RE: Six of the best | Four-cylinder engines

RE: Six of the best | Four-cylinder engines

Author
Discussion

V8fan

3,866 posts

234 months

Sunday 15th March 2020
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Zag_a_muffin said:
Lotus 910 and versions of it was used in Jenson Healy, Lotus Sunbeam and the Elite, Eclat and Excel. Is that sufficient front engine applications?
I've had 3 x Lotus Excels so I know what I'm on about. They may all be from the 900 series, but all those engines are the 912 including the N/A Esprit.

The turbo dry sump is the 910.

mike9009

5,170 posts

209 months

Sunday 15th March 2020
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Nearly all the engines hail from the 80's/ 90's. I suggest the team writing this are all from a certain generation.

Being of a similar vintage, I would add

VW type 4 engine
A series
K20

I was surprised about the 4age engine, as I had one for about seven years. I loved the MR2, but the sewing machine noise from the engine was not the best feature of the car. It needed more character.

Gad-Westy

11,549 posts

179 months

Sunday 15th March 2020
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Love an angry sounding four cylinder engine. All about the induction side of things for me. All those 'ordinary' production engines that end up in kit cars or race cars adorned with throttle bodies or twin carbs are transformed into furious sounding monsters. Something like a 1.6 zetec engine in a mk1 focus is completely anonymous but stick it in something like a westfield with some trumpets sticking out the side and it takes on a totally different character. They never play tunes like 6+ cylinder engines but I love the 'feral' nature of some of the better 4 cylinder set ups.

AI1694

700 posts

60 months

Sunday 15th March 2020
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I would have thought the VW/Audi 2.0 TSI would have made the list. Been around in various iterations for a while now and used in many of their cars.

Uncle John

2,908 posts

157 months

Sunday 15th March 2020
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Alfa Romeo Boxer deserves a mention.

cerb4.5lee

19,109 posts

146 months

Sunday 15th March 2020
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Gad-Westy said:
They never play tunes like 6+ cylinder engines
I think that is the problem I have and even the 'best' 4 cylinder engine is still so much worse than anything with 6+ more cylinders for noise for me.

Although I will admit that I always enjoyed the noise that the rally cars made whenever I went to the RAC rally and they were only 4 cylinder engines.

Leins

7,819 posts

114 months

Sunday 15th March 2020
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S14 (E30 M3) with a carbon intake

Tickle

4,008 posts

170 months

Sunday 15th March 2020
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AI1694 said:
I would have thought the VW/Audi 2.0 TSI would have made the list. Been around in various iterations for a while now and used in many of their cars.
More of a tool to do a job than a special engine, in the context of this thread anyway.

robemcdonald

5,698 posts

162 months

Sunday 15th March 2020
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Uncle John said:
Alfa Romeo Boxer deserves a mention.
Would have been my initial reaction, but surely the VW type 1 would be a better shout.

Tuneable, long lived and mass produced. It’s difficult to think of an engine produced in close to the numbers.

AC43

9,064 posts

174 months

Sunday 15th March 2020
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I love the Alfa twin cam. It was so ahead of its time - "even at launch in 1954 it featured double overhead cams, an aluminium alloy block and a forged steel crank". Where I grew up in the 70's and early 80's there were loads of Ford fanbois fascinated by Escort rally cars (fair enough) but none of their blister-arched replicas actually featured a BDA. Whereas you could but all manner of Alfa's with that wonderful powerplant straight from the factory.

I never owned anything with the Toyota and Subara 4's but drove a couple and they were special. As was the Honda unit in the FIL's ITR. Revved like a bike engine.

People are calling for the A Series and although I owned three and heavily tuned one I wouldn't include it. The technology is so basic - three bearing crank? Siamesed ports? Really?? - that I don't think it could possibly be included in this particular list.

What else might I include? Maybe the Alfa boxer - although it was Subaru who showed how to deliver serious power from that configuration. I'm also a big fan of the Fiat twin cam but it wasn't "better" than the Alfa version. Maybe the YB-whatever that powerd Escort & Sierra Cosworths.

