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Let’s Get to know the type of car engine based on its configuration!

The type of car engine is very important in the discussion of the car. If we look at reviews or car reviews there will definitely be a section that mentions the type of car engine. Call it like inline-four, V8, boxer, rotary, and others.

Well, if we do not know what the term means, then we will just gape what that means hehe. In fact, this type of engine has its own characteristics which in the end will also affect the character of a car. As a character, there are certainly advantages and disadvantages.

Actually there are many types of this machine too. Depending on the category or classification. For example, based on energy sources there are petrol (gasoline), diesel, hybrid, electricity, and hydrogen engines . If from the forced induction system there are NA engines, turbo engines and supercharged engines . From the number of strokes there are 2-stroke, 4-stroke, and 6-stroke engines.

In this review, we will discuss the type of machine based on its configuration or layout. This is a very common category that we encounter everyday.

Are you ready for the coffee? Let’s just start.

Inline / Straight

“The traditional yet effective.”

This is the most common and popular type used in car engines. If we go out and see cars passing on the streets, it mostly uses inline / straight engine. As the name implies this type of engine has a cylinder / piston placement that is aligned or in line.

The configuration is as follows.

  1. Cylinders are placed in line in line.
  2. The cylinder is above the crankshaft (crankshaft).
  3. Has a simple construction compared to other engine configurations.
  4. Because it is simple, the moving parts are less than other engine configurations.
  5. Generally use a single manifold for the exhaust.

The advantages of inline engines are compact and lightweight so they are good for fuel efficiency. This is why most cars generally use this type of configuration. In addition, this type of machine is very economical to produce and also to maintain. It’s not complicated hehe. Inline is also known by tuners as a configurable configuration, especially in inline-four.

Layout that extends in line makes this type of engine has a limit on the volume and number of cylinders. The volume is usually maximal in the range of 2.5L-3.0L, while the number of cylinders is generally only up to six. Can you imagine if inline-10 or inline-12, how long does the hood of the engine haha.

The design also has a higher center gravity than some other engine configurations. This will affect the stability and handling of the car. Another drawback, because the configuration is in line, it requires a long alias engine packaging, especially in inline-six.

Popular examples of this type of machine are of course inline-four and inline-six. Starting from economical machines to legendary machines like JZ, RB, B series, 4AG, 4G63 and others. For Inline-six, this type is a favorite configuration of several European car manufacturers, especially the most loyal is BMW.

Cars with inline-eight seem to be very rare, even if there are only a few and as far as I know the old times there hehe. Inline-5 is quite widely used in European cars such as Fiat, Lancia and VW. The most famous example for the legendary rally group Group B would have been familiar with the Audi Quattro S1 .

Inline-three is currently quite popular along with the emphasis on the cost of efficient cars but boyot. Call it like Daihatsu Ayla, Toyota Agya, Datsun Go, and others.


“More cylinder more power!”

This is the type of engine configuration that is often synonymous with power and of course speed!

Yes, it’s also natural, because the number of V’s using cylinders can be very large. Surely you already know, starting from V6, V8, V10, to V12! Of course, more cylinders means more kitchens where air and gasoline are burning so that is more power. V4 actually exists too, for example in some Lancia cars like Fulvia.

V engine has the following configuration.

  1. The cylinder is placed in a V-shaped layout
  2. The V layout angle varies in magnitude depending on the manufacturer. Although most for racing or performance the amount of V angle is 90 degrees.
  3. The more the number of cylinders, the higher the level of performance of the car. For example, the V10 and V12 cars are definitely supercar or hypercar caste cars .
  4. Has 2 exhaust manifolds.

This type of machine is a compact configuration. Compare it with an inline that extends. The V engine has more compact dimensions so that it can fit many of the cylinders we mentioned earlier. Not only from the amount, the cylinder volume can be even greater on the V engine. The result is extra power.

This configuration also has more torque than inline engine. Thanks to the design where each piston pair works on each side produces more torque especially at low RPM. The superiority in the potential to produce power and torque is one of the reasons V engines are more identical in premium or performance cars.

The disadvantage of a V engine is the large number of moving parts, so that manufacturing and maintenance require more costs. This configuration is also known to be heavier, especially if the number and volume of the cylinder is getting bigger.

Over time, technology in turbo systems continues to improve, especially in efficiency and lag reduction. Some manufacturers then choose V6 or V8 with turbo instead of V10 or V12 NA which is heavy.

Popular examples of V engines, of course, a lot. Starting from the V6 sports car in the NSX or GTR , V8 in the muscle car, and V10, V12 in exotic supercar cars.

Flat / Boxer Engine Type

“Excellent balance, better handling!”

In other configurations, the position of the cylinder is vertical ie top down. Well, in this Flat / Boxer horizontal horizontal alias.

Actually this flat and boxer engine though similar but actually there is a little difference. Boxer uses one crankpin for each cylinder, while Flat uses one crankpin for one pair of cylinders (two facing cylinders).

That is why on the boxer engine, the opposite pistons will move closer to each other, then away from each other. Like the hands of two boxers who are hitting each other. While on a flat engine, the opposite piston will move in tandem.

Nevertheless, in everyday life the notion of boxer and flat engine is often equated.

The Flat / Boxer engine configuration is as follows.

  1. The main character is the placement of a horizontal cylinder with pistons facing each other / in pairs.
  2. Because of the layout character, the dimensions of this type of machine can be very low and wide.

The engine is the heaviest component of a car. With a horizontal engine layout, the central gravity is low so the car has excellent stability and handling. Boxer / flat engine is also known as a very smooth engine due to the load on the lighter crankshaft.

