Hooniverse Asks- What's the Craziest Transverse Engine?

benelli750sei When designing a car it’s generally necessary to conform the shape to the mechanical systems beneath all the drapery. Back when engines required syphon cooling and gravity fuel delivery that meant tall hoods and plenty of room on either side of the motor for all the bits to function properly. As time went on and engines became more compact, engineers became bolder in how they packaged them. One of the biggest shifts in automotive engineering was the switch from front-to-back engine placement to fitting the power plant, and its related drivetrain components, transversely either driving the front wheels or those in back when they were stuffed behind the seats. Transverse engines are now the norm rather than the odd bodkin, to be pointed at and ridiculed. That doesn’t mean that the layout is the panacea for all that ails the automotive industry, and in fact transverse engines do have limitations regarding their size and configuration. You might notice the drawing above, which of course is of Benelli’s lovely air-cooled inline six that has over the years offered levels of torque and smoothness unknown in like-sized fours or big twins. You’d be hard pressed to ride anything with more cylinder inline, nor would the crank likely survive. Yep, that’s also about the limit in cylinder count and/or displacement for a transverse inline engine mounting in a motorcycle. Automotive applications have many more options owing to the grater flexibility in size and shape afforded by the stability of four wheels. Regardless of the axle count there have been a ton of cool transverse engine over the years, and today I’d like to hear your opinion on which of those is the wildest. Image: Vroum

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