Average Engine Weight: What Is The largest Engine In A Car?

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The weight of a car’s engine usually factors into its performance and fuel economy. Generally, the heavier it is, the more power it produces and the less efficient it goes up hills because of the extra force required to move and its load.

The engine is one of the most critical parts in a car that adds up its total weight. A wide range of engine types is available for your use. To know how much weight an engine can add to your car, you need to determine which type of engine you want. You will get a rough idea of it.

average mass of car

In this article, we will tell you about the average engine weight with their cylinders. Plus, you will learn more about the types of engines and the effect of engine weight on performance. So, without any further ado, let’s get into it!

How Heavy Is An Engine?

Many factors decide an engine’s weight, but typically, an engine weighs around 300-350 lbs (136-159 kg), excluding the transmission weight. So, this vital component is 75-90 lbs per cylinder. However, the final weight depends on the model, material, and size.

These can go lighter up to 77 lbs per cylinder like the Subaru EJ20 2.0L. Also, there are beasts of 80 lbs per cylinder like the Chevy V8. Below is the table for how much an average car engine weighs according to its cylinders.

engine weight chart


Toyota is among the dominant giants of the automobile industry because they are exceptional in making their engines super-efficient and powerful. Toyota makes its engines light-weighted to match the competition and remain above all. So mostly, they are 55 lbs per cylinder.


Tesla’s cars don’t run on combustion engines; instead, they use electric motors. Their motors weigh 80-90 lbs (176-198kg) because they only need a charged battery. So, the weights of coolants, transmissions, cylinders, and other components are none.

Their D-Model’s motors weigh around 100 lbs (45.3 kg), but the Tesla Model S motor is the lightest, being only 70 lbs. However, the Tesla Model 3 uses an 85 lbs permanent magnet motor rather than the standard induction one.


Another important company in car manufacturing is Ford, America’s most selling car in 2013. Their engines vary depending on the model and the car’s purpose. For instance, Ford Germany Taunus V4 is 204 lbs, while the Ford Boss has the heaviest 680 lbs engine. But, their average pounds per cylinder are 55 lbs.


KIA usually doesn’t use their engines because they don’t make many. Hence, their cars use Hyundai-manufactured engines. But, the heaviest they made were the Theta-II engines that KIA Optima used, and it was 305 lbs. Otherwise, their average weight is 66 lbs per cylinder.

Otherwise, the other cars use the Hyundai R engine series, Theta 2.0L, or Theta 2.0T Turbo. All of these are 295 lbs (134 kg). However, the KIA Cerato used Hyundai Alpha 1.5L, 255 lbs.


Honda engines are highly diverse according to their weight. You will find the lightest, Honda Civic 1200, weighing 161 lbs, while the heaviest J series weighs 550 lbs each. The purpose is to obtain the performance in each field and dominate every category. We calculated the average weight around 50 lbs/cylinder.

Chevy 350

Chevy engines are usually heavier than any other manufacturer’s. The Chevy 350’s per cylinder average is also 80 lbs. Other than the small block V8, other engines are above 661 lbs. So, to deliver the enormous power, they are made to sting like a Bumblebee.

What Is The Largest Engine In A Car?

A car’s engine is usually the most significant machinery under its hood. This device offers power to all four wheels, propels it forward, and gets it up to highway speeds. The size of an automobile’s engine generally determines how powerful or fast the vehicle can go. 

There are exceptions; turbochargers, for example, have helped automobiles overcome their power limits by providing additional power when needed. Here are some of the largest car engines.

Truck Or SUV

Most readers would automatically assume that the largest engine in a car is found in a truck or SUV. This assumption is not wrong, but these vehicles usually feature V8 and V10 engines. Both can be significantly larger than most four-to-six cylinder engines found in cars advertised as “economical.” 

While these are the most popular car engines, they are not the largest. An engine type outclasses them all in terms of sheer power and displacement – two criteria that describe how much work it can do.

