Can You Pass This Car Engine Quiz?

By: John Miller
Estimated Completion Time
2 min
Can You Pass This Car Engine Quiz?
Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

In the past century or so, car makers all over the world have tested and built hundreds of millions of engines. Many of those motors are just average power plants, enough to keep the vehicle running for a few years and that’s about it. Others are modern engineering masterpieces, perfectly suited to their purposes and made to run not just for a calendar cycle or two, but for decades. In this quiz, do you really think you know anything about the car engines of the past 100 years?

We all know that Henry Ford was the first man to build enough cars for the masses thanks to his assembly line. But what do you recall about the motors of those early Fords? Were they actually worth driving … or were they destined to wind up as instant junk?

From General Motors to BMW to Ferrari and a whole lot more, we’ve collected some of the finest engines the world has ever seen. Maybe you really know the story of the boxer-style engine, and perhaps you do know how “flatty” engines changed America.

Rev up the motor on this car engine quiz now! Let’s see if you can beat us to the checkered flag!

The XK6 engine is a famous engine from which manufacturer?
Jaguar
Dodge
Chrysler
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

In 1949, Jaguar went claws out with its XK6 engine, a 3.4 L masterpiece for the ages. With a snazzy new valve and head setup, it provided way more torque than most engines of the day.

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Chevy was renowned for which engine?
small-block engine
medium-block engine
huge-block engine
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

In the 1950s, Chevy vehicles began featuring a small-block V8 engine. And although they were small in comparison to big-block engines, they actually started out at a beefy 4.3 L.

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Which company manufactured the K20 engine?
Chevy
Honda
Tesla
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The Honda K20 engine comes in several variants. Introduced in 2001, they are four-stroke icons known for extreme reliability, and in some cases, power.

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The 1968 Shelby GT350 featured which engine?
302 V8
270 V6
220 V4
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The Shelby GT350 was no ordinary vehicle -- it had more than enough power for racers and speed fiends. It featured, of course, the famous Ford 302 V8.

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The S54 is an engine from which famous car maker?
Yugo
Alfa Romeo
BMW
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The S54, from BWM, was a powerful upgrade to the M54 powerplant. It is regarded as a near-perfect 3.2 L beauty.

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What did the Ford Model T engine displace?
0.5 L
2.9 L
5.3 L
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The original Model T engine was a four-cylinder, 2.9 L icon. Of course, it only produced about 20 hp, so your maximum speed topped out at about 45 mph, far better than a horse-drawn buggy.

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Which company created the Colombo engine?
Ford
Ferrari
Saturn
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Just after WWII, Ferrari began cranking out an incredible engine -- the Colombo V12. The smallest versions were just 1.5 L … but they also ranged all the way up to 4.9 L monsters.

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Which company made the TFSI engine?
Mini
Rolls-Royce
Volkswagen
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

TFSI stands for turbo fuel stratified injection, and it's an engine technology from VW. The whole point is to boost power while also clamping down on emissions.

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Which company made the UZ engine?
Lamborghini
Toyota
Mazda
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

In 1989, Toyota began churning out versions of its UZ engines. These V8s were mostly built into SUVs and higher-priced cars, and they helped burnish the company's credibility as a maker of incredibly reliable motors.

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How did the Ferrari Colombo engines fare during their initial races?
very well
average
terribly
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Right out of the starting gate, the Colombo was a winning engine in races all over Europe. It snagged six victories in 14 races, adding a serious shine to the manufacturer's reputation.

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What's the displacement of a Honda K20 engine?
1.2 L
2.4 L
6.3 L
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The K20 is a 2.4 L engine with four cylinders. They're sized at 146.5 cubic inches, or 2,400 cc.

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The 350 small-block Chevy was introduced in which vehicle?
Chevelle
Camaro
Mustang
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

In 1967, Chevy lifted the curtain on its Camaro. The speedy car featured the 350 small-block V8, which even under average conditions produces about 300 hp.

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Which company made the legendary flathead V8?
Mini
Chevy
Ford
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Or you can just call it the "flatty" for fun. Ford's flathead V8 was made for about two decades, starting in the Depression era. It eventually became a prime engine for hot rodders looking to ramp up the speed.

