Multiple cylinder are aligned in a single row . All cylinders share one crankshaft and the cylinder block is made up of a single piece , so construction is simple and the engine can be made to be relatively lightweight . However , the more cylinder there are the longer the engine will become , which starts to become a hindrance in terms of space required within the vehicle .
Right and left alternating cylinders mounted in a V-shape . The crankshaft can be made shorter , and has the advantage of being compact with even a large numbers of cylinders . Regardless of the number of cylinder , there is little vibration , and the short cylinder block and crankshaft are superior in terms of rigidity .
Alternating cylinders arranged horizontally . The right and left cylinders are horizontally opposed with the crankshaft in the middle . These are sometime called “Boxer” engine , because the pistons moving left and right resemble the jabs of a boxer . The benefit of this engine is its low center of gravity due to it’s reduced height .
This used to refer to an engine with a single crankshaft with three lines of cylinders fanned out in the shape of a W , but in recent years with two narrow angle V engines joined together is also called a W engine . The width of the W engine is greater than that of the V engine , but it’s shorter crankshaft makes it more advantageous in engines of 12 cylinders or more .