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The main part of an automobile vehicle is the engine. The engine is also called the "heart" of a car. Engines for racing events are either pure racing machines designed from scratch only for racing purpose, or they are modified commercial engines that are followed some homologation rules. Depending the level of modifications, the engines are classified in groups and classes. Main parameter for classification is engine's capacity. Another parameter is whether the engine is forced inducted or naturally aspirated.
As it can be seen while searching through the years in the following table, development of materials, machinery and electronics brought:

  • more durable mono-block decks and later thin-wall block construction
  • higher compression ratios
  • forged manufacturing technology for moving parts such as crankshafts, connecting rod, pistons and valves
  • aluminium blocks or cylinder-heads
  • overhead camshafts (OHC)
  • 3 or 4 or 5 valves per cylinder
  • electronic ignition and later mapped electronic engine management
  • mechanical or electrical or electronic fuel injection
  • turbocharged induction systems
  • higher rotating limits

The table bellow lists all the available Power Plants (engines) for racing cars, and technological evolution/development is presented. Racing engines are listed by manufacturer and by model.
Article about flat plane and cross plane crankshafts for V8 engines

List of Racing Engines by year

Year 10+ cylinders 8 cylinders 5 to 6 cylinders up to 4 cylinders
2011 Judd HK
Nissan VK45DE
Toyota RV8KLM
2009 BMW P65
Nissan VK56DE
2008 AER P32 C
Judd DB
Mazda MZR-R
2007 Judd GV5.5-S2 Zytek ZJ458
2006 AIM YS5.5
Chrysler LA Magnum Viper ZB
Judd GV5-S2
Chevrolet Small Block IV LS7 427
Mugen MF458S
Zytek 2ZG408
2005 Nissan VQ30DETT
2004 Aston Martin AM04
Caterpillar/VW TDI
Judd XV675
2002 Judd GV5 Mugen MF408S
Zytek ZG348
2001 Ford Small Block "Windsor" Boss 351W 427
Judd KV675
2000 BMW P60B40
Chevrolet Small Block III LS1.R 427
Peugeot ES9 J4S
Porsche M96/70
VW A59 HPT16
1999 Judd GV4 Chevrolet Small Block III LS1.R 366
Chevrolet Small Block II LT1 362
Nissan VRH50A
1998 Ford Small Block 310 Indy
Nissan VRH35Z 3.0
1997 BMW S70/3 Chevrolet Small Block II LT1 366
Chevrolet Small Block III LS1 345
Ford Small Block "Windsor" Boss 351W 366
1996 Chrysler LA Magnum Viper SR
1995 Chevrolet Small Block II LT1 374
GM Northstar L47 Oldsmobile Aurora
Lotus Type 918
BMW S50B32
1993 BMW S50B30
Porsche 935 WSC
1991 Peugeot SA35-A2
1990 Peugeot SA35-A1
1989 Nissan VRH35
1988 Nissan VRH30T
1987 Nissan VEJ30 Porsche 962/72
1986 Porsche Type 935/79
1985 Nissan VG30ET
Porsche 935/82
Porsche 962/71
1984 Ferrari 308C Porsche 962/70
1983 Ferrari 268C Nissan LZ20B Turbo
1982 Cosworth DFL Evolution Porsche 935/76
1981 Cosworth DFL
1976 Porsche Type 930
1972 Porsche Type 911/5x/70 Alfa Romeo TC 2.0
1970 Porsche Type 911/0x/2x/73
1969 Ferrari Colombo 312 Ford FVC
1968 Cosworth DFV Alfa Romeo TC 1.75
1967 Chevrolet Small Block I 350 Ford FVA
1966 Chevrolet Small Block I 302
1964 Ferrari Colombo 275 Porsche Type 901
1963 Ford Windsor 289
1962 Chevrolet Small Block I 327 Jaguar XK6-R Alfa Romeo TC 1.6
1958 Jaguar XK6-D 3.0
1957 Porsche 616
1955 Jaguar XK6-D Alfa Romeo TC 1.3
1953 Ferrari Colombo 250 Porsche 547
1952 Ferrari Colombo 225 Porsche 528/589
1951 Ferrari Colombo 212 Chrysler Hemi 331 Jaguar XK6-C
1950 Ferrari Colombo 195
1949 Cadillac V8 OHV 331 Jaguar XK6-A
1948 Ferrari Colombo 166 Porsche 369/506
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