Updated at: 10-08-2023 - By: micdot

Because of the wide range of capabilities across car engines, there are numerous differences between them. Depending on the engine layout and cylinder layouts, there are numerous varieties. We can classify it into eleven categories. Automobile engines can be divided into two broad kinds. The arrangement of a straight, inline, flat, or V engine determines the kind of engine. Cylinder layouts determine the other six categories. As many as eight cylinder engines and up are included in this category.

We’ll go through all ten of these different kinds of motors in detail in this article. As a result, you’ll have a better understanding of their features and the way they perform.

What Are Types of Car Engines?

Each automobile engine can be classified into one of two groups. The layout and number of cylinders determine the type of engine. Here is a list of the 10 different types of automotive engines:

Type of Car Engine based on the vehicle’s design.

Direct Injection (DE)

an inline motor

Worn-Out Motor

The V Engine

The Cylinder Configuration Defines the Type of Car Engine

Engines that have two cylinders.

Three cylinders

With Four Cylinders

There are five cylinders in all.

Powered by a six-cylinder engine

Eight or More Cylinders

The material in this page will be useful to everyone interested in automobiles, from automotive enthusiasts who want to learn more about the various engines, to everyday consumers who want to find out which model best meets their needs and wants.

Let’s get to it, shall we?

Types of Car Engines According to Layout

With today’s gasoline-powered engines, the main parts tend to be the same. These pieces include chambers, pistons, and other components. However, the placement of these components varies depending on the layout. Depending on the purpose of the vehicle, the engine architecture can vary. For example, a smaller engine will be required for vehicles with a reduced wheelbase.

The four distinct engine layouts for automobiles are shown in the table below.

Straight Engine

There are no cylinders out of place in this arrangement. In addition, the engine is positioned parallel to the length of the vehicle. In a nutshell, the engine travels from the front to the back of the engine bay. The engine’s cylinder count can be increased with this design.

In more powerful sedans, this configuration is common. It is important to remember that some people consider straight engines to be interchangeable with inline engines.

Inline Engine

Cylinders are arranged in a straight line in this design. As a result, a straight engine is an obvious comparison. Two starts differ only by their positioning. The path does not travel from the front to the back, but it is also straight. It’s actually perpendicular to the vehicle. Thus, it moves from the left to the right side of the engine compartment. The cylinders may be referred to as being on each side of each other by some.

For engines that are designed to be compact, this configuration is appropriate. In addition, it frees up more room around the engine as a result. As a result, the cooling system and the automobile battery have more room to operate. In hatchbacks and family automobiles, you’ll find this type of engine arrangement.

Flat Engine

The flattest engines are the best. Due to the fact that the cylinders are arranged flat in both directions, it is sometimes referred to as a boxer engine. As a final detail, both sides will have pistons facing outward. In turn, this lowers the vehicle’s center of gravity. As a result, driving the vehicle becomes much more enjoyable.

V Engine

Its cylinders are organized in a V form, which is what gives the V engine its name. Essentially, this choice is a combination of our previous layouts’ advantages. The V-shaped engine arrangement makes it possible to pack more cylinders into a smaller space. As a result, the V engine is most commonly found in high-end luxury sports cars.

Now that we’ve covered the layouts of the four sorts of engines, let’s move on to the cylinder arrangements.

Engine types according to Cylinder Configurations

Cylinder count influences both the engine’s power and fuel efficiency. As a result of this, automobile aficionados pay close attention to this part. The few common engine cylinder configurations are listed below.

Twin Cylinders

Four-wheeled vehicles typically use two cylinder engines, which are closer to the basic design of an engine. Scooters and motorbikes are most likely to have single-cylinder engines.

When it comes to automobiles, twin cylinders are the most common. Since this is the simplest, you’ll encounter engines with a low output power.

Three Cylinders

A three-cylinder engine is also common in smaller vehicles. A turbocharged variant of a twin-cylinder engine is available from some manufacturers.

For instance, the Ford Focus is equipped with this engine. When compared to a standard three-cylinder engine, this one produces more power. The vehicle is also quite efficient when it comes to fuel use.

Four Cylinders

There are several different types of four-cylinder engines in use today. With these four cylinders, the most common configuration is an inline type.

As a result of this design, the engine can be housed in a smaller area. Consequently, you’ll find this engine type in low-cost automobiles. These are the vehicles that are most suited for everyday and casual use because of their size and power.

Five Cylinders

There aren’t many of these around. However, it is well-known for the distinctive sound it makes when running.

A warbling sound, for example, is described by some. The unique firing order of the five cylinders causes this. Because this particular engine is so uncommon, you may only come across it in a few select brands and models of automobiles. These cars are made by Audi and Volvo, among others. To hear a five-cylinder sound, all it takes is a short trip to YouTube.

Six Cylinders

The six-cylinder engine, like the preceding one, has a distinct sound. The sound it generates, on the other hand, is extremely high-pitched, similar to the sound of a race vehicle. High-end automobiles often have this type of engine. The six cylinders could also be arranged in a straight line. V Engines, on the other hand, has it.

Eight Cylinders and Above

More cylinders equate to more power and/or better performance, in case you hadn’t noticed. The more cylinders a car has, the more expensive it becomes, and the more upscale it becomes as well. As a result, an engine with eight or more cylinders will deliver better performance. As a result, you’ll frequently see racing and supercars with eight or more cylinders. It’s even found in high-end sedans.


Every sort of automotive engine can be viewed in terms of its layout or cylinder configuration. There are four main types of automotive engines if you look at them in terms of layout. A V engine is a type of engine that has four cylinders.

There are six distinct types of automobile engines based on cylinder configuration. Their cylinder count might range from a twin to a quadruple. Take note that a user’s intended function and purpose determine the type of engine to be used. Choosing a car’s engine should be the last step in your car shopping process.