Car Engine Types

The types of engines you'll learn about in this section include diesel, rotary, HEMI, stirling and quasiturbine, to name a few. You'll also see photos and animated images of the technologies we explore.


Will the world's first commercially available gas compression-ignition engine finally be a success?

Most modern cars and trucks are powered by an internal combustion engine. But was there ever a time when vehicles were powered by engines that required an external source of heat?

Do you know how Opposed Piston Opposed Cylinder (OPOC) engines work? Check out this amazing graphic that explains how OPOC engines work!

Do you know how sleeve valve engines work? Check out this amazing graphic that explains how sleeve valve engines work!

Look under the hood of most cars and you'll probably find one or more pulley-driven belts. But if one of those engine belts break, your car can suddenly become undriveable.

With a simple soda can and a handful of basic tools and accessories, it's possible to make one of the first commercially viable engines ever made. Find out what makes a Coke can Stirling engine chug away.

The traditional water pump is a relatively simple, belt-driven component. But could an electric water pump be more efficient and more in tune with your engine's specific cooling needs?

It may take a bit of time to understand how this ball gets rolling; but once you get it, you'll see how it just might take hybrid auto engineering to the next level.

The sleeve-valve engine may have already been dismissed as a historical relic; however, at least one company is seeking to bring the sleeve-valve engine back into action -- with a few modern twists.

Internal combustion engines aren't going away anytime soon. And since a practical alternative can't be ready for use within the next few years, we need a better internal combustion engine in the meantime.

The wave disk generator is a propulsion system that could revolutionize the way we move our vehicles. But we've all heard that before, right? So what makes this one so special?

Four strokes, less fuel. How's that sound? With the addition of just a couple of linkages, an Atkinson cycle engine can complete all four strokes with a single rotation of the crankshaft.

The Grail Engine takes a variety of modern, cutting-edge engine technologies and puts them all together in one package. Honda and Ford have already shown interest -- should the rest of us?

Car engines that run on gasoline aren't the only kind of internal combustion engines. Learn about the types of internal combustion engines in this article.

Today, hot bulb engines are a mainstay for serious antique engine collectors and represent a historic landmark in the evolution of gas engines. Efficient, simple and robust -- hot bulb engines had it all.

You may think your dreams of fuel economy can be fulfilled only by a car with a diesel engine, but direct injection engines offer another option for high efficiency and performance. How do they differ from standard gas engines?

It's possible that someday there may be no need for a lot of the components that you currently find under the hood of a car or truck. That is, if the vehicle is equipped with in-wheel electric motors.

High gas prices are driving people to look at alternatives to fossil fuels, such as a turbine designed by the father of alternating current, Nikola Tesla.

When you hear the word "diesel" you probably imagine something along the lines of a Mack truck. But what do powerful diesel engines actually look like? Check out this image gallery to see the cutting-edge diesel engines in development today.

Car engines range from small, economic 4-cylinders to insanely powerful 16-cylinder beasts. Get revved up with full-throttle photos of how they all work.

Take a look at the powerful engines that made the Corvette, Impala, and Chevelle hi-performance machines. Learn about the history and specifications behind these memorable engines.

The Chevy 265-cid V-8 was a performance favorite for two generations. It was considered a benchmark engine design for its days. Learn about the history and specs of this marvelous engine.

The 283 Chevy V-8 has become one of Chevy's most revered engines -- the definitive small-block enshrined by a generation of car enthusiasts who followed. Learn more about the fuel-injected small-block Chevy V-8 that powered the Corvette.

Dubbed "Turbo-Thrust," the 348 Chevy V-8 was the largest and most powerful Chevrolet engine you could buy in 1958-61. These powered some of the most memorable of the "performance" Chevys.

The high-revving 409 Chevy V-8 was a favorite of racers and hot rodders. Its most glamorous home was in the lmpala Super Sport. The 409 was the standard-bearer in full-size Chevys until 1965. Learn more about it.