What is V Engine? | Difference between V Engine and Inline Engine

The engine has become a most vital part of the vehicle. It is known as the heart of the vehicle. The engines are divided into V engine and inline engine according to the arrangement of the engine cylinders. The cylinders of the V engine are arranged in two banks. This article explains the function, working principle, and applications of the V engine.

What is a V Engine?

A V engine is a type of engine in which the cylinders are arranged in two rows. The cylinder rows are arranged at a specific angle. These cylinder rows are installed in such a way that they create a V shape when you view the engine from the front side. Therefore, this IC engine is known as a V engine.

These two rows of cylinders are arranged at a specific angle. There is 60 degrees or 90 degrees angle between the rows.

v engine

The V engine uses a single crankshaft. All the cylinders of both rows are connected to the same crankshaft.

The main advantage of the V engine is that it has a shorter length and height than the comparable inline engine. This short length of the V-shaped design assists the automakers in reducing the hood length. The resulting area may be used to save other parts.

These types of engines have low weight than inline engines. The V engines have higher rpm and higher torque due to shorter crankshaft.

The V6, V8, and V12 engines are the most commonly used types of V engines. These designs have 6 cylinders, 8 cylinders, and 12 cylinders, respectively.

V Engine Working Principle

The V engine works in a similar way to other petrol engines. The intake valve and exhaust valve are located on the top of the cylinders.

First of all, the air and fuel are introduced into the carburetor, where the mixing of air and fuel occurs. As the air and fuel are mixed, this mixture is delivered to the cylinder through the intake valve. A reciprocating piston compresses the air-fuel mixture up to the desired level. As the mixture is compressed, a spark plug generates a spark and ignites the mixture.

The ignition process generates a thrust force that pushes the piston downward. The piston is connected to the crankshaft. It delivers its downward motion to the crankshaft. When the crankshaft receives motion, it rotates the flywheel and turns the vehicle wheels.

Types of V Engines

The V engine has the following major types:

  • V-twin or V2 engine
  • V3 engine
  • V4 engine
  • V5 engine
  • V6 engine
  • V8 engine
  • V10 engine
  • V12 engine
  • V14 engine
  • V16 engine
  • V18 engine
  • V20 engine
  • V24 engine
  • V32 engine

1) V2 Engine

A V2 engine is also known as a V-twin engine. It has two cylinders that share a common crankshaft. These cylinders are arranged in two rows (i.e., one cylinder in each row).

Maximum V2 engines have a single crankpin. In 1889, Gottlieb Daimler was invented the first V2 engine.

2) V3 Engine

The V3 engine has three cylinders. In this type of V engine, two cylinders are arranged in one row while the remaining cylinder is arranged in the second row.

3) V4 Engine

This engine has four cylinders, and all cylinders share the same crankshaft. These engines are less common than the I4 engines.

4) V5 Engine

It has five cylinders. In this engine, three cylinders are arranged in one row while the other two cylinders are arranged in the second row. It has two crankpins. Three main bearings are used to support the crankshaft.

5) V6 Engine

A V6 engine has six cylinders that share a common crankshaft. In the V6 engine, each row has three cylinders. These V engines are most commonly used in mid-size cars. They have better fuel consumption and low cost than the V8 engines.

6) V8 Engine

The V8 engine has eight cylinders. These eight cylinders are arranged in two rows (i.e., four cylinders in each row). These cylinders are arranged in a V configuration. The cylinder rows are arranged at 90 degrees angle. This angle ensures the good balancing of the engine and reduces the vibration. 

7) V10 Engine

It has ten cylinders arranged in two rows (i.e., five cylinders in each row). These engines are less famous than the V12 and V8 engines.

Parts of V Engine

The V engine has the following major parts:

  1. Piston
  2. Camshaft
  3. Connecting rod
  4. Combustion chamber
  5. Cylinder
  6. Crankshaft
  7. Spark plug
  8. Oil pump
  9. Oil pressure regulator

V engine parts

1) Piston

A piston is a reciprocating part of the V engine. It reciprocates inside the compression cylinder. The movement of the piston ensures the compression of the air-fuel mixture due to that the combustion process takes place. It directly links to the crankshaft.

Read More: Working of Piston

2) Camshaft

The camshaft operates the suction and discharge valves. It is connected to the crankshaft. The crankshaft motion controls the motion of the camshaft. As the crankshaft rotates two times, the camshaft rotates only once. The camshaft has multiple cams.

Read Also: Working of Camshaft

3) Connecting rod

As the name represents, the connecting rod uses to connect the piston with the crankshaft. It takes reciprocating motion by a piston, converts it into rotary motion, and transfers it to the crankshaft.

