20 Sep MotorSport Car Engines – What are the Choices?
MotorSport car engine choices often depend on the type of car they’re destined to power and how you plan to drive that car afterwards. For those who are drawn to the allure of high horsepower ratings and blistering straight-line performance, cars with large displacement engines ranging from eight to twelve cylinders are extraordinarily popular. Keep in mind that having a huge engine is not always the best thing, as the added weight and outstanding amount of power can upset the car’s handling unless extensive modifications are made to the suspension.
If your tastes revolve around small, lightweight cars, chances are your choices will largely consist of small displacement engines with four or six cylinders. Some of these vehicles manage to push the envelope by having large displacement engines shoehorned into vehicles like the Caterham and Mazda Miata. One historic example of this is Carroll Shelby’s infamous AC Cobra, which was a lightweight British roadster originally fitted with a small four-cylinder engine. Shelby force-fed Ford’s 289 cubic-inch (and later on, the 427 cubic-inch) engine into the tight engine bay, creating a legendary vehicle with more than ample amounts of power and stunning performance.
Engines like GM’s ubiquitous 350 cubic-inch small block engine and Ford’s 302 cubic-inch crate motor are mainstays in the motorsport car engine market. There are also plenty of other choices available, from Ford’s 2.0-liter four-cylinder crate motor to GM’s monstrous 502 cubic-inch V8. Mopar offers an 8.4-liter V10 crate motor, but V10 and V12 crate motors are particularly hard to find, in general – these engines are more likely to be sourced from Mercedes, BMW and Audi for use in limited-production efforts from established boutique automakers.
Many of these engines are backed by their own warranties, giving their owners greater piece of mind whenever something out of the ordinary happens to these motors. These sports car engine choices ultimately depend on what you want to get out of your car after it’s all said and done.
There’s plenty more to keep in mind when considering MotorSport car engine choices. One consideration is how your vehicle will be classified if you intend on competing in the numerous racing clubs and associations. Certain classes prohibit engines that are over a certain displacement limit while others prohibit certain engine types. For instance, cars fitted with eight-cylinder engines won’t be able to compete in races where four-cylinder engines are the only motors allowed.
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