The engine is the essential mechanical part to move a car forward or backward. There are three types of engine today: the combustion engine, the internal combustion engine, or the electric motor. We are not going to deal today with the electric motor. Here is a brief summary of the history of the engine.
There are all types of motors, whether to move, to build, to create electricity, etc. We are going to look at the automotive engine. Jean Joseph LENOIR created an engine with dilated air thanks to the combustion of inflamed gas due to electricity. This engine was subsequently developed with the German Nikolaus OTTO. He worked on the 4-stroke engine cycle (intake, compression, combustion-expansion (engine time) and exhaust), something Alphonse BEAU DE ROCHAS had started in 1862 and had filed for a patent. OTTO had tried to file one, but logically refused since he tried in 1886, 24 years after our French.
The engine is made up of three essential elements: cylinders, pistons and a crankshaft. We will describe to you what this corresponds to.
The cylinder of an engine owes its name to its cylindrical shape. It is expressed most of the time in cm3. The cylinder is there to accompany the piston, in order to make it slide thanks to its lubricated part inside its walls. Thus, they are never in contact, and this allows the proper functioning of its engine.
The pistons are the parts of a circular shape which are related to the cylinder seen above. They allow good combustion for the engine. They work with an up and down motion. When they reach the stop, a spark appears, a combustion is made, and the piston is propelled downwards. When it is at the bottom, it takes in fuel and air, and propels itself towards the stop.
A crankshaft is used to rotate the pistons. To successfully do this, the crankshaft operates through a crank motion. The crankshaft is therefore placed below the pistons.
The online engine
The in-line engine was born thanks to Etienne Lenoir in 1859. One sees the easiest engine to identify. As its name suggests, this engine has its cylinders mounted in line (one after the other). It’s the type of engine that almost all of us have in our everyday cars. Only drawback, since the cylinders are linear, it takes up space. It takes up as much space as a V8 for example. In other words, we have twice as many cylinders (4 for those in line, 8 for V8), for the same place.
The big advantage, however, is the cost of construction. Since it is easy to make, with few parts to hold, it explains its presence in our everyday lives. Gasoline or diesel fuel can be used.
The in-line engine used for motorsport is the 6-cylinder engine. Same operation, but with more cylinder, and often placed horizontally to save space vertically.
The flat engine
The first flat engine saw its first day about 126 years ago. By whom was it created? The great Carl BENZ, founder of Mercedes-Benz. It was very quickly imitated by Peugeot and Ford, for example with their “horizontal” engines. It had a few years of glory, before being taken ahead by the 4-cylinder in-line engine. Nevertheless, it has an undeniable advantage: it does not take up space in height! Something that the 4-cylinder in line cannot do.
The first to use these engines were Citroën, with the 2CV! André Citroën wanted an engine that lasts over time, at a lower price. So he turned to a twin flat and we can say that it worked! He was able to fulfill all his objectives, because inexpensive, he offered incredible longevity to the deuche.
The competitor to our national 2CV is none other than the Beetle. At Volkswagen (the people’s car), the particularity is that for the Beetle, we put the engine in the back of the vehicle. It has sold 20 million copies. Today it is still used, but among the Japanese with Toyota and its GT86, as well as at Subaru with its BRX. Like what, even 126 years later, we still use the origins of the engine!
On the competition side, and sports car, we go back to Germany, with Porsche which powered its vehicles with flat engines. They created Flats 12 and Flats 16 which could then go up to 880 horsepower! One of the cars being equipped with this engine is the Porsche 917.
Although one can see the advantages of it, it holds disadvantages. The revision and the accessibility of this one are very complicated, and require a great mastery and its expensive cost. Also, it has an advantage which is also a disadvantage: it takes up space. It is flat, so does not take up depth, but takes up space under the hood!
The “V” engine
As the name suggests, the V-engine looks like this letter when viewed from the front. It is in fact, two rows of cylinders face to face in the shape of a V. It exists for several machines:
- The trucks.
- And generators.
Being more compact than an in-line engine, it is used extensively by competition, such as in F1 for example. The engine manufacturers were able to make a line engine, much shorter with the same power.
However, it takes up space, and the feeling of vibrations is quite present because it is difficult to find a balance to calm them. It also needs a special and precise cooling circuit, or even two water pumps.
The “W” engine
The big brother of the V engine. We add a third row of cylinders when it is joined or we separate in 2 which gives us 4 rows when it is separated, which will form a W when seen from the front.
It will respond better with a torque that is increased compared to a V engine. On the other hand, it takes up more space, given the addition of the rows of displacements. It’s quite a complex engine, with really particular and difficult cylinder heads in this engine. It also has a very high cost.
This engine will be found in large vehicles such as:
- Audi A8.
- Volkswagen Touareg W12.
- Volkswagen Passat W8.
- Bentley Continental GT.
- Bugatti Veyron 16.4.
Only high-performance vehicles, with a lot of horsepower under the hood. What to certify the power of this engine.
The rotary engine
Mazda’s flagship engine. It was only used by the Japanese brand, since Citroën also tried the experience of the rotary engine. The rotary engine made a name for itself also with the RX8, which caused a lot of problems. Nevertheless, they have been able to make it more reliable, and will return this year in 2022 with the new ranges.
It works with 4 steps:
- First admission.
- Second compression.
- Thirdly the explosion.
- Fourth the exhaust.
There are therefore 4 steps so that the engine is never empty. Indeed, that was Felix Wankel’s will. To achieve this, he invents a system with 1 chamber, and a triangle-shaped rotor that rotates inside the motor.
There are many advantages for this engine. For starters, it’s smaller! There is therefore a significant gain in space, but also a gain in weight. The vibrations are less felt, and even with sound, we hear them less.
But there are downsides. The engine is greedy, it consumed a lot of fuel (about 20% more than a reciprocating piston engine). Its reliability was questioned. Indeed, the sealing left something to be desired. This problem caused a lot of problems with the upper part of the engine.
However, they managed to improve this engine quite well with the RX7 and RX8.
The star engine
For the latter, it is a slightly more complex engine that we are dealing with. It is mainly used in aviation, but some cars have tried to implement it under their hoods. Nevertheless, it is very complicated to adapt it to a car. It’s a big, heavy engine, which has a big cost, and which is very complex.
Nevertheless, it is one of the most beautiful engine sights you will see. Its architectural beauty is incomparable. She also has a very good cycle regularity. Air cooling is a big plus on this engine as well.
Small thing to add concerning the engines, do not forget the oil! You might be surprised if you never have any more!
With CD SPORT, you will have the chance to ride with 4-cylinder engines with a power of 200hp. You can reach a maximum speed of 250 km/h! In addition, since this year 2022, we have been driving with bio ethanol gasoline! So what are you waiting for to join us on our driving courses?