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How does a W12 engine work?

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Quick Answer

A W12 engine uses an engine configuration of either four rows of three cylinders or three banks of four cylinders that operate in an offset configuration to generate power. Some W12 engines are also set with a compact and fuel-efficient valve placement that covers the combustion chambers of the engine. The W12 engine typically operates with two exhaust engines, as it is made by merging two V6 engines together.

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Full Answer

No matter the configuration of cylinders, a W12 engine's banks are set with 60-degree angles between them. The engine banks are set to a crankshaft. As a result of the W12 being a combination of two V6 engines, the standard operation of the machine is not too different from the basic V6. However, a car with a W12 engine generates more power and provides a smoother ride when compared to other engine types. The W12 engine is also smaller in size and has less vibration during its operation due to a solid construction structure.

The W12 engine was in used in racing cars as early as 1917 with the Napier Lion engine. The Napier Lion W12 engine had a capacity of 24 liters, and it was able to generate anywhere from 450 to 900 horsepower. Modern cars that use the W12 engine are usually part of the luxury car market, with brands such as Audi and Bentley.

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