Questions About Engine Size & Horse Power. - John-218

Hi all,

When ever I've bought a new car I've always gone by the engine size and horse power. The cars I've had have been all 4 cylinder and between 1.4 to 2.0 litre engines, plus plenty of horse power.

I've always assumed that this is what's required in order to climb hills and have enough power in order to get out of tricky situations.

Looking at many of the modern cars now, many have only 3 cylinders, 1 litre engines and low horse power. Do these cars have some new modern technology that will compensate for this drop in engine size and horse power, or are they simply built to be slower ?

Is there anyone on this forum that has experience with these smaller engines, maybe you've changed from a 1.6/2.0 litre engine to a 3 cylinder 1 litre car ?

The reason why I'm asking this is because there's loads of the lower spec cars on the market now and I've left them alone because I was worried that they would have enough power to hill climb in places like the dales.

Any opinions would be appreciated.

Regards

John.

Questions About Engine Size & Horse Power. - skidpan

We have got a Skoda Fabia with the 1 litre 3cylinder engine but its not low HP since it has a turbo, ours is the 110 PS version. It also has 148 torques at about 1500 to 3500 rpm.

Compare that to a Mk 2 Golf GTi I had that at the time (mid to late 80's) was the daddy of hot hatches. It had 112 bhp (114 PS in modern speak) and 112 torques (but this peaked at 4000 rpm.

Hardly poor is it.

The Fabia runs extremely well and climbs hills easily with 4 adults on board. It overtakes equally as well as the GTi did but due to the extra weight modern cars carry the (pointless) 0-60 time is slower.

Golf averaged about 33 mpg, fabia averages abot 50 mpg.

Try one and be amazed.

Questions About Engine Size & Horse Power. - Lee Power

I'd avoid anything small capacity 3 cylinder with a turbocharger.

The Ford Ecoboost was problematic & now the the PSA Puretech is following in its unreliable footsteps.

Questions About Engine Size & Horse Power. - skidpan

I'd avoid anything small capacity 3 cylinder with a turbocharger.

The Ford Ecoboost was problematic & now the the PSA Puretech is following in its unreliable footsteps.

The OP was asking about how they drive, have you actually driven one?

Seems it me you are just repeating what a few other unlucky owners have posted.

We are on our 4th small turbo now (5 if you include a Supercharged Nissan Note) and none have had a single issue. The turbo engines are way better than the Supercharged Note which was economical but lacked torque.

Questions About Engine Size & Horse Power. - Lee Power

I'd avoid anything small capacity 3 cylinder with a turbocharger.

The Ford Ecoboost was problematic & now the the PSA Puretech is following in its unreliable footsteps.

The OP was asking about how they drive, have you actually driven one?

Seems it me you are just repeating what a few other unlucky owners have posted.

We are on our 4th small turbo now (5 if you include a Supercharged Nissan Note) and none have had a single issue. The turbo engines are way better than the Supercharged Note which was economical but lacked torque.

I own a Puretech 130 powered 308 T9 if you must ask.

Already had to have the inlet valves decoked at 34k miles due to the disadvantages of direct fuel injection & currently awaiting its recall for the timing belt inspection.

As for the Ecoboost - I'm friends with 2 ex Ford main dealer technicians that both left as they where sick of working on / swopping out failed Ecoboost engines.

Questions About Engine Size & Horse Power. - Ethan Edwards

I had a Suzuki Swift 1litre turbo. Plenty of go for me. Suzuki engineering is solid. Not every small 3cyl Turbo is the same.

Questions About Engine Size & Horse Power. - RT

My main car is a 3.0 litre turbo diesel so plenty of power and enough torque to be embarrassing - I've recently added a 1.0 litre city car and it's fun to drive, it has the same power/torque as a Vauxhall Nova 1.2 of the '90s. I wouldn't want to go on a long motorway journey in it though.

A friend switched from a 1.6 Focus to a 1.0 turbo Focus and doesn't find the performance to be lacking.

Questions About Engine Size & Horse Power. - bazza

Things have moved on largely due to fuel economy and emissions requirements, the current crop of petrol engines are typically smaller capacity and turbo charged. You would be amazed at the useable torque and performance of most of these motors, more than enough for your requirements. For example, our 1.6 petrol conventional Focus is completely outpaced in all respects except possibly low speed flexibility, by a 1.0 turbo Fiesta. The range of VW TSI engines will eclipse the performance of a 1.8 Golf GTi from a generation ago. But of course there are arguments as to the pros and cons that rage on forums like this. Mazda for example have gone down a different route of high compression non turbo engines, which many people like but many find lacking in mid range. Also beware some base models of small cars are fitted with lower power no turbo units, so worth checking the spec sheets carefully if you are in the market. Also worth test driving, as some including me, find the 3 cylinders slightly rougher at low revs, take a bit of getting used to.

Questions About Engine Size & Horse Power. - mcb100
The torque figure is the one to be looking at, after all engines produce torque and power has to be calculated afterwards.
Having 150hp at 5500rpm is pointless if at 5000rpm it’s only got 50hp.
Have a look at the peak torque figure, and at what rpm it’s produced, that will give a more realistic idea of how an engine will perform in a car.
I ran a Peugeot 2008 1.2 petrol for a while last year - 3 cylinder, but 155PS. The more important bit, however was 240nM of torque at 1750rpm. It went really well.
I don’t know what you’ve previously had, but turbocharging will give the impression of a larger engine in terms of power delivery, but with economy benefits.
Questions About Engine Size & Horse Power. - daveyjp

We changed from a nice and simple 1.6 4 cylinder 8v engine with 90 bhp to a 900cc 3 cylinder turbo with 90bhp. After 9 months, 3,000 miles in our ownership (15,000 in total) the turbo failed on the 900cc engine.

We sold it for a nice and simple 4 cylinder 16v 1.5 non turbo with about 110bhp.

Give me simple over complicated and expensive turbo components and repairs every time.

Questions About Engine Size & Horse Power. - movilogo

An engine produces torque, which is how forcefully the output shaft rotates.

Power = Torque X Rotation

A naturally aspirated petrol engine produces roughly 100 Nm per liter of displacement. The figure is higher for diesel or turbo petrol engines.

A smaller displacement engine with fewer cylinders can produce good power if it rotates high enough with proper gearing. A gearbox just multiplies the torque.

An electric car does not require gearbox because torque is constant at any RPM, unlike ICE where torque varies with RPM.

However, if you need to run engine at high RPM to generate more power, it puts strain on engine over time. So developing more torque at lower RPM is better.

Having fewer cylinders makes it cheaper for manufacturers. They keep power same so that they can claim buyer is not losing anything by losing cylinders.

Questions About Engine Size & Horse Power. - S40 Man

Having fewer cylinders makes it cheaper for manufacturers. They keep power same so that they can claim buyer is not losing anything by losing cylinders. .......

I can't imagine a 3 cylinder engine would cost significantly less than a 4 cylinder engine to produce. It's about swept volume and reducing corporate CO2 figures.

Questions About Engine Size & Horse Power. - barney100

I've always thought the bigger the engine the less it stresses....there again daughter has a two litre Discovery and it goes really well for a heavy car.

