The author confines his discussion to engines used on pleasure cars, inasmuch as practically all commercial vehicles use the four-cylinder type. The performance expected of their cars by automobile owners is outlined, particularly as regards performance, durability and maintenance cost. In-asmuch as the horsepower required is often determined by the acceleration demanded, the argument in favor of four-cylinder engines is based mainly on a comparison of its acceleration performance with those of engines having a larger number of cylinders. A number of acceleration curves are given for these engines.
The paper next considers smoothness of operation at low, medium and high running speeds, asserting that the decrease in inertia forces due to lighter reciprocating parts has made it possible to increase the speed and thus reduce remarkably the vibration of the four-cylinder engine. In conclusion, the statement is made that the only proper field for the engines of more than four cylinders is in very high price cars of large weight in which the cost of the engine and of operation is not important. In the medium and low price fields, however, the four-cylinder engine is entirely satisfactory.