PACKING A PUNCH
A key feature of the engine’s design is properly termed the horizontally opposed layout of its four cylinders, although such a configuration is more often called “flat-
In each pair of opposed cylinders, positioned to either side of the central crankshaft, the pistons move in opposition, like boxers trading punches. As a result, secondary vibrations produced by the unbalanced motion of masses within the engine are significantly reduced.
Commissioned to create a people’s car(Volks Wagen)by Adolf Hitler, Ferdinand Porsche designed an engine that was cooled by air rather than water, saving the weight and complication of a radiator, water pump, and hoses. When car production resumed after World War II, the simple, rugged engine went on to sell in huge numbers worldwide, until manufacture ceased in 2003.