Questions About Engine Size & Horse Power. - Dag Hammar

I have a Vauxhall Grandland X 1.2 petrol, 3 cylinder with a turbo. Before I got it I was dubious as to whether or not it would be gutsy enough to power what is a fairly large car.

I was pleasantly surprised at how well this engine powers the car along.

It really does go well and is a pleasure to drive with plenty of shove when required.

Questions About Engine Size & Horse Power. - Big John

I've always thought the bigger the engine the less it stresses...

My 2014 1.4tsi Superb cruises at 2000rpm @ 60 mph and never really feels stressed. I've always been amazed as to how well it copes with long distance high speed continental journeys reasonably laden. It's also responsive when you need it - even at continental speeds, hit the go pedal and it nicely takes off - helped to get out of the way of a rear view mirror looming high speed Merc whilst I was overtaking a line of slower cars on a two lane German Autobahn.

Oh - and the minor matter of fuel consumption usually around mid to late 40's mpg but can get over 50mpg on some holiday long runs.

It's still going strong with about 92k miles on,

Edited by Big John on 21/02/2021 at 22:47

Questions About Engine Size & Horse Power. - edlithgow

Hi all,

When ever I've bought a new car I've always gone by the engine size and horse power. The cars I've had have been all 4 cylinder and between 1.4 to 2.0 litre engines, plus plenty of horse power.

I've always assumed that this is what's required in order to climb hills and have enough power in order to get out of tricky situations.

Looking at many of the modern cars now, many have only 3 cylinders, 1 litre engines and low horse power. Do these cars have some new modern technology that will compensate for this drop in engine size and horse power, or are they simply built to be slower ?

Is there anyone on this forum that has experience with these smaller engines, maybe you've changed from a 1.6/2.0 litre engine to a 3 cylinder 1 litre car ?

The reason why I'm asking this is because there's loads of the lower spec cars on the market now and I've left them alone because I was worried that they would have enough power to hill climb in places like the dales.

Any opinions would be appreciated.

Regards

John.

Think you have to at least attempt to factor in the weight of the vehicle (power/weight ratio).

My sole 3-cyl experience is my current naturally aspirated Daihatsu Skywing (like a Charade). Hardly new technology (1986) but gets about the mountains here in Taiwan OK, and has apparently survived a few overheating incidents (due to defective cooling fan circuit) which I might have expected to pop the head gasket.

I'm not sure if this applies to the turbo versions. I was on an Australian Charade site for a while (until banned) which was dominated by turbo-boost obsessed airheads, and they seemed to break things, a lot.

Maybe left stock they are OK

Questions About Engine Size & Horse Power. - John-218

Thanks for the replies, they're much appreciated.

There's lots of good advice given on this forum, it's the place come if you have any motoring questions.

John.

Questions About Engine Size & Horse Power. - John F

You will be amazed at the low speed grunt of these tiny turbo engines. We have a Peugeot 2008 1.2 puretech 130. It reminds me of my late 1970s Triumph Dolomite Sprint, famed for out-accelerating Golf GTIs. That had a 2.0 litre engine, 127bhp at 5200 revs and peak torque 165nM at 4500. The Pug has virtually the same 129bhp at 5500 revs, but the real difference is the peak torque of 230nM at only 1750revs. With one of these you will find no difficulty in ascending anything the Yorkshire dales has to offer.

Questions About Engine Size & Horse Power. - Deryck

I have driven a small 3 cyl engined car but have been a passenger. It was the old VW Lupo but it went like stink and seemed quite happy on the hills.

I now own a Mondeo estate 1.5 turbo 240Nm torque and that goes up hills remarkably easily compared to the old Insgina 1.8 non turbo estate with about 170Nm torque.So far (touch wood) it has been fine but any car can have problems. There can be a bit of a smile when the turbo kicks in

Questions About Engine Size & Horse Power. - chris87
Clearly nonsense... you were not in the right rpm range :-). Physics!
Questions About Engine Size & Horse Power. - Manatee

Technicalities aside, I think you will find the drivability of a typical small capacity turbo in everyday us far better than that of a typical 1400-1600 naturally aspirated motor.

The newer engines are also far more efficient.

Just avoid those with a reputation for fragility. It's not the turbo or the capacity or the number of cylinders that has made some unreliable IMO, it's probably just the level of innovation. The ones they have got right are relative marvels. I say that as something of a natural Luddite.

Questions About Engine Size & Horse Power. - Terry W

I have a 1.2l Peugeot 308. Sits at ~2000 rpm on a motorway at 70 - as an 8 speed auto if I want to accelerate it will simply slip down a gear or two withh no problems.

No problems with refinement - if I paid twice the price for twice the cylinders it may be a little smoother and I would be poorer.

Prior to that I had downsized from a conventional 2L to an Octavia 1.4L TSI. Again surprised how driveable it was with a turbo.

The old days (pre 2000) few cars had tubos. There seemed to be natural limit to power output of around 50-60 bhp per litre. Higher performance was usually achieved by making the car less driveable with power delivered at ever higher revs.

All down to clever technology - 3 cylinder engines should be more economical, lighter, smaller and cheaper.

Questions About Engine Size & Horse Power. - skidpan

Should add that we became unimpressed with N/A petrols in the early 90's. The Golf GTi's were good but the ones we tried after that seemed flat and lifeless. Dad had a 1600 Nissan Primera followed by an Almera with the same engine (105 PS) and whilst they went well enough to get any real performance you really needed to rev them. I had hire cars at least 2 days a week between about 1994 and 1996 and most were diesel turbos. Compared to the petrols they were better in just about every respect and after trying a Golf TDi we had a turbo diesel on the drive for 19 years.

We did buy petrols during that period, we had 2 Nissan Micra 1.2's which was a marvelous little engine with decent power (80 PS) and with lowish gearing (3600 rpm at 70 mph) it was very flexible. Same applied to a 1700 Ford Puma but that really only got going above about 5000 rpm.

The other petrols we tried were a Honda Civic 1800 in about 2007/8 which we found dreadful in most respects with a very peaky engine. The Toyota Avenis from 2010 promised 148 PS but even when revved hard we failed to find it.

Then in 2013 the new VAG range of cars came out with the 1.4 TSi 140 PS engine. We tried a Seat Leon (it was the cheapest) and bought one 2 days later. An absolute revelation. Punchy just like a diesel but no turbo lag and brilliant refinement. Power all the way form tickover to 6000 rpm and pulled like a train from 1500 rpm. 45 mpg was better than some diesels we had owned. It was replaced by a 1.4 TSi Skoda Superb which has now been replaced by another Superb which is the PHEV version but still uses the 1.4 TSi.

When we tried the Fabia they loaned us a 95 PS version for the day and we took the car into the Peak District as well as on motorways and in town. Excellent in every situation but we fancied the 100 PS for the bit of extra power and 6 speed gearbox. After having a drive was was ordered and we have not regretted it at all.

Get a drive in whatever you fancy on the roads you regularly use and I am sure you will be well happy.

Questions About Engine Size & Horse Power. - badbusdriver

As far as I am concerned, the main problem in answering the OP's question is lack of info. Cars these days are, for the most part, are either more powerful (regardless of engine size and cylinder count) or at the very least, as powerful as their predecessor's. There are very few exceptions to this, which leads me to suspect the OP is not comparing 'like for like'.

