The Differences Between The Inline Four & Boxer Four Engines

Our buddy Jason from Engineering Explained is back with a great new video, this time ...

Our buddy Jason from Engineering Explained is back with a great new video, this time explaining the differences between the two main types of four cylinder engines: the inline four and the flat four, or boxer style. You’ll find inline four cylinders in many cars from Honda, Toyota, and several other import manufacturers, while the boxer is only found in Porsche and Subaru cars at the moment.

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The video dives into some of the different forces at play inside the engines and how they, along with firing order, translate to engine idle smoothness, a pretty big deal for driver comfort. He also notes that idle smoothness is the reason we don’t see too many larger-displacement inline four cylinders, as they tend to get rougher as the sizes of the components get larger.

From there, the discussion turns to exhaust note, a department that matters more to us at Speed Society than a little rough idle. The boxer engine certainly has a distinct growl while the inline four tends to be more buzz-bombish when it comes to how the engines sound. This is partly because of the engine layout and partly because of the style of exhaust used by the manufacturers to get what they want from these engines as far as power, efficiency and sound. Of course, that’s mostly a matter of personal preference, as the engines tend to churn out about the same horsepower with similar displacement.

We love Engineering Explained and their awesome videos, which are all automotive related. They’ve been bringing us some of the most informative and enjoyable videos on YouTube for quite some time now and continue to find new ways to explain the things we didn’t know we wanted to know. Keep checking back and we will bring you guys more of Jason’s videos for sure!

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