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What's one of the most memorable aspects of early Jaguar XK6 engines?
polished dual cam cover
all-black exterior
very small push rods
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Jaguar understood the need for visual appeal with its engines. For the early XK6 versions, it included polished dual cam covers, which gleamed in the light whenever the hood was popped.

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In which decade did Alfa Romeo debut its famous Twin Cam engine?
1920s
1950s
1990s
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

In 1954, Alfa Romeo unveiled its crazy-popular Twin Cam engine. Made until 1994, in variants from 1.3 to 2.0 L, it is regarded as one of the company's finest products.

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Which company was famous for the 3800 engine?
Buick
Nissan
Saturn
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The Buick V6 is often simply called the 3800. It hit the market in 1961 and was made until 2008, and along the way it blazed a reputation as a reliable and powerful workhorse.

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Since 1955, GM has built about how many of its famed small-block V8s?
about 5 million
about 15 million
about 100 million
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

GM'S small-block V8 is still regarded was one of the finest engines of the 20th century. And that's how the company was able to build more than 100 million of them in half a century of production.

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The 1962 E-Type from Jaguar -- without fuel injection -- had what horsepower rating?
about 98 hp
about 145 hp
about 265 hp
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The XK engine in the 1961 E-Type had power to burn. With 265 hp, no one complained that this car lacked get up and go.

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Which engine was a "Boss"?
Chrysler Hemi
Ford 302
Chevy small-block
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

In 1969, Ford installed its Boss 302 into the Mustang. This V8 incarnation started out at 4.9 L and was used for the following year's models, too.

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What's a common nickname for the Alfa Romeo Twin Cam engine?
"Nord"
"Naughty"
"Nein"
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The legendary Twin Cam engine has a couple of notable nicknames. But "Nord" might be the most common -- it means "North" and refers to the part of Italy where these engines were manufactured.

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What sort of reputation did the Model T engine have?
fairly reliable
just awful
never, ever started
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Sure, it was one of the first mass-produced car engines ever. But the Model T engine was actually pretty solid … one reason Ford sold around 16 million of these beauties.

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The W Series was a big-block engine found in which vehicles?
Chevy
Chrysler
Dodge
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Starting in 1961, GM began seling the 409 Chevy big-block engine. The so-called W Series was a boon for muscle car lovers, with more than 340 hp.

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How was Toyota's 2UZ-FE engine different than its predecessor?
Kevlar hoses
cast iron block
titanium pistons
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Toyota, always looking to make its products stronger, decided to make changes with its 2UZ-FE engine. The engine block was created out of cast iron … and thus, virtually indestructible.

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When did the Chrysler Hemi 426 debut?
1930s
1940s
1960s
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The Hemi 426 was a muscle car lover's dream, and it first appeared in 1964. It was so powerful, in fact, that it was really meant for NASCAR racing … but it found plenty of street use across America.

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The Hemi 426 was rated at 425 hp by the manufacturer. But it really produced how much horsepower?
about 312 hp
about 400 hp
about 433 hp
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

It's a good way to dodge the insurance premiums. Chrysler rated the Hemi 426 at 425 hp … but this beast of a motor actually produced 433 hp.

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Which of these is a boxer engine?
Buick 3800
Toyotal 2UZ-FE
Volkswagen E-motor
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The Volkswagen E-motor is a legacy of troubled times in Germany … but as an engine, it's a air-cooled legend. This boxer engine was made all the way up until 2006.

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What was special about the Ford flathead V8 engine?
It ran on butane as well as gasoline.
It was Ford's most powerful engine ever.
It was the company's first mass-produced V8.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Before the flathead V8, Ford had never successfully sold a V8 engine to the masses. But the flatty changed everything, and made Ford look downright brilliant in the process.

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Which engine did Chrysler use in muscle cars starting in the '50s?
B series
66 series
ZZ series
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

B series wedge engines snagged some pink slips for Chrysler owners starting in the '50s. And the 440 big-block was a power freak, with around 440 hp.

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Some of Alfa Romeo's Twin Cam engines were low on power. What was the lowest powered version?
52 hp
140 hp
190 hp
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Although the company's Twin Cam engines were mostly beloved, some of Alfa Romeo's variants were a bit weak. One small version output only around 52 hp.

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True or false, did the Model T engine run exclusively on gasoline?
true
false
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The Model T's engine was meant for gasoline, but it actually had the ability to burn other fuels, too. With the right parts, you could even make it run on old-school kerosene.

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