If we look at the Focus over its lifespan as an example, the least powerful (petrol engined) versions starts off at 75bhp for the 1st gen (1.4 petrol) and has gradually increased to 85bhp for the current version in its most basic 1.0 Ecoboost guise. The only anomaly to this was the pre-facelift 3rd gen which was initially available with the 100bhp version of the Ecoboost, post face-lift introduced the 85bhp version.

Reading the OP and some of the responses, there seems to be an indication that having three cylinders makes it less of a car than four, a poor relation if you like. I really don't understand this mentality, it matters not a jot how many cylinders are involved, just how much power, how much torque (at what revs) and the gearing. Personally, given the choice between three or four, I'd actually choose three. Four cylinder cars sound a bit drab, where three cylinders have a bit of character to their exhaust notes by comparison. Also, despite what some seem to think, three cylinder engines are only less smooth than four's at low revs. At higher revs, they are actually smoother!.

But for what the OP is asking re hills, gearing is going to play a big part of how comfortable any car will cope with them. Because of the focus these days on emissions, cars tend to have very long gearing which could play havoc on particularly steep hills. Years ago we had a 1st gen Peugeot Partner Combi as our family car. It had a relatively meagre 75bhp 1.4 (petrol), but was geared in such a way that it seldom felt underpowered. At motorway speeds it was pulling quite high revs but was pretty smooth so not much of a problem. But on the typical country roads of rural Aberdeenshire, it could quite often catch out much more powerful cars thanks to its gearing, (along with low weight and surprisingly adept handling).

Edited by badbusdriver on 22/02/2021 at 18:58

Questions About Engine Size & Horse Power. - John F

Also, despite what some seem to think, three cylinder engines are only less smooth than four's at low revs. At higher revs, they are actually smoother!.

And four of them, side by side under the bonnet, are even sm-ooo-ooo-ooo-ooo-ther ;-)

Edited by John F on 22/02/2021 at 19:51

Questions About Engine Size & Horse Power. - Andrew-T

I seem to remember when 3-pot engines appeared, there was talk of some Japanese theory that 330cc was an optimum size for a cylinder, so three made an ideal 1-litre engine ?

Questions About Engine Size & Horse Power. - veloceman
I have driven three three cylinder turbo cars. A 115bhp Eco boost Fiesta, 115bhp Seat Arona and a 125bhp Puma.
All had impressive drivability especially the Puma. The Arona had the narrowest power band.
All three easily achieve over 50mpg. Personally I find the coa***ness of the three cylinder unit unpleasant.
I agree the 1.4tsi is probably the best engine I have come across.
I wonder how many drivers of small capacity turbos are educated on how the look after them - don’t drive them hard till they are warm and wait 30 secs before you turn off after hard driving to let the hot oil escape the turbo.
I had a 1.3 Fiat Uno Turbo in the eighties so nothing new here!
Questions About Engine Size & Horse Power. - Manatee

I seem to remember when 3-pot engines appeared, there was talk of some Japanese theory that 330cc was an optimum size for a cylinder, so three made an ideal 1-litre engine ?

When I first heard that theory it was in connection with the Ferrari 330, which had a 4 litre V12 engine although it seems the engine had been around for a few years already when the 330 came out.

I have had a ride in a 330 Spyder. I completely failed to notice the similarity when I was stuck with using a Citroen C1 for about a month. Impressive in its way but the drone got to me. I'm sure it would have been better with the other 9 cylinders.

Questions About Engine Size & Horse Power. - Bromptonaut

I have had a ride in a 330 Spyder. I completely failed to notice the similarity when I was stuck with using a Citroen C1 for about a month. Impressive in its way but the drone got to me. I'm sure it would have been better with the other 9 cylinders.

Both my kids have/had Peugeot 107s (ie same as a C1) and agree about the offbeat drone.

When looking to replace my written off Roomster I tried a Toyota, one size up from an Aygo, and found it to be similarly lacking in refinement. The Ford 3 pot in the B Class I also tried was much smoother but the car itself was overpriced compared to other offers.

Questions About Engine Size & Horse Power. - John F

I seem to remember when 3-pot engines appeared, there was talk of some Japanese theory that 330cc was an optimum size for a cylinder, so three made an ideal 1-litre engine ?

The Japs probably copied the Germans. Nearly seventy years ago Audi's ancestors produced a successful 3 x 300cc engine. (DKW/Auto Union).

Questions About Engine Size & Horse Power. - mcb100

There is also the variable of how a designer configures a cylinder displacement.

A short stroke/large bore configuration will allow higher revs and larger valves as there's physically more room for them, but with a trade off with a loss of low end torque.

The opposite solution is a small bore/long stroke, which will typically be a lower revving unit with more torque at the bottom end due to having longer con rods and greater offset between main and big end journals, thus greater 'leverage' on the crank.

Edited by mcb100 on 23/02/2021 at 11:12

Questions About Engine Size & Horse Power. - badbusdriver

Over the last few years I have got quite into really old cars, particularly the fad for putting aero engines in cars back when that was just the done thing if you wanted big power. One of my favourites is the Fiat S76 (The Beast of Turin!) which used a 27.5 litre four cylinder aero engine, that is 6875cc per cylinder. But go to another extreme and look at the BRM V16 racing car of the late 40's, that had a mere 93.75cc per cylinder!.

Questions About Engine Size & Horse Power. - mcb100

Legendary engine designer Keith Duckworth (the 'worth' of Cosworth) maintained that c400cc per cylinder was optimal, but that was a few decades ago.

Questions About Engine Size & Horse Power. - Steveieb
I really dislike three cylinder engines in particular my previous Audi A2 Tdi which I found so lumpy and noisy but bags of power at the right revs.
Same experience with the C1/Aygo. And IMHO the 130 bhp 1.9 Tdi engine in my Audi A4 is my favourite in terms of pure useable power and effortless driving. Driven out by the Eco brigade and good for up to 500k miles.

Can someone explain the need for counterbalance shafts in three cylinder engines , driven by a chain , consuming energy just to smooth out the power delivery.
Questions About Engine Size & Horse Power. - badbusdriver
I really dislike three cylinder engines in particular my previous Audi A2 Tdi which I found so lumpy and noisy but bags of power at the right revs. Same experience with the C1/Aygo. And IMHO the 130 bhp 1.9 Tdi engine in my Audi A4 is my favourite in terms of pure useable power and effortless driving. Driven out by the Eco brigade and good for up to 500k miles. Can someone explain the need for counterbalance shafts in three cylinder engines , driven by a chain , consuming energy just to smooth out the power delivery.

Pretty sure that most 3cyl engines do not have balancer shafts. As for the reason for those which do, well you have answered your own question. To appease those who feel the natural noise and thrum of a 3 cyl is just too uncouth for their refined ears.

Just to be clear, you get balancer shafts in 4 cyl engines too, are you fine with them?

Questions About Engine Size & Horse Power. - edlithgow

edit resulted in DP. Shouldn't happen, surely?

