There's no replacement for displacement


Inline 4


This engine is also called a straight-four engine. The engine focuses on performance through the use of a four cylinder engine. The cylinders are arranged in a straight line. You can have them either vertical or inclined, and the pistons will drive one particular crankshaft. The real benefit to this engine is its balance. The engine is particularly good for cars on the low end of the scale for this reason. The simple nature of the mechanics of the car make it much cheaper to create. Most engines of this type only have up to 2.4 liters of displacement. On occasion some engines have tried pushing this limit towards as high as 4.5, but most experts agree that the real practical limit is more like 4.0 liters.


Boxer Engines


Boxer engines were called this because the pistons all move at the same time, making them look like boxers hitting gloves together. Boxer engines can get up to as high as 8 cylinders in cars, but and 6 cylinders in motorbikes. The engines are known for having a smooth operation and a limited amount of displacement.




SBC stands for “small block engine” and it refers to engines that are smaller, compact, and that have a much smaller weight. Many of these types of engines were in cars that had a lot of aftermarket support as well.


V8 Displacement


Most V8 engines are simply two straight-4 engines that are used together. Or at least, this is how they started out. The problem is that this type of engine caused problems when it came to engines that had a high level of displacement.


Displacement Relationships


Smaller engines that have fewer cylinders will generally be more fuel efficient since they have to deal with less displacement and so there is less of a danger of having any kind of waste. Another important thing to note about smaller engines is that this also often means that they weigh less, and the vehicle will handle better. Having a high displacement in your vehicle’s engine means that it weighs more, and that the car will often be harder to handle. There are, of course, ways to mitigate this problem, and having an engine that is more powerful can mean more torque, so you have more power in your turns if more difficult controlling them. But the main take away here is that speed is always positively correlated with displacement because this is the main way that the engine functions.


If you want more speed in your car, you will always want to find more displacement.


Anthony Johnson Nascar   

About the author:

Anthony Johnson is the owner and President of Monza Motion, LLC which owns and operates two companies out of Hamilton, Ohio. Monza Auto Parts which is the retail side of the business and Monza Energy is the powerplant research and development division. Anthony is an avid motorsports fan and classic car collector. He has a passion for the Chevrolet Corvair, which is a car that has forever changed America. He has a degree in Computer Forensics and Network Security from SWFC and is considered an Information Security expert. Anthony has worked with the DoD and major financial institutions across the United States.


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