Car engine types: Explore the types of automotive engines

Car engine types: Explore the types of automotive engines

The “heart” of a car is its engine. The thermal energy generated by the combustion of fuel is converted into mechanical work by an engine. Internal combustion (IC) engines are a standard feature of modern cars. However, IC engines come in a variety of forms. The various types of automotive engines are explained on this page. So start the engine and continue reading!

Car engine types: Different types of automotive engines

In autos, a variety of engines are utilized. The fuel type and engine layout/number of cylinders (cylinder configuration) are the two main characteristics that are used to describe the various automotive engine types. Petrol and diesel engines are among the most prevalent forms of engines. However, that’s only a general description of an automobile engine.

Other than diesel versus gasoline, a number of other elements distinguish one engine from another. Based on the aforementioned factors, the following sections will explain various car engine types.

How do car engines work

The engine starts running when you turn the ignition key. Have you ever wondered, though, how an engine operates? Modern engines produce power by controlled explosions or internal combustion. The air-fuel combination inside the engine’s cylinders is ignited to accomplish this. The combustion cycle, which repeats hundreds of times each minute to power the car, is the process in question.

Four strokes comprise a combustion cycle (steps). As a result, modern engines are also referred to as four-stroke engines. Intake, compression, combustion, and exhaust are the four strokes. The in-depth descriptions of each stroke are provided here.


The intake valve opens and discharges the air-fuel mixture inside the combustion chamber when the piston descends during this stroke. A camshaft works with the valve to open and close it. With the aid of a crankshaft, the piston moves upward and downward.


As the name implies, the piston travels upward during this stroke, compressing the air-fuel combination into the combustion chamber.

Combustion (Power):

During this stroke, the spark from the spark plug ignites the compressed hot air-fuel mixture. The energy from the little explosion used to cause it to push the piston downward. The power for the vehicle’s propulsion comes from this shop. As a result, it is also known as a power stroke.


The exhaust valve opens as soon as the piston descends. Additionally, as the piston rises, the exhaust valve is used to force out the gases produced by the explosion. Thousands of times each minute, the cycle is repeated to power the car.

Types of automobile engines in India

Here are the types of auto engines used in cars in India.

1. Naturally aspirated engine

  • An internal combustion engine powers it. A normally aspirated engine, or NA, is another name for it.
  • The air intake in this kind of engine is influenced by atmospheric pressure.
  • The intake manifold is not compelled to induct air into it.
  • Compared to forced air induction engines (turbocharged/supercharged), it has less power.
  • Compared to forced air induction engines, it is more dependable and has a simpler structure.

2. Turbocharged engine

  • It has forced air induction and an internal combustion engine.
  • For forced air induction, a turbocharger is a separate component used.
  • A turbocharger consists of a shaft with an air compressor at one end and a turbine at the other.
  • An inlet port and a snail-shaped covering house the parts.
  • The input port is where the waste exhaust gases enter under high pressure.
  • The compressor is spun as a result of the exhaust gases passing through the turbine.
  • More compressed air is drawn in by the air compressor and exits through the air outlet port.
  • An intercooler that cools the air before it enters the cylinders is used to feed air into them.
  • The engine produces more power because the air pressure is higher than the atmospheric pressure.

3. CRDi engine

  • It is a Common Rail Direct Injection (CRDi) engine, a subtype of diesel engine.
  • Modern diesel engines use a fuel injection system called CRDi.
  • In order to feed fuel to each fuel injector, it consists of a single common rail (line).
  • Because they use a common rail, CRDi engines can maintain a constant fuel injection pressure.
  • The gasoline spray is incredibly fine and is dispersed uniformly because of the steady pressure.
  • It contributes to increased power and efficiency.
  • Depending on the engine’s speed and load, the ECU (Electronic Control Unit) controls the fuel injection pressure.

4. MPFI engine

  • It is a particular kind of gasoline engine also referred to as a multi-point fuel injection engine.
  • A fuel injection technology used in gasoline engines is called MPFI. It is comparable to CRDi, a diesel engine technology.
  • Gasoline injectors are used by the MPFI system to precisely supply the right amount of fuel to each cylinder.
  • MPFI improves fuel efficiency because of the precise fuel distribution mechanism.
  • The output of the engine is additionally increased via MPFI.
  • The MPFI engines are sophisticated and even start up easily in cold weather.
  • MPFI engines emit fewer carbon emissions since the fuel is delivered precisely.

Common car engine layouts

As was already mentioned, cylinder layouts are another way to categorize vehicle engines. To fit the engine under the hood or to generate greater power, many automakers employ various layouts. Here are a few of the typical engine designs that automakers utilize.

1. Straight

  • The cylinders are positioned in a linear arrangement in a line parallel to the vehicle (front to back).
  • More cylinders can be added because of the linear engine design. The displacement of an engine increases with the number of cylinders. increased power production as a result.
  • Most powerful sedan automobiles from the lineup of BMW, Mercedes-Benz, etc. use the straight engine architecture.

2. Inline

  • In the engine compartment, the cylinders are positioned side by side (perpendicular to the car).
  • Engine parts can be arranged more neatly using the inline configuration. Inline engines are therefore small in size.
  • Generally speaking, hatchbacks and compact automobiles have inline engines.

3. V

  • When viewed from the front, the arrangement of cylinders takes on the shape denoted by the word “V.”
  • The cylinders in this arrangement are positioned on either side at a 60-degree angle. As a result, the rows of cylinders are oriented outward in a V shape.
  • A single crankshaft at the base connects the pistons of all the cylinders.
  • There are several cylinders that can fit in the V configuration. As a result, it is mostly found on expensive supercars.

4. Flat

  • The cylinders are positioned horizontally in this engine arrangement. Both of the cylinder rows are oriented outward.
  • Flat engines are not typical. Due to the configuration of the cylinders, they are renowned for providing a low center of gravity.
  • Flat engines hence contribute to driving dynamics and superb handling.
  • One of the biggest producers of flat-cylinder engines is Porsche. A flat-six (6-cylinder) engine powers the legendary Porsche 911 sports vehicle.

Car engine cylinder configurations

The number of cylinders in an engine makes up the car’s cylinder arrangement. The following list of configuration types includes a variety of them.

Twin-cylinder engine:

These days, cars do not have this kind of cylinder design. Two-wheelers with dual-cylinder engines are available. The lack of use in automobiles is a result of their weak power output.

Three-cylinder engine:

It’s a setup that’s typically found in compact autos. However, three-cylinder engines are now also utilized in large hatchbacks thanks to the development of turbochargers. This engine’s lack of refinement as a result of its odd number of cylinders is one of its flaws.

Four-cylinder engine:

It is among the most prevalent arrangements found in contemporary automobiles. Almost all small and big cars have four-cylinder engines that are typically laid out in an inline configuration. These engines are more sophisticated than three-cylinder engines and can provide more power because of the addition of turbochargers.

Five-cylinder engine:

It is a highly uncommon setup that is all but obsolete. A five-cylinder has vibrations as well because of the odd number of cylinders. Manufacturers like Volvo, Audi, and others started using five-cylinder engines.

Six-cylinder engine:

This arrangement can be found in luxury or sporty cars. These engines typically have a straight or V engine configuration. The development of turbochargers has increased the power of six-cylinder engines.

Eight/Ten/Twelve (or more) cylinder engine:

The only automobiles with eight or more cylinders are supercars. They are known as V8, V10, or V12 engines and typically have a V configuration. These engines have enormous capacity, which results in enormous power.

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