Edited by edlithgow on 24/02/2021 at 01:25

Questions About Engine Size & Horse Power. - edlithgow
I really dislike three cylinder engines in particular my previous Audi A2 Tdi which I found so lumpy and noisy but bags of power at the right revs. Same experience with the C1/Aygo. And IMHO the 130 bhp 1.9 Tdi engine in my Audi A4 is my favourite in terms of pure useable power and effortless driving. Driven out by the Eco brigade and good for up to 500k miles. Can someone explain the need for counterbalance shafts in three cylinder engines , driven by a chain , consuming energy just to smooth out the power delivery.

Pretty sure that most 3cyl engines do not have balancer shafts. As for the reason for those which do, well you have answered your own question. To appease those who feel the natural noise and thrum of a 3 cyl is just too uncouth for their refined ears.

Just to be clear, you get balancer shafts in 4 cyl engines too, are you fine with them?

Mine has a balancer shaft but still manages to be uncouth.

(Doesn't have much remaining paint though.)

A lot depends on habituation.

Driving the Honda Accord after the Skywing I was (mildly) irritated by not being able to tell if the engine was running stopped in traffic.

If I was used to that, I'd probably find the "appalling cacophany" of the Skywing upsetting, but I'm not, so I don't.

Questions About Engine Size & Horse Power. - mcb100

Are 'the Eco brigade' the nasty people who want to reduce carcinogenic emissions in our towns and cities?

Questions About Engine Size & Horse Power. - skidpan

Pretty sure that most 3cyl engines do not have balancer shafts. As for the reason for those which do, well you have answered your own question. To appease those who feel the natural noise and thrum of a 3 cyl is just too uncouth for their refined ears.

The 3 cylinder engines in our Note and Fabia have/had the thrum at low speed but once you are on the move you never notice it. Never felt either uncouth but the Fabia is certainly more refined than the Note and has a load more pull from low down, blame Nissans decision to use a Supercharger instead of a turbocharger for that. However, before we bought the Note we drove a Polo with the 1.2 90 PS TSi (4 cylinders) and it was dreadful, no go at all, very disappointing after the 1.4 TSi in the Leon we had at the time. The 3 cylinder in the Fabia is a massive improvement but I suppose the Polo demonstrator could just have been a bad one.

If you want uncouth engines try a Vauxhall slant 4 as fitted to the Viva, Victor, Magnum, Bedford CF and possibly some more. Best place for it was the CF van, in the back on its way to the tip. Bizarre thing was that engine was the daddy of the Lotus 907 engine that amongst its other achievements powered the Talbot Sunbeam Lotus to the World Rally Championship.

Another dreadful engine was the Ford CVH in the XR3i. No mid range and so rough at anything above 4000 rpm you lost the will to live. Don't think that engine won a thing of note.

Questions About Engine Size & Horse Power. - Lee Power

Another dreadful engine was the Ford CVH in the XR3i. No mid range and so rough at anything above 4000 rpm you lost the will to live. Don't think that engine won a thing of note.

CVH also known in the trade to stand for Constant Vibration & Harshness.

Questions About Engine Size & Horse Power. - badbusdriver

Another dreadful engine was the Ford CVH in the XR3i. No mid range and so rough at anything above 4000 rpm you lost the will to live. Don't think that engine won a thing of note.

CVH also known in the trade to stand for Constant Vibration & Harshness.

Don't know if it was the same family of engines, but my first car when learning to drive was a 1977 Fiesta 1.1. That was a horrible engine, sounded like a cement mixer full of nails!, and as far as memory serves, the only truly objectionable engine in cars I've owned or driven.

That includes a whole heap of 3 cyl's thanks to working at a Daihatsu dealer in the late 90's, and later also includes the same 1.4 turbo diesel as steveieb's A2 while working at a VW dealer. We had a Polo demonstrator with that engine which I absolutely loved, mid range grunt was amazing!.

The 2.0 n/a diesel in my Caddy is a pretty gruff thing, especially with the DMF deteriorating, but I quite like it!.

Questions About Engine Size & Horse Power. - mcb100
CVH arrived with Escort Mk 3 in 1980/81. The 1.1 would have been a Kent, cross flow engine.
Questions About Engine Size & Horse Power. - RT
CVH arrived with Escort Mk 3 in 1980/81. The 1.1 would have been a Kent, cross flow engine.

Fiesta didn't use the 1.1 Kent, it used the 1.1 Valencia - this was a backward step as it was only 3-bearing and not robust like the Kents.

Questions About Engine Size & Horse Power. - mcb100
I stand corrected.
Questions About Engine Size & Horse Power. - dan86
CVH arrived with Escort Mk 3 in 1980/81. The 1.1 would have been a Kent, cross flow engine.

Fiesta didn't use the 1.1 Kent, it used the 1.1 Valencia - this was a backward step as it was only 3-bearing and not robust like the Kents.

There seems to be a pattern with Ford engines being a bit rubbish. Granted they've made a few good ones as well but a few clangers to.

Questions About Engine Size & Horse Power. - Metropolis.
I think they are better at big displacement engines, say 4.0 and above.
Questions About Engine Size & Horse Power. - expat
I think they are better at big displacement engines, say 4.0 and above.

Nothing wrong with the 4lt Barra engine in my Australian Ford Falcon. Heaps of power and very smooth. I have it converted to dual fuel petrol or LPG so it is cheap to run also. Lovely engine.

Questions About Engine Size & Horse Power. - Manatee

Don't know if it was the same family of engines, but my first car when learning to drive was a 1977 Fiesta 1.1. That was a horrible engine, sounded like a cement mixer full of nails!, and as far as memory serves, the only truly objectionable engine in cars I've owned or driven.

When did you learn to drive, and how old was the car? I had one of those (actually a 957cc) from new in 1980, and loved it. In its day it was a good 'un, but as stated it was not OHC and on an old and neglected engine the tappets would be rattling away, but it didn't really bother them . I also had a an Escort 1100 Popular Plus (the Plus was cloth seats) for a while, whose only fault was pathetically low output owing to being a low compression version I believe. They were essentially the Kent/Crossflow engiine, renamed 'Valencia' when they were adapted - for the Fiesta - perhaps for where they were made, and probably stood up to neglect better than the CVH I suspect - in common with the Pinto (my 74 Cortina 1.6 anyway) the CVH if it sludged up could block the oil holes in the camshaft spray bar, and wear flats on the cam lobes.

Edited by Manatee on 23/02/2021 at 19:38

Questions About Engine Size & Horse Power. - Engineer Andy

Pretty sure that most 3cyl engines do not have balancer shafts. As for the reason for those which do, well you have answered your own question. To appease those who feel the natural noise and thrum of a 3 cyl is just too uncouth for their refined ears.

The 3 cylinder engines in our Note and Fabia have/had the thrum at low speed but once you are on the move you never notice it. Never felt either uncouth but the Fabia is certainly more refined than the Note and has a load more pull from low down, blame Nissans decision to use a Supercharger instead of a turbocharger for that. However, before we bought the Note we drove a Polo with the 1.2 90 PS TSi (4 cylinders) and it was dreadful, no go at all, very disappointing after the 1.4 TSi in the Leon we had at the time. The 3 cylinder in the Fabia is a massive improvement but I suppose the Polo demonstrator could just have been a bad one.

If you want uncouth engines try a Vauxhall slant 4 as fitted to the Viva, Victor, Magnum, Bedford CF and possibly some more. Best place for it was the CF van, in the back on its way to the tip. Bizarre thing was that engine was the daddy of the Lotus 907 engine that amongst its other achievements powered the Talbot Sunbeam Lotus to the World Rally Championship.

