Enormous Engine

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/49314-inspector_gadget_gadgetmobile_9719.jpg
This car's got only two speeds. 'Fast' and 'Whoo! What was that?'

One way to show off a vehicle, such as muscle cars, is by having some really big engines on it. May be used for Compensating for Something. It usually won't work for other things than showing off: even 3000+ hp World War II aircraft engines are not that big, and they still need a transmission strong enough to cope with their torque. Heavy truck and tracked vehicle gearboxes are immensely heavy, the same weight as small cars themselves.

See also Unnecessarily Large Vessel. Does not refer to a very large locomotive. Or fire truck.


Examples:

Art
  • Ed "Big Daddy" Roth was famous for his drawings of cars with engines almost half the size of the car. That is, just about everything in his drawings was out of scale. Big supercharged dragster engines in small carbodies on big axles and wheels, and out of the roof (if there is one) sticks the huge driver with a giant shifter in his hand.

Comic Books
  • S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarriers are usually shown with four enormous propellers or turbine engines.
  • Muscle cars in Sin City pop up sometimes, engines exposed and all. Sometimes, the engine is not shown but described in explicit detail.

Film - Animated
  • Snot Rod (an orange drag racer) from Cars has a large engine sticking out from underneath his hood.

Film - Live Action

Literature

Tabletop Games
  • The only way Orks know how to build anything in Warhammer 40,000. Their space transports are nothing but hollowed-out asteroids with a minimum amount of life support and a maximum amount of engine so it can can be rammed into the enemy planet to unleash troops or explode trying (both results equally acceptable).

Toys
  • Jetrax T6 from BIONICLE has two huge engines.
  • Hot Wheels loved and still love to shoehorn ridiculously over-sized, usually chrome-plated engines into some of their cars. Sometimes not even only one (Twin Mill was Hot Wheels' first original design in 1968 and had two supercharged V8s sitting side-by-side). Tuning beyond street legality is a standard, too, such as blowers higher than the car's roof. Matchbox didn't stand back and did the same with certain models of the Superfast line.

Video Games
  • The engine powering Figaro Castle in Final Fantasy VI is small compared to the castle, but the characters dwarf in comparison (and they even have a boss battle on top of it).
  • Eddie's car, the Deuce, in Brütal Legend is upgraded with progressively larger engines as the game goes on (because "more powerful" equals "bigger" in this setting), to the point where you start to wonder how Eddie manages to see the road behind the hulking motor.
  • The Gullwing's Airship in Final Fantasy X-2 has an engine big enough that you can walk inside.
  • The Schpeltiger, Travis Touchdown's badass scooter from No More Heroes, is painted to look like an X-Wing from Star Wars. Definitely compensating for something. This is Travis, after all.
  • Pokémon Colosseum: Wes probably stole the engine for his hovering motor-unicycle thingy from a Greyhound bus...or a Top Fuel dragster...or a diesel locomotive. It's mounted at the very front of his vehicle, and the single solitary wheel is mounted at the very back; only the Rule of Cool keeps the machine from nose-diving forward and catapulting Wes and Rui face-first into the sand.
    • Rule of Cool and possibly technology, considering the Cool Sidecar clearly has some sort of propulsion system pointed downward to keep it up.
  • The Fast and the Furious arcade game allows you to upgrade your car with improved engine power which has the side effect of installing a larger engine (even on tuner cars). The Drift update takes this even further.
  • Both versions of the Normandy contain engines that are stupid big for the size of the ship. Called the "Tantalus Drive Core" it not only allows the Normandy to be very fast for its class, but also acts as a Reactionless Drive and lets the ship fly without visible emissions for a short time, making it the stealthiest ship in the known galaxy.

