Different Types Of Car Engine Explained-An Ultimate Guide

Car engines play an essential role in the functioning of the vehicles. Car owners, whether buying a car or having one already, should know about the different types of car engines. They should be aware of their performance, attributes, and uses. The exterior of a car enhances its appearance and tells about its aesthetics. However, the interior of the vehicle mainly determines what the car can do for us. The car engine lies in its interior, which majorly operates the vehicle. It does so by the coordination of several different car engine parts. 

Furthermore, this article will explain the different types of car engine. Engines are classified by layout, configuration, and type. 

Engine Layout

An engine layout refers to the arrangement or number of cylinders in an engine. There are many types of engine layouts available. Modern cars use internal combustion engines to ignite the air-fuel mixture through the combustion stroke. It is to activate the engine with the spark plug present in the internal combustion engine. Some of the common car engines are as follows.

Straight Or Inline Engine

Straight or inline engines are placed vertically in line, one behind the other. Depending on the number of cylinders used in the car, the repairers can place them perpendicular or parallel. In the parallel direction, the engine is referred to as a straight engine. However, the perpendicular direction demonstrates it as an inline engine.

Moreover, these kinds of engines have an easy installation process. They are cost-effective and inexpensive. Inline car engines are suitable for entry-level cars like hatchbacks due to their compact build design. Straight-line engines have more cylinders and more power than inline engines.  Luxurious sedans like BMW or Mercedes have an inline engine under the hood.

Flat Engine Layout

A flat engine layout means that cylinders are located on any side of the crankshaft. They have a horizontal shape of placement. It is also known as a boxer engine due to the piston movement.  Additionally, it seems like a pugilist who punches their gloves before a match.  Moreover, it is  a kind of balanced engine that produces low vibrations due to piston movement.

 It consists of a reduced center of mass that improves a car’s overall handling. Due to their wide shape, flat engines are expensive and not recommended by automotive manufacturers. Porsche and Subaru are the only cars with flat engine layouts in their interiors.

V Engine Layout

The V engine is one of the significant types of car engines with a V-shaped design from the front. Additionally, these engines are used on all high-performance vehicles. The most reliable feature of this kind of engine is that more cylinders can be placed in a single space. Furthermore, this means that the car can have more power while maintaining its aesthetics. V engines are expensive to repair and produce more vibrations than a straight engine. Cars like Mercedes Benz adopt the V engine layout.

Car Engine Types By Configuration

The number of cylinders in a car determines its power. In today’s world, even smaller engines give more control. Additionally, the engine’s fuel efficiency, energy, and number of cylinders vary depending on the engine type.

Two Cylinder Engine

Two-cylinder engines are used in two-wheelers like bikes. Cars commonly dont have two cylinder engines.

Three Cylinder

The three-cylinder engines produce rough and noisy vibrations due to an unsequenced number of cylinders. They make more power in comparison to two cylinders and consist of turbochargers. The small cars and hatchbacks have three cylinder engines.

Four Cylinder

Four cylinders are used in most cars.  However, these engines have significant power input and efficiency. They consist of an inline layout with turbochargers. 

Five Cylinder Engine

These kinds of engines are found in luxurious cars like Audi and Volvo S90. Due to the odd number of cylinders, these engines emit an inconsistent sound known as warbling. 


Six Cylinder Engine

It produces a high-pitched sound and is used in sports cars. The straight or V-engine layouts consist of six cylinder engines. Luxury sedans like BMW 5 series and Mercedes Benz C class use a six-cylinder engine. These engines use turbochargers and superchargers to give them a boost and power.

Eight/Ten/Twelve Cylinder Engine

These engines are commonly known as V8, V10, and V12 engines. Additionally, the V engine layouts have these cylindrical engines. Moreover, they have high power output and high speeds. They can move at high speeds and torque. Their sound may vary from a roar to inconsistent high-pitched sounds.

Engine By Fuel Type

There are two different kinds of car engine by fuel type: petrol and diesel. Modern cars commonly use them. However, the type of engine depends on the fuel that powers the vehicle’s engine.

Petrol Engine

Most of the cars have petrol engines. However,  the spark ignition process use the ICE. It consists of a lower compression ratio. Moreover, it uses the four-stroke cycle. These engines consists of a V shape configuration and has 20% heat efficiency. The diesel engine has half of this efficiency.

Diesel Engine

Diesel engines are same in function in comparison with internal combustion engines. However, the main difference is that they use diesel instead of petrol. Diesel engines burn diesel fuel, which is heavier than petrol fuel. Diesel engines generate more power and torque than gas engines. However, they emit more gases and are less efficient. 

Alternative Fuel Engines

Alternative fuel engines are becoming popular in the automotive industry. Electric engines use electricity to power the car wheels. They are highly efficient and emit less emissions. For several reasons, the shift towards electrical engines has not initiated yet. However, hybrid engines are another type of engine. They combine the ICE with an electric motor usually found in high-performance cars.

Final Note

In a nutshell, there are different types of car engine. It varies by layout, configuration, and fuel type. Each engine has its characteristics and features. Furthermore, this ultimate guide will provide valuable insights to the car owners. Customers should consider buying car engine parts from PakWheels. The price ranges from PKR 1000 to PKR 1,250,000. They have various types of engines for sale in Pakistan.  It will help them to choose the best engine for their needs. The car engine can get damaged, so it is essential to implement car engine maintenance tips and change the engine oil every 3000 miles or after three months. 

However, new cars require a change of oil after every 6000 months. They should protect it in their car insurance policy to get better coverage.


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