Do You Know What Type of Engine This Is?

By: Craig
Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

So you are an engine buff? Can you tell the difference between a straight six and a V6? What about a turbojet from a turboprop or a ramjet from a scramjet? Take the test to see how much you really know!

The Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition features both normal fuel-burning engines and diesel engines. They are more efficient engines overall and generate fewer emissions.

In 1997, Toyota released the world's first mass-produced hybrid vehicle, the Prius, in Japan. The first hybrid engine had a 1.5 liter VVT-i transversely-mounted petrol engine combined with an electric motor. The hybrid offered a number of benefits, the most appealing being a tendency toward better fuel efficiency than its all-gasoline peers.

The Swannington Incline was constructed by Leicester & Swannington Railway Company in 1833. The engine is in whole, a single-cylinder horizontal winding piston steam engine and built by Horsley Iron & Coal Co. The primary purpose of the engine was to haul wagons of coal from the mines up the 1 in 17 falling gradient incline.

In 1916 Danish engineer Jørgen Skafte Rasmussen founded Dampf Kraft Wagen (DKW), the "steam motor vehicle," which focused on a more economical alternative to gasoline-powered machines in Zschopau, Germany. Although their steam cars did not gain popularity, their 18cc two-stroke stationary engine found huge popularity.

Resembling a star, a radial engine sees cylinders attached to a central crankcase. It is sometimes called a star engine and was used on early aircraft as well as tanks in World War II. Radial engines are still made today and are still used in some aircraft.

This type of engine uses the forward motion of the aircraft to compress air without a compressor of any kind needed. Of course, for the engine to be effective, the aircraft has to be moving so it needs an assisted takeoff or to be dropped from another aircraft.

This engine does not make use of a crankshaft, but instead the pistons move back and forth thanks to the gasses in the combustion chamber as well as a rebound and load device.

A range of motorcycles use an engine with a V-Twin layout. This is generally a motor where the two cylinders are arranged between the angles of 0 and 180 degrees. For example, most Harley Davidson motors are set at 45 degrees.

This reaction engine produces thrust through jet propulsion. Air is fed into the engine, compressed and ignited along with fuel. As the gases expand, they are pushed out the back of the engine, pushing the vehicle/aircraft forward.

With a straight engine, the cylinders are arranged in a straight line. These engines are far easier to manufacture than a boxer or V-engine as the crankshaft and bank that houses the cylinders can be made from one piece of metal.

A single-cylinder engine is normally found on scooters or motorcycles. Here, only one cylinder is attached to a crankshaft. These engines are light and extremely compact while offering an excellent power-to-weight ratio.

To run, this type of engine uses a spark to ignite the air-fuel mixture in the combustion chamber. This is provided by a spark plug. In other words, a spark ignition engine is a regular engine found in most vehicles.

Sometimes called an in-line four, this engine features four pistons in a row, positioned together in the crankcase. This engine type provides excellent fuel economy. This type of engine is also used on motorcycles.

Also called a rotary engine, a Wankel engine uses rotors instead of pistons. This is not a particularly popular engine for modern cars with only the Mazda RX-8 using it. This is a small and compact engine design, however.

This form of engine uses heat. It uses cycling compression as well as expanding gases such as air at a range of temperatures. Net energy is converted to work energy. Gases inside the engine never leave, making it very quiet. It was invented in 1816 by Robert Sterling.

These engines have superchargers attached to them, connected by a belt. Essentially, a supercharger raises the density of the air provided to the engine. As more oxygen is supplied, the engine can burn more fuel and this increases power significantly. Superchargers are powered by the crankshaft.

The straight five engine features five pistons in a row all positioned together in the crankcase. Although the first five-cylinder engines were designed in the 1930s, they did not become popular until the 1970s.

The straight six engine features six pistons in a row all positioned together in the crankcase. This design is used for bigger displacement engines, from 2 to 5 liters generally. The first six-cylinder engine was produced by the Dutch company, Spyker, in 1903.

A reciprocating engine is another name for a piston engine. They can fall into a number of categories including steam engines, internal combustion engines and the Stirling engine.

With a straight twin cylinder engine, pistons are next to each other and connected by the crankshaft. This leads to a compact engine but one that can cause a few vibrations. They are mostly used in motorcycle engines but can be used as a layout for car engines as well.

