been thinking on this for a bitYou guys should know that the engine configuration, V Twin, V4, I4, parallel twin etc etc , has almost ZERO to do with output characteristics of an engine, with a few exceptions; notably Ducati "L" twins.
I4s come in 180 degree, cross plane and "big bang".
Parallel twins are 360 degree, 180 degree or "big bang".
V twins are all over the place, potato potato motors are 315-375, Taglioni "L" twins are 634 (and are magic).
... and those are just firing orders. Cams, compression and ignition timing have more bearing on output characteristics than engine shape.
You can tune an I4 for torque and you can tune a V twin for HP. The rapidly burning gases in the cylinder don't know or care if there are more cylinders or where they are(there are mechanical differences between the different layouts of engines, like the way bearings and rings wear but it doesn't effect output).
Engine shape is usually more to do with packaging. Twins are narrower, V twins that share a crank pin are the narrowest. I4s and parallel twins are the shortest front to back
Some of the most successful race engines were square 4s... best of all worlds, but too expensive to mass produce... so the next cheaper way to make HP is I4. So we get I4s.
Here is another "wrinkle" to consider.been thinking on this for a bit
a lot of wisdom in the post
but I need to point out the inertia of moving parts
and how their mass can affect changes in the inertia
and how these characteristics lend themselves to bottom end torque or high rev HP
an engine with few (or one) large cylinder is good at maintaining speed
an engine with several smaller cylinders can be tuned for fast RPM gain
of course you can tune an engine any away you like
but the inertia of large mass stuff is hard to overcome
interesting questionHere is another "wrinkle" to consider.
The inertia of the recoprocating mass is conveyed to the crankshaft. So, can a twin with really small crank journals equate to a four with large and heavy journals?
(only asking and I claim no expertise in the matter and the question is hypothetical, as other physics would make that type of design impractical).
"four wheels good, two wheels better"