Why V4 engines are so rare and which cars use them – Mike’s Mechanics

The engine is such an unusual layout in a roadway car, being discovered predominantly rather in bikes.

has examined how the engine works and why it is so uncommon, as well as researching the supreme usage of this uncommon engine, the 919 Hybrid LMP1 car. 720bhp from a four-cylinder engine?

We'll take that any day.

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Why V4 engines are so rare and which cars use them – 's Mechanics

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61 Comments

  1. all my bikes have been v4’s…good torque spread ,gorgeously smooth and a beautiful noise ,
    In honda’s hands also unbelievably reliable and bomb proof

    1. @Lifted_Above But its Honda the first vehicle was a Motorcycle after that Japan after the war had ended japan gave an order to Honda to make a “Family” Car

    2. @Mäýüŕá Vïřůš I know the history of the brand. Also the history of Suzuki, Kawasaki, Yamaha, BMW. I’m interested in that sort of thing as my career is manufacturing and engineering.

    1. @Just a normal road man In the endz The same “Essex” V4 was fitted to the Corsair 2000 and mk4 Zephyr 2.0 as well as some consul and Capri mk1 models there was also a 1.7 version, it also turned up in the (pre cortina) Taunus, in all of those iterations it was a noisy lumpy running engine lacking real performance which is one reason the “pinto” ohc engine replaced it in every instance. It’s interesting to note that the Motorsport industry at the time also felt the Essex v4 was too primitive to expend time and energy on concentrating Instead on the 2 4cyl in-line engines that followed it. The engine you refer to is of course a highly tuned hand built engine impractical for a road car it’s unlikely we will see ant development of this format for the road as like it or not (and I don’t) manufacturers are now having to look at electric motive power in preparation for the future ban on conventional internal combustion. You’re welcome 😁

    2. @ian I put a Transit 2L V4 in my ’71 XL Capri. I cut the sump pan to fit around the crossmember and made engine mounting brackets to fit. The V4 was just the V6 with 2 cylinders removed and replaced with a counterbalance gear.

    3. @Bob GROVES at the time I couldn’t for the life of me understand why the engine wouldn’t line up with the bell housing until my dad pointed out the crossmember and sump differences!.
      Also had to swap the oil pickup as well!

      Couldn’t do that today…..those were happier times!

    4. @ian Then I had to make and fit a 10 mm adaptor plate between the bell housing and the gearbox. My father was pleasantly surprised at the outcome.

  2. Thanks for this great video.
    I own a Honda VFR, one of the view bikes with a V4 engine. In my opinion, with the OHC valve train from Honda, the best engine design for a bike (and I’ve tried all of them, from 2 to 6 cilinders)..

  3. I hava LuAZ 969M built in the Soviet Union 1985, with a V4 engine 🙂 It has a whopping 50HP.

    1. I have a 969m with 560k kilometers in it, and its still going strong. You just cant love theese cars enough.

    1. Remember most big American v8s are used for work in larger vehicles and just kinda tossed into cars cause why not

    2. @Big BLOCK life that beautiful monster still not gonna beat any high level engineering dedicated racer like the 919 v4.

    3. @Big BLOCK life viper only needs 2 turbos to make it up to 2500hp, 4 cylinders can also have 3000hp which I’ve seen before but they are fully built nothing is the same as a stock 4 cylinder car basically, keonigsegg just made a 600hp 3 cylinder engine by the way and that car produces 1500hp stock with that 3 cylinder engine and batter assist

  4. It didn’t used to be that rare – maybe the most ubiquitous use being in the Ford Transit 1.7 and 2.0! Those same engines were also found in the Corsair, Capri, Zephyr, and Granada.

  5. Ford did two V4’s, the 1.6 ‘Cologne’ (which was also sold to SAAB for the 96 and Sonnet) used in Taunus and German Transits and the 2.0 used in Corsairs and UK Transits as well as the Capri.
    Of course the best known V4’s have a 180 degree V-angle and were used by VW extensively, Subaru and now also Porsche.

  6. Please do another video on V4 engines.. I just learned it was beneficial to mass produce in line 4 cylinder engines.. Has Porshe been making 4 cylinder engines throughout the years and finally got one perfect? Or did they just decide to try for the first time and get it perfect?
    Interesting.. I seriously suggest you make more v4’s.. Especially if you can find that one you mentioned by that company who you mentioned did they’re v4 a little more narrow with a single head..

  7. Was working on an Appia and Fulvia here, and there is another Appia waiting to be finished in the workshop. Lovely engines they are.

  8. A V4 was also used by Ford in their Consul, Zephyr, Corsair, Capri Mk1 and Granada cars as well as in the original Transit.

  9. My father owned a 1953 Right Hand drive Lancia Appia with a V-4 engine. It was the only rhd lancia in the state of Ohio. I’m thinking it was only about 1100cc. That engine was like a “Swiss watch”…..you could drive that thing flat out (95mph) all day long. A great little car.

    1. Probably took 2 3 miles to hit 95mph in that thing haha but forreal my moms 115hp jetta 2.0 l4 is so slow it drives me crazy. I feel like Im going in reverse when in drive going next to other cars especially if the ac is on

  10. Some of Audi’s V8s could also effectively become V4s via cylinder deactivation, & I recall 1 drawback that was mentioned was an increase in NVH

  11. I recall first driving in an aging Ford Corsair back in the early 80s that was powered by the Essex V4 2.0. In all my years of driving it remains the only V4 engine I have driven, so yes, they are rare birds indeed.

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