Another dreadful engine was the Ford CVH in the XR3i. No mid range and so rough at anything above 4000 rpm you lost the will to live. Don't think that engine won a thing of note.

If you think that engine was bad, the lean burn 1.4 version in my Dad's old K-reg Escort was even worse. 75bhp and no go in it at all - had some very hairy moments in that turning onto faster moving roads and roadabouts.

Questions About Engine Size & Horse Power. - chris87
They’re the people who think banishing brand new diesel engines, for example, who are cleaner than ever is fine, but who also think it’s not ok for police to spend money to catch those b******s who remove their DPFs and pollute more in a second than 1000 new cars in a year.

You’re not heroes, mate, you’re just too focused on a one-sided dragon slaying story.

Edited by chris87 on 23/02/2021 at 20:00

Questions About Engine Size & Horse Power. - badbusdriver
They’re the people who think banishing brand new diesel engines, for example, who are cleaner than ever is fine, but who also think it’s not ok for police to spend money to catch those b******s who remove their DPFs and pollute more in a second than 1000 new cars in a year. You’re not heroes, mate, you’re just too focused on a one-sided dragon slaying story.

I'm having to use esp and a bit of guesswork here since there is absolutely no indication who you are talking to.

Are 'the Eco brigade' the nasty people who want to reduce carcinogenic emissions in our towns and cities?

I think it might be the above though (feel free to correct if this isn't the case?).

If so, firstly, are the 'eco brigade' really responsible for the Police's budget?. Secondly, mcb100 doesn't, as far as I can tell, claim to be one, nor does he say or suggest they are heroes.

Questions About Engine Size & Horse Power. - mcb100

'If so, firstly, are the 'eco brigade' really responsible for the Police's budget?. Secondly, mcb100 doesn't, as far as I can tell, claim to be one, nor does he say or suggest they are heroes.'

Oh, to have such power...

To state that diesels are 'cleaner than ever' is a fairly meaningless statement. I'm sure coal burning power stations are cleaner than they've ever been, but I'm confident that no one of sane mind and with an eye for cleaning up global emissions will say they're a good thing.

Questions About Engine Size & Horse Power. - edlithgow

To state that diesels are 'cleaner than ever' is a fairly meaningless statement. I'm sure coal burning power stations are cleaner than they've ever been, but I'm confident that no one of sane mind and with an eye for cleaning up global emissions will say they're a good thing.

Not your main point I know, but (questions of sound mind aside) I would say they are a good thing relative to nuclear, if I lived on a small crowded island which could be rendered largely uninhabitable by a significant nuclear accident.

Like Taiwan, where I live now.

That won't apply to you since I assume you are in the UK.

Oh wait...

Questions About Engine Size & Horse Power. - Avant

Chris87 - will you please moderate your language. This isn't the only thread where you have shown yourself in a poor light.

If you can't manage this, please go to another forum.

Questions About Engine Size & Horse Power. - Steveieb
Is there any evidence of the take up of three cylinder engines in the USA, which is the home of those smooth V8 s or on Australia, Canada, South Africa , Russia or China or is this just a European phenomenon
Questions About Engine Size & Horse Power. - badbusdriver
Is there any evidence of the take up of three cylinder engines in the USA, which is the home of those smooth V8 s or on Australia, Canada, South Africa , Russia or China or is this just a European phenomenon

V8's, especially American ones, are not actually that smooth. If you want smooth, you want a straight 6 or V12.

As for the take up of 3 cyl engines in places other than Europe. Plenty of 3 cyl cars in the USA, we just don't see them, as any films are going to be featuring V8 muscle cars just to fit in with the stereotype. Same goes for Canada and Australia, though in both of those, plus the USA, smaller cars are much more common in cities, you won't find many out in the sticks. Having spent a fair amount of time trawling through Autotrader South Africa, I know there are plenty of small basic cars available there, including Chinese and Indian stuff. Russia?, not sure about them, but I suspect there are low cost Chinese stuff available. China?, definitely heaps of cars out there with less than 4 cylinders. Yes the economy is very strong, but it is a huge country with a huge population, most of which are poor. So while they may dream of some huge white western SUV, most will be driving some 1, 2 or 3 cyl locally built contraption which offers all the crash protection of an empty crisp packet.

Also, 3 cyl engines are not a phenomenon, they are the result of common sense and business logic, about as far away from what phenomenon means as it is possible to get. A 1.0 3 cyl engine uses less raw materials than a 1.0 4 cyl engine, saving costs. It also takes up less space, allowing more interior space and/or more 'crumple' space, making the car more spacious, safer, or both. Because there are less moving parts, there is less friction, meaning greater efficiency.

Edited by badbusdriver on 24/02/2021 at 11:19

Questions About Engine Size & Horse Power. - badbusdriver

Just to expand a little further on the 'less raw materials' point. As well as lower costs (which is going to benefit the manufacturer more than the owner/driver), it means lower weight in the nose than an equivalent capacity 4 cyl, so it has the potential to handle better. Also, because of that less weight on the front of the car, tyre wear will be reduced. And because of the lower weight in general terms, a 100bhp 1.0 3 cyl car will have a better power to weight ratio than a 100bhp 1.0 4 cyl car.

So all in all, the many positives for a 3 cyl far outweigh the one negative, that of (some) folk not liking the noise and low rev lumpiness.

Questions About Engine Size & Horse Power. - Steveieb
Thanks for the explanation Badbus.
I've read that Mazda are considering fitting a six cylinder engine in their petrol 6. But in view of their reluctance to fit turbos to their petrol engines , does that mean that they are yet to go down the three cylinder route ?
Questions About Engine Size & Horse Power. - Engineer Andy
Thanks for the explanation Badbus. I've read that Mazda are considering fitting a six cylinder engine in their petrol 6. But in view of their reluctance to fit turbos to their petrol engines , does that mean that they are yet to go down the three cylinder route ?

I don't recall any 3cyl engines of theirs, at least not in the last 25 years. They are now fitting turbos to a limited amount of their petrol cars, though mostly the high end ones and in parts of the world that don't have corporate CO2 fines.

The North American Mazda3 (possibly the 6) and some of the bigger MPV CXs (that we don't get anyway) have a 2.0 SA-G turbo option in addition to the standadrd 2.0 and 2.5 SA-G. SA-X engined cars are mainly sold in markets with more strigent CO2 rules.

It would be nice for them to go back to 6cyl engines, as they did this on their some of the cars in the mid 90s if I recall. They are still planning on bringing out a successor to the RX-8 with a rotary engine, though when is up for grabs under the current climate.

Questions About Engine Size & Horse Power. - Manatee

So all in all, the many positives for a 3 cyl far outweigh the one negative, that of (some) folk not liking the noise and low rev lumpiness.

So why were they not more common in the last century? I'm sure William Morris could have made them had he wanted to.

Not all negatives and positives are equal. 3's are cheaper, lighter, and do the job, just not as well. Any differences in weight and what flows from that are trivial.

Sophisticated some of the 3's may be, it's lipstick on a pig:)

Questions About Engine Size & Horse Power. - edlithgow

So all in all, the many positives for a 3 cyl far outweigh the one negative, that of (some) folk not liking the noise and low rev lumpiness.