Often called an in-line three, this engine features three pistons in a row. Most three-cylinder engines use a crankshaft angle of 120 degrees. Three-cylinder engines have become popular powerplants for modern, smaller cars.

An engine using compression ignition ignites fuel by generating heat. This is done by highly compressing air to build up a heat source. The ratio of compression needed to do this is 21:1 (a normal engine's compression ratio is 9:1). A diesel engine is a compression ignition engine.

An inline engine consists of a number of cylinders in a straight line along the crankshaft. Each has their own piston. The most popular have four, six or eight cylinders.

This engine design sees two cylinders only. Each has a piston on both ends. Unlike a conventional engine, an OPOC engine has no cylinder heads and no valves. OPOC engines produced a far higher power to weight ratio than conventional ones.

Powered by exhaust gases, a turbocharger pushes more air into the engine's combustion chamber. As more oxygen is supplied, the engine can burn more fuel and this increases power significantly. Turbochargers are more powerful than superchargers as they spin far faster.

Also known as a Boxer engine, this was the first internal combustion engine developed by Karl Benz in 1896. Here the pistons move in a horizontal plane and are found in two banks on either side of the crankshaft. Because this engine has a lower center of gravity, it improves the handling of vehicles that use it.

This split-cycle internal combustion engine was invented by Carmelo J. Scuderi. It uses two paired cylinders which carry out the strokes of a normal engine. One, called the compression cylinder, handles intake and compression duties while the other, the power cylinder, performs combustion and exhaust duties. The engine is said to be more efficient and produce fewer emissions.

This engine does away with the need for a crankshaft. The movement of the pistons is achieved by using the gases in the engine as well as a rebound and load device.

Most engines are internal combustion engines. Here, fuel is combusted with air in a combustion chamber. This moves pistons which in turn create mechanical energy. The first such engine was created by Étienne Lenoir in 1859.

This is a form of heat engine where a fluid is heated outside the engine, in a boiler for example. This heating process is set apart from the fuel combustion process but through expansion and contraction provides power to the engine.

A Thumper is another name for single-cylinder engine that is normally found on scooters or motorcycles. Here, only one cylinder is attached to a crankshaft. These engines are light and extremely compact while offering an excellent power-to-weight ratio.

Unlike a single-cylinder engine, multiple-cylinder engines have more than one cylinder and piston. They can be two-stroke, four-stroke and even diesel in nature.

The first flat twin motorcycle engine was built in 1905. With this motor, the cylinders are on the opposite ends of the crankshaft.

With this engine, all cylinders are mounted in a line across the crankshaft. The first inline-four motorcycle engine was produced in 1905. Many manufacturers have used this engine configuration, including Indian.

This engine is used in aviation among other applications and is sometimes called a combustion turbine engine. Gas turbines can be configured in many ways.

This concept engine sees incoming air pre-cooled before entering the engine. This allows a turbocompressor to generate higher speeds without the fear of it melting

Lawnmower engines are simple one-cylinder gas-driven engines or in some cases, they can be electric as well. The first gasoline-powered mowers were sold in the United States in 1914.

This is a gas turbine engine that is used to turn an aircraft propeller to move the aircraft forward.

This lightweight form of jet propulsion requires no moving parts with pulses of combustion as opposed to continual combustion. Today these engines are used in a number of scenarios, including drone aircraft.

Making use of both an electric and gas engine, a hybrid engine not only lowers emissions but also gives a far better fuel economy.

Although V8 engines had been in production and use since 1902, the "average mass-market consumer" only had access to inline-four and six-cylinder engines because multi-cylinders (V8s and V12s) were used within luxury vehicles, such as the Cadillac. In 1932, Ford released the affordable mass market V8 engine which became known as one of Ford's most important historical developments.

The Cummins B6.7, pictured above, is the latest version of a straight-six engine to be produced for light duty trucks. Identified by its six cylinders being mounted in a straight line along the crankcase, a straight-six engine provides the advantage of amazing engine balance and a cleaner simple design with quick access to key parts, such as spark plugs. However, it also struggles in being extremely cumbersome to package into a vehicle design. A long engine simply doesn't have the compact fit other engine models do.

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