Real Life
  • As a publicity stunt, diesel engine manufacturer Cummins put a 3,500hp engine into, well more accurately onto an original Mini.
  • Oftentimes, Cobra replicas are considered lame in comparison to the real deal. Granted, many in Europe are with their Rover V8s, Ford V6s, or even Volkswagen four-bangers (American ones most commonly use the Ford 5.0 engine from the 1987-94 Mustang that's a more modern, EFI version of the original Cobra's 289). But the German-made Weineck Cobra 780 makes a genuine Shelby Cobra 427 S/C pale. The V8 engine is custom-made for Weineck as opposed to a rebored stock big block. The displacement is 780 cubic inches, enough for way more than 1,000bhp (1,500+ with nitrous). Don't ask for performance data, for this thing is undriveable.
    • Nevertheless, Weineck offers the Cobra with V8 engines up to a good 1,000 cubic inches.
  • Schubeck 904 DOHC. Yes, a V8 engine with more than 100cui per cylinder. This beast delivers 1,200hp out of the box on regular pump fuel, naturally aspirated. Both NHRA and NASCAR outlawed this engine already. In fact, it wouldn't fit under the hoods of most cars anyway because it's simply too big.
  • Sonny's SAR 1005 a.k.a. The Godfather. Another 1,000+cui V8 mill. It produces 2,100hp naturally aspirated. But again, you pretty much have the choice between mounting this engine and mounting a hood.
  • Paul Jameson and John Dodd's The Beast is a street-legal car with a Rolls-Royce Merlin V12 engine.
  • And then there's Quad Al, the probably most overpowered hot rod ever made. It used to be powered by four Allison V12 warbird engines and required eight slicks to get the sheer power of 12,000hp onto the blacktop.
  • There is a video of a big-block 454 powered Acura Integra... with a blower on top of it that's about as tall as the engine itself, making it nearly as tall as the car.
  • Jay Leno has a few of these, including the Blastolene Special, a hot rod containing the engine from a Patton tank, and a Rolls Royce Phantom fitted with a Merlin engine, which powered most of the notable allied planes from WWII.
  • And then there is Brutus, the concept of a newly-created early-20th-century-style high-speed racecar taken Up to Eleven. It is powered by a World War I BMW V12 aircraft engine almost twice the displacement of a Rolls-Royce Merlin, combined with a chain transmission made in 1907. 750bhp may not sound like much from such a huge engine, but they're enough to accelerate a car on a more than 100-year-old tech level and classic narrow diagonal tires with no front wheel brakes beyond 120mph. Needless to say that it drew the attention of a certain Jeremy Clarkson.
  • But wait, there's even more! Namely the Packard-Bentley vintage racecar nicknamed "Mavis". It has only 2,563cui while Brutus has 300 more, but its engine is from World War II and delivers a hefty 1,500hp and 2,000lb-ft. Nobody at Top Gear has been insane enough to test-drive it yet.
  • In the late 1990s, there was a kind of tendency in Germany to build motorcycles with crazy huge one-cylinder engines.
    • From the Northern German cult comic Werner came the "Satte Literschüssel". In the comic, it had exactly one liter of displacement. When it was actually built, the displacement turned out to be 1,444ccm (88cui). The engine was so big that the frame had to be built in V-shape and mounted against the back of the engine which thus carries the bike.
    • Previously, Fulda-based NSU OSL fan Franz Langer had made it into the Guinness World Records: His 958ccm (58cui) NSU was the motorcycle with the largest one-cylinder engine in the world. When he found out about the "Satte Literschüssel", he first threw a fit and then began to build the "NSU Bison 2000", a classic NSU-style 1,975ccm (121cui) one-cylinder motorcycle to beat the Werner bike (German article with pics about this bike). It still looks pretty normal despite the enormous engine.
    • Around the same time, also in the very north of Germany, and unbeknownst to both Franz Langer and the people behind the "Satte Literschüssel", an even huger one-cylinder bike was made: "Hannibal der Gewaltige" ("Hannibal the Enormous") with a whopping 3,034ccm (German article with pics again). It was built by Claus Mees, blacksmith in the small town of Schuby who also made the leaf spring for the "Satte Literschüssel"'s shovel seat without knowing what exactly it was for. The piston alone weighs 13.5kg (30lbs), four times as much as the piston that Franz Langer had deemed too heavy for the "NSU Bison 2000". The entire engine (part of the frame again due to its size) weighs some 250kg (550lbs), more than many entire bikes. And the entire bike clocks in at 600kg (1,320lbs), also because it'd be unrideable without a sidecar. Now why would someone even build such a monster (as if you need a reason for building crazy bikes in that corner of the world)? It was a bet. Upon viewing Langer's one-liter NSU in the Guinness World Records, Claus Mees was something like, "One liter? Ridiculous. I bet you I can build a three-liter single and a motorcycle around it." He won, and he has been holding the world record ever since.
