You have to remember HP is derived from Torque x RPM / 5250.
So HP is only determined by what your peak Torque is like, and how much you have at higher RPMS (namely 5000 or more). Take this stuff here into mind...
L36 (205 HP 230lb/ft)
L27 (170 HP 225 ft/lb)
The 5ft/lb on the L36 is @ a much higher RPM then the L27. Since it'* higher up, the equation for HP goes up, and gives you more horsepower. The L27 will beat an L36 off the line, all things being equal, but the L36 will come back because of it'* revs. I personally think the L36 was given a HP over 200 to compete with other imports who have more HP then torque.
One other thing to consider is that not all cars need as much gas to make the same torque. A v8 putting out 300 ft/lbs will take a lot less gas then an I4 making 300 ft/lbs.
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'06 Vee Dub GTI 2 door Tornado Red
 2.0 Turbocharged, Intercooled, Direct Injected, 6 Speed DSG, Underbody Aero, 17" Classix
 Moonroof, BiXenon headlamps, Interlagos Plaid Sport Seats, 6 Disc Indash, iPod integration, GTI Monster Mats (winter)
'93 Bonneville SE Purple Pearl H4U package  picked up June 23, 2003, Tradedin June 28, 2007...
