In this article, an improved model predictive torque control (MPTC) method based on discrete space vector modulation (DSVM) is proposed for permanent magnet synchronous motor (PMSM) drives. Aiming at solving the two problems of large torque ripples and high computational complexity in conventional MPTC, the proposed method adopts a second optimization and a new simplified search strategy. The key idea of second optimization is to make the output voltage vector closer to the actual optimal solution. In this case, a more suitable voltage vector is applied in each sampling period. The simplified search strategy reduces the calculation time by cutting down the number of candidate voltage vectors without affecting drives performance. Compared to the conventional MPTC without DSVM and with DSVM, the proposed method can produce superior steady-state performance and lower computational complexity. Simulation and experimental results are presented to validate the effectiveness and feasibility of the proposed method.