How Many Cylinders Does A Supercar Need To Have? #YouTellUs

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Automakers are downsizing engines and adding hybrid powertrains to many next-generation supercars. But this raises the question: how many cylinders does a supercar need to have?

Engines with fewer cylinders provide many benefits as outlined earlier today by McLaren. Ranging from less weight and fewer moving parts, to better fuel economy and better packaging. The list of benefits to using a smaller engine is long.

Jaguar is planning to use a turbo four-cylinder engine displacing a mere 1.6-liters but producing more than 500 horsepower while revving past 10,000 rpm in its upcoming supercar based on the C-X75 Concept.. This engine will be paired with a plug-in hybrid system which will give the new Jaguar supercar an extra boost of torque instantly off the line.

McLaren has even said the V-12 engine is a thing of the past and it belongs in a museum. It's latest supercar, the MP4-12C features a 3.8-liter twin-turbo V-8 producing over 600 horsepower. The F1 successor due to be revealed later this year will also feature a V-8 engine, only it'll also have a hybrid system to deliver even more power. McLaren has also conceded V-6 engines are a possibility in the future.

Ferrari has already announced the Enzo successor will feature a V-12 engine and an electric hybrid assist system. Rumors peg the power output as high as 920 horsepower, but no official fuel economy or power output figures have been released yet.

Porsche's upcoming 2014 918 Spyder will feature a V-8 engine paired to a plug-in hybrid drivetrain. The result will be a supercar that produces over 700 horsepower while still being able to possibly achieve 78 mpg. These numbers are staggering when looking at both fuel economy and horsepower ratings.

From mighty V-12 engines to high-revving four-cylinders, the landscape of supercars is continuing to change. But can a supercar be supercar no matter how many cylinders are in the engine bay? Today we ask you to tell us the answer to that question.

Leave us your thoughts in the comments below, or send us a Tweet on Twitter or a comment on Facebook.

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Comments (8)
  1. Zero. Tesla is offering a 4 wheel drive option on their upcomming Model X. Now I know the Model X is a SUV and not a high performance sports car, but forget the body for a moment. Those motors are almost 300hp apiece so about 600HP on tap with the ultimate in torque control. Imagine that skateboard platform with a sleek McLaren-like body. I think that is where super cars are going.

  2. ^^Exactly^^
    I might add that Mazda did without cylinders in their last RX-7 in the 1990's, which had near-supercar performance and was a darned fun drive.

  3. A perfect supercar would have 6 cylinders in a Vee or flat formation possibly with 2 turbochargers for best weight and performance. GTR and 911 comes to mind.

  4. 15 liter v20 quad turbo supercharged engine

  5. IMO, after perfecting technologies such as force induction, cooling and lubrication, and electronics, the number of cylinders is not relevant when it comes to power delivery and just goes according to the type of project you have in mind. In other words, you can have a reputable engine like the BMW M5's V8 twin turbo that makes 578 HP, but you can have a tweaked Mazda Miata's 4 cylinders motor making 900 hp. The introduction of hybrid technologies ( a heavy necessity) will demand maximizing power while minimizing size

  6. 12

  7. A lot of you guys are forgetting exclusivity. Only a rare breed of cars have 12-cylinder engines now. Why would I want to pay a million dollars to drive around a four-cylinder? I think the Jag supercar will be a flop, just like its last one, the XJ220. Why would you want the Jaguar hybrid supercar when you have Porsche, McLaren and Ferrari to choose from lol

  8. at least 8. any less is a blasphemy

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