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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.

See also Eternal Engine if the engine is an entire location.

Examples of Enormous Engine include:


  • 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

  • SHIELD helicarriers are usually shown with four enormous turbines.
  • 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


  • Mortal Engines; the engines required to get a Traction City moving are so huge that it takes the remains of entire towns to fuel them.


  • Bionicle: Jetrax T6 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 - while it's small compared to the castle, the characters dwarf in comparison (and they even have a boss battle on top of it).
  • Eddie's car, the Deuce, in Brutal 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; its engine is big enough that you can walk inside (where there are chests, wtf?).
  • No More Heroes: Travis Touchdown's badass scooter, the Schpeltiger, 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 motorcycle thingy from a Greyhound bus...or a Top Fuel dragster...or a diesel locomotive. It's mounted at the very front of his vehicle; 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.

Real Life

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
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