Not sure about the AMG 4 pot. I've never experienced it so I've no idea of it's character. It is amazing to see that sort of power extracted reliably out of such small engine. But is it a game changer like the others or just a good advert for modern metallurgy, production tolerances and syththetic lubrication?

Anyway, great idea for a feature. Hopefully you can do one for 6's and one for 8's.

Limpet

4,654 posts

127 months

Sunday 15th March 2020
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I would have expected to see the YB in there for its motorsport pedigree, and massive scope for tuning. These were knocking out >300 bhp per litre in the hands of tuners by the second half of the 80s.

So many worthy engines though, it’s impossible to narrow it down to 10.

Reciprocating mass

5,904 posts

207 months

Sunday 15th March 2020
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I wonder how many c20xe power’d touring cars have won races let alone taken part must be loads

s m

20,889 posts

169 months

Sunday 15th March 2020
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cerb4.5lee said:
Marvin Trill said:
No C20/Redtop,
Forgot about this one and I am a big fan of it. thumbup
Definitely - Astra 16v redtop is a fantastic engine

Helicopter123

8,831 posts

122 months

Sunday 15th March 2020
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Some great engines on that list, makes me kind of sad about the modern 4 pot turbo eco focused ones. Technically superb, but just not desirable.

Aflac7

4 posts

98 months

Sunday 15th March 2020
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Surely the 16v 3.0l in the Porsche 968 has to be up there as well ?

Arsecati

1,264 posts

83 months

Sunday 15th March 2020
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Pothole said:
Triples are better, though...
I wouldn't say 'better', just different. I have bikes with 1 cylinder (an old KTM 690 Duke), 2 cylinders (3 x Ducati's, a SuperTenere 750 and a 98 Firestorm - my first ever brand new bike which I still own!), 3 cylinders (Triumph 675 race bike, 955i Daytona - a future retro project and a Benelli TreK 1130) and a tonne of 4 cylinder bikes (everything from an old FZR1000 EXUP to a GSXR1000 race bike). Each one has their charm and character, and love them all.... though if pushed, a 200bhp Ducati V-Twin ripping through a set of Termi's is bloody hard to beat!! wink

samoht

2,346 posts

112 months

Sunday 15th March 2020
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cerb4.5lee said:
I know that it is probably unfair but I do really struggle to get excited by a 4 cylinder engine. But after a few tweaks the SR20DET engine I had did put a smile on my face for sure. Once fettled I even enjoyed the noise the decatted stainless exhaust made too. driving
Taking the SR20 as a whole, you've also got the BTCC Primeras, a short-lived rally Sunny as well as a majority of drift cars; it's definitely a significant engine and one that was very advanced for the late 80s.

Addymk2

334 posts

138 months

Sunday 15th March 2020
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I had a 4AGE Blacktop in my AE111 BZ-R. I preferred the whole package to my DC2 and I think it was mainly down to that being such a good little engine. Much preferred to the B18, Honda V-TEC has always felt like turbo lag without the boost

coppice

6,668 posts

110 months

Sunday 15th March 2020
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'Best ' can mean so much more than power, noise and 'revvability ' and I'd rather the term was not confined to the relatively recent . Neither was going to win too many races but 15million Ford Model T buyers relied on a trusty 2.9litre 4pot and 21million Beetle buyers' journeys were sound-tracked by the umistakable whistling throb of the air cooled four .

Personal favourites include the Alfa flat four (which made the A series feel a tad asthmatic ) and the Cosworth FVA (a rejoinder to those dullards who don't think fours can sound good)

Baddie

462 posts

183 months

Sunday 15th March 2020
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The 4-AGE was also made for the JDM market in 20 valve form with ITB’s... in Corollas!!

There were two versions, silver (c. 145 BHP) and black top (c. 155 BHP), great engines in a kit car.