If I may speak for my fellow Americans, the "perception" is that V12's
are hideously expensive, cantankerous beasts. This is partially due
to those that Jaguar used to sell us. There's also the perception
that more than 8 cylinders is redundant, unless one is chasing the
*ultimate* in smoothness.
I see that you prefer Aston and Jaguar interiors, and V12 engines.
You must be pretty hard to please. Me, I'll take a BMW I6 and an Audi
interior, and I'll be plenty happy.
The only problem with the engines in the USA was that owners didn't
maintain them or the dealers didn't maintain them properly. There are a
couple of jobs that are expensive because they are time consuming. In
consequence basic maintenance would be avoided and the heads would often
warp leading to real longterm problems. Jag V12s can be stunningly
reliable and the straight six Jag engine was just about bomb-proof.
Mind you most British owners abused the V12s as well.
An 8 doesn't have the inherent balance of a multiple of 6, so IMO it's
not "ultimate" smoothness it's just that 6 and 12 works without mucking
about with balancer shafts. Sadly V6's don't have the same
characteristic and the Cologne 4.0 V6 in my current vehicle is nowhere
near as good as the straight 6 4.0 Jag engine. OTOH the Cologne V6 is
nowadays very reliable.
I'm not that hard to please, it's just that having experienced those
sort of cars everything else is a bit disappointing.
I'll just say that a 90-degree V8 can be balanced pretty darn well,
and without "balancer shafts". Indeed, I think it's safe to say that,
in the history of the world, never has a 90-degree V8 with balancer
shaft(s) been made.
Is it as smooth as a 60-degree V12? No, but look at the prices of
V12-equipped cars. In sum, I don't think that Americans think that
"V8 is the best" - it's just a damn good compromise.
I'll just say that the current Volvo 4.4 V8 has a balance shaft, and
IIRC it's the same engine used in the Ford Taurus. Also every GM
annnouncement about new V8s for 20010 onwards has featured (a) balance
shaft(s). Oh and that a 90 degree V8 isn't really balanced, you have a
choice between a single plane crankshaft and an engine that shakes side
to side or a two plane crankshaft with an uneven firing order and
horribly irregular loads.
That's not a 90-degree V8 and does not disprove my point. So why did
you bring it up?
Let's see some evidence that they will produce 90-degree V8's with
balance shafts. They won't.
If a company choses to compromise balance to get a more compact
engine, that is their engineering trade-off.
Almost no one makes single-plane crankshaft V8's. Ferrari is the only
brand I know of, for street cars. This exception does not disprove by
point that V8's can be very well balanced and smooth. Why bring it
Firing order not relevant to the issue we are discussing. Why bring
Nonsense. A 90-degree V8 with a two-plane crank can be made
extremely-well balanced by using counterweights.
There have been US cars with V-12s. 60 and 120 degrees are naturally
fit for 12 Vs. V8 like 90 ddegrees and 180 as well as straight. Buick
had a 90 degree V6, but had off-set journals to get an even fireing
chart. An inline configuration is fine for any number of cylinders, as
long at the throws have equal duration.
(Poorly phrased, but you know what I mean.
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