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Thread: 4/6/8 Cyl, N/A, Turbocharged, Supercharged - What is your preference and why?

  1. #1

    4/6/8 Cyl, N/A, Turbocharged, Supercharged - What is your preference and why?

    I think that the engine must be matched to the vehicle. For example, I think the Rover K-Series is one of the nicest 4-cylinder engines ever made. Yeah it has some faults but it sounds nice, drives nice, it is light, and it is just a sweet little engine. You can have it in an Elise, MGF or MG ZR or something else sporty and enjoy yourself – but that same naturally aspirated 120ps K-Series in a Rover 75 feels like a dog.

    I have enormous respect for forced induction motors. Most modern bigger cc F/I motors can lay down earth shattering power with some tweaks. If I were to put a Hellion TT kit on the Mustang I would probably have enough power to reverse the earth’s rotation. But for me, right now at least, the ultimate power that something can have isn't as important as just enjoying the drive.

    And to that end, I love naturally aspirated engines. Sorry, I love nice naturally aspirated engines. A wheezebag N/A 4-banger in a large family car is misery personified, and driving one feels like if you were stuck in that Neitherworld waiting room in Beetlejuice knowing that your ticket will never get called. It is suffering without an end. Just horrible. But a nice, powerful, naturally aspirated motor is just magic. The throttle response, the sound, the way it feels when you're accelerating, backing off the throttle. Everything. The way it just all comes together as the rpm needle climbs to the redline, yeah baby that is the good stuff. Funnily enough, that unquantifiable niceness - like with a manual transmission - doesn't translate well into figures so on paper they will never come out on top.

    For me, if it is a vehicle for pure pleasure I would go for a powerful naturally aspirated motor every time given the choice (and a rapidly diminishing choice that is becoming). I like V8s a lot but v/i/flat sixes are nice too.

    Though in a larger 3/5/7-Series type vehicle, I don't think this is all as important and once the powerplant offers smoothness and effortless acceleration I don't really care what is under the hood. Could have 6 cylinders, could have 8, or 12, maybe there is a turbo, maybe it is a diesel, or a hybrid - I don't really care as much. I'm not counting the M versions of these, and their equivalent AMG, S/RS etc versions obviously when I say that.

    So, anyway, what is your preference in, uh, vehicular propulsion, and why is it so?
    Last edited by Ryan; 23-11-2020 at 07:19 AM.

  2. #2
    For Ireland at least and to stay within legal limits its hard to beat an n/a twin cam of some degree!
    I have a soft spot for the b series Honda motors high revving low torque but great fun ringing them out without getting into lose your license territory!
    These motors are pretty much obsolete now which is sad!
    Cars these days are so bloody quick from standard its actually comical when compared to the 90's!
    300bhp turbocharged is pretty average now its insane but not really practical in an ever more policed road network!

  3. #3
    Straight six all day every day. Inherently balanced thanks to the firing order which leads to an absence of vibrations and makes them rev smoothly and linearly. Simple design and low manufacturing cost, no cylinder offset, only one head & valvetrain vs V6, easy to access and maintain plugs, leads/coils and ancillaries. Can't really be mounted transverse so generally found in RWD stuff. And that lovely unique turbine-esque sound that BMW are so famous for.
    2003 BMW 325i Sport Touring (E46)
    1998 Porsche 911 3.4 Carrera 2 (996)
    something new


  4. #4
    For some reason or another, the thing I like the most about an engine or more specifically its power delivery is the increasing shove, howl, and mechanical cacophony as you approach the redline. Which is something you only get in a naturally aspirated petrol engine. The number of cylinders doesn’t matter that much if this is done well. Honda’s VTEC engine is a good example of where this works well. This also means you need to work for the power and ensure you are in the right gear and by implication the right revs. After this, more is better of course. More revs, more cylinders, more power, more noise, ...
    I'm with the resistance

  5. #5

  6. #6
    Always been a fan of a smooth n/a straight six up front, power to the rear wheels, no driver aids, in a light 2 doors chassis, and twin tail pipes... Basically an e30 or early e36 325i format

  7. #7
    I've owned in-line 4s, V6 and V8. I've never owned a petrol engine with forced induction. My preference would be for the V8 due to its effortless nature and big torque in the Chimaera's lightweight application. The old Rover V8, in 4 litre guise, is not particularly powerful but is full of character and is a joy to drive.

  8. #8
    High revving NA V8 and RWD (M3) obviously or even better a high revving V12 and RWD (F12).

    Although it’s hard to exploit high revving stuff fully day to day, and I find myself drawn to massive low down torque stuff that breaks traction at 1500 rpm if you go anywhere near the throttle (large CC / supercharged V8)
    Current : ‘08 BMW E92 ///M3
    Previous: ‘03 BMW E39 530i
    Previous: ‘03 BMW E85 Z4 3.0i Roadster
    Previous: ‘07 BMW E92 335i
    Previous: ‘97 BMW E36 323i Coupé

  9. #9
    I’m assuming it will never happen but I would love a Ferrari V12. Such incredible sound. It’s funny that they probably depreciate the most of any Ferrari when they are so spectacular in pretty much every way.
    I'm with the resistance

  10. #10
    I can't specify one type - instead I can only specify the best engines I've experienced - Ferrari n/a V8's and V12s of course, BMW V10, Porsche 991 GT3 flat six, Audi V10, Atom 3 s/c, Subaru boxer 5 turbo. Vicariously the Carrera GT V10 and Lambo V12's.

    Mostly n/a - I look for the same thing as DMZ. Of the bunch oddly enough it's the 991 GT3 flat six that is closest to God for me with that basic ask.

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