Originally Posted by LowLife1
Hijack alert. I was just wondering yesterday how how does the number of cylinders/displacement affect performance? In other words, if the CCs of a 4 cylinder equal the CCs of a 12 cylinders why do they sound/perform so differently?
This is coming from wondering why since modern tech is improving the performance of V8s every year why companies don't consider producing smaller V8s? You'd still have the allure of a V8 without being penalized as much by the there's no replacement for displacement crowd (even if it could be proven that a 4 or 6 can perform just as well). Because for whatever reason there still seems to exist the mentality that it's not the displacement that counts as much as it's the number of cylinders.
I imagine V12 lovers think the same way about V8s.
To get power in a race engine requires RPM. To keep it together requires a fairly short stroke, and thus a large bore, which works with the other requirement that you need enough combustion chamber area for large enough valves, although going to a 4 or even 5 valve lay out can optimize a bore that might be cramped if you were using only 2 valves.
There are several nice small V8s about - Lexus, BMW etc., and in the old days, Daimler had a 2.5, and the Lamborghini Urraco came with as low as a 2 litre V8.
Having the extra cylinders (and friction) isn't worth it though, if you can get a 4 or 6 that will perform the same. The coming thing today is competent V6s - the new Ford is a good one.
As for sound, yes the V12s sound really, really good, although many people brought up to believe that only a big slow reving V8 is manly will say that only a V8 gets their juices flowing....