How Much Do You Know About Boxer Engines?


By: J. Reinoehl

6 Min Quiz

Image: YouTube

About This Quiz

Are you a fan of engines... all engines? Are you familiar with a type of engine called the boxer engine? If so, then this quiz is for you. Take this quiz to test your knowledge of boxer engines.

What the heck is a boxer engine? Well, if you have forgotten or are a bit unfamiliar with the type, a boxer engine is a type of engine that has cylinders that are horizontally opposed, which enables the engine to lie flat. This type of engine was designed by Karl Benz, the German engineer and auto designer who has been credited with designing the first practical car -- he called his boxer engine, a kontra engine. The boxer engine is sometimes referred to as a flat engine, but don't assume that it functions entirely differently from what we think of as a traditional engine because the boxer engine is an internal combustion engine just like all of the others. So, how did the boxer engine come to be called what we know it as today? If you watch how the pistons of the boxer engine move in and out, they look a bit like boxing gloves. It's that simple.

Let's get started with this quiz to see how much you know about boxer engines.

What is another name for a Boxer engine?

“What’s important at the grocery store is just as important in engines or medical systems: If the customer isn’t satisfied, if the stuff is getting stale, if the shelf isn’t right, or if the offerings aren’t right, it’s the same thing. You manage it like a small organization. You don’t get hung up on zeros.” –Jack Welch


What was the Boxer engine named after?

The Boxer engine looks as if two boxers are back to back and throwing punches outward. The pistons fire so those opposite each other are almost in sync with each other.


Who invented the Boxer engine?

“My first customer was a lunatic. My second had a death wish.” –Karl Benz


Which direction do the pistons move in Boxer engines?

A star-shaped configuration is the rotary engine and was used primarily in WWI aircrafts. The V-shaped configuration is used by many 8-cylinder or greater cars.


What does a Boxer engine do to a vehicle’s center of gravity?

“Design must be functional and functionality must be translated into visual aesthetics without any reliance on gimmicks that have to be explained.” –Ferdinand Porsche


What is one disadvantage of a Boxer engine?

Boxer engines usually require more components. This increases the costs of making the unit because in some cases the parts required are doubled.


Which of the following manufacturers currently uses Boxer engines?

“I build engines and attach wheels to them.” –Enzo Ferrari


Which of the following is not needed in a Boxer engine?

Weighted balance shafts were not added to engines until 1904. They help offset some of the natural vibrations that occur in piston engines. The Boxer engine offsets these vibrations because of its piston arrangement and firing order.


What is one reason why a Boxer engine is noisier than other engines?

“Just as owning a car doesn’t make you an expert on engines, having a brain doesn’t mean you understand psychology.” –Adam Grant


Which of the following is not an advantage of using Boxer engines on motorcycles?

Boxer engines actually have a lower center of gravity. This gives motorcycles and other vehicles more stability.


Which of the following would a four-cylinder Boxer engine use as firing order?

“Everything has a trend to it. I don’t care if it’s appliances or engines—I always ask, ‘What has a company done in the past five years that somebody’s noticed?’” –Mickey Drexler


Which of the following would be the best number of pistons for a Boxer engine?

Boxer engines must have an even number of pistons to function. Since each piston pair fires out at about the same time, it requires pistons to be in sets of two.


What is a “Boxer rumble?”

“I found the key to the universe in the engine of an old parked car.” –Bruce Springsteen


What kind of problems can occur with a four-cylinder Boxer engine?

Because of the offset pistons, vibrations that cause the engine to spin around a vertical access can occur. However, these vibrations are generally not strong enough to require additional balancing rods.


Which of the following would not be a feature of a vehicle with a Boxer engine?

“Americans will put up with anything provided it doesn’t block traffic.” –Dan Rather


How many strokes does a Boxer engine typically have per cycle?

Most engines are either two or four-stroke engines. A few alternative engines are considered six-stroke engines. Eight-stroke engines have patents but none have gone beyond the concept stage at this point.


What is the standard number of valves in a modern Boxer engine?

