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Engine Volkswagen flat-four

Automobiles from 1930 > Extra about cars in 1930

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-four” or “boxer.” Today, the straight-four is more common, but a flat-four has two main advantages: a lower center of gravity (which aids roadholding) and reduced vibration (which enhances refinement).

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.

Volkswagen flat-four

Volkswagen flat-four

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.

Engine Specification Volkswagen
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