Car Engine Types


Non-Car Guys Guide to Car Engine Types


In this article I will only go over commonly used internal combustion engines such as in lines V’s double use flats boxers and rotaries, I won’t cover strange absurdities like single cylinder engines,  maybe someday our website will cover rare engine configurations and an entire article to their own, I say that now but I probably won’t ever, anyways onto the topic at hand starting this article off, we will be talking about one of the most common engine configurations on the market, chances are the majority of you all reading probably have a car with an inline engine configurations, inline engines also refer to as straight engines get their name from how their cylinders are arranged in a row


Inline engines are easy to build especially when compared to V which we will get to later, this is because both the cylinder bank and crankshaft can be milled from a single metal casting and also because just in general most inline engines tend to have fewer cylinders than most V engines this normally results in a smaller and more compact design which is perfect for making a low power and economic engine this makes it a perfect choice for most compact cars and even some mid-size sedans both the base model Toyota Camry and Honda Accord an inline-four engine, not a V4


One of the biggest problems of the inline-four engine is that it suffers from a lot of engine vibration which is why they avoid high displacement layouts otherwise they are no longer mechanically balanced however, this problem can be resolved by adding more cylinders which is why the inline six layouts was introduced the inline six was a popular choice amongst many automakers who want to make a performance vehicle with more power while still using simple and intuitive,

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Engines the inline has found its way into legends such as Toyota Supra Nissan Skyline and many of BWWs performance cars however despite being simple the inline six was not cheap to manufacture and when it came to cost to power ratio the V6 quickly became its successor


V engines also get their name from how their cylinders are arranged when viewed along the axis of their crankshaft these cylinders and pistons appear to make a V-shape when compared to inline engines of the cylinder count V engines tend to be more compact, which resulted in lung becoming a popular choice for engines with higher cylinder counts large arrangements like inline eight engines were too large and cumbersome in design to migrate this issue engineers quickly found out that was efficient to arrange


Eight cylinders in a V-shape instead, this is also another factor as to why v sixes were favored over inline sixes however this never caught on with smaller engines like four cylinders when it comes to an inline four it’s already as compact as it is, it’s extremely cheap to manufacture since the V-shape is rather unnecessarily complicated for an engine that is already so small


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