“They are our history. They mark the moments by which we define decades. Cars are some of the most intoxicating, most beautiful things ever forged by mankind.” –Jeremy Clarkson, Forza Motorsport 5 introduction (2013)


Pistons in the Boxer engine share which of the following?

The Boxer engine is unique in that its crank pins are not shared (unlike a flat V-8 engine where pistons share crankpins). However, the crankshaft is shared, which is what makes it different from an opposed-piston engine (where pistons share a cylinder but not the crankshaft).


Aside from the one mentioned in another question, which of the following manufacturers also regularly uses Boxer engines?

“The car has become an article of dress without which we feel uncertain, unclad, and incomplete in the urban compound.” –Marshall McLuhan


If you are in a front-end collision, what is the Boxer engine designed to do?

Boxer engines are mounted lower, and they are easily designed to separate from the motor mounts and slide under the chassis in a frontal impact collision. This feature makes them safer for passengers in the vehicle.


A Boxer engine usually uses how many camshafts?

“Aerodynamics are for people who can’t build engines.” –Enzo Ferrari


A Boxer engine cannot have which of the following number of pistons?

Because the engine needs paired pistons, having only three would create severe vibrations. In addition, adding a third piston to such a small engine would add to the rotational vibration.


The crankshaft stroke is limited by what?

“Change is easy. Improvement is far more difficult.” –Ferdinand Porsche


Which vehicle historically used an air-cooled Boxer?

Hitler is rumored to have drawn a car in a restaurant in 1932 that became the Volkswagen, but recent claims state Hitler copied the Beetle design from both Ledwinka’s Tatra’s designs and a car made by Josef Ganz. Initially, the car was marketed as the KDF (Kraft durch Freude or “strength through joy”) and used a swastika surrounded by a gear instead of the iconic VW logo.


Which of the following is not a safety benefit for the Boxer engine?

“After being bombarded endlessly by road safety propaganda, it was almost a relief to find myself in an actual accident.” –J. G. Ballard, Crash


What is distributed more evenly inside a Boxer engine?

In standard engines, oil settles in the bottom when the car is not running. Because of the flat design, oil is distributed across most of the mechanical surfaces even when the car is not running.


Where on a car would you never find a Boxer engine?

“Speed has never killed anyone. Suddenly becoming stationary… That’s what gets you.” –Jeremy Clarkson


Which of the following maintenance tasks would be the most difficult to do on a Boxer installed in a car?

Because the spark plugs are on the sides of the engine in places that are tight on a car, they are more difficult to change (as is some other engine work). On motorcycles equipped with Boxer engines, the spark plug placement is an advantage.


How many cylinder heads does a Boxer engine have?

“The perfect racing car crosses the finish line first and subsequently falls into its component parts.” –Ferdinand Porsche


Which 2017 sports car had a Boxer engine in it?

The 2017 Toyota 86 replaced the 2016 Scion FR-S. Since the Scion used a Boxer engine, the Toyota also used it.


How are modern Boxer engines cooled?

“Life without emotions is like an engine without fuel.” –Mary Astor


Finish the sentence: A four-cylinder Boxer engine weighs ____________?

In many cases, Boxer engines weigh more because they have more parts. Where inline engines reduce parts by sharing a camshaft and other components, the Boxer increases them because it needs double the amount of those components.


Which of the following motorcycles currently uses a water-cooled Boxer engine?

“You can stick a BMW badge on a dead cat and people would still buy it.” –Richard Hammond


The Ferrari Testarossa of the ‘80s used which kind of Boxer engine?

The Testarossa (which means “red head” in Italian) was named after a Ferrari that won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1958, 1960, and 1961. With 385 hp, it could go 0-60 in 5.2 seconds. Production lasted from 1984-1991.


What method did Porsche use to overcome Boxer engine displacement limitations?

“That's the first thing, it's a rubbish car. Secondly, it was a scandal. OK? That car was stolen from a Czech bloke called Ledwinka, I think, by Hitler and his henchmen, they put it into production, they stole money off the German people to build it and to build a factory, they never got a car, instead they used the factory and slave Russian labor from the Eastern front.” “You can't blame a car for Hitler.” –James May and Jeremy Clarkson on Top Gear


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