Definitely not your standard engine configuration, boxer engines have been utilized by more than a handful of automobile manufacturers to provide plenty of power and performance in a relatively compact configuration – engines designed for speed, acceleration, and balance without a lot of loss of energy.
At the same time, there are some distinct drawbacks and downsides to the boxer engine that has prevented it from becoming the “go to” option in vehicles all over the world. Let’s highlight the pros and cons of boxer engines!
List of Pros of the Boxer Engine
1. Because the primary and secondary forces are completely balanced out in the boxer engine you will not find a smoother operating system on the planet. Everything about this engine is balanced to perfection, and you won’t find any knocking, any rattling, or any excessive vibration coming from this engine – something that can’t be said about almost any other option.
2. On top of that, this incredible balance allows for a much smaller engine and a lot less weight on the crankshaft. This results in a big boost in power to your rotational inertia of the vehicle, offering extreme power without any real inefficiency.
3. Because of the unique design of the boxer engine (a relatively compact but somewhat heavy engine) this has a low center of gravity in your vehicle. This provides for much better handling across the board, allowing those in sports cars to slip around the track (or windy roads) without a lot of understeer.
List of Cons of the Boxer Engine
1. On the flipside, even though these engines aren’t all that tall and sit low in the engine bay they make up for that in a wide configuration. This can make boxer engines a little bit of a challenge to work on mechanically, but the obstruction of airflow that they create in the engine bay has led them to drop out of favor at the higher levels of racing.
2. Boxer engines are also pretty complex pieces of automobile engineering. The two cylinder heads and valve trains make for a lot of maintenance that you have to keep up with to guarantee that your engine runs better than brand-new, and even just a little bit of slack in the maintenance department can result in some significant drops in performance.
3. Finally, the offset piston position may result in some rocking with the connection to the connecting rods/crankshaft. Again, this all boils down to how well-maintained the boxer engine is (or isn’t).