Dodge Charger Police Vehicle 

chevy engine weights

The largest engine built for a standard automobile is actually under the hood of a Dodge Charger police vehicle. This V10 engine is a 6.8-liter HEMI power plant, which can generate an impressive 375 horsepower and almost 400 ft/lbs of torque without the aid of any form of forced induction. 

In comparison, some trucks have engines with as little as half this displacement, yet they still manage to produce more than 220 horsepower – 50% more than the Charger. It is also naturally aspirated and has an aluminum block with iron cylinder heads. 

The most potent version of this V10 engine produces 380 horsepower, which is only four more than the HEMI in the Charger. When we talk about peak torque, the engine makes 480 ft/lb of twist – again, only four more than the Hemi.

These engines are fitted in cars that are not small by any stretch of the imagination. However, they begin to lose their size advantage when considering standard car engines. A six-cylinder engine commonly found in midsize cars is smaller than the V10 mentioned above. Their dimensions are 4.4 x 3.0 x 3.2 inches for cylinder bore, stroke, and deck height, respectively.

Audi RS 6 Avant Wagon

The largest engine ever in a standard car was in the 2003 Audi RS 6 Avant wagon. This 5.0 liter V10 was based on the unit found in the Lamborghini Gallardo. However, unlike its Italian counterpart, it had twin turbochargers fitted to its intake manifold.

Plus, it helped push output up to an astonishing 450 horsepower and 428 ft/lb of torque. As impressive as this power plant is, it still falls short of the Rolls Royce Phantom’s 6.75 liter V12 which can kick out 452 horsepower and 531 ft/lb of torque at the touch of the throttle.

What Is The Smallest Engine In A Car?

The four-cylinder engine has long been the standard for mid-sized automobiles, but some cars have an even smaller engine. In recent years, there have been developments in engine technology that have pushed the boundaries of what is achievable with a smaller displacement power plant. Here is a list of the smallest car engines.

  • The first production car to exceed 100 horsepower was the 1917 Stutz Bearcat with a V8. 
  • However, it wasn’t until 1923 when Chevrolet released the first affordable “pocket rocket” with a four-cylinder. Except for some early models from Ford and Mercedes, the standard for decades was four-cylinder engines.
  • Both Honda and Volkswagen have introduced i-VTEC engines with 1.0 liter (3 cylinders) displacement. You can’t even imagine how many new cars are sold each year due to such an impressive engine. 
  • The Honda Fit 2008 is the first production car to offer a three-cylinder engine for their standard model. 
  • Volkswagen won’t be far behind, as their new Up! The city car will also have a 1.0 liter 3 cylinder engine as standard equipment beginning late 2009.
  • The Peel P50 microcar was built in the United Kingdom in 1962. With only 49cc (3.0 cubic inches) of displacement, it’s one of the smallest production engines used in a car. 
  • The Morgan LifeCar concept car was built-in 2008, but the company never put it into production. The LifeCar would have a 1-liter combustion engine with an 80-kilowatt electric motor for total horsepower of 109. 
  • The smallest production engine in use today is the 742cc (0.7 liters) 3 cylinder turbo used on the Suzuki Cappuccino.

Types Of Engine

There are many different types of engines, each with its strengths and weaknesses. Some common engines you may be familiar with include gas or gasoline (often abbreviated as “gas”) and diesel engines, which power cars, trucks, trains, ships, boats, planes, and helicopters. You may want to be aware of some “off-brand” engines when your car is giving you trouble.

Check Out the Different Types of Engines Used in Cars:

YouTube video

Internal Combustion Engine

The most common type of IC engine has four strokes: intake, compression, power, and exhaust. When the piston moves away from the intake valve, air enters it before being compressed by the piston’s movement. 

Fuel is then added in a highly pressurized form and mixed with the air before an electrical spark causes ignition, which causes a combustion reaction that forces the piston down. The pressure of this motion helps power a crankshaft, which turns gears to activate the vehicle’s wheels.

Electric Engine

The electric engine is becoming increasingly common, especially in the auto industry. Electric engines typically have an electric motor rather than gasoline (gas) or diesel.

