At the present time, both control and estimation accuracies of engine torque are causes for underachieving optimal drivability and performance in today's production vehicles. The major focus in this area has been to enhance torque estimation and control accuracies using existing open loop torque control and estimation structures. Such an approach does not guarantee optimum torque tracking accuracy and optimum estimation accuracy due to air flow and efficiency estimation errors. Furthermore, current approach overlooks the fast torque path tracking which does not have any related feedback. Recently, explicit torque feedback control has been proposed in the literature using either estimated or measured torques as feedback to control the torque using the slow torque path only. We propose the usage of a surface acoustic wave (SAW) torque sensor to measure the engine brake torque and feedback the signal to control the torque using both the fast and slow torque paths utilizing an inner–outer loop control structure. The fast torque path feedback is coordinated with the slow torque path by a novel method using the potential torque that is adapted to the sensor reading. The torque sensor signal enables a fast and explicit torque feedback control that can correct torque estimation errors and improve drivability, emission control, and fuel economy. Control oriented engine models for the 3.6L engine are developed. Computer simulations are performed to investigate the advantages and limitations of the proposed control strategy versus the existing strategies. The findings include an improvement of 14% in gain margin and 60% in phase margin when the torque feedback is applied to the cruise control torque request at the simulated operating point. This study demonstrates that the direct torque feedback is a powerful technology with promising results for improved powertrain performance and fuel economy.