Weaknesses the engine becomes wide. Maintenance can be complicated especially if the size of the engine room is mediocre. Compared to inline engines, sound from the boxer / flat engine can be more rough. But this has instead become a characteristic that is an attraction for enthusiasts. Another drawback, the configuration is more complex and complicated to maintain.

For you purists, true boxer engines, whose ‘piston beating’ each other can be found on Porsches and Subaru.

Flat-4 or Flat-6 are quite familiar and widely used such as the Toyota GT86 / Subaru BRZ, Porsche 911, 982/718 Cayman, Subaru Legacy, Subaru Outback, and others. Anyway, the Lykan HyperSport Supercar also uses the Flat-6 configuration engine.

Flat-8 and Flat-10 are rarely used because of the wide cost and dimension of the engine. Flat-12 is used in racing cars such as the Formula 1 Ferrari 1512 and Mercedes-Benz C291.

Rotary / Wankel engine

“The spinning triangles.”

Speaking of compact, the rotary engine is the winner. Simple but very effective. The power to weight ratio of this machine is amazing. With compact dimensions, light weight can produce great power. Small cayenne pepper!

Immediately in the configuration.

  1. Not using a piston, but a rotor. The numbers start from 1 rotor (trapped version), 2 rotors (general modern version / street), 3 rotors (racing), and the most brapp brapp is 4 rotors such as the Mazda 787B.
  2. The equilateral triangle rotor is connected to the crankshaft in a housing.
  3. One rotational rotation of the rotor has 4-strokes: intake, compression, explosion, and exhaust.

The advantage of a rotary is a very high power to weight ratio. With small dimensions and light weight, this machine can have greater power compared to other types of machines. This machine also has a few moving parts so it is very compact and economical to produce. In addition, the rotary engine is also a high RPM alias high revving engine!

All the uniqueness and strengths of the rotary make this machine a very character machine and has its own charm for the enthusiasts.

Nevertheless, this small but powerful engine is known as a fragile and thirsty machine. Not reliable.

Rotary works by injecting oil into the rotor housing so that the oil that burns will greatly affect emissions of exhaust gases. It also makes oil will continue to decrease and we must be diligent in checking and filling oil. This engine also has a low compression character, so there are some fuels that don’t burn. This not only increases emissions but also greatly affects fuel efficiency.

The difference in temperature in the housing and rotor results in sealing of this machine for a long time vulnerable to work not optimal or even damaged. That is why a rotary engine in a certain period requires rebuild the engine. If it is not done the engine performance and fuel efficiency will be greatly disturbed.

An example of a rotary engine would have been known. Mazda is indeed very identical with this engine. Previously, several manufacturers such as NSU, Citroen, Ford, and GM tried to develop this engine but failed because it was difficult to deal with rotary weaknesses.

Mazdalah who managed to “conquer” this rotary engine.

After purchasing a license from NSU, Mazda then ordered 47 of its engineers to explore this machine and create a rotary engine that is far more reliable. Although at the expense of fuel consumption. This business was successful and Mazda then sold half a million cars with rotary engines in 1973.

Mazda RX 3, which was introduced in 1971 is evidence of the history of Mazda’s efforts in conquering rotary engines. We have all known successors, RX-7 and RX-8 continued.

Too bad, in the end Mazda collapsed. They are no longer able to take care of this little wild rotary. The 2012 RX-8 was discontinued and became the cover series of rotary machines in the world.

Machine Type W Engine

“V engine on steroids.”

This is an uncommon machine and will very rarely be found. It feels strange and eccentric that there is a car engine with a W design. Therefore, as with rotary, this W engine is an exotic and amazing engineering work. W engines are currently only developed and used by the VW Group. Looks like there is a W hehe.

Previously we have discussed above about the V engine. Well, the current modern W engine in layout can be called a combination of two attached V engines. Combine the two Vs to become VV alias W.

Configure it like this.

  1. The cylinder is placed in the shape of the letter W. So in the middle of layout V, there is another row of cylinders.
  2. Consists of several configurations.
  3. First, three rows of cylinders (cylinder banks) with one crankshaft. This is the classic initial design of the W engine.
  4. Next, four cylinder banks with 1-2 crankshafts. This is the current modern design for the W engine.
  5. Finally, two cylinder banks with 2 crankshafts. This is very rarely used and we can find in MotoGP class motorcycles such as the Yamaha YZR500 and Cagiva GP500.

The advantages of this machine, especially in its compact form that can contain a very large number of cylinders. This type of engine has been applied to W8, W12, W16 and even W18 engine models!

The drawback, of course, of its complexity, cost and efficiency, is very large. In addition, a compact design consisting of a large number of cylinders such as this causes the engine temperature when working is very hot.

As mentioned above, the W engine is currently only developed and used by the VW Group. W8 is used in the VW Passat. W12 is embedded in the VW Phaeton, VW Touareg, Audi A8, and Bentley Continental GT. The violent W16 became the kitchen of the Bugatti hypercar duo, Veyron and Chiron.

W18 has not been used so far in production cars. It used to be just an experiment such as a Ferrari F1 car in 1967. In addition, W18 became the powerplant of the Bugatti EB118 concept car, Bugatti EB218, Bugatti 18/3 Chiron and Bugatti EB 18.4 Veyron in the 99s.

But in the end Bugatti used W16 on the Veyron and Chiron. Either maybe in the future whether the release finally W18 or even W20 haha. And even then, if not triggered the hypercar electric car takes over the martial world. Hopefully not.

Thus the review this time. Each type of machine based on its configuration has its own character. There are advantages, there are also disadvantages. Both in terms of sound character, production costs, complexity, weight, and others.

What do you think, which type of machine is your favorite? Any additions or comments?

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