What Are the Different Types of Car Engines?
The car engine is the heart of your car. It is one of the most crucial parts of your car as it is the source of power for your vehicle. So, when buying a car, you should also consider the engine as a key feature of your car.
Take a look at different types of car engines based on different categories to help you make a better decision the next time.
What Are the Different Types of Engines in Cars?
Car engine types are categorised into three different types, Layout, configuration and fuel type.
Let’s have a closer look at all the types.
Car Engines Types by Layout
The engine layout is nothing but the arrangement and the number of cylinders present in the car engine. There are several types of layouts, among which 3 are famous. Let’s go through them:
1. Straight or Inline Engine Layout
The name itself says that the engines are placed in straight lines, one behind the other. This is the most common type of car engine owing to its inexpensiveness and ease of manufacturing.
When the engines are placed perpendicularly, it is known as an Inline layout; when placed in a straight line, parallel, it is known as a Straight layout. Inline engines are more common in family hatchbacks, while Straight engines are popular in luxury cars because of their increased power.
2. Flat Engine Layout
Opposite to the straight layout, the engines are placed horizontally in this type. Some people also call it the Boxer engine due to the movements exhibited by its piston.
The low centre of mass makes it all the way better in handling the car, and a large amount of surface area helps to cool the engine effectively and equally. Flat engines are only manufactured by Porsche and Subaru because of their expensive nature and wide shape.
3. V-Engine Layout
The V-engine layout is widely used in high-performance engines where the engine chambers are laid in the shape of a V when seen from the front. This very economical engine design accommodates more engines in a lesser space, which means you can improve the car's performance while maintaining the gorgeous outlook.
All high-performance cars such as Ferrari, Alfa Romeo, and Mercedes Benz use the V-engines for their compact size and high power output.
Car Engine Types by Configuration
In this category, the car engines are differentiated based on the number of cylinders used in the engine.
4. Twin-Cylinder Engine
Owing to their low output, nowadays they are not used to manufacture any car. However, some of the very few models, such as Kawasaki Ninja 300 and Tata Nano, are still known to use this type of engine.
5. Three-Cylinder Engine
Three-cylinder engines make a gurgling sound due to their odd firing sequence and vibrations produced by them. However, they are stronger than twin-cylinder engines and are often paired with turbochargers to increase their efficiency. They are generally found in hatchbacks and compact SUVs.
6. Four-Cylinder Engine
These types of engines are implemented to get more power and efficiency and are generally seen with an Inline Layout. They are combined with a turbocharger to increase the capacity of cars like Honda City, Maruti Suzuki, and Hyundai Elantra.
7. Five-Cylinder Engine
Due to its odd number of cylinders, five-cylinder engines are rarely used. They are mostly used by luxury car manufacturers such as Audi and Volvo. It also emits a peculiar warning sound due to its unconventional cylinder arrangement.
8. Six-Cylinder Engine
Depending on the vehicle, these engines exhibit a high-pitched sound that either uses a straight or a V-engine layout. Expensive cars such as BMW-5 Series and Mercedes Benz C-Class use it along with a turbocharger to increase its power to many folds.
9. Eight/Ten/Twelve Cylinder Engine
Configuration of 8 or more cylinders is generally seen in supercars like Bugatti Chiron, which has a W16 engine. The presence of a supercharger is responsible for the roars or high-pitched squeals emanating from the engine.
Car Engine Types by Fuel
The automobile industry has undergone massive change in recent years and come up with a wide range of engines depending on the fuels that are available in the market.
10. Internal Petrol Combustion Engines
These types of engines are suitable for suburban travel as the new technologies have reduced their fuel consumption. Also, it has low particulate emissions.
11. Diesel Internal Combustion Engines
These engines emit less CO2 than petrol and are always ideal for long regular journeys.
12. Mild Hybrid Electric Vehicle
MHEV is a new battery-driven technology where the battery gets recharged while decelerating the vehicle. It reduces fuel consumption significantly and also maintains the flexibility of the conventional combustion engine.
13. Hybrid Electric Vehicle
This electric motor has a tiny battery that aids the combustion engine. This also gets power while the vehicle is decelerating or using brakes. All of this helps in the reduction of fuel consumption, which thereby results in lower CO2 emissions.
14. Compressed Natural Gas Engine
The fuel mainly contains methane and natural gas, which produces less pollution from combustion. The fact that it can completely be decarbonised is a boon for everyone. Apart from this, it always accommodates an engine that is driven on petrol so that you never run out of fuel.
15. Liquefied Petroleum Gas Engine
The fuel for this engine is composed of propane and butane with no benzene. Owing to the fact that it produces less emissions, it is highly recommended by everyone.
Every engine has its own uniqueness and features. Some have amazing performances, and some work amazingly for fuel efficiency. We hope this article helped you understand your needs and requirements. So, whenever you buy a car next time, check the engine as well!