An electric car weigh less and still tends to be very powerful due to its lightweight engine. So, electric engines are often used in situations that require rapid acceleration or high speeds. As of 2016, most people still rely on gas or diesel engines to power their cars, but electric engines quickly gain ground.

Gasoline Vs. Diesel Engine 

The standard gasoline (gas) engine is typically found in cars and other vehicles which need to be mobile. Gas engines are relatively cheap and straightforward to produce, but they tend to require a lot of fuel because the burning process takes place inside the cylinders. Gasoline engines also release large amounts of greenhouse gasses into the air due to the incomplete combustion process.

The diesel engine is more complex than gasoline, allowing for more significant compression, increasing efficiency, and power output. Diesel engines produce fewer greenhouse gasses because they use the heat produced by compression to ignite the fuel rather than an electrical spark like gas engines. 

On the other hand, diesel engines are more expensive to produce. Diesel engines can weigh up to 700 lbs (317.52 kg), whereas gasoline engines only weigh around 300 lbs (136 kg) to 600 lbs (272.12 kg). Hence, diesel engines are heavier than gas engines, contributing to their greater efficiency but making them less suitable for smaller vehicles.

Single Cylinder Engine

The single-cylinder engine is the most straightforward kind of IC engine. It is often found in small piston planes, motorcycles, and some all-terrain vehicles (ATVs). This type of engine has one main piston, which moves up and down to create the four strokes which power the crankshaft.

It is so simple; that’s why the single-cylinder engine is very reliable and inexpensive to produce. However, its relative lack of power compared to other engines prevents it from being used in larger vehicles.

V Engine

The V engine is a standard configuration for automobile engines. It has two pistons that move up and down together in a V shape. These engines are more fuel-efficient and powerful than a single-cylinder engine. 

However, V engines are heavier engines and require a larger vehicle. This multi-angle engine allows each cylinder bank to operate entirely independently, enhancing thermodynamic efficiency and reducing aerodynamic losses.

V6 Engine

A V6 engine has three banks of cylinders angled at a 60-degree angle from each other, as seen from their front end. This is essentially an inline-three with another cylinder added between it and the inline-four, which is also common.

V12 Engine

The V12 engine has two rows of six pistons that move up and down simultaneously. This IC engine is most often found in luxury and sports cars. Despite its small displacement, the engine’s high power density is one of its main advantages. 

The fact that two rows of pistons move simultaneously reduces the total length and weight of the engine. It also reduces the number of ignition spark plugs and intake and exhaust valves needed. These latter parts can be used to reduce the engine’s external dimensions.

VW Engine

A VW engine is essentially a small gasoline engine. It has a piston that moves up and down in a cylinder. The fuel is injected into the chamber to create combustion. The force of this explosion then powers the piston, which drives the crankshaft. 

This motion turns the gears inside the transmission, which ultimately propels the car forwards or backward. One of the benefits of a VW engine is that its relatively simple design makes it reliable and easy to maintain. In addition, its fuel efficiency means you can go further on a tank of gas.

Inline two-cylinder engine 

An inline two-cylinder engine consists of two cylinders arranged in a straight line or plane, sharing a common crankshaft. 

A four-cylinder engine has four cylinders arranged in a “box” shape as seen from the front, with the same plane as the inline 2-cylinder arrangement. In this design, all four pistons move in the same phase, with one cylinder from each bank sharing a single crankpin on the crankshaft.

Factor Affecting Engine Weight

A modern automobile is a complex machine consisting of hundreds, even thousands of moving parts. The engine is one of the most critical parts of a vehicle, and its power output can significantly impact the performance capabilities.

With different types of engines available in the consumer market today, it is difficult to determine which one would be ideal since several factors may affect the engine’s efficiency. 

The following factors can affect an engine’s weight:

Engine Location

The trade-off between a front-wheel drive and a rear-wheel-drive vehicle is where to locate the powerplant. A front-wheel car offers superior control at high speeds, while a rear-wheel car is better at climbing. The engine needs to be close to the driven wheels to reduce frictional losses.

