In 1900, Wilhelm Maybach designed a completely new engine for the new Daimler 35 hp Mercedes model. With a bore/stroke ratio of 116 x 140 mm, the engine had a total displacement of 5918cc and output of around 35 hp.
The Benz Patent Motor Car from 1886 is regarded as the world’s first automobile. The heart of the Benz Patent Motor Car was a single-cylinder, four-stroke engine with a displacement of 0.954 litres. This design already incorporated several of the key features found in most internal combustion engines today, including a crankshaft with counterweights, electric ignition and water cooling. The unit developed a peak output of 0.55 kW at 400/min.
Since 1955, the Chevrolet Corvette has been powered by the Chevrolet V8 engine. Technological advancements have increased output from 195 hp in 1955 to 638 hp in 2012, but the fundamental architecture of the Chevrolet Small Block have remained the same; a 90-degree V8, with overhead valves actuated by pushrods, and a 4.4-inch on-center bore spacing.
Ferrari 288 GTO’s mid mounted engine was a 90 degree V8 unit fitted longitudinally, with the forward end so close to the cabin bulkhead to optimise weight distribution, that a service hatch was provided in the bulkhead for maintenance. This was the first longitudinally mounted V8 engine fitted in a Ferrari production road car, and also the first to be fitted with twin turbochargers. The total cubic capacity was 2855cc, with a 80mm x 71mm bore and stroke, a compression ratio of 7.6:1, and factory type reference F 114 B 000. It had four valves per cylinder, twin overhead camshafts per bank, each with its own toothed drive belt, dry sump lubrication, with twin IHI turbochargers feeding intake air via a pair of Behr intercoolers at 0.8 bar, coupled to a Weber-Marelli IAW combined ignition/fuel injection system, to provide a claimed power output of 400 bhp at 7000rpm.
From 1929 and 1955, Chevrolet only offered six-cylinder engines. To address the burgeoning performance market, chief engineer Ed Cole set out to design a Chevrolet V8 that was powerful, lightweight and affordable. His solution was elegantly simple: a compact, efficient 90-degree V8 engine, featuring overhead valves, pushrod valvetrain, and 4.4-inch on-center bore spacing. The Chevrolet Big Block follows the same formula, with the exception of a wider 4.8 inch bore spacing.
In 1959 a V8 engine was introduced and fitted to the Bentley S2 models. Despite its additional two cylinders and 27.5 per cent increase in swept volume over the straight six, the new 6.23-litre was 30lb lighter thanks to its cast alloy block and cylinder heads. The oversquare – 104.1mm bore x 91.4mm stroke – engine featured a conventional five-bearing crankshaft and a gear-driven single camshaft in the centre of the vee. The overhead valves were operated by self-adjusting hydraulic tappets.
After the production of the BMW M1 had stopped, the BMW CEO Eberhard Kuenheim commissioned a design for a successor. On one of his regular visits to Motorsport GmbH in Munich’s Preußenstraße he said, “Mr. Rosche, we need a sporty engine for the 3 Series.” Motorsport GmbH with its managing director of technical development Paul Rosche had demonstrated its expertise with the legendary 5 Series saloons driven by M engines as well as developing the Formula 1 turbo engine that powered Brazilian Nelson Piquet to win the World Championship in the Brabham BMW in 1983.
When Henry Ford began building “Sweepstakes” race car in 1901, he had a specific purpose in mind: publicity and recognition. Racing proved the worth of a builder’s engineering talent by demonstrating the speed and reliability of the product. In the Sweepstakes race car the engine was mounted in the middle of the car on the left-hand side, under the seat. It had two cylinders, horizontally opposed, with the crankshaft aligned transversely across the chassis. The cast-steel connecting rods reflected steam-power technology, with brass crank bearings as separate pieces bolted to the ends of the rods. The block and pistons were cast iron and with a seven-inch bore and seven-inch stroke, the total displacement was 539 cubic inches.
In the spring of 1929, the DB engine saw the light of day fitted to the equally new Volvo PV651, a car both larger and more comfortable than the ÖV and PV4 models. The 6 indicated the number of cylinders, 5 the number of seats and 1 stood for the first version of the new series. The DB engine was a conventional piece of machinery; all cast iron with side valves – the valves standing on the side in the block rather than being located in the cylinder head – and with a capacity of 3010 cc. With a 55 hp power output it easily brought the car past the 100 kph mark. An unusual and slightly extravagant detail was the heavy seven-bearing crankshaft which was both statically and dynamically balanced. Good fuel economy in those days meant anything less than 20 litres per 100 km, and the new six was considered to be very economical indeed and also proved very reliable and long-lasting. Those two properties were to characterise all D and E engine versions over the years.
The Chrysler Corporation stunned the racing world on Feb. 23, 1964, when stock cars equipped with its powerful 426 HEMI® engine swept the Daytona 500, taking first, second and third places in stock car racing’s most prestigious event. The engine also set a new average speed record for the track of 154.33 mph. While the engine’s life on the racing circuit was brief – NASCAR quickly imposed stricter engine specifications in an effort to level the playing field – that February day was enough to set the public clamoring for HEMI-style horsepower.