Famous Engines

Carl Benz’s single-cylinder engine

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.

Continue Reading

Famous Engines

History of Chevrolet Corvette’s V8 engines

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.

Continue Reading

Famous Engines

Ferrari 288 GTO’s twinturbo V8

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.

Continue Reading

Famous Engines

History of Chevrolet Small Block V8

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.

Continue Reading

Famous Engines

History of Bentley’s 6.75-litre V8

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.

Continue Reading