An early example is the Isotta Fraschini Asso 750 which was used to power the Italian Savoia-Marchetti S.55 seaplanes flown by Italo Balbo into Century of Progress exhibition held in Chicago in 1933. This engine used the same layout as a recent series of engines produced by Bugatti - basically a vertical six with three adjacent banks of cylinders set at 60° each to make a W-18.
In 1967, Scuderia Ferrari engineer Franco Rocchi built an experimental 65×50mm, 498 cc W3 engine, effectively a single crankpin module, in order to assess the potential for a 3-litre W18 Formula 1 engine. Although the engine developed 80 bhp at 11,000 rpm and 160 bhp per litre, the idea was abandoned. Subsequently in 1972 Formula 1 rules were changed to outlaw the use of engines with more than 12 cylinders. Rocchi used this module as the basis for a 3½ litre W12 engine for Life Racing Engines in 1988, although this was infamously unsuccessful.
Recent W18 engines powered the Bugatti EB 118, Bugatti EB 218, Bugatti 18/3 Chiron and Bugatti EB 18.4 Veyron concept cars in the late 1990s. This engine featured three banks of six cylinders set 60° apart. The W18 engine was abandoned due to shifting problems.
- Ludvigsen, Karl (2005). The V12 Engine. Sparkford, Yeovil: Haynes Publishing, 356–357. ISBN 1-84425-004-0.
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