Transportation Science

How does a car's cylinder affect its power?
Answered by Discovery Channel
  • Discovery Channel

    Discovery Channel

  1. The more air and fuel you can stuff into your cylinder, the more powerful your car will be. Therefore, cars with larger cylinders tend to be more powerful. However, there are ways of stuffing more air and fuel into a cylinder without increasing its size. For example, if the incoming air is pressurized, then more air will fit into the cylinder. You can pressurize the air entering your car's cylinder by adding a turbocharger or supercharger. Just remember, the air in the cylinder should be cool, because cool air will expand more when combustion takes place, further increasing the car's power. That's why many turbo-charged and super-charged cars have intercoolers, which cool the compressed air before it enters the cylinder. Finally, if you increase the size of your cylinders, you can increase displacement, meaning you can burn more gas during each of your engine's revolutions, adding even more horsepower.

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