• Wärtsilä-Sulzer RTA96-C: The world’s largest engine

In a world where cars are held in high regard depending on how powerful their engines are, we sometimes lose perspective on the strength and might of these bad boys. A Bugatti Veyron Super Sport, considered the fastest car on the planet, carries an 8.0-liter W-16 engine that produces 1,200 horsepower and 1,106 lb/ft of torque with a world record top speed of 268 mph.

Put that against the Wärtsilä-Sulzer RTA96-C, however, and the supposedly almighty Veyron’s powertrain is reduced to nothing more than a go-kart engine. You see, the Wärtsilä-Sulzer RTA96-C carries the distinction of being the world’s largest engine. How large is ’large’, you ask? For starters, each of the 14 cylinders it carries has a displacement of 111,143 cubic inches, which is about 1,820 liters, producing 7,780 horsepower. And that’s just one.

Add up all 14 cylinders and you have a total displacement of 1,556,002 cubic inches - that’s 25,480 liters - with a maximum power of 108,920 horsepower at 102 rpm and a peak torque of 5,608,312 lb/ft at 102 rpm.

More details after the jump.

Wärtsilä-Sulzer RTA96-C: The world's largest engine
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If you thought those numbers are staggering, try getting a good look at the engine. It rises 44 feet above the ground, measures 89 feet long - the size of a small building if you’re trying to draw any comparisons - and weighs a ridiculous 2,300 tons, with the engine’s crankshaft already accounting for 300 tons in weight. Yikes.

Designed by Finnish manufacturer Wärtsilä, the RTA96-C was put into service back in 2006 on the Emma Mærsk, which at one point was the largest container ship in the world. To be able to power such a huge vessel, the RTA96-C uses up all of its performance numbers to its absolute limit and even at its most fuel efficient setting, it still uses up 1,660 gallons of heavy fuel oil per hour.

Wärtsilä-Sulzer RTA96-C: The world's largest engine Drivetrain
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Just imagine how infinitesimal a Veyron Super Sport’s engine is compared to this monolith of a powertrain. More than that, imagine if something like this - shrunk in size, of course - sits under the hood of your car.

Imagine the possibilities, indeed.

Kirby Garlitos
Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert - kirby@topspeed.com
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read full bio
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  (358) posted on 06.21.2011

That one is a rather interesting comparison. But yeah, you’re right, shrinking this one into the size of a car engine would really be like creating a neutron star.

  (406) posted on 06.21.2011

Wow! It’s was so big! I wonder what car do have an engine like this. Well, i’m impressed to this one!..

  (142) posted on 06.17.2011

It would be similar to a neutron star.

  (377) posted on 06.17.2011

Well, I am actually starting to like this one a lot. I am also not fond of convertibles, but this one really caught my eyes, especially with those wheels.

  (858) posted on 06.17.2011

Yeah, I do imagine that one. And I tell you, it would definitely be a crazy idea to put that much power into a car. But who knows, with the way engine development is going in the car industry, that one might not be a far fetched idea after all.

  (1) posted on 06.17.2011

Oh, I havn’t think of Such HUGE engines before. :P
Nice post

  (276) posted on 06.17.2011

Does it mean that a w16 engine is more powerful than a v12 technology? I’m not really familiar with the W engine but I think for a Bugatti to produced an amazing performance I bet this one seems powerful.

  (530) posted on 06.17.2011

@kaideathman, How sure are you that aliens do exist? BTW, I wonder if the Wärtsilä-Sulzer RTA96-C is powerful since its a large engine? I ask because large engine for the cars makes its performance level very slow, is the same theory goes in here?

  (52) posted on 06.16.2011

in the future, when human technologies advanced like alien’s....

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