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Inline 6

Why is the I6 engine not being used far more in the automotive industry?

It won’t fit in the engine compartments of most of today’s car designs.

I think there might be some high end cars that still have I6s under the hood.

Most cars nowadays are FWD, and most FWD cars use a transverse engine placement. Unless a car was unusually wide, it would be virtually impossible to use an inline 6-cylinder engine in a transverse placement.

The vehicles that do use an inline 6 are either RWD (BMWs come to mind) or 4WD (some Jeep models being a prime example).

Yea the front wheel drive thing was the only reason I could think of.

Just can’t get past the fact that the I6 has both primary and secondary balance, is very simple, and possibly the most reliable of all engines. Those mercedes turboD I6’s lasted forever. I just love the design of it.

That being said, FWD is pretty damn good.

I wouldn’t mind seeing a new (old school looking) monte carlo with a turbodiesel I6. It would be reliable forever, get amazing gas mileage, and still be badass.

And even in rwd, the I6’s length causes problems in crash protection. The car has to be longer to have enough crumple zone in front of the engine. But yes, a good configuration, seems like BMW is about the only one keeping it going, along with Volvo’s (surprise) fwd I6.

is the volvo a transverse I6?


This comes in an l6 version:

I wouldn’t mind driving something large enough to use that engine.

They cost too much to manufacture. The seven main and six rod journals require extensive, expensive machining. Maintaining strength and rigidity in a long engine block is difficult. The drawbacks of the V-6 design have all been overcome, making it the universal design choice…Cheap, strong, reliable, long service life.

It may be just nostalgia. But from my dad’s Chevy Biscayne, to a friends Jaguar to my old Chevy Truck, to my Rambler American, to my Ford Granada, I never met a straight six I didn’t like. I’ve had 4s and 8s that seemed to be problematic, but I’ll take a straight six any time.

That being said, FWD is pretty damn good.

I beg to differ…the better high end cars and trucks built with fewer engineering compromise are NEVER FWD. FWD stinks and is second class profit maker whose primary claims to fame are cheaper production costs and space saving with slightly better efficiency in low demand applications.

Don’t forget the Chevy Trailblazer with the Atlas I6. There’s a large number of those on the road. That design has been around awhile and is nearly bulletproof. Not something I’d want to see in a car considering the weight penalty but for light duty hauling in a truck/SUV, a solid motor choice.

That being said, FWD is pretty damn good.
I can agree with that. There are safety advantages to having the weight of the engine over the drive wheels.

If you push your car to the limits where you can feel the difference between FWD and RWD performance, you should be driving on a private track, not on public roads.

The new Volvos have a transversely mounted I6. They are finally phasing out the old wheezy 5 cylinders.

i’ve got to check these new volvo’s out

hoping they arent wider than a tank

Bah, I’ll never own a FWD car if I can help it. Every single one of them that I’ve ever driven understeers annoyingly. With RWD you can invoke oversteer with a jab of the throttle, in a FWD car if you do the same thing it just makes the car push even wider. Additionally in FWD you get torque steer and less road feel through the steering. You don’t need to be on a racetrack to notice these things.

I read a great book on the FORD motor company. FORD taught the Japanese a great deal about manufacturing fwd but refused to produce the cars themselves until market pressure was overwhelming

Todays V-6 engines produce 200, 220,240, 260 horsepower, enough to please almost any driver. The nostalgia engines mentioned in past posts never approached those numbers…

but they will be more reliable because of their simplicity and balance


BMW makes an I6 that produces 333hp- an example of a nostalgia engine going far past those numbers.

They may be too big, too expensive and impractical in many ways, but when it comes down to it, the inline 6 will be running longer than a V6.