A switched reluctance motor driven by a polyphase source includes a stator having a yoke and a plurality of evenly spaced salient poles distributed about the yoke and a rotor mounted for rotation relative to the stator having a plurality of unevenly spaced salient poles. The geometry of the stator and rotor is such that each of the stator poles is separated from an adjacent stator pole by an angle .alpha..sub.1 and the poles of the rotor are alternately spaced from adjacent rotor poles by angles .alpha..sub.1 and .alpha..sub.2. Windings associated with the poles of the stator are connected to be driven by a polyphase source such that two phases of the source are energized simultaneously. The simultaneous energization of two phases results in pairs of adjacent stator poles being magnetized with opposite polarity, thereby forming a magnetic circuit whose path includes only the portion of the yoke bridging the two adjacent stator poles of a pair. The motor of the invention provides substantially improved torque performance relative to a conventional switched reluctance motor of the same size, while also providing improved efficiency.