Car Engine image

How many types of Engines are used in Cars?


Car Engine image
Car Engine image

Today we are going to learn about the different types of engines used in cars.

I am sure you all must be curious to know how many types of engine used in your car?

Well, broadly speaking in general there are two types of engine

  1. Internal combustion Engine: Combustion takes place inside the engine.
  2. External Combustion Engine: combustion takes place outside the engine.

The type of engine that is used in cars is Internal combustion engine.

How car Engine works?

Car Engine uses four stroke internal combustion engine. As the name suggests it makes use of 4 strokes to run the engine.

It uses Otto Cycle discovered by Nikolaus Otto in the year 1867.

Let’s discuss in in brief the four stages of the working up of the four stoke engine:

  1. Intake stroke

In this stroke the piston moves downwards and the air fuel mixture enters the cylinder.

2. Compression Stroke

In this stroke the piston moves upwards and compresses the air fuel ratio.

3. Combustion stroke

The piston when it is about to move down spark is produced by the spark plug and ignition of the fuel air mixture takes place forcing the piston rapidly to move down and producing energy to run the engine.

4. Exhaust stroke

The last stage of the cycle where the piston moves upwards and causes the gases produced by the combustion of the fuel  to move out of the engine.

Now, lets see different types of engines used in the cars:

  • Straight /Inline Engine:
  • It is a four-cylinder engine. In some cases, there are 5 and 6 cylinder are also used.
  • Inline Engines have cylinder placed side by side in a row in a upright position.
  • Cylinders are placed on the top of the crankshaft.
  • The firing order is mostly 1-3-4-2. It means first the ignition will take place in 1st cylinder then in 3, 4 and 2nd
  • Turbo Chargers are used for better performance.


  1. Small and compact size engine with fewer requirement of cylinder heads and crankshafts.
  2. Easy to build as compared to the other types of engine.
  3. Parts are easily available in the market.
  4. Lower maintenance cost.
  5. Good Mileage.


  1. Secondary Imbalance resulting in high vibration.
  2. Limit engine size: If the size of the engine is increased it will increase the vibration and will increase the overall size of the vehicle which is not feasible.
  3. High center of gravity: Higher the center of gravity higher is the imbalance.

Application of Inline Engine:

Some famous example of the inline engine are:

  1. BMW S1000RR is equipped with water cooled inline engine.
  2. Kawasaki H2 and H2r has a super charged DOHC inline engine.
  • 2015 Mercedes Benz GLA 45 and Benelli TNT300 are some of the famous vehicle using inline engine.
  • V-line Engine
  • The firs v configuration was build in 1989. Cylinders are arranged in V shape.
  • The angle of V varies between the manufacturers. V-line engines have two rows of cylinder arranged at 90 degree angle to each other.
  • V Configuration engine comes in variety of arrangements such as V6, V8, V10 or V12.
  • Firing order: For firing order lets consider let us consider 1,3,5 ae the cylinders on the left hand side and 2,4,6 are the cylinders present on the right hand side so the firing order of a v6 engine is 1-2-3-4-5-6.
  • Higher the number of cylinders, close the car gets to being a super car.


  1. V engines are more compact having Shorter length, weight and height of the engine.
  2. More rigidity.
  3. Very strong engine with very high performance.
  4. Engine have Low center of gravity making it an ideal choice for the motor sport application.
  5. High resistance to torsional vibration producing smooth and refined engine.


  1. V-Engines are more costly.
  2. Complex design and heavy weight.
  • It has more moving parts so it has high maintenance cost.


  1. Ford GT has a twin turbo v6 engine with 600 horse power is the fastest V6 engine car.
  2. Lamborghini aventador s has V12 engine.
  3. Dukati panigale is equipped with v4 engine.
  4. Honda NSX
  5. Chevy Camaro are some of the most famous example of configuration engine.
  • Boxer/ Flat Engines:
  • In flat engines the cylinders are placed horizontally and are generally called “boxers”.

This is because the two pistons join together in the middle of top Dead Center. This is similar to the two boxers touching gloves at the beginning of the bout.

  • Firing order: Considering 1,3 cylinder on the left hand side and 2,4 on the right hand side the firing order of the engine is 1-3-2-4.
  • Flat engines have lower center of gravity than any other common configuration, so vehicle using them benefit from better stability and control Suring cornering.


  1. Primary and secondary forces are balanced out.
  2. Less vibrations produced.
  3. Lighter cranks are used so we have faster revolution.
  4. Low Center of gravity. 


  1. Manufacturing and maintenance cost is high.
  2. Engine is quite wide so It acquires a larger amount of space.
  3. Engine design is complex.
  4. Boxer engine produces more noise due to lack of air boxes and other components in the engine bay.


  1. Porche use flat engines in the legendary 911 sports car.
  2. Subaru has been producing AWD front car.
  • Wankel Rotary Engine:
  • In wankel rotary engine the cylinder arrangement resembles the alphabet ‘w’.
  • In 1906 the first wankel rotary engine was built.
  • It is the most early type of IC Engine in which the crankshaft remained stationary and the entire cylindrical block rotated around it.
  • The original W12 engine used three banks of 4 cylinder coupled to a common crankshaft with 60 degree between banks.


  1. Improved cooling method is used in rotary engine.
  2. Compact and simple
  3. Offers descent power to weight ratio.
  4. Small size makes it perfect for swapping to other chasis.
  5. It is one of the best sounding engine in my opinion.


  1. Low
  2. Low Torque.
  3. Expensive to rebuilt.
  4. Apex seals.
  5. High heat output.


  1. Volkswagen is the only automotive manufacturer of W16 engine.
  2. Buggati Veyron and Buggati chiron are the only producing cars using W16 engine.

I hope I was able to clear you about the types of engine used in cars. Further if you have any queries then feel free to write it in the comment section given below.

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