We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a W Engine?

By Jessica Reed
Updated May 23, 2024
Our promise to you
WikiMotors is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WikiMotors, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A W engine is a type of internal combustion engine which mimics the V engine commonly found in modern cars, with the exception that its shape resembles the letter "W" instead of the letter "V." It uses pistons to compress an air and fuel mixture which then ignites and moves the car forward. What's unique about the W engine is its ability to create lots of power while keeping its parts relatively compact so they take up less space. Whereas a typical V engine houses two groups of cylinders connected to one crankshaft, the W engine can house from three to four groups of cylinders connected to one or two crankshafts. In the automotive world, more cylinders equal more power.

Typical internal combustion engines use compression to power the car forward. Air and fuel enters each cylinder and the piston inside presses the mixture into a tiny space. A spark from the spark plug ignites the fuel and air in the cylinder, causing an explosion that turns the crankshaft, which in turn rotates the car's wheels. Each cylinder gives the car more power, so a V6 engine, which contains six cylinders, creates more power than a V4 engine, which contains only four cylinders.

In theory, a manufacturer could fill an engine with lots of extra cylinders for more power. In reality, this often proves impractical because the cylinders take up too much space. The W engine provides one solution to this problem with its shape. It provides an efficient way to create more power without adding too much bulk to the engine or taking up too much room under the hood.

The first W engine was created by the engine manufacturing company Anzani in 1906 and used in Anzani motorbikes. It contained three cylinders that formed the three legs of the W shape. The W engine has advanced over time to hold more cylinders and can go up to a W16 or higher.

Volkswagon Group produced the first working W engine for use in automobiles, known as the W12. The W12 includes 12 cylinders divided into two groups of six, all connected to a single crankshaft. The engine is made from two VR6 engines connected to one crankshaft and is also referred to as a VV or VR engine, which more accurately describes it than the term W engine. Many of today's modern W engines contain multiple cylinders on either side. The modern versions look less like the original W shape than the first W3 engine did but still hold the advantage of packing more power than a V shaped engine without taking up too much extra space.

WikiMotors is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
WikiMotors, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WikiMotors, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.