Anonymous asked in Cars & TransportationOther - Cars & Transportation · 3 weeks ago

Karl Benz used a four stroke engine in the first car in 1885. How efficient was that engine compared to the modern engines?

6 Answers

  • 3 weeks ago

    Very inefficient.  They weren't even thinking about efficiency then, just getting the thing to go at all was a triumph.

  • Anonymous
    3 weeks ago

    His First one was a two stroke in 1879.

    His 4 stroke  Otto- cycle of '85 produced a whole   .75 BHP. Less than a moped, and much  heavier. Probably had big flywheel to keep running, so many losses in inertia there, too.  My Daddy said a Model T would eventually get up to 45 MPH, with 20 Hp. Hadda put both ears down in hi gear.

    Gasoline I think had an octane rating of 74,  back then. I disassembled one of my old Harley Sprints, it had chromed combustion chamber but eroded from detonation.  Preignition is the limits of power, even now. 

  • 3 weeks ago

    Considering the "carburetor" was a new invention (I am not sure Benz even used one, I think his fuel system dripped gas into the engine) and the spark plug as we know it were several years off- not very!

    The engine was low compression because of the grade of fuel that could be bought.

  • JetDoc
    Lv 7
    3 weeks ago

    It was more fuel efficient than any automobile engine built BEFORE his.

    • Anon3 weeks agoReport

      Steamers can be 85% thermally efficient. Light boilers Or NO boiler at all to improve power-to-weight. A diesel was successfully made before Benz' 4 stroke Otto cycle.

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  • 3 weeks ago

    Very inefficient.

    A large capacity motor was required to produce very modest horse power, so whereas a modern one litre engine produces circa 65 bhp and does 60mpg, a car with a seven litre engine would produce little more than 15bhp and only return 8mpg.

    The modern one litre car would do 90, the veteran with a seven litre engine about 25!

    Having said all that, the basic mechanical concept of both vehicles have not changed dramatically in all that time.

    • FØXY Ðï
      Lv 4
      3 weeks agoReport

      PS... I have a FZ1 that produces 145bhp with a top speed of 163mph so was not thinking of motorbikes. 

  • CB
    Lv 7
    3 weeks ago

    While I could look up this information pretty easily using Google - as could you -  Efficiency would need to be qualified. Fuel efficiency, weight to horsepower efficiency? 

    I can tell you from visiting car museums the HP to weight ratio was horrendous right through about the early 40s.  600lb motors putting out a whopping 80hp.

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