V Engines - What Are They And How Do They Work
Automobile engines function in a mechanism that converts heat energy into mechanical power. It generates power, creates torques in the crankshaft and transmits that to the wheel. However, different types of internal combustion engines are used in automobiles. Among them, V engines are one of the most efficient ones in creating rotational power. Before buying a car, you need to know what is V engine, along with its types, advantages, and disadvantages.
What Is V Engine in a CAR?
It is a common type of internal combustion engine. Inside this V engine, two sets of cylinders remain connected over the crankshaft at a generally 60–90 degree angle. The formation of this angle makes it look like a ‘V’. This V-shaped form makes their size smaller than other types of engines. The angle also helps in enhancing the overall efficiency of this V engine.
How Does a V Engine Work?
In a V engine, cylinders draw in fuel and air into their chambers. After that, they compress and ignite all the pulled-in gas. The combustion in the closed and compressed chambers creates immense pressure. All this accumulated power gets transferred into the pistons in the form of force and moves them downwards. These pistons release the stored-in gas and go upward again. All these happen in a cyclic order, creating a rotational movement in the engine’s crankshaft.
What Are the Types of V Engines?
The V engines are categorised according to the number of cylinders used. Following are some major V engine types used in vehicles:
1. V2 Engine
This working principle of V engine was first used in the automobiles of Daimler Stahlradwagen in 1889. Two chambers are used in making it. It is also known as V-twin cylinders.
2. V4 Engine
In a V4 engine, two pairs of cylinders are connected to the crankshaft. It is less popular than other types of engine and its application in cars is almost negligible. It increases manufacturing expenses, and its overall design is also complex. Nevertheless, it performs smoother in terms of power and rigidity in comparison to Inline-4 (I4) engine,
3. V6 Engine
In a V6 engine, two sets of three cylinders stay connected with the crankshaft at an angle (that can be 60, 90 or 120-degree).
Compared to V8 and V12, this V6 engine is a shorter, lighter, and more compact internal combustion engine. One of the major advantages of this engine is that it gives a higher fuel efficiency than V8 and V12. It also reduces the vibration of the vehicle to a large extent.
4. V8 Engine
After the initial success of V2 engines, engineers came up with 8 cylinder-based V engines in 1903. At that time, they integrated the mechanism in aeroplanes and racing boats.
It is a light and short engine in which two sets of the same number of cylinders stay connected with the crankshaft at a 90-degree angle. It is one of the most rigid V engines that generate a higher combustion power, enabling the automobile to run at a higher acceleration without much difficulty. This is because, at every moment, two cylinders keep on pushing the power stroke.
5. V12 Engine
It is one of the highest horsepower generating engines in the automobile industry. However, earlier, its industrial implementation was somewhat limited to military vehicles, aircraft, ships, boats, etc. Phantom-III of Rolls-Royce was the first commercial car that used this V12 engine. In the V12 engine, two sets of 6 cylinders stay placed on either side of the crankcase at a 60-degree angle.
What Are the Applications of V Engine?
Read the below-mentioned table to understand what is V Engine’s applications:
Types of V Engines
Applications of V Engines
This small-sized engine is mainly used in high-end motorcycles like cruisers and sports bikes. However, manufacturers of some small cars also use V2 engines.
The application of this engine type is mainly in marine outboards. Apart from this, some MotoGP manufacturers also use the V4 engine.
Some of the automobiles in which manufacturers use V6 engine are railway engines, marine outboards, and racing cars.
The main application of this V8 engine is in luxury cars, sports cars, pickup trucks and SUVs.
Because of its high manufacturing costs, you can see its application only in high-end cars like Ferrari 812 GTS, Lamborghini Aventador, Mercedes Benz S Class.
What Are the Components of V Engines?
Following are some of the major components of the V engine:
- Injector rocker arm
- Injector control shaft
- Injector rack
- Fuel injector
- Water inlet jumper and manifold
- Crankshaft counterweight
- Exhaust valve
- Cylinder head
- Cylinder liner
- Piston cooling oil pipe and manifold
- Oil pan and oil level gauge
What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of V Engine?
Apart from knowing what V engine is and its functionalities, you also need to have a clear idea about its pros and cons.
Following are some major advantages of the V Engine:
- V engines are available in different sizes, containing 2 to 24 cylinders.
- These engines come in smaller sizes and lighter weights than inline engines.
- In terms of performance also, the V engines outcompete inline engines.
- The noise and vibration are less.
- As V engines use more pistons, they can transfer power to crankshaft more efficiently.
Here are some of the disadvantages of the V engine:
- The V engines are complex in the structure; therefore, their manufacturing and servicing process is complicated and costly.
- Drivers may face issues like vibration and mechanical stress from their cars if the installation of the V engine is improper or unbalanced.
- It consumes more fuel in comparison to inline engines.
- Its maintenance is also expensive.
To summarise, the V engine is a compact and efficient power generating mechanism in automobiles. It can generate power and acceleration quickly and effortlessly. In fact, it also has several types according to the number of cylinders used in the engine. After knowing what is a V engine, you may have understood why automobile manufacturers use it extensively.