Engine Size

Due to advances in engine technology, smaller engines are becoming more efficient than larger ones. As a result, manufacturers opt for smaller engines that offer the same power output as their predecessors while using less fuel. 

Engine Configuration 

Engine configuration refers to what type of engine is being used. The two most common types are inline-four cylinders and V or flat-six cylinders. Larger engines with more cylinders are heavier than smaller ones with fewer cylinders.

Engine Design 

Engine design refers to the engine’s shape and configuration, such as the cylinders, pistons, crankshaft, intake manifold, exhaust manifold, and spark plugs.  An engine made up of fewer components is generally lighter than one that consists of multiple parts.

Engine Materials 

Materials used in making an engine are an iron, aluminum, plastic, and carbon fiber.  Carbon fiber has a very high strength-to-weight ratio but can be expensive to use.  Iron has the highest density, suitable for making heavier components, while aluminum is half-iron and can save weight in engine parts.

Engine Accessory Weight 

The accessories refer to the different features like air conditioning, power steering, lights, alternator, and other automobiles devices. These items are usually located outside and are not directly involved in power production.  

Manufacturers can save weight to reduce fuel consumption emissions and improve vehicle performance if they go for lighter accessories like aluminum rather than iron.

Engine Viscosity 

The engine’s internal friction is known as its viscosity. It refers to how easily the engine will start in cold temperatures when it is difficult to crank. The lower the density, the easier it would be for an automobile’s starter motor to turn over and recharge its battery. It can make a difference when driving during colder months in places with short daylight hours.

Engine Displacement

Displacement refers to the engine’s cubic capacity. You can calculate engine displacement by multiplying the number of cylinders by the bore, stroke, and valves per cylinder. The engine displacement affects fuel efficiency. For instance, larger engines will use more gasoline than smaller ones since they need to burn more fuel to produce power.

Check Out Understanding Engine Size… Applying Volume of a Cylinder:

YouTube video

Does Gasoline Add Weight To The Car Engine?

The answer is yes. When a car drives on the road, it must carry its weight and the fuel weight. So if a vehicle has a full tank of gas, that adds an extra 20 pounds or so. The additional weight affects acceleration, stopping distance, and fuel economy.

You can compensate for these additional weight problems by using a larger engine. It will provide more power and reduce the gas tank’s size, not holding as much gasoline.

Does Engine Weight Affect Performance?

engine vs motor in car

The short answer is no. The heavier or lighter engine won’t make much difference to how well it runs or how fast it goes. The only thing that affects the car’s performance is the power of an engine and if it can move a vehicle with a certain amount of weight at a certain speed.

While you might think that having more powerful engines would help cars go faster, this isn’t always true. Other than car engine weight, some factors affect the performance.

Engine Power Output 

Engines produce different levels of power depending on their design. Some engines are perfect for high revolutions, while others are suitable for great torque. Yet others are excellent at both, making them the best in their class for reliability and performance. 


When it comes to horsepower, manifolds play a vital role in how well an engine performs. The manifold is responsible for transferring air into the combustion chamber. 

While the ignition system and compression ratio affect how well an engine runs, no fuel can burn without air. The greater the amount of air that flows into the chamber during each minute, the more horsepower it will make. 

Exhaust Manifold 

Modern cars require good torque and power to accelerate quickly off the line. For this reason, the engine’s exhaust manifold is a vital piece of equipment. While most people think of an engine as being made up of pistons and cylinders, this component plays a crucial role in getting an engine started. For instance, when you step on the gas pedal, there are a series of events. 

First, your foot presses down on the brake, then moves to the gas pedal. Once you ease off the brake, your vehicle begins to move. This movement is thanks mainly to gears that transfer power from the engine’s crankshaft to turn the wheels. Without this crucial piece, your car’s engine would not operate.

