I agree that the subjects regarding the engines have been adressed, somewhat, yet the three topics I brought all have different possible answers / suggestions.
- As of now, Automation is limited in the modularity of the blocks when compared to reality (and I’m looking at 80’s engines, not the incredibly modular blocks built nowadays).
- I’d like to be able to have more flexibility to the boring/stroking of variants of a same block, maybe a the expense of a increase in quality (modularity comes with a cost)
- I’d like be able to “downgrade” my head/valvetrain within an engine family - I pay the initial investment for a DOHC/4v block, but I can then offer low-cost, SOHC/2v variants without having to develop a whole new family (modularity comes, again, at the cost of paying the developpment for the fancy variant)
And now the lenghty explanations
Regarding how much you can bore/stroke your family
Actually, this is an issue now, while I’m “stuck” in sandbox mode, and while my interest is in recreating some legendary engine families. Depending, I guess, on the engine designs, some engine families work only on the stroke (or only on the boring, though that’s a much less frequent occurence) do adress the different displacements. See the Ford Kent family, where you have a 50% variance in stroke design within the same engine generation.
More often than not, though the sliders bar me from recreating the real engines, I can reach a close enough displacement - Once I reached the limit on the understroking I might have yet some leeway on the underboring, so it could be okay as it is in campaign mode - but since so many true engine families reach further than what the sliders allow, it is an issue that could be adressed in a simulation
Also, it is an easy “fix” - no change to UI or process, this is just a matter of changing the cap on the sliders. If it is a balancing issue for Campaign game, a possibility could be to link the variability to the quality slider : if I want to build a “jack of all trades” engine family, I’d have to invest into the quality of my block.
That would also be quite consistent with the realities of engine design - having a greater modularity is a design choice, and a costly one at that.
But if I want to go all VAG, and to choose to invest massively in my “block of the future”, betting that a huge initial investment will pay off in having a block that can span some decades with only some facelifts, I’d like to have that option
Regarding the valvetrain
I agree, this issue has been adressed. This still does not mean I’m completely satisfied with the design choice (although I don’t really expect a change there).
I’d agree that offering the possibility to move from OHV to OHC within the same engine family - this has been marginal at best (some japanese families, and some specialized Lotus conversions come to mind), and it seems normal to me that such a radical design change imply a new family.
SOHC/DOHC, from a historical/engine design perspective, is really more discussable. In the cases where the whole engine family moves from SOHC to DOHC (BMW M30, Alfa Busso…), I’d agree that this is a major rehaul, and, actually, a new engine family, with a familiarity bonus.
Provided the UI doesn’t force me to manually recreate my whole family, in extenso, just to change SOHC to DOHC, I’m perfectly okay with the engine being a new family as far as design and retooling costs go.
But, especially in the 80’s-90’s (japan-europe), it was a common occurence to have the top-end, sporty executions to be a DOHC variant of the same engine. Within the same generation. And to build a whole engine family - with the costs associated - just for the GTI hot hatch would not have been economically justifiable.
Actually, this was a real strategy choice.
Should we just put a turbo on our old design, or build a new design that is modular enough to be fitted with a DOHC head ?
With manufacturers choosing one, or the other, strategy
The same goes for the valves - it is really common to have the same engine, but fitted with either 2 or 4 valves per cylinder (SOHC or DOHC)
My suggestion there, trying to take into account the gameplay perspective, would be to only allow for downgrade - quite the same logic, actually, that for bore/stroke.
If I build a DOHC/4v family, I should be able, using that block, to offer a SOHC/2v, or SOHC/4v variant.
This way, I cannot improve a outdated family, but I can design a modular family