A V – engine or a Vee engine is a common layout for an internal combustion engine in which the cylinders and pistons are aligned in two different planes or 'banks', because of which they appear to be in a "V" when seen along the axis of the crankshaft. The V layout generally reduces the overall engine length, height and weight when compared with an equivalent inline configuration.
The first V – type engine was a 2-cylinder vee twin which was built in 1889 by Daimler under the designs of Wilhelm Maybach. By 1903 V8 engines had started coming in markets were being manufactured for motor boat racing by the Société Antoinette with the designs of Léon Levavasseur who had an experience building four – cylinder in – line engines. The Putney Motor Works worked on a new V12 marine racing engine which was the first V12 engine to be produced for any purpose, in 1904.
There are eight cylinder variants out of which the V-8 layout is used widely. It is a small nicely balanced engine with even power and torque delivery. Its main advantage is that it can be made shorter than an in – line design and the shorter crankshaft is more rigid. Some earlier cars had eight in – line cylinders but their long crankshafts were prone to a lot of vibration at high speeds.
Generally, every pair of corresponding pistons from each bank of cylinders which share one crank pin on the crankshaft which is either by master / slave rods or by two ordinary connecting rods side by side. Although, some V – twin engine designs have two – pin cranks whereas other V configurations which include split crank – pins for more even firing.