An exhaust manifold is made of two materials. The first is stainless steel, which is the most durable and offers superior strength, so professional racers choose it. The second option for manifolds features high nickel content with molybdenum coating. It provides more excellent durability than non-coated manifolds while giving engines the power they need to accelerate.

To summarize, several factors determine an engine’s performance ability, including horsepower and weight. However, it is essential not to neglect the impact of manifolds on overall acceleration.

Does A Bigger Engine Last Longer?

The answer is yes and no. Bigger engines do last longer than smaller ones, but only slightly. If we measure by seconds or minutes, a bigger engine that does more work will last longer. After all, the time it’s running is what we’re interested in. 

But this doesn’t really answer the question because most engines won’t be running at 100% capacity all the time. They’ll be idle for more than half of their lifetime. So, even though it will last longer, idling on a bigger engine is not suitable.

Logical Explanation 

A better way to answer this question is by power per weight. If two engines are identical but have a more significant displacement, the larger one has more power per weight. An average 2-stroke 50cc engine produces around 1.5 hp/kg, while a 4-stroke 150cc engine makes about 0.09 hp/kg – not even half as much.

To put that in perspective, an average person walking at 3mph (4.8km/h) can carry about 1.5kg (3.3 lbs), so the 2-stroke engine is the same power as a person holding an extra 1.4kg (3 lbs). The 4-stroke engine would be like taking 0.48kg (1 lb) more than yourself – barely anything at all!

This is why bigger engines are prevalent in mopeds because the lighter your vehicle is, the more power it can safely handle. For example, a popular route to upgrade a 50cc moped is to put an 80cc kit in instead. It may only give you about 8-10mph (12-16km/h) extra speed but makes all the hills much easier to go up.

Always Check Power-To-Weight Ratio

Cars usually don’t contain engines with power-to-weight ratios that are anywhere near as good, but in some cases, they do. For the most part, though, the extra weight of a bigger engine makes it slower than a smaller one with less power. 

When looking at cars, it’s vital to look at the power-to-weight ratio in addition to size. A bigger engine doesn’t always mean more power, and if you go for bigger, you’d better make sure that there is enough power to handle it.


What is the weight of a 1.2 engine?

A 1.2-liter car engine weigh about 154 lbs (69.85 kgs). But, without the transmission, it probably weighs around 88 lbs to 110 lbs. The weight includes oil, water, and other liquids needed for the regular running of the car, along with the fuel tank and the battery.

How heavy is an automobile transmission?

A new automatic transmission could weigh between 75 lbs (34.02 kgs). to 100 lbs (45.36 kgs)., depending on the type of materials used in its construction. A heavy-duty transmission will always be heavier than an aluminum one, but it should still retain a standard unit’s 75-100 lbs (34.02 kgs-45.36 kgs) weight range.

What exactly does a 1.8-liter engine imply?

A typical gasoline engine capacity is just over one liter, usually between 1.1 and 2 liters. A standard diesel engine (with no spark plugs) is about twice as large, or 2 to 4 liters.

For example, a typical engine might be 1.8 liters. The liter is a measure of volume equal to 1 cubic decimeter (dm3) or about 0.0353 cubic feet.

How much does an electric car’s battery weigh?

It depends. The Nissan Leaf has 24 kWh of batteries, making it around 240 lbs (110kg) (Nissan claims 225lbs). So that’s about 1½ pounds per kWh or 1000 lbs for a 100 kWh pack. 

Final Considerations

New cars are constantly getting more powerful. While power is excellent, this combination of weight and power can be dangerous for normal road usage. If you are in the market for a new car, choosing one that has a lower engine weight could really help you out on the roads.

The car with the smaller engine was almost 400 pounds lighter than its heavy sibling. This vehicle difference was enough to win three out of four races in our comparison test. Therefore, having a more lightweight engine can benefit you in acceleration, braking, and handling.

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Matt's interest for vehicles began at an early age, inspiring his lifelong excitement for all things automotive. He embraces the virtual world to indulge in his automobile interest as an avid Gran Turismo player. His writing ability effortlessly brings to life intriguing stories and educational articles on everything car-related.

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