These are the Different Types Of Car Engines. Explained!

Types Of Car Engine – Overview

The beauty of an automobile is defined by its outside, while the interior reveals what the car can do for us.

Yet, we rarely pay attention to the most vital vehicle component – the engine.

The engine is the first item that comes to mind for vehicle enthusiasts, yet it is probably the last!

Before you assume that horsepower and mileage are the only facts that count, learning more about your car’s engine can mean the difference between buying the proper automobile and saving money on maintenance.

Types Of Car Engine
Types Of Car Engine

When searching for a car, you’ll encounter various terminology describing the automobile’s different mechanical parts, including the engine.

For the average automobile buyer, terms like ‘V8‘ and ‘twin-cylinder‘ can be bewildering.

Is one type of engine superior to the other? Is it advantageous to have more cylinders in a car engine?

Types Of Car Engine
Types Of Car Engine

How many different types of automobile engines are there? These are valid concerns to have before making a purchase.

The arrangement of the engine and the configuration of its cylinders are typically used to categorize car engine types.

Different types of Car engines Layout

Straight or Inline Engine Layout

Types Of Car Engine
Types Of Car Engine

The Straight or Inline engine configuration is the most often used.

As the name implies, the cylinders are arranged vertically in line, one behind the other.

Depending on the number of cylinders, this engine can be mounted parallel or perpendicular in the car.

The engine arrangement is known as Straight when it is parallel to the automobile, while it is known as Inline when it is perpendicular to the car.

Straight/inline engines are commonly used because of their low-cost and straightforward manufacture and installation process; straight/inline engines are widely used.

Due to its compact design and flexibility to accommodate other automotive components, inline engines are commonly seen in entry-level family cars such as hatchbacks.

On the other hand, straight engines can have more cylinders and produce more power.

As a result, refined engines are found beneath the hood of luxury vehicles such as those from BMW and Mercedes.

Flat Engine Layout

Types Of Car Engine
Types Of Car Engine

Unlike a straight engine, a flat engine has its cylinders arranged horizontally.

Because the piston action resembles pugilists punching their gloves before a fight, it’s also known as the Boxer engine.

The boxer engine is a balanced engine, which means it has low vibrations caused by force exerted by the pistons’ movement.

Another feature of the Flat Engine is its low center of mass, which helps the automobile handle better.

Furthermore, all cylinders are air-cooled equally due to their vast surface area.

However, flat engines are more expensive to construct than straight engines, and many vehicle manufacturers dislike them because of their wide width.

As a result, Porsche and Subaru are the only carmakers with boxer engines in their lineups.

V-Engine Layout

Types Of Car Engine
Types Of Car Engine

The V-engine is a standard engine architecture found in nearly all high-performance automobiles.

When the engine is looked at from the front, the cylinder banks, or the chamber in which the pistons move, are organized in a V shape.

More cylinders may be crammed into a smaller space distinguishes this configuration from others.

That is more power without sacrificing the car’s appearance.

V Engines are more prone to vibrations than straight engines, and their construction is more intricate, making them more costly to repair.

However, because all pistons complete their power stroke in a shorter period, this Layout creates more power.

Due to its compact size and excellent power output capabilities, almost all high-performance automobile manufacturers choose the V-engine configuration, such as Ferrari, Alfa Romeo, and Mercedes Benz.

Engine Cylinder Configurations

Previously, a vehicle’s power and performance were determined by the number of cylinders.

Thanks to modern fuel injection systems and other fuel-efficient engine components, small engines may now compete with larger engines in terms of output.

Furthermore, fuel economy, sound, and power output vary depending on cylinder configuration and engine layout.

Previously, the higher the number of cylinders, the better the car’s performance; however, this is no longer the case.

Because of the development of robust fuel injection systems and turbochargers, vehicles with fewer cylinders can now compete with larger engines.

We’ll examine the most common engine cylinder designs and the cars in which they’re most likely to be found.

Twin Cylinder

Types Of Car Engine
Types Of Car Engine

Because of their limited power output and capacity, twin-cylinder engines are rare.

Some manufacturers, however, are increasingly employing turbochargers to create tiny, environmentally efficient twin-cylinder engines.

The Fiat TwinAir engine is a beautiful example of this. It can also be found in cars like the Fiat Panda Aria, and the Tata Nano.

This arrangement can also be seen on various bikes, such as the Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 and the Kawasaki Ninja 300.


Types Of Car Engine
Types Of Car Engine

The gurgle-like sound of three cylinders is well-known.

This occurs due to the unusual firing sequence and vibration they generate.

They are, nevertheless, more potent than two-cylinder engines, and the addition of turbochargers increases power output while preserving efficiency.

Three-cylinder engines are often found in small cars.

However, with the development of turbochargers, they’ve begun to show up in larger family hatchbacks like the Ford Focus, even compact SUVs like the Maruti Suzuki Celerio and the Tata Nexon utilize three-cylinder engines.

The Three-cylinder engines have a characteristic burbling sound and a shaking vibration caused by the odd number of cylinders influencing the engine’s balance.

Four Cylinder

Types Of Car Engine
Types Of Car Engine

Due to greater power and economy, four-cylinder engines are the most prevalent arrangement for automobiles.

This engine is mainly found with an inline layout, which produces a strong engine when combined with a turbocharger.

As a result, four-cylinder engines have a considerable level of power and can be made even more potent with the addition of a turbocharger.

Cars with a four-cylinder configuration include the Honda City, Maruti Suzuki Swift, and Hyundai Elantra.

Five Cylinder

Types Of Car Engine
Types Of Car Engine

Another setup that is rarely seen.

Five-cylinder engines are incredibly uncommon, and their vibrations are equivalent to those of a three-cylinder engine.

Nevertheless, luxury automobile manufacturers such as Audi and Volvo use 5-cylinder engines.

The odd number of cylinders in the 5-cylinder arrangement produces a strange sound known as warbling.

Because the car’s comfort and refinement counter the vibration effect, Volvo is one manufacturer that commonly uses five-cylinder engines.

Six Cylinder

Types Of Car Engine
Types Of Car Engine

Six-cylinder engines are employed in most sports automobiles and are noted for their high-pitched sound.

The six-cylinder configuration can be either straight or V-engine, depending on the car.

The 6-cylinder arrangement is used in luxury automobiles such as the BMW 5-Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class.

Most 6-cylinder engines are combined with a turbocharger or a supercharger to offer them awe-inspiring power.

Six-cylinder engines were always thought to be underpowered, but they’re now found in some of the world’s most potent automobiles due to the turbocharger.

Eight Cylinders and Above

Types Of Car Engine
Types Of Car Engine

If six cylinders weren’t enough, an eight-cylinder engine puts you in the supercar category.

The most popular engine design is V-engines with eight or more cylinders.

The Bugatti Chiron, for example, has a W16 engine, meaning it has 16 cylinders arranged in a W pattern, but the Ferrari F8 Tributo has a V8, and the Lamborghini Aventador has a V12.

The sound of these engines ranges from a roar to a high-pitched shriek as the supercharger kicks in.

Cars using this configuration can reach high speeds and have a lot of torque.

Cars with eight or more cylinders are typically classed as supercars due to their huge capacity and power output.

V8, V10, and V12 are designations because they’re frequently grouped in a V pattern.

The V12 engine was the most extensive available until recently, when the super-fast Bugatti Veyron, which has sixteen cylinders, was introduced. Damn!

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Types Of Car Engine
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