Determining the most powerful engines ever built is entirely dependent on how you look at it. Engines are built for various machines from aircrafts to motorcycles, motor vehicles to trains, rockets to industrial turbines and so on. Because of this we have decided to compile a list that looks at the most powerful engines ever built from a host of different angles to ensure we have a holistic view. One interesting discovery is that whilst some of the world’s largest engines are amongst the most powerful, some tiny engines have distinguished themselves for the immense power they harness. The rule that you need to have an extremely big engine to increase power is slowly fading away. With that being said, here are some of the most powerful engines ever built.
Image credit: Driven
10. Audi 3L Supercharged V-6
Image credit: Wards Auto
With a compression rate of 10.3:1 and a horsepower of 333, the Audi 3.0L supercharged V-6 is a part of the strongest and commercially viable most powerful engines within the motor vehicle category. This engine has become an integral part of Audi’s S4, S5, Q5, Q7, A6, A7 and A8 automobile range. This engine is comprised of the Audi’s brute strength, superior refinement and luscious torque. This engine was also the 2014 winner of Wards Best Engines.
9. Porsche 2.7L Flat Six Boxer
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Porsche has been one of the more innovative automobile companies intent on proving that the most powerful engines do not have to be the world’s largest engine. This Flat Six Boxer engine is a testament to that. It was built to maximize power while minimizing weight and it perfectly achieves that.
8. Triumph Rocket III’s 3 cylinder water-cooled motorcycle engine
Image credit: Jalopnik
Who would have thought that the prize for the world’s largest engine for motorcycles would step away from Harley Davidson? Sadly that is the case. The Triumph Rocket III’s 3 cylinder water-cooled motorcycle engine is a 2.3 liter, 140 horsepower engine making ranking it top of most powerful engines ever built for motorcycles.
7. GE90 – 115B
Image credit: GE Aviation
This is the world’s largest engine in the jet category. It is an astonishing 18ft long, and 11.25ft wide. It also weighs an incredible 18,260 pounds and set a world record by producing over 127,000 lbf of thrust. As a matter of fact there are few engines – if at all – that can match the power of the GE90 – 115B engine.
6. SWT-60-154 (The largest wind rotor)
Image credit: Siemens
The SWT-60-154, which happens to be the largest wind rotor, generates an astonishing 8,046 horsepower. It also has a diameter of 505 feet. Siemens has made a lot of advancements in the area of electricity, virtually producing everything electrical. So it comes as no surprise that their wind rotor should be one of the most powerful engines ever built.
5. 4000-class 4-8-8-4
Image credit: Jalopnik
These engines built by Union Pacific Railroad between 1941 and 1945 were the longest articulated steam locomotives ever built. They however ceased appearance due to the emergence of diesel engines which took all 25 of such engines out of the market.
4. The ‘Big Blow’
Image credit: Hobby Smith
This is the largest locomotive engine ever built courtesy of Union Pacific Railroad. Measuring over 83 feet long and with a horsepower ranging from 4500-8500 (for the 3rd generation). This is certainly, one of the world’s largest engines and the largest locomotive engine ever built. Sadly, it was also known to be highly inefficient.
3. F-1 Engine
Image credit: Pinterest
The F-1 engine is the world’s largest engine for rockets used on the Saturn V. It is capable of generating over 190 million horsepower which is necessary. You need a big engine to be able to travel out of our planet. With a height of over 363 feet (with full rocket) this is certainly one of the most powerful engines ever built.
2. Wärtsilä-Sulzer RTA96-C
Image credit: Monkey Scoop
This Finnish engine powers some of the most powerful vessels in the world, a fitting tasks for one of the most powerful engines ever built and the largest marine engine existing today. This engine measures approximately 89ft in length and 44 feet in width. It is also an astonishing 107,389 horsepower. However, this is also an extremely expensive engine to run. It consumes over 39 barrels of oil per hour amounting to $34 dollars per minute.
1. The 1750 MWe ARABELLE turbine generator
Image credit: General Electrical
The purpose of the 1750 MWe ARABELLE turbine generator is to convert the wet steam emerging from a French nuclear generator and turn it to electricity. The weight of each of its blades alone is 176 pounds and holding it requires a nuclear power station. It is an amazing 2,346,788 horsepower making it number one of the most powerful engines ever built.
This was the list of most powerful engines ever built. Hope you have enjoyed the article!