• Jul 23, 2006

Weber Automotive, a leader in the manufacture of engine blocks and crankshafts (many of the magnesium VW Beetle engine blocks were cast by Weber), has designed a small V4 engine in an attempt to provide an alternative to inline fours in emerging markets such as China.

The V4 configuration has had its fair share of success in the realm of high-performance motorcycles, and Weber claims that its cube-like shape makes it well-suited to compact cars as well. Not only is the 70-degree bank angle said to offer a packaging advantage, but it's supposedly up to 75 lbs lighter than a typical 2.0L I4 of similar power.

Fans of the Yamaha VMax and Honda VFR may also be glad to hear that a 90-degree crank is used. This gives the engine a firing order that effectively is like two 90-degree V-twins which run 180 degrees out of phase, and thus leads to an exhaust noise that can best be described as that of a miniature V8.

The company has posted some specifications on its site, and if they are to be trusted, this engine might be rather interesting, indeed. If someone wants to toss this into a decent sport compact, we'd be more than happy to thrash it around for a while.

[Source: Automotive Design and Production]



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 18 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      There are no non-split crankshaft journal V4s that are even firing. So why bother when an inline4 with balance shafts is better than a boxing 4 which is better than a V4.

      A 360 crank V4 allow for the most power because it is effectively to inline2s in a Vee formation, and that allows the inline2 to be even firing and allows for exhaust resonance.

      All boxing engines are 180 degree Vee engines with 180 degree split journals. (subset of Vee engines)

      Ducati's big bang V4 is a joke, it is configured to mimic a V2 like the rest of the bikes they sell.
      Ducati should have used a 'big crunch' 180 degree crank, 90 degree V4, firing intervals are 90, 90, 90, 450.

      http://www.timberwoof.com/motorcycle/V-TWIN-7.html


      • 8 Years Ago
      what bikes besides the Yamaha (Star?) VMax has had a lot of success?

      could you not technically call the Subaru Boxer 4 engines V4's? (Granted they are 180degree opposed)
      • 8 Years Ago
      The VFR 800 IS a 90 degree V4 with a 180 degree crank.
      Firing intervals are 180,270,180,90

      offspring of Ducati and a sport bike. nice.

      http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-959892459434466733&q=VFR+800
      • 8 Years Ago
      Some engine somewhere might be a 90 degree V-4, but the one in the picture looks like 72 degrees. I'm sure the firing order is every 180 degrees on a 90-degree V-4. Anything else would be silly, right?

      I have an SV650 with a 90 degree V-twin, which fires at 0 and 360. The engine is a little shaky at idle but is smoother than an I-4 bike engine at most speeds. I guess you could say it shakes but it doesn't vibrate. And the exhaust note has much more character.

      • 8 Years Ago
      This isn't good. If this engine enjoys some success, people who claim to have a V4 under the hood might actually have a clue what they're talking about.
      • 8 Years Ago
      this engine seems like a good idea if your trying to get as much power into a very limited space as possible.
      • 8 Years Ago
      This would allow tiny compacts like the Honda Fit and Toyota Yaris have longitudinal mounting and RWD. I'm not specifically saying those two cars, but cars in that class.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Tim UF wrote, "what bikes besides the Yamaha (Star?) VMax has had a lot of success?"

      Honda has built numerous bikes under the designation VFR of various displacements that have enjoyed great success, especially the VFR 750, 800, 800i, and now the 800 VTEC. The Honda ST1100 and ST1300 (Pan European across the pond) have also been very successful. Honda also used re-tuned versions of the VFR engine in cruisers, like the Honda Magna.

      Yamaha also used a re-tuned version of the V Max engine in the road liner (a cruiser).

      All the preceding have been very successful.

      Now Ducati is selling a replica of its Motorcycle Grand Prix bike, the Desmosedici (sixteen valve) 990, with over 200hp from a 990cc, 90 degree V4. See the following article.

      http://www.motorcycle-usa.com/Article_Page.aspx?ArticleID=3358&Page=1

      Yeah, I know. I can't afford it either.
      • 8 Years Ago
      thanks gary for posting this link, also here a link to Wikipedia entry about the V4 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/V4

      GM's old 3800 V6 got its origins from a V8 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buick_V6_engine maybe a V4 derivated from a V6 or V8 engine could lower some costs.
      • 8 Years Ago
      UK/German Ford used a V4 for years in the Corsair and the first Transit. It allowed it to have a longtitudinal mount and a snub nose. (The diesels had an inline 4 and so needed a longer nose.)

      Ford used a V6 long before they had fwd cars. It went into Capris, Granadas, Sierras and Emergency use transits.

      I'm sure that with balancer shafts they could be made shake free.

      Who cares how many cylinders a car has - true a V8 burble sounds nice and a 6 (and a triple) have a nice roar but so long as it starts every time, lasts nearly forever and uses next to no petrol who really cares.

      I'd be happy with a single if it could deliver all of the above!

      Chris
      • 8 Years Ago
      Also, the specs list the 1.6 liter unit as having 72nm of torque = 53 pound feet = inadequate.

      For those than need to convert 1 NM = 0.738 pound feet of torque and 1 KW = 1.34 HP
      • 8 Years Ago
      Is this a shared-journal V4? If so, it'll fire at 0, 90, 360 and 450 degrees (or 0, 270, 360 and 630, which would sound the same). Translation: it'll run like crap and shake like mad.

      A split-journal V4 would run smoother, but then again it would fire every 180 degrees, the same as an I4.
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