Since the development of vehicles to replace horse carriages, issues of efficiency, horsepower, and fuel consumption have dominated many automobile debates. One of the pertinent issues is the relationship between the size of an engine and the performance of a vehicle. Car manufacturers face the challenge of making engines that combine power output and performance for excellent driving experiences. They compete to make the most effective, powerful, and best performing engine. There are different types of engines in the automobile market developed by different manufacturers. Two of the most common are V6 and V8 engines. This paper will show that V8 engines are better than V6 engines based on aspects like power output, flexibility, performance, fuel efficiency, and speed.
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The V6 and V8 engines
A V6 engine contains six cylinders whose pistons are connected to a common crankshaft. It is widely used in small cars. Its displacement capacities range from 2.5 liters to 4 liters. However, smaller and larger engines are available in the market. Older versions of the engine had the odd and even firing problem that rendered them less efficient.
On the contrary, modern engines have features that eradicate the problem. For instance, modern engines are fitted with crankpins that facilitate continuous firing. After its development, the V6 engine was mainly used in racing cars.
On the other hand, the V8 engine contains eight cylinders whose pistons are connected to a common crankshaft (Philips par2). Manufacturers of modern engines incorporate complex cross planes into the architecture of the engine to prevent vibrations. The V8 engine is common in many cars, including French, Japanese, Italian, Swedish, and American cars. Its prominence in many countries is evidence of its flexibility and performance, and fuel economy.
V6 and V8 engines have different levels of performance about power output. Analyzing the two engines based on fuel consumption reveals that power output depends on various factors such as driving conditions and speed. The V6 engine is smaller than the V8 (Philips par2). Therefore, it requires a higher N/V input than the V8. N/V is a ratio that denotes the relationship between the speed of the car and the speed of the engine. The V6 requires a higher torque ratio to accelerate (King par2). This implies that it spins faster than the V8 at the same speed.
In contrast, the V8 engine needs a lower N/V output to accelerate. High number of revolutions generate high frictional forces that consume more power (King par3). High power consumption is one of the disadvantages of a V6 engine. The V8 consumes less power because it makes fewer revolutions that generate small amounts of frictional forces (Philips par4). The smaller engine is more efficient at speeds below 80 mph. At lower speeds, the smaller engine consumes less power because it operates at loads near its efficiency peak. However, at speeds above 80 mph, it operates at loads that surpass its efficiency peak (King par4). At higher speeds, the bigger engine is more powerful because it operates at loads below its efficiency peak.
Fuel consumption and economy
A small engine consumes less fuel than a big engine if factors like speed and weight remain constant. However, fuel consumption is also determined by the speed of a car relative to its load. Fuel consumption for both engines depends on the weight of the vehicle. At speeds lower than 80 mph, the V6 engine consumes less fuel. However, at speeds above 80 mph, the V8 consumes less fuel (King par4). This is ascribed to low friction due to fewer engine rotations. Therefore, if two vehicles fitted with the two types of engines carry equal loads, the vehicle with the V8 engine is more economical than the one with the V6 engine. For that reason, the V8 engine is more economical that the V6. For instance, many racing and high-speed cars utilize V8 engine technology because of its fuel efficiency (Philips par6). Car manufacturers are integrating different technologies into V8 engines to improve fuel economy. An example of such technology is Multi-Displacement Technology (MDS). Modern V8 engines are more economical compared to traditional engines because of technological advancements. Drivers are advised to avoid hard acceleration, use recommended fuel, and service engines regularly to improve fuel efficiency.
The V8 engine is more flexible than the V6 engine. For instance, the HEMI engine used by Chrysler Corporation in its vehicles is an improved version of the original design of the V8 engine. It is more fuel-efficient, has higher torque, and generates more horsepower. Car manufacturers prefer V8engine because of the ease of incorporating technology in its architecture. Technology is used to improve fuel efficiency and performance. For instance, the Multi-Displacement System (MDS) technology used in modern V8 engines increases fuel efficiency and performance (Gillogy par5). The MDS technology increases fuel shutoff at certain speeds to save fuel.
On the other hand, the size of the V8 engine can be altered to fit the different uses and needs of drivers. It is usually optimized for large displacement cars to produce maximum torque and horsepower. For instance, it is made bigger for cargo trucks. The V8 has more cylinders than the V6. Therefore, the torque of the V8 is uniform about the time taken to complete one revolution. The flexibility of the engine is evident from the optimization of the Aston Martin engine from 300 ft-lbs of torque to more than 500 ft-lbs of torque.
