Carole Nash
Content Writer
Published: 12th June 2017

Many cars have similar engines, with an in-line four being one of the most common. But there are some manufacturers who’ve thought outside the box. While trying to be innovative is admirable, it doesn’t always guarantee success. Some engine designs have been hit and miss, and here are five of the most unusual engines ever created.

Mazda/Wankel Rotary

Created by German manufacturer, Felix Wankel, this engine was popular with Mazda. The engine worked to create a cycle of intake, compression, power and exhaust. It featured a lightweight design and produced a high amount of horsepower. However, the engine had poor fuel efficiency and was eventually discontinued all together.

Oldsmobile Jetfire V8

In the 1960s, Oldsmobile built a car called the Jetfire with a specialised V8 engine. The engine used ‘turbo rocket fluid,’ a mixture of distilled water and methanol alcohol to cool the combustion chamber. It proved to be revolutionary for the time and meant the Jetfire could move at high speed as long as the turbo rocket fluid tank was topped up. But the engine ran into a number of problems, such as drivers forgetting to refill the tank. These problems led to the Jetfire being taken off the market after two years.

Chrysler Turbine

Considered one of the most famous engines of all time, the turbine could be found inside the Chrysler Turbine car. What made the engine unique is that it could run on virtually any kind of fuel, including diesel, kerosene, JP-4 jet fuel and vegetable oil. The President of Mexico, Adolfo Lopez Mateos, used tequila in one of the first cars and found it worked successfully.

Bugatti Veyron W16

The W-16 is an impressive engine that features 64 valves, four turbochargers and a dry sump lubrication system taken from Formula 1 race cars. The dry sump has extra oil stored in a tank outside the engine. A dry sump can be as big as you want and the tank holding the oil can be played anywhere on the car. In addition, the W16 has a large radiator that regulates any wasted heat.

Tucker 48 engine

Preston Tucker was a man with a dream of building the best car in the world. His Tucker 48 featured a rear mounted air-cooled helicopter engine. To make sure the engine was compatible with the car, the engine received a lot of modifications. Then, the engine was tested at max power for 150 hours. However, a series of scandals led to the Tucker Motor Company closing down and the engine faded into obscurity.

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