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What is the Greatest Pre-'90 Four-Cylinder Engine Ever?

by Yoav Gilad / 10 Jul 2014


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  • Guest (prebordao)

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    VW flat-4, for it's long lasting significance...
    PS - and probably overall engine produced in the biggest number ever !

  • Lou Tutone

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    Best pre 1990's 4 cylinder engine has to be Toyota's 4AGE 1600cc from the original MR-2

  • Guest (Stephen)

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  • Guest (johnk24a)

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    BMW M12/13 turbo that powered Brabham, Arrow, and Benetton.
    Why? An estimated 1,400 hp from 1500cc. 933 hp/l, 15.3 hp/ci.

  • Paul Onboost

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    Although I'm obviously late to this party, I'm surprised no one mentioned the BMW S14 motor that powered the E30 M3. A peaky little motor that is always happy up on the cams!

  • Nikolai Karpuzov

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    BMW S14 engine. The heart of the most successful touring race car :)

  • Guest (oedipus)

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    Toyota 4A-GE (AE86) or BMW M3 E30 S14B23 & S14B25

  • Ari Tamminen

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    My opinion is that the greatest 4-cylinder engine is the Opel/Vauxhall C20XE 2.0L DOHC (and it's turbocharged variant C20LET). It was introduced in the Opel Kadett GSi 16V in 1987 and the equivalent Vauxhall Astra GTE 16V. It was used in varous forms of motorsport during it's life, in rallying, junior Formula cars like the Formula Opel Vauxhall Lotus which was built totally for this engine (raced by drivers like Mika Hakkinen), F4, F3 (raced by eg. Nico Rosberg and many others), it basically dominated the 2 wheel drive rally scene in many countries for years in the Opel Kadett and Astra, was used in many racing cars e.g. in DTM, BTCC, WTCC (Chevrolet won the WTCC world championship with this engine still couple of years ago, even the engine went out of production already in 1997). For the street the engine has been used originally in the Opel Kadett E GSi 16V, Vauxhall Astra mk2 GTE 16V, Opel/Vauxhall Astra F GSi 16V, Opel/Vauxhall Calibra 16V, Opel Vectra 2000 16V and GT 16V, Vauxhall Cavalier mk3 GSi 2000 16V and SRi 16V and many kit cars like the Caterham Super Seven JPE (which was at it's time the 0-60 mph world record holder) and many many retrofits to all kinds of race and road cars. It had 150 hp as stock from, but was and is quite easily tuneable. The turbocharged version had 204 hp in standard form, also easily tuneable.

    from Helsinki, Finland
  • Guest (Josh)

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    You forgot the Datsun l series 4 cylinder. They are bullet proof

    from Florida, USA
  • Jan Wittkowski

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    I think also the Volvo-redblocks were/are great engines.
    They were bulletproof and also successful in motoring. (e.g. in the Amazon)