iIt’s battle of the six cylinders! In the left corner, former torque champion and motor of choice: the inline-six. In the right corner, reigning champ and space-saver extraordinaire: the V-6. Two enter, but only one will leave as champion. Watch as we explore the two configurations to find both their weaknesses and where they possess strengths so that you can decide for yourself, which is the better motor for you.
The benefits of a straight-six is its simplicity by design, typically easier access for general maintenance, and THAT BALANCE. Every straight-six car review ever seemingly has the driver measuring the engine balance with their butt, proclaiming how ~smooth~ the engine idles and the uniform revving. Yea, that’s the good stuff.
Packaging is a big issue with the straight-six, though. It’s just kind of hard to fit in cars, can throw off the center of gravity, is nearly impossible for front-wheel-drive setups, and loses some rigidity over other engine options due to being a little stretched out and skinny.
V6 engines litter the lot of current supercars, including the Nissan GT-R and new Acura NSX. It’s more compact, making it easier to snuggle in some turbocharging, works better for front-wheel-drive applications, and makes it easier to fill a vehicle lineup with the same basic engine layout. Copy/Paste.
But V6 engines do have a more complicated design, needing balancing shafts, more components, and their application across entire lineups and in front wheel drive cars also arguably makes car companies get a little boring.