  • As for multiple-cylinder engines, a certain 48-cylinder Kawasaki takes the cake. It might have less displacement than a typical Boss Hoss V8, but six inline-8 engines in one motorcycle are beyond crazy. That is, the bike actually has 49 cylinders: The starter is a small one-cylinder internal combustion engine.
    • Another bike with a bigger-than-necessary engine would be the Dodge Tomahawk, which took the V-10 engine from a Dodge Viper (originally designed as a truck engine, but then repurposed for the car) and put it on a special four-wheel motorcycle frame.
  • The Thrust SSC has not one, but two Jet engines, each roughly as large as the rest of the car. Of course, when one intends to break the sound barrier in a car, one has to go to really ridiculous lengths.
    • The Engine in question is the Rolls Royce Spey, used in the British variation of the F-4 Phantom. Note that the Phantom's nickname is "The triumph of thrust over aerodynamics." Yeah, they took the engines from a Jet Fighter that's already known for solving it's Aerodynamic problems with brute engine power and attached them to a car. While yes, the Spey is an inferior engine to the original Phantom's General Electric J79, it's still incredibly overkill for a car.
  • Trains actually do have giant engines. That engine they stuck on a Mini above? Modern mainline trains make around 4400 horsepower at the crank with less cylinders (12 vs 18). Some older engines make 6000 hp with a single engine. And then there's the GE Gas-Electric Turbines, which made over 8000 hp. It was so much power that they had to spread it over two semi-permanently coupled units, also because turbine and generator didn't leave much space for anything else, so they had to be built into their own section.
    • The Big Boy gets a special mention: it makes over 6000 horsepower and is essentially one giant external combustion engine.
    • The Soviet Union was known for building diesel locomotives with power ratings somewhere between decent and Awesome, but Impractical, but they did so with a minimum of maintenance in mind. In other words, they didn't squeeze as much power out of an engine of any given size as possible, they just built the mill big enough to produce that amount of power under East Siberian conditions, an undetermined time after its last shop visit. So in spite of their already massive loading gage, the Soviets actually managed to build a locomotive engine that was almost too big for locomotives. It's called the Kharkiv 10D100, a 10-cylinder, two-stroke, opposite-piston engine that's pretty much an old Fairbanks-Morse design blown out of proportion to produce 3,000bhp at any given condition. It was made for the TE10 locomotive family which had to be built around that hulk. The bottom crankshaft is pretty much hanging in the locomotive frame because there was no way that they could put that engine onto the frame and still fit it inside the carbody, and the top one is somewhere in the roof, leaving no space for mufflers. Let's say the TE10 family isn't referred to as "rolling earthquakes" for nothing. Nevertheless, a five-digit number of TE10s and 2TE10/3TE10/4TE10 sections was built.
    • The Prussians pulled this off with electric locomotives. Electric traction usually means you have one motor on each driven axle. That was technically possible and had been done in those days already, sometimes even with two motors per axle. But the Prussians didn't trust that kind of drive in large passenger locomotives yet, and conservative as they were, they wanted to keep things simple. So the local train locomotive prototype EP 235 and the express train locomotives ES 51 through ES 57 were to be equipped with only one motor driving the axles via rods. And since it was rods only because gears stable enough for such amounts of power and small enough for use in a locomotive were still impossible to make, the motor had to rotate with the same speed as the wheels and therefore had to be quite big. So the industry shoehorned one electric motor with a diameter of 11 feet into the express train locomotives. EP 235 had smaller wheels, a lower frame and thus enough space (still requiring a hood where the motor peeked through the roof) for a single 12-foot, 48,500-pound motor, the largest one ever built into a locomotive. In fact, this motor is all that's left of EP 235 nowadays.
  • When the Airbus A380 passenger jet was under development, Airbus tested its mighty Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engine by mounting one of them under an A340-300, leaving the other three engines stock. The test engine barely fit between the wing and the ground. The plane looked wacky enough in that state for Dragon Wings to make a model of it.
  • Compared to the payload that actually makes it into orbit, the engines and fuel tanks that make up the launch vehicle of a satellite or manned spacecraft and do most of the heavy lifting are enormous. Compare, for instance, the massive Saturn V rocket to the relatively tiny Apollo orbiter and lander — the vast majority of the former's mass didn't even make it into Earth orbit.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/EnormousEngine