, Torque, Power, BHP, RPM

Being ignorant of automobile jargon is the best way to ensure a bad buying decision.

Car enthusiasts often use jargon specific to the automobile industry. These terms are generally used to describe parts of a car and its performance.

Understanding the jargon is essential whether you're buying or selling a used car or simply understanding what a salesman is rambling about. The following list is a guide to some of the most common terms used. There are many more, but this should be a good starting point.


If you're a car enthusiast, then there's no doubt you've heard of the term CC, but have you ever wondered what that means?

CC is a measurement of a car's engine size. CC stands for cubic centimetre, and it measures the capacity of an engine.


Litres of what? In the case of cars, it's litres of fuel and is a measurement of volume. It's the most commonly used measurement of volume globally, used by both the imperial and metric systems. It's as simple as that.


Torque is a measurement of rotational force. While you might not give it a second thought, torque is essential in every car — helping to power the engine more efficiently and providing an enjoyable experience for the driver.


What does power mean for cars? Power means that a vehicle is able to achieve a sustained high speed over a wide range of conditions.


BHP is a term you're likely to hear if you're in the market for a performance car and are eager to know how fast it can go from 0-60mph. It is commonly referred to as Brake Horsepower (BHP). It indicates the power output of the vehicle, measured by how quickly it can accelerate.


The term "RPM" in cars is usually an acronym for Revolutions per Minute, the unit of measurement used to determine how fast an engine turns. When you head out to check out a car, you will probably see this mentioned quite a bit. This helps you determine what power level the car possesses and gives insight into how much fuel it can save.

There are plenty of jargons and acronyms to consider when it comes to choosing a car, but these listed above are essential and common to all automobiles.