Video: Miniature Engines – Does Scale Size Equal Scale Horsepower?

Every one of us has had scale models of cars at some point in our lives. Whether they were die-cast Hot Wheels or Matchbox cars, or the assemble-it-yourself plastic Revell model kits, we’ve all had a replica automobile that we, at one point or another, made “Vroom, vroom” noises with. However, what if you didn’t have to make the noises yourself? Apparently there is a group of people out there who make miniature engines, which are working, running models, in their spare time.

Far more than just toys, these scale-model engines are running, revving, horsepower-producing machines. As you watch, you’ll notice that these aren’t just small little two-stroke R/C engines, but are in fact four-stroke miniature engines, with camshafts and valves and timing sets. Some even have (apparently) working cooling and oiling systems. There is even an electronically fuel injected V-10!

This miniature engine displaces only 103cc – or 6.3 cubic-inches – but cranks out 16 horsepower. Scale that up to 1:1, and the full-size version would make north of 1,100 horsepower.

While small engines aren’t really anything new, generally small engines are built differently in order to be small. Incorporating all the features of their full-size siblings–like these tiny wonders do–is a sizable feat of engineering. While some of the engines seem to be proof-of-concept projects, other engines in the video are even actual scale-models of famous car engines, and those are the ones that really tickle our fancy, although that V-4 sure does sound beefy.

The miniature supercharged Mopar 440 Wedge in the video makes 16 horsepower out of 103cc of displacement. If we were to scale that up to 440 cubic-inches using linear logic, the engine would be making around 1,120 scale-horsepower. That’s over 2.5 horsepower per cubic-inch, proving that these little engines aren’t just models that make noise, but the real-deal, just in a smaller package. Now, who’s going to start making scale chassis for us to drop one in?

About the author

Greg Acosta

Greg has spent over a decade in automotive publishing as Senior Editor of Race Pages magazine. In his free time, he is a firearms instructor and volunteer in the police armory.
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