RE: Six of the best | Four-cylinder engines

RE: Six of the best | Four-cylinder engines

Author
Discussion

V8fan

3,352 posts

222 months

Sunday 15th March
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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

4,599 posts

197 months

Sunday 15th March
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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

10,065 posts

167 months

Sunday 15th March
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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

623 posts

48 months

Sunday 15th March
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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

2,184 posts

145 months

Sunday 15th March
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Alfa Romeo Boxer deserves a mention.

cerb4.5lee

14,805 posts

134 months

Sunday 15th March
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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

7,413 posts

102 months

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

Tickle

3,760 posts

158 months

Sunday 15th March
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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

4,883 posts

150 months

Sunday 15th March
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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

7,890 posts

162 months

Sunday 15th March
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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

3,799 posts

115 months

Sunday 15th March
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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

5,800 posts

195 months

Sunday 15th March
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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

19,057 posts

157 months

Sunday 15th March
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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

7,763 posts

110 months

Sunday 15th March
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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

86 months

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

Arsecati

732 posts

71 months

Sunday 15th March
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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

1,284 posts

100 months

Sunday 15th March
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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

328 posts

126 months

Sunday 15th March
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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

5,962 posts

98 months

Sunday 15th March
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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

377 posts

171 months

Sunday 15th March
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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.