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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

I have a general question from this site: http://www.autozine.org/technical_school/engine/smooth5.htm

The section below is what I have trouble understanding...

Volkswagen VR6, W12 and W16 engines
For conventional V6, a narrow 15° Vee angle would have required extraordinarily large spray angle between split crank pins, hence special strengthening. However, in contrast to many believes, VR6’s crankshaft is more like an inline-6. It has 7 main bearings and independent crank throws for each cylinder, (this is possible because VR6 is longer than a conventional V6), thus avoid the crank pin problem.
Don’t think a 15° V6 must generate a lot of vibration ! on the contrary, the VR6 is inherently a well-balanced configuration because it is nearly identical to an inline-6, just differs from the latter by a very narrow angle separating each pair of 3 cylinders. As a result, it generates no end-to-end vibration like conventional V6s and is actually nearly as smooth as an inline-6.

Cut-away VR6. Note the 7-main bearing crankshaft
W12's cylinder block


W12's crankshaft. Note the
slightly split crank pins

If VR6 is a version of inline-6, then W12 must be a version of V12. It is made by mating two VR6 at 72°. The corresponding cylinders in different banks share the same split crank pins. Thanks to the 72° V-angle, the splay angle between split crank pins can be so small that no additional strengthening is required. (see photo) You know, the short engine with 7 main bearings can hardly find space to add strengthened flying webs between the split crank pins.

W16 is identical to W12 except that each bank consists of 4 cylinders instead of 3. In other words, it is made from 2 VR8 engines.

The only mistery left to me is the V5 (formerly called VR5). It's also 15°, but how can it manage to balance between the banks ? one bank has 2 cylinders and another has 3 cylinders. Unfortunately after a lot of time spending, I still fail to find sufficient information about its detailed configuration. If you have its detailed technical specifications or even service manual, please kindly inform me :)

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So basically, my question is what exactly is the W16? Would this be like Bugatti's 16-cylinder engine? Is it true that Bugatti has a v-16 then? Just curious and hopefully someone can clear up what exactly the VR6, W12, and W16 engines are.

Alexander
 

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Here is a photo of the W16. Just like you said, it is two V8 engines stacked next to each other. At what degree the Vs are I am not sure.

Bugatti (VW) was the first to make a 16 cylinder engine in the form of a W which is the attached photo.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the clarification Andrew, after I re-read through the article I saw where I got confused. As for the Bugatti Veyron, it may be one of the most powerful cars on the road at the moment, and perhaps the fastest for now, but I know it was just created to be some kind of trophy for Bugatti and not for real practical use. Frankly, I am not impressed with their product, but I respect them for their efforts.
 
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