Performance and efficiency
Fuel consumption for both engines depends on the speed and weight of a vehicle. At speeds lower than 80 mph, the V6 engine consumes less fuel. However, at speeds above 80 mph, the V8 consumes less fuel. This is ascribed to low friction due to fewer engine rotations. The number of engine rotations depends on the inclination angle of cylinders. Many racing cars and high-speed cars utilize V8 engine technology because of its efficiency at high speeds. The V8 engine performs better about balancing of power output and torque (King par5). The power output of the V6 is smaller. Many car manufacturers prefer the V8 because it offers users good engine balance (BMW par3). Its horsepower, fuel economy, and torque are well balanced.
On the contrary, engines bigger or smaller than the V8 are not well balanced. The V8 engine runs more efficiently than the V6 because of the incorporation of cross planes into its design. The V8 engine produces a power stroke every 90 degrees while the V6 produces a power stroke every 120 degrees (King par6). Smoothing running engine enhances performance and fuel economy because of less stress on different parts of the engine. Young people usually prefer cars with the V8 engine because they accelerate faster and are more powerful than cars with V6 engines.
Cars with V8 engines are faster than cars with V6 engines because of their greater power output. Examples of fast cars that have V8 engines include Aston Martin, Ferrari, Chevrolet, and Mercedes Benz (Motor Trend par2). In 2013, Chevrolet announced that it would unveil the LT1 V8 engine that would have massive capabilities about speed and fuel economy (Gillogy par3). They said that the engine would be capable of generating 450 horsepower at 6,000 rotations per minute (Gillogy par4). Also, it would be capable of generating 20 horsepower at low speeds, thus making it the best engine the car manufacture has ever made. According to the manufacturer, the engine would possess powerful features like cylinder deactivation to enhance fuel economy and variable valve timing. A V8 engine has a higher acceleration rate than the V6 hence its higher speed (BMW par4). Also, it has a higher top speed that the V6 because of its higher torque and horsepower. Cars with big engines are faster than cars with small engines.
Applications of the V8 engine
The horsepower, fuel economy, performance, and speed of the V8 engine are evident from its use in luxury cars, racing cars, pickup trucks, sport utility vehicles, and muscle cars (Motor Trend par2). The engine is also used in motorcycles and aircrafts. In Italy, the engine is incorporated in various car brands including Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, Fiat, IVECO, Lamborghini, Maserati, and Lancia. In Japan, it is used in Toyota, Yamaha, Mitsubishi, and Nissan cars. In the U.S., it is used in Cadillac and Rolls Royce. In Germany, it is used in BMW, Mercedes Benz, and Horch vehicles (BMW par6). These applications reveal that the V8 is widely used by car manufacturers compared to the V6.
Car manufacturers compete with each about the manufacture of the most powerful, economical, and fast engine. Two of the most common engines are the V6 and V8 engines. They differ in terms of architecture, size, fuel economy, power, and speed. A V6 engine has six cylinders connected to a common crankshaft. On the other hand, the V8 engine contains eight cylinders connected to a common crankshaft. Due to engine vibrations, modern manufacturers incorporate complex cross planes to eradicate vibrations. The V8 is better than the V6 because it is faster, more economical, flexible, and powerful. The V6 engine is smaller than the V8. Therefore, it requires a higher N/V input. N/V is a ratio that denotes the relationship between the speeds of a car and the speed of the engine. The V6 engine requires a higher torque ratio to accelerate. Fuel consumption depends on the weight of the load carried by a vehicle. The V8 engine is more economical when the car is carrying a heavy load because the engine has fewer rotations and thus generates little friction. Cars with V8 engines are faster than cars with V6 engines because of greater power output. Also, the V8 is more flexible than the V6. Therefore, Car manufacturers prefer the V8 engine because it is easy to incorporate technology into its architecture for improved fuel efficiency and performance.
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BMW: Eight-Cylinder Engines. n.d. Web.
Gillogy, Brandan. 2014 Chevrolet LT1 V8 Engine. 2013. Web.
King, Jerry. V-6 vs. V-8: Does Size Matter for Fuel Economy? 2013. Web.
Motor trend: V-8 Engine Roundup: Cars, Trucks, and SUVS with V-8s. 2011. Web.
Philips, Jack. The V8: Birth and Beginnings. n.d. Web.