The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Boxer Engine

Just like two boxing athletes competing in a match, the boxer engine works similarly. The horizontally positioned pistons inside the engine create a better balance with their side-to-side motion as compared to V-shaped engines. Thus, this engine does not need counterweights for balance and creates less vibration with a fluid motion.

It leads to decreased wear and tear, not to forget the transmission positioned directly behind the engine and provides support to its unique symmetry. Many car manufacturers utilize boxer engine also known as  horizontally-opposed engine to provide their vehicles with added acceleration, speed, and complete balance.

What is Boxer Engine?

As we all know, a boxer engine is one of the most common types of flat engine. It is also known as an opposed engine. A boxer engine is an internal combustion engine. To be more specific, it has opposing cylinders on each side of a central rotating crankshaft.

With the cylinders setting like this, we can expect the opposing pistons to move outward and inward at the same time. To make it easier to understand, it is just like a boxer cycling his arm between left and right punches.

The History of Boxer Engine 

Not everyone is a fan of history, we get that. However, having a bit of knowledge about this amazing car component is quite useful. The Boxer Engine was invented by Karl Benz in 1897, and Mercedes-Benz surely claims the credit for this.

 After 2 years, the “contra/kontra” engine, also known as the two-cylinder flat engine, was developed and debuted. This was a huge invention at the time. The design was applied to almost every single vehicle: Race cars, normal cars, even commercial automobiles.  

What Are The Advantages Of Having A Boxer Engine In My Car?

The best of the best engines have their share of advantages and disadvantages. There are certain advantages of a boxer engine that make it stand out from other car engines.

1. Perfect balance

Owing to its pistons working together to create the perfect balance, there will not be another smoother engine system inside a car than this. Of course, when it comes to automobile performance, car owners want it to be as smooth as possible. This means there would not be any issues related to vibration from the engine, along with adding to the boxer engine reliability in the longer run. In order to do that, this comes down to balancing the weight of the car as well as the engine.

For this reason, a boxer engine helps spread out and balance the weight much more effectively than a normal engine due to its wide and flat design. Last but not least, car drivers can improve their handling precision with a boxer engine.  

2. Added boost

The perfect balance combined with the size of the boxer engine leads to less load on the crankshaft. Thus, it provides a significant boost in power to the rotational inertia of the car, which offers extreme power without any issues.

Since the movement of the engine will balance each other out, the boxer engine also vibrates much less than other types of engine. The design of the boxer engine helps maintain low weight. Along with that, drivers don’t need to install parts to reduce vibration. 

Facts to know about boxer engine
Points to know about the boxer engine. (Photo: subaru)

3. Unique design

The horizontally-opposed engine, owing to its unique design gathers a low center of gravity in the car. It offers the driver better handling of the vehicle allowing sports car lovers to race on the track without much understeer.

4. Low center of gravity

One of the most important benefits of a boxer engine is that it has a low center of gravity. There are many car owners who want their automobiles to be as low to the ground as possible, and this boxer engine is definitely their cup of tea. It raises stability as well as improves agility. Not to mention, car owners can also increase lateral quickness with this engine. 

5. Safety

Last but certainly not least, the boxer engines are designed to sheer off due to the fact that it is flat and can be positioned really low. 

Are There Any Boxer Engine Disadvantages?

The boxer engine is different regarding performance, and structure as compared to other types of car engines. However, at times some boxer engine disadvantages that a car owner might face include:

1. Size

On one hand, the boxer engines provide an unmatched performance to a sports car. However, the wide configuration makes it a bit hard to work on these mechanically. Besides, the obstruction of airflow they create in the engine area might even lead to their failure at high speeds. The car owner might need an expert with relevant industry knowledge about car engines.

2. A bit complex

The boxer engines are one complex example of automobile engineering, as the two-cylinder heads and valves require much maintenance. The owner of the vehicle with this kind of engine needs to take care of the engine to keep it running smoothly. The slightest neglect in the upkeep of boxer engines can lead to a considerable drop in their performance. It is one of the boxer engine problems, which is resolved by taking care of the engine on time.

3. Maintenance

The offset position of the engine can lead to some rocking with the connection to the connection rod or crankshaft. However, it all depends on how well is the horizontally opposed engine maintained by the car owner.

Shocking facts for boxer engine
Secrets about boxer engine (Photo: hemmings)

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The Conclusion

Thus, a boxer engine might help the sports car enthusiast win the race. However, the performance of the engine will depend purely on how well-maintained it is. Those looking to experience both power and performance in their cars should have a boxer engine installed in it.