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Is the no. of Cylinder the only criteria for a better diesel engine?

Discussion in 'Technical' started by Relativity, Jan 15, 2012.

  1. Relativity

    Relativity Superiore

    Messages:
    853
    Chennai
    I am new to cars and almost finalized to buy a Punto 2012.
    However, during elimination stage; I eliminated the VW Polo and Skoda Fabia purely based on feedback that a 4 cylinder Punto engine is way superior to a 3 cylinder engine in a Polo TDI or Fabia diesel. I like both the Polo and Fabia but I am not going to choose a car with inferior technology.

    However, just wanted to be sure that despite being a 3 cylinder; the VW and Skoda are not technologically ahead by innovating something else.
    Please clarify.
  2. drifter

    drifter Regolare

    Messages:
    310
    London/Mumbai
    The number of Cylinders is not the criteriawhether one engine is better than the other.

    The advantage of the three cylinder engines over 4 cylinder engines is that they can be made more compact with the same cubic capacity. This means engines will be lighter and have less parts making the engine cheaper to produce at the same time. Also in the 3 cylinder the drag is less compared to 4 cylinder engines.

    These are some of the reasons why manufacturers go from 4 to 3 cylinder engines and even beyond.
  3. PaddleShifter

    PaddleShifter Staff Member Janitor

    Messages:
    2,697
    Chandigarh
    Grande Punto 1.3
    These days there are highly advanced 2 cylinder engines as well. FIAT has its own twinair engine.

    Having said that, VW Polo and Skoda Fabia have a 3 cylinder engine. The negative side of a 3 cylinder engine is that since the number of cylinders are odd, they lead to lots of vibrations and are noisy even inspite of all the counter balancers etc used.

    Besides, if the 1.2 liter, 3 cylinder TDI engine of VW has to be compared with the 1.3 liter, 4 cylinder MultiJet engine of FIAT, my personal opinion is that the latter is better due to 4 cylinders and lower NVH. Moreover, even though VW has 20% stake in Suzuki and there were reports that Maruti may switch over to VW TDi engines for Swift, Ritz, Dzire, SX4 but this didn't happen. Maruti has infact now considered taking engines manufactured by FIAT.

    The FIAT engine is currenty used in Ritz, Swift, SX4, Dzire, Vista, Manza besides Punto, Linea, 500 and Palio Stile. It will also be seen in Premier Rio mini SUV, and Maruti Ertiga MUV.
    1 person likes this.
  4. gurjinder

    gurjinder Staff Member Janitor

    Messages:
    3,989
    Punjab
    To answer the title, no, the number of cylinders is not the only criteria for an engine to be better or not. But it is one criteria for sure. The perfect engine layout is the straight-six cylinder engine, all others are a compromise.

    Skoda do not build their own engines. They borrow it from their parent - the VW group.

    And rest assured, in the field of small diesel engines - 1.0-1.6 litres, FIAT is king. VW do not have any extra innovation in their 1.2 TDI engine which the Multijet does not have. If it had, then the VW 1.2 wouldn't have sounded so bad. :)

    Leave India, the 1.3 Multijet has been rated higher , in the UK, than the VW 1.2 and the Toyota 1.4 D4D.

    TD the Punto Multijet and the Polo back to back. You'll feel the difference.

    Hope this helps!
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2012
    1 person likes this.
  5. kaps

    kaps Superiore

    Messages:
    673
    Arakkonam
    I think Drifter has explained it nicely. It has to do with cost cutting. Frankly, the "kitna deti hai" public paying more for a product that has cost cutting involved at the very basic level, it sounds incredible; german engineering or not. Sleight of hand.
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2012
  6. ramjn

    ramjn Staff Member Janitor

    Messages:
    5,244
    Chennai
    Linea 1.3
    I haven't driven Polo TDI or Fabia TDI. But, I believe both these cars are good performers on the highway. I have had nightmares to catch up Fabia TDI once. And yesterday, another Polo TDI impressed me a lot. He kept pace with me even at 160 KMPH.

    Note that I don't have any idea on the refinement and NVH on both these cars. Apart from this, I believe both these are good cars. I feel Fabia is better than Polo since the rear leg room in Fabia is good. Even better than Punto.
  7. Relativity

    Relativity Superiore

    Messages:
    853
    Chennai
    Thanks for the responses. Punto it is then :p
  8. I agree with gurjinder,that fiats are pioneers when it comes to innovations in diesels.The more the number of cylinders the more torquey is the engine,as the crankshaft weight gets distributed over the number of pistons.This ensures easier compression and combustion.But SI engines with modern technologies employ better counter crank weight to make a smoother stroke.

    ---------- Post added at 07:11 PM ---------- Previous post was at 07:06 PM ----------

    As for my driving experiences,i have always been associated with torquey fiat engines.So the nearest competitor to a palios torque for me was the vlx bolero crde.Its a 2.5 turbo charged engine,but believe me it is just as torquey as the palio.The palio 1.9d climbs mild inclines in fourth gear,with your AC on,with no hick ups.
  9. ENKI

    ENKI Esperto

    Was i maintaining a wrong view on this?? What was going through my mind:uh!!
    If no. of cylinder's are said to increase power, why don't these makers try 6-8 cylinder 1.3 Multijet & bump power to 120-130 HP whatever applicable. That would be economical as a replacement to 1.6 & 2 Ltr too...!! Interesting, isn't it??

    What i was thinking that it must be to improve harshness of engines::OO. With more volume added to the chamber, the bigger the engine, the prominent will be the NVH. The physical configuration V6/V8 etc. are the physical arrangement based thermodynamics & Newtonian-mechanics, the way they cancel each other's actions resulting into a minimum amount of thrum.
    That's why as volume increases, cylinder no. increase to make up for additional harshness. A 3 Ltr V4 is rare or is there anyone? On the negative side, it affects FE proportionally. But who will care for a Harsh engine with slightly better FE?
    For power/torque O/P, no benefit what so ever. That's why there isn't any 2 Ltr V6 or 1.3 V8. That is the reason why VW 1.2 ltr, 3 Cylinder NVH are so high. But they preferred 3 cylinder for better FE & indeed their FE is more than their counterparts at least in papers. That's why FIAT 875 Cc Twinair won "World engine of the Year" for under 1 Ltr category. Being just 2 cyclinder, it's NVH were suspected very high. FIAT resolved the NVH issue with the help of a special counter-balancing shaft. FIAT didn't get the award for the power/torque/FE figures (which are commendable actually!!), instead they got it for manipulating physics inside the engine to make a 2 Cyclinder engine with good NVH. 2-3-4 cylinders can't be arranged in V-shape. Only 6-8-10-12 can be. That's why there is no V9. This V shape always supports Newtonian physics & improved thermodynamic properties (specific heat etc) & God know what else:mrgreen:!!
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2012
  10. gurjinder

    gurjinder Staff Member Janitor

    Messages:
    3,989
    Punjab
    Haven't you heard of V-twins, V4's , and there were a few V5's also. There is no such limitation.

    Cheers.

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