The Ten Most Beautiful Engines Ever Made

Who said anything about form following function?

10.) Duesenberg Straight-8


I know a straight-8 isn't the most practical engine in terms of packaging but god are they pretty, especially Duesenberg's. With a supercharger it was good for a scarcely belivable 320 hp back in the 1930s.

Suggested By: benn454, Photo Credit: LarryStevens

9.) Cosworth DFV

One of the most successful race engines of all time is also one of the most beautiful. It powered countless Formula 1 Championships, Indy 500s, and 24 Hour Of Le Mans wins and looked fantastic doing so.

Suggested By: AJTaylor, Photo Credit: Norbert Aepli

8.) Harley V Twin


I don't think there's any other engine that has become a cultural icon like the V Twin. Most engines are hidden away from the world but this simple, elegant motor is always on display, even if it doesn't exactly sound beautiful.

Suggested By: marshamallow, Photo Credit: Dave_S.

7.) Pagani Huayra V12


Everything Horacio Pagani puts on his cars is a work of art and the hand built AMG V12 is no exception. I wouldn't even care if it was slow – it's just so good looking.

Suggested By: Crest, Photo Credit: Pagani

6.) Pratt & Whitney Wasp


Radial engines are always stunning, and the Wasp is easily one of the greatest. Pratt & Whitney made many variants and all are very lovely, like the Wasp Major pictured

Suggested By: ADabOfOppo, fhwqgads, Photo Credit: Greg Goebel

5.) Alfa Romeo V6


Hardly do we ever get excited about a transverse V6 but leave it to Alfa Romeo to make one that tugs on our heartstrings.

Suggested By: RazoE, Photo Credit: Typ932

4.) Ferrari Testa Rossa V12


All Ferrari engines are gorgeous, but the 3 liter V12 from the 250 Testa Rossa with its six carburetors, velocity stacks, and titular red heads is the most gorgeous. It's also one of the greatest sounding engines of all time.

Suggested By: macanamera, Photo Credit: Tennen-Gas

3.) Offenhauser Inline 4


The elegantly simple "Offy" four cylinder was one of the most dominant in American racing history with 27 Indy 500 wins. Four cylinders, dual overhead cams, four valves per cylinder and a lot of power.

Suggested By: Motorhead Keith, Photo Credit: Carey Akin

2.) Honda RA 273 V12


The V12 in this Honda F1 car was certainly not the best performing engine but easily one of the most beautiful. It was handily surpassed by the Cosworth DFV but even that couldn't match the RA 273s beauty.

Suggested By: CanuckChinaman, Photo Credit: Morio

1.) BMW S70/2


This BMW M designed V12 that powered the McLaren F1 is one of the greatest road and race engines of all time – it still is the benchmark for what a naturally aspirated engine can do 20 years after it was introduced.

It wouldn't matter if it was ugly, but it's gorgeous. A masterpiece if there ever was one.


Suggested By: Titan-E34, Photo Credit:McLaren

Welcome back to Answers of the Day - our daily Jalopnik feature where we take the best ten responses from the previous day's Question of the Day and shine it up to show off. It's by you and for you, the Jalopnik readers. Enjoy!

Share This Story