Different Types of Car Engine Layouts

Types of Car Engine Layouts

When it comes to automobiles, the engine is a powerhouse. Being a significant part of the vehicle, engines have remained in the spotlight of automobile brands. Each brand designs and produces internal combustion engines to come up with an efficient and powerful machine.

Automotive brands have come up with different designs, layouts and cylinder configurations for engines. That said, the cylinder configuration and layout affect the engines’ power generation and working efficiency.

Here we have mentioned different car engine layout types and their impact on the performance and efficiency of the vehicle. 

List of Car Engine Layouts

Internal combustion engines are the earliest forms of engine used in cars. The combustion engine has come a long way from a basic combustion chamber to varied layouts. 

Following are some of the most common types of car engine layouts that are used in vehicles. 

Straight/Inline Engine

An inline or straight engine is the most commonly used engine layout. In a straight engine, the cylinders are arranged vertically in a row next to each other. Depending on the space under the hood, the engine can be positioned perpendicular or parallel to the car.

Generally, an inline 4-cylinder engine is used in compact cars providing optimum engine displacement. However, the engine displacement can be increased by adding more cylinders in a row. Ranging from Mercedes-Benz to Mazda, all have unveiled sedans with straight-line engines.

Straight or inline engine
An inline or straight engine is often used in compact cars in which the space under the hood is minimum

V Engine

In V engines, the cylinders are arranged alternatively in two rows at a 60 angle. An equal number of cylinders are present on each row making a perfect V shape. The minimum number of cylinders in the V engine can be 2 and the maximum cylinders used to date are 24, but more cylinders can be added.

In V engines, a single drive shaft is used to connect the pistons of all the cylinders. Moreover, the smaller crankshaft of V engines enables more power to the flywheel making it suitable for luxury cars.

V engine
V engines are known for their efficiency and power generation capacity

Flat Engine

Flat engines are similar to boxer engines in which the cylinders are arranged opposite to each other. The cylinders are arranged horizontally in two rows facing each other outwards. This flat arrangement reduces the car’s centre of gravity providing vehicles with better handling, higher agility and driveability.  

Despite its benefits, flat engines are rarely used by automobile manufacturers. Porsche uses a flat-cylinder engine in the 911/Carrera series to provide a car with higher speed and stability. If you are interested in experiencing the efficiency of flat-engine cars, browse through these used Porsche 911 for sale in the UAE and buy your car with a flat engine.  

Cylinder configuration of flat engine
In flat engines, the cylinders are arranged opposite to each other similar to the boxer engine

W Engine

The layout of the W engine features cylinders arranged in three or four rows opposite to each other, making a W shape. The same crankshaft is used to connect all the pistons in a W engine.

These engines are shorter yet wider than V engine and are commonly used in luxury and exotic cars. Moreover, the W-cylinder configuration perfectly balances the engine, increasing its efficiency. If you are looking for cars with a W engine, here are some options:

  • Used Bentley Continental GT for sale in the UAE
  • Second-hand Audi A8 for sale in the UAE
W engine in luxury cars
W engine is often used in ultra-luxury cars due to its high power generation and displacement

X Engine

Cylinders in X engine layouts are arranged diagonally to each other, creating an X shape. The X configuration adjusts more cylinders in smaller spaces making it compact but heavier. 

The X engines are complicated to design and repair; therefore, it is not widely used in vehicles. However, some brands have experimented with the X24 engine by combining two V12 engines but didn’t use it on a wider scale in their cars.  

U Engine

The U engine is a combination of two straight engines, each with its crankshaft. The engines are then connected through gears or chains. These engines provide higher displacement but are heavier than V engines. Therefore, the popular U engines between the 1950s and 1980s were later replaced by V engines. During this period, brands like Toyota and Hyundai have used U engines in their cars.

If you are eagerly looking for a car with a U engine, opt for a classic car. Here are some places to buy classic cars in Dubai that you can visit to buy a prestigious classic car. 

H Engine

The H engine features two separate flat engines connected through gears or chains. Similar to the U engine, both the flat engines in the H engine layout have crankshafts. The H engine type was previously used in higher agility sports cars, especially the F1 cars. 

These were the different types of car engine layouts that automobile brands commonly use. The engine layout significantly affects the vehicles’ drivability, speed and fuel efficiency. Therefore, it is necessary to consider the type of engine layout when buying a new or used car for sale in the UAE. However, if you want to exclude the hassle of driving a car with an internal combustion engine, switch to electric cars. 

Stay tuned to dubizzle’s auto blog to know what are different engine layouts in a car. 


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