Is there a future for 8, 12 or 16 cylinder engines?

The programmed end of the thermal is now recorded. But the bigger cars will probably see their day sooner than expected!

We all know Bentley, Bugatti, Aston Martin, McLaren, Lamborghini or Ferrari. All these manufacturers have two things in common: they are luxury brands and they all produced at least one V12 engine. Others even continue to perpetuate the famous Saint Grace W16. But the latter are well aware that all good things must come to an end given the imminent electrification of their range. And that was a long time ago End of heat engines planned for 2035.

Shrinkage will kill the cylinders

for several years “downsizing” it’s a big trend among engineers buying tighter specifications. Especially with the advent of anti-pollution standards in the Old ContinentEuro7, further complicate the development of thermal vehicles. Reducing the number of cylinders mechanically reduces both consumption and emissions.

Indeed, the smaller the engine, the less it consumes in principle. Fewer cylinders result in less friction loss and less fuel must be burned. Finally, a smaller engine is also lighter, which reduces the mass to be transported. To compensate for raw power loss, turboa compressor or even a electric motor can be used. Today this practice is common and we see many manufacturers developing 3 or 4 cylinders and abandoning the larger 6 or 8 cylinder engines.

Inevitable loss of know-how

German media Automobilwoche recently interviewed automotive philosopher and professor of design at Cologne University of Applied Sciences Paolo Tumminello on this topic. “Big engines mark the end of an era. It is true that electric motors are lighter and more efficient. “Combustion engines are one of the most beautiful structures imaginable.”

Indeed, we are rightly talking about the art of designing and assembling engines. 3.8 liter V6 block a Nissan GT-R for example, the six masters known as “Meister Takumi” are assembled entirely by hand. The design professor adds: “It is a tragic loss for our civilization to dismantle the multi-cylinder, the last monument of the machine age and a symbol of genius.”

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Hybridization to the rescue of big cars

The second-hand market works very well, especially for models with large displacement engines. Ribs are rising, and understandably so. In an increasingly clean world with electric motors lacking any appeal, second-hand models have seen their popularity rise over the years. Because the end of thermal models also sounds like the end of the thrilling sounds of big engines. But maybe not right away!

Indeed, for those who can afford it, cars with V10 and even V12 blocks are still on the market. For some brands, they even intend to make them long-lasting. Under one condition, a hybrid module. example SF90 Pranking Horse is a perfect example. The latter is paired with a 220-horsepower electric motor powered by a 780-horsepower V8 4.0 bi-turbo unit.

At Lamborghini, boss Stephan Winkelmann also confirmed that the Aventador’s successor will be well equipped with a new version of the V12.

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