So why were they not more common in the last century? I'm sure William Morris could have made them had he wanted to.

Not all negatives and positives are equal. 3's are cheaper, lighter, and do the job, just not as well. Any differences in weight and what flows from that are trivial.

Sophisticated some of the 3's may be, it's lipstick on a pig:)

Not much lipstick on my pig, but it does the job well enough for me.

I notice a bit more vibration than on my 4 cyl cars, but not enough to bother me much.

I'd guess its significantly quieter than my first 1 cyl car (Heinkel Kabine) but thats a long time ago when my hearing was probably sharper.

Never had a 5, 6, 8 (10?) or 12. Probably nicer, but I might not want to pay much for the extra cylinders.

Questions About Engine Size & Horse Power. - edlithgow

The Charade bombed in the US, so much so that Toyota pulled the brand in 1992. OTOH, it was quite successful in Australia.

These are/were both big engine long distance countries, bur US petrol was and is among the cheapest relative to the countries wealth (0,781 dollars per litre in USA V. 1.039 dollars per litre in Australia, 1.725 in the UK)

Edited by edlithgow on 24/02/2021 at 15:23

Questions About Engine Size & Horse Power. - skidpan

The Charade bombed in the US, so much so that Toyota pulled the brand in 1992. OTOH, it was quite successful in Australia.

These are/were both big engine long distance countries, bur US petrol was and is among the cheapest relative to the countries wealth (0,781 dollars per litre in USA V. 1.039 dollars per litre in Australia, 1.725 in the UK)

We don't buy petrol in dollars in the UK. Its £1.167 a litre at Asda. If you must have it in dollars that is about $1.64

Questions About Engine Size & Horse Power. - edlithgow

The Charade bombed in the US, so much so that Toyota pulled the brand in 1992. OTOH, it was quite successful in Australia.

These are/were both big engine long distance countries, bur US petrol was and is among the cheapest relative to the countries wealth (0,781 dollars per litre in USA V. 1.039 dollars per litre in Australia, 1.725 in the UK)

We don't buy petrol in dollars in the UK. Its £1.167 a litre at Asda. If you must have it in dollars that is about $1.64

Hmm... What would an American say?

They might point out that the unit of currency doesn't affect the comparison, and that, given US dominance of trade generally and the oil industry in particular, USD is as good a standard as any, especially as the numbers were supporting a comparison between the USA and Australia.

OTOH they might not have much patience with Little England Attitude and just say something like

No kidding? So sue me

Or sue them

www.globalpetrolprices.com/gasoline_prices/

which is where I got the numbers.

I dunno why they give a higher price than you pay, but I suppose they might not be shopping at ASDA.

Not everything is about U, and less and less is going to be about the UK (AKA Brexitistan).

The point remains: US petrol is exceptionally cheap relative to purchasing power and this limits consumer demand for small engined vehicles.

Edited by edlithgow on 25/02/2021 at 00:33

Questions About Engine Size & Horse Power. - skidpan

The Charade bombed in the US, so much so that Toyota pulled the brand in 1992. OTOH, it was quite successful in Australia.

These are/were both big engine long distance countries, bur US petrol was and is among the cheapest relative to the countries wealth (0,781 dollars per litre in USA V. 1.039 dollars per litre in Australia, 1.725 in the UK)

We don't buy petrol in dollars in the UK. Its £1.167 a litre at Asda. If you must have it in dollars that is about $1.64

Hmm... What would an American say?

They might point out that the unit of currency doesn't affect the comparison, and that, given US dominance of trade generally and the oil industry in particular, USD is as good a standard as any, especially as the numbers were supporting a comparison between the USA and Australia.

OTOH they might not have much patience with Little England Attitude

Nothing to do with a "Little England Attitude". Its because the forum is based in the UK (look at the site address) and most of the members are in the UK. All the fuel we buy is in £'s and in litres. It simply makes sense to use the currency used here which is the £.

But the daftest bit is where in the US do people buy fuel in litres. All they know is their unique gallons.

Questions About Engine Size & Horse Power. - edlithgow

The Charade bombed in the US, so much so that Toyota pulled the brand in 1992. OTOH, it was quite successful in Australia.

These are/were both big engine long distance countries, bur US petrol was and is among the cheapest relative to the countries wealth (0,781 dollars per litre in USA V. 1.039 dollars per litre in Australia, 1.725 in the UK)

We don't buy petrol in dollars in the UK. Its £1.167 a litre at Asda. If you must have it in dollars that is about $1.64

Hmm... What would an American say?

They might point out that the unit of currency doesn't affect the comparison, and that, given US dominance of trade generally and the oil industry in particular, USD is as good a standard as any, especially as the numbers were supporting a comparison between the USA and Australia.

OTOH they might not have much patience with Little England Attitude

Nothing to do with a "Little England Attitude". Its because the forum is based in the UK (look at the site address) and most of the members are in the UK. All the fuel we buy is in £'s and in litres. It simply makes sense to use the currency used here which is the £.

But the daftest bit is where in the US do people buy fuel in litres. All they know is their unique gallons.

It would indeed have been daft to quote petrol price in those wee toy US gallons.

But then I didn't

Questions About Engine Size & Horse Power. - Falkirk Bairn

US price per litre say 78 cents call it 55p per litre

UK Price per litre is £1.20

i.e. UK price is 2.18 x the US Price

US incomes are both lower (minimum wage is around $10 on average ($7 to $15 per hour depending on state).

I have seen statements that over all US salaries are 1.6 x the UK average

Price of petrol in UK is 2.18 x US price x 1.6 = 3.48 x more expensive to the average wage earner i.e. equivalent to us paying 34p per litre

Questions About Engine Size & Horse Power. - 72 dudes

US price per litre say 78 cents call it 55p per litre

UK Price per litre is £1.20

i.e. UK price is 2.18 x the US Price

US incomes are both lower (minimum wage is around $10 on average ($7 to $15 per hour depending on state).

I have seen statements that over all US salaries are 1.6 x the UK average

Price of petrol in UK is 2.18 x US price x 1.6 = 3.48 x more expensive to the average wage earner i.e. equivalent to us paying 34p per litre

Tax, tax, tax on tax.

Take ours and their taxes out of the equation and report back please.

Questions About Engine Size & Horse Power. - edlithgow

Before all this Honest John Bull started I was responding to a post on the acceptance of 3-cyl engines in other countries. The UK was not one of the countries mentioned.

I should have just left the UK price out, since it had no relevance to my comparison of Australia and the US.

This was a relevant comparison for the topic at hand, since US and Australian driving and general environments are similar (though not of course the same) so the observed difference in Charade acceptance is plausibly explained by the difference in petrol price.

Questions About Engine Size & Horse Power. - Metropolis.
I still believe there is no replacement for displacement. You can add a turbo to a 1.0l engine to make it perform like a 2.0l engine, but you can also add a turbo to the 2.0l and see the results. Not that a 2.0l is a big engine in a car although many seem to think it is with our socialist funding fuel taxes.
An 8.4 litre v10 in a Dodge Viper is a big engine.
Questions About Engine Size & Horse Power. - skidpan
I still believe there is no replacement for displacement. You can add a turbo to a 1.0l engine to make it perform like a 2.0l engine, but you can also add a turbo to the 2.0l and see the results. Not that a 2.0l is a big engine in a car although many seem to think it is with our socialist funding fuel taxes. An 8.4 litre v10 in a Dodge Viper is a big engine.

