Some of you may know my obsession with trying to design small, light road cars as I think they make more sense than 500 bhp 1,800kg supercars.
The basic idea is always the same -cut weight and drag by reducing the plan area whilst maintaining a normal track/wheelbase ratio. If you can do this its "win/win" - as the size goes down the weight falls so narrower tyres are OK which reduces width and saves drag etc.
There are two big problems -the occupants don’t shrink pro rata and as you narrow the track you really should reduce the CG height as well to keep roll angles versus spring rates in balance. Also as you reduce the wheelbase the pitch sensitivity goes up unless you lower the CG.
One way to help solve these problems is to use rear flat cylinder engine like a beetle/beach buggy/ Porsche 911. This has very low CG and its position allows all the wheelbase to be used for the occupants who can be reclined to further reduce the drag and CG. The problem then becomes excessive rear end mass hung outside the wheelbase.
So I was thinking that if you could build a really large capacity flat twin you could get enough power - say 200 - 250bhp with a low engine mass very close to the rear axle centreline.
So how big could you build a flat twin ( in principle ) before the pistons etc weight limits rpm and induces excessive side shake due to the offset crank pins?
The new Morgan 3 wheeler uses a US Vee twin of about 1.8 litres, The Lycoming IO 580 aircraft engine is 9.56 litres/583 C.I. from 6 cylinders. So if you used the Lycoming engine as a reference you could have a 3.2 litre flat twin. Using the Lycoming dimensions it would have 135mm bore and 111mm stroke.
The aero engine is obviously heavily de rated for safety so it runs at only 2,500 rpm.
My question is could such a big flat twin runs successfully and would it be able to run up to , say, 5,000 rpm or so?.
I know the drag racing “monster motor V-8's have over one litre per cylinder and wind to serious revs but with a short life.
Any thoughts please?
Edited by mariner, 10 January 2014 - 15:10.