Read Also: Working of Connecting rod

4) Crankshaft

It is connected to the piston via a connecting rod. It receives motion by the piston and further rotates the flywheel.

Read Also: Working of Crankshaft

5) Combustion chamber

Combustion chamber is a part of the engine in which the combustion process takes place. It prevents the heat of the combusted air-fuel mixture from escaping out of the chamber.

6) Spark Plug

A spark plug is an electric unit that generates a spark when the air-fuel compression is reached up to a specific level.

7) Fuel Pump

The fuel pump uses to supply the fuel properly from the fuel storage tank to the engine fuel injection system.

Characteristics of V Engine

The V engines have a shorter length than the inline engines. However, these are wider engines. This effect varies according to the cylinders in the engine.

The difference in length between the inline-twin and the V-twin engines may be negligible, but the V8 engine is significantly shorter than the inline engine. V-engines have a higher center of gravity, are narrower and taller than less common opposed-twin engines.

The “V-angle” between the rows of cylinders differs according to the type of engine. Some types of V engines (like some Ferrari V12 engines) use a 180-degree V angle (similar angle as a flat engine). At the other end of the scale, the Lancia V4 engine from 1922 to 1976 and the Volkswagen VR6 engine from 1991 to present have a small 10-degree V angle and a single cylinder head on both cylinder rows.

The balance of the V engines depends on many factors, such as crankshaft weight, combustion stroke interval, and the presence or absence of a balancer shaft.

The two cylinders from the oppositive rows of the V engine share the same crankpin. It has an offset between the two cylinders. However, the inline engines use a crankpin for each cylinder.  

Advantages and Disadvantages of V Engine

Advantages of V Engine

  1. It has a shorter length.
  2. It generates more torque than the I engine.
  3. The V engine generates very low vibration.
  4. It has a rigid design.
  5. The compact design of this engine makes it ideal for sports cars.
  6. It has a smooth operation.
  7. It has good power to weight ratio.
  8. The V engines have the ability to generate more power than the inline engines.
  9. They are best suitable if you have a low installation area.

Disadvantages of V Engine

  1. These are expensive to manufacture.
  2. They have more moving parts than the inline engines.
  3. They are heavy.
  4. The V engines have a complex design.
  5. These are not much balanced as I engines.
  6. The V engine has two cylinder heads which increases the manufacturing cost and complexity.

Inline Engine Vs V Engine

The main difference between the inline engine and V engine is given below:

Inline EngineV Engine
All the cylinders are arranged in a single straight row.The cylinders are arranged in two rows.
The cylinders are arranged in such a way that they make a shape.The cylinders of the V engine are arranged in such a way that they make a V shape when you view the engine from the front.
The inline engine has a low manufacturing cost.The V engine has a high manufacturing cost.
These engines generate low power.These generate more power than the inline engines.
They have few moving parts.They have a high number of moving parts.
The inline generate very low vibration because it is well balanced.It generates more vibration than the inline engine.
It has a low maintenance cost.It has high maintenance because of more parts.
The inline engine has an easy design.The V engine has a complex design because of more moving parts.
It requires a large area to install many pistons.V design has the ability to pack a maximum number of pistons into a small area.
It is very long.It is shorter in length.

FAQ Section

What does V in engines stand for?

The “V” denotes the arrangement design in which cylinders are arranged in the engine. The cylinders of the V engines are arranged in such a way that when you view the engine from the front, it looks like a V shape.

What are the V engines are used for?

The V engines are most commonly used in automobiles in which the engine capacity has more than 3.0 litre capacity.

What are the types of V Engines?

  • V-twin engine
  • V3 engine
  • V4 engine
  • V5 engine
  • V6 engine
  • V8 engine
  • V10 engine
  • V12 engine
  • V14 engine
  • V16 engine
  • V18 engine
  • V20 engine
  • V24 engine
  • V32 engine

What are the components of V Engine?

The V engine has the following major components:

  1. Throttle body
  2. Injection valve
  3. Piston
  4. Camshaft
  5. Throttle valve
  6. Connecting rod
  7. Rocker arm
  8. Combustion chamber
  9. Oil drain plug
  10. Cylinder
  11. Starter solenoid
  12. Crankshaft
  13. Spark plug
  14. Wrist pin
  15. Oil pump
  16. Oil pressure regulator
Read More
  1. Types of Engines
  2. Types of IC Engines
  3. Working and types of Reciprocating Engines
  4. Types of Petrol Engines
  5. Working of Wankel Engine
  6. Working of Otto Cycle
  7. Types of External Combustion Engines

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