You can indeed add a turbo to a 2 litre and there are plenty of such cars available for people who wish to buy one. But this discussion was initially about how a modern 1 litre turbo (3 cylinder) compared to a traditional 1.6 non turbo.

And yet again its sad to see a poster bringing politics into a discussion about modern engines.

Bring on the revolution.

Questions About Engine Size & Horse Power. - Metropolis.
That was a bit unfair Ed. The thread developed into a discussion of fuel prices which you participated in, and taxes. Politics decides taxes. Taxes are the reason why our fuel is so expensive. Why are we taxed at this level? Socialised medicine plays a big part. And now they argue increasing fuel duty is good for the environment so no doubt Carrie on downing street will raise it shortly. This is why we are now discussing puny 3cyl engines (although they can be powerful I admit). I am surprised you didnt choose the PRC rather than the ROC!
Questions About Engine Size & Horse Power. - edlithgow
That was a bit unfair Ed. The thread developed into a discussion of fuel prices which you participated in, and taxes. Politics decides taxes. Taxes are the reason why our fuel is so expensive. Why are we taxed at this level? Socialised medicine plays a big part. And now they argue increasing fuel duty is good for the environment so no doubt Carrie on downing street will raise it shortly. This is why we are now discussing puny 3cyl engines (although they can be powerful I admit). I am surprised you didnt choose the PRC rather than the ROC!

My point was a simple response to a (possibly rhetorical) question on acceptance of 3-cyl cars in the US.

(I used the Charade example, because I have one, sort of).

I did not mention fuel taxes, nor did I articulate any left wing inferences. I tend to take them as given.

Are you sure you are not confusing me with Skidpan? If you are, you are rather seriously confused.

Edited by edlithgow on 26/02/2021 at 10:30

Questions About Engine Size & Horse Power. - Metropolis.
Ed, you are right I did confuse you with skid pan. Sincere apologies!
Questions About Engine Size & Horse Power. - skidpan
I did not mention fuel taxes, nor did I articulate any left wing inferences. I tend to take them as given.

Are you sure you are not confusing me with Skidpan? If you are, you are rather seriously confused.

And neither did I. Check first who used the words "our socialist funding fuel taxes"

Questions About Engine Size & Horse Power. - Metropolis.
Well yes I did Skidpan, and I inferred that our high fuel taxes are socialist in nature, do you really consider that controversial? Taxes came up earlier in the thread. All I did was add a throwaway comment about the reason for those taxes (in the first comment anyway). My main point was that (in my view) there really is no replacement for displacement.
Apologies again to Edlithgow.
Questions About Engine Size & Horse Power. - skidpan

I inferred that our high fuel taxes are socialist in nature, do you really consider that controversial?

The money to fund our excellent FREE NHS has to come from somewhere and petrol taxes will no doubt go towards it. I personally don't have an issue, its a service that is free to all and the highest earners pay more which seems fair enough to me.

What is your alternative?

My main point was that (in my view) there really is no replacement for displacement.

With modern turbo engines small ones perform better than huge ones did years ago and that is not just my view, its an accepted fact. And its not just about power, the better mpg and lower emission's are much better for the planet as well.

Questions About Engine Size & Horse Power. - Metropolis.
Well, free at the point of use, yes. I think best to agree to disagree over the NHS and the planet, lest we go down two rabbit holes!!

“Small ones perform better than huge ones did years ago” - are you talking about the turbos themselves or engine capacity? If we are still on engine capacity, I agree, although that is with a turbo. Surely you could scale up that same engine, couple more cylinders say, keep the turbo and have even more power? You win on fuel economy though I cant really argue that. My only reference point is the power
Questions About Engine Size & Horse Power. - nick62
An 8.4 litre v10 in a Dodge Viper is a big engine.

..................... even "bigger" in a motorbike:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=UbUrIwA9jVE

Questions About Engine Size & Horse Power. - badbusdriver

So your argument is, because William Morris didn't design one, 3 cyl engines can't be very good?.

Err, OK then.

So why were they not more common in the last century? I'm sure William Morris could have made them had he wanted to.

I guess by that same reasoning, any engine configuration other than inline four and straight six aren't much cop either?.

Not all negatives and positives are equal. 3's are cheaper, lighter, and do the job, just not as well.

In 2008 we got a Daihatsu Sirion. It had a 68bhp 1.0 3 cyl, it was 3.6m long, had plenty of space for 4 adults, 5 at a push, along with a decent sized boot. Twice during the time we had it we went down to Lancashire (from Aberdeenshire) to visit relatives. It had absolutely no problem maintaining 75-80mph apart from the Beattock Summit when heading North. At speed it was fairly quiet and refined, surprisingly so for such a small, light (890kg) car.

An equivalent 4 cyl supermini would have been slower due to being heavier, less efficient for the same reason and they wouldn't have been any more refined other than idling or low revs.

Or to put it another way, they wouldn't have done the job as well.

Questions About Engine Size & Horse Power. - edlithgow

So your argument is, because William Morris didn't design one, 3 cyl engines can't be very good?.

Err, OK then.

So why were they not more common in the last century? I'm sure William Morris could have made them had he wanted to.

I guess by that same reasoning, any engine configuration other than inline four and straight six aren't much cop either?.

Not all negatives and positives are equal. 3's are cheaper, lighter, and do the job, just not as well.

Dunno, that did give me pause a bit. Seemed to be a valid question (assuming its true that 3-cyl engines are a relatively new mass market thing, which sounds plausible)

Best I could do is that engines were rougher in general in them days, so adding the inherent imbalance of a 3-cyl wasn't acceptable.

Could also be that we weren't so close to, and/or didn't believe in, The Limits To Growth (1972) predicted resource crunch, so fuel economy wasn't of much concern...

And then there was/wasn't climate change...

Questions About Engine Size & Horse Power. - John F

So why were they not more common in the last century? I'm sure William Morris could have made them had he wanted to.....

.... Seemed to be a valid question (assuming its true that 3-cyl engines are a relatively new mass market thing, which sounds plausible)

They are not new. Loads of 3 cylinder cars were made last century in post-war poverty stricken Europe. DKW, Wartburg, FSO. Even Saab made them. In France, thousands were happy with only two cylinder cars (2CV), even in luxury ones (Panhard). Why none in the UK? Probably because Britain was rarely at the forefront of advances in economical automotive engineering.

Questions About Engine Size & Horse Power. - Manatee

So your argument is, because William Morris didn't design one, 3 cyl engines can't be very good?.

Err, OK then.

Don't take it too seriously, I was making conversation not debating at the Oxford Union. This is friends in the pub to me as I hope it is to you.

My brother had a 1.3 Charade new in the early 90's, a fine car and engine. Although now I think about it, that had a 4 cylinder, that weighed no more than the 1.0 3 cylinder according to

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daihatsu_Charade#Third_gener..._(G100;_1987%E2%80%931993)

I admit my experience of 3 cylinder cars is limited to the C1, which is better than walking, actually not bad at all but the drone I didn't notice at first did start to annoy so I would approach any 3 cylinder with caution - perhaps I would be pleasantly surprised.

