Odd Engines

08.26.16 - Saab 96 Engine

Sometimes it’s a lot of fun to discuss oddities that happen in the automotive world. As we have seen in recent history, many automakers and even tuners are working to find ways to create more efficient and useful engines while also making use of different fuels to get the job of mobility done for us. In this video we see six engines that are a bit out of the ordinary and give us something different and at times cool to think about as we look toward new ways to power or cars.

Turbine Engine – The turbine engine created by Chrysler is able to operate at 44,500 rpm and can use a variety of fuels to power the vehicle. This engine is able to use diesel, unleaded gasoline, kerosene, JP-4 jet fuel and vegetable oil. Under the hood appears to be a large V8 engine, but this car sounds much more like a large vacuum cleaner or jet just before the accelerator is depressed for takeoff. As you can see in the video, the bystanders can smell the fuel being burned, which in this case is kerosene. I wonder what the vegetable oil would smell like when it’s expelled through the exhaust.

Tucker 48 – Here is an engine that sounds loud and proud as it drives down the road. This old school steel built car is powered by a 5.5-liter naturally aspirated six-cylinder engine that has two valves per cylinder. That is one of the largest six-cylinder engines ever made and it only makes 166 horsepower, but does produce an impressive 372 lb.-ft. of torque to make this an engine you can use for some serious low end grunt. Amazingly the rpms only have to be a 2000 in order to have the full use of this massive torque, making this an engine many might want in their trucks.

Saab 96 – This is an engine that is truly a bit odd under the hood of a massive machine. Of course when this was built most cars were this size or larger, which meant it fit right in except for the fact it was only a three-cylinder engine. Putting out only 57 horsepower and offering a triple carburetor setup meant this was a car that would be a nightmare to repair when needed, but was one of the most efficient at the time it was built when it operated the way it’s supposed to.

Cizeta V16T – This may have been one of the first successful ventures into having sixteen cylinders under the same hood. This engine wasn’t an actual V16, but instead was two V8’s that were mashed together and joined by a timing case. With 6.0-liters of displacement between them and 560 horsepower being produced this is an engine that was meant to be one of the most impressive power plants to ever come out of Italy for us to admire and enjoy

Oldsmobile Jetfire – The 215 cubic inch V8 engine was a common one used by General Motors at the time, but when they fitted this one with a Garrett turbocharger all hell broke loose. This engine required “Turbo Rocket Fluid” to keep it from detonating during compression. This alone sounds pretty frightening, but with this fluid the engine could run smooth and easy for long periods of time. The actual fluid used as a mixture of distilled water, methanol and a corrosion inhibitor which seemed to get the job done and keep this engine running beautifully.

Mazda RX-7 – Mazda is one of the only manufacturers to successfully use the Wankel Rotary Engine and it placed them in their sports cars. The RX-7 was one of the most impressive cars on the road for many years but the engine used does have its drawbacks such as high gas and oil consumption and a higher emissions. The benefit to these engines is the lighter weight and the better use of horsepower to give the cars a huge punch and offer some of the fastest drives you could imagine. Fitting a Wankel engine with a turbocharger gives it even more power and was what the RX-7 was all about for the decades it was produced.

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