This paper describes a novel instantaneous torque control scheme for a high-performance direct-drive permanent-magnet synchronous motor. The scheme consists of a robust adaptive instantaneous torque observer and a hybrid-type variable-structure instantaneous torque controller. First, to robustly obtain the instantaneous electromagnetic torque information, a robust adaptive torque observer is designed by considering all possible current model uncertainties. The observation gains and uncertainties prediction rules are derived in the sense of Lyapunov theory so that the stability of the proposed estimation scheme is fulfilled. Second, to ensure perfect tracking of the output torque and providing means in eliminating torque ripples, the frequency modes of the disturbances to be eliminated should be included in the stable closed-loop system. To achieve this objective, a hybrid-type variable-structure controller with internal model, for the flux harmonics and system uncertainties, is adopted. The hybrid controller shows better disturbance rejection without control chattering. Comparative evaluation results are presented to demonstrate the validity and effectiveness of the proposed instantaneous torque control scheme.