I do wonder though why they didn't catch on in the post war period as motoring became much more democratised and production costs really mattered. Do they need more advanced design to work properly? The smaller 4's of the era were horribly gutless and maybe making them work as 3's would have been a compromise too far. Certainly 3's like the Fiesta ST's 200bhp Ecoboost are very sophisticated devices, yet still receive criticism for their roughness at low RPM. The ST is a lot more tractable, faster and grippier than my MX-5 of the same 1.5 litre capacity yet I have no interest in it - I want the nature of the engine, not the power, and I especially don't want the turbo when driving is the point. But I'm sure they'll sell a lot more Fiesta ST's than MX-5's and with good reason. I feel like a dinosaur.

Questions About Engine Size & Horse Power. - Avant

I thionk there were some 3-cylinder cars around in the 1950s - the DKW springs to mind - but they were 2-stroke and had to be fuelled by a petrol-oil mixture. So hardly surprising that they never caught on.

I seem to remember that there were a few garages that sold this mixture ready-mixed. I saw one that had a notice outside with the legend '2-stroke Toilets'.

Questions About Engine Size & Horse Power. - RT

I thionk there were some 3-cylinder cars around in the 1950s - the DKW springs to mind - but they were 2-stroke and had to be fuelled by a petrol-oil mixture. So hardly surprising that they never caught on.

I seem to remember that there were a few garages that sold this mixture ready-mixed. I saw one that had a notice outside with the legend '2-stroke Toilets'.

2-strokes fired twice as often as 4-strokes, so a 3-cylinder 2-stroke was nominally as smooth as a 6-cylinder 4-stroke

Questions About Engine Size & Horse Power. - Falkirk Bairn

The twin & 3 cylinder SAABs were DWK designs.

Might not have been the best but good enough to win Monte Carlo Rallies in the 50s

Questions About Engine Size & Horse Power. - Manatee

The twin & 3 cylinder SAABs were DWK designs.

Might not have been the best but good enough to win Monte Carlo Rallies in the 50s

Belting cars - and they were 2 strokes which is presumably how they produced enough power. When they went to 4 stroke they also went with 4 cylinders. I had a 4 stroke (actually it was my wife's car), with the V4 Taunus engine.

It retained a freewheel which was meant originally to allow the 2 strokes to tick over on the over run so as to maintain adequate lubrication. I thought this would be a great plus for the economy, but the lack of retardation was too scary in hilly west Yorkshire. Fortunately its use was optional.

Questions About Engine Size & Horse Power. - Avant

'Nominally' may be the operative word there!

I also remember the Wartburg, which was around till the late 1960s. I never had the (?) pleasure of driving one, but from the outside smooth wasn't the description that would have first come to mind.

Questions About Engine Size & Horse Power. - edlithgow

IIRC Gordonbennet spoke quite highly of the Wartburg, but then I think he actually had a couple of them.

Questions About Engine Size & Horse Power. - skidpan

“Small ones perform better than huge ones did years ago” - are you talking about the turbos themselves or engine capacity?

If you had quoted (or read) the relevant part of my post

"With modern turbo engines small ones perform better than huge ones did years ago and that is not just my view, its an accepted fact."

it would be clear that I was referring to the engine and turbo as a package and not just one part of it. i.e. "turbo engines"

I appreciate the example I am going to show next is not a 3 cylinder engine but its a "small" modern turbo petrol. The 1.4 TSi 150 PS in my Skoda Superb had 148 bhp @5400 rpm and 184 torques @ 1500 - 3500 rpm. About 30 years ago the wife had a over SD1 with the 3500 V8 carburettor engine, in that form it had 158 bhp and 210 torques, not much more for an engine 2 1/2 times as big. The Skoda averaged 45 mpg over the time we had it and would do just short of the mid 50's on a holiday trip. The Rover struggled to do much over 20 mpg day to day but would get into the heady mid 20's on a run. Lets embrace progress and not look back to the "good old days".

I also remember the Wartburg, which was around till the late 1960s.

The Warthog was still sold in the UK as late as 1975 (perhaps even later), a friend of the wife had a new one probably because it was cheap. I drove it a couple of times (she was a truly dreadful driver) and I seem to remember it was smooth under power and rough as a badgers on the over run. There was a rumour at about that time that the importer planned to fit Morris A series 1300 engines into them to keep them on sale, even at that time the emissions were far too much from the 2 stroke motor.

It was written off after about a year and replaced with a new Honda Civic. Did not improve her driving though. Still have the factory standard rubber mats in the garage from the Warthog, excellent quality.

Questions About Engine Size & Horse Power. - John F

I want the nature of the engine, not the power, and I especially don't want the turbo when driving is the point. .......I feel like a dinosaur.

Bit harsh on dinosaurs - see how well they evolve to adapt to changing times - e.g. the seagull. If I knew little about cars and hadn't been told our Peugeot 2008 1.2 puretech 130 had a turbo, I wouldn't know it had one. There is no noise from it and no turbo lag.

Questions About Engine Size & Horse Power. - Manatee

I want the nature of the engine, not the power, and I especially don't want the turbo when driving is the point. .......I feel like a dinosaur.

Bit harsh on dinosaurs - see how well they evolve to adapt to changing times - e.g. the seagull. If I knew little about cars and hadn't been told our Peugeot 2008 1.2 puretech 130 had a turbo, I wouldn't know it had one. There is no noise from it and no turbo lag.

I can believe it. We have a Roomster 1.2 TSI 105ps and it lugs very well, as well as being very smooth and quiet - well it does have four cylinders.

Questions About Engine Size & Horse Power. - badbusdriver

My brother had a 1.3 Charade new in the early 90's, a fine car and engine. Although now I think about it, that had a 4 cylinder, that weighed no more than the 1.0 3 cylinder according to

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daihatsu_Charade#Third_gener..._(G100;_1987%E2%80%931993)

The 1.3 4 cyl in the 3rd generation Charade was a brand new unit for that car designed, as it says, with lightness in mind. The 1.0 3 cyl in the same car, was a direct derivative of an engine first produced in 1977. Given that, surely it isn't going to come as a surprise that the bigger new engine is no heavier than the older smaller one?.

Were the 3 cyl designed with the same advances in production techniques as the 4 cyl, would it or would it not be lighter?

(A, Yes)

Questions About Engine Size & Horse Power. - Manatee

>>Were the 3 cyl designed with the same advances in production techniques as the 4 cyl, would it or would it not be lighter?

Oh no, a vicious counter-attack with the subjunctive!

We'll never know, will we? Perhaps it would be packed with balancer shafts made with depleted uranium?

I love it BBD.

"You're right, but if the question had been different you might not have been, so it doesn't count"

All in jest:) I'm perfectly happy to give you the point. I'm still not having one.

Questions About Engine Size & Horse Power. - badbusdriver

All in jest:) I'm perfectly happy to give you the point. I'm still not having one.

I would say, "oh well, there's no accounting for taste", but you do have an MX5 1.5..........

But there is a certain irony in the fact that your reasons for liking your MX5 are, I suspect, not dissimilar to my reasons for liking small and light 3 cyl cars!

 

Value my car