Here are 12 of the best six-cylinder cars ever made (2024)

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Supercars

Some make good noises, some good power. All are great. Here's a non-exhaustive list of six-pot wonders, and yes, the CSL's in there, don't worry

Here are 12 of the best six-cylinder cars ever made (5)

  • Nissan Skyline GT-R R34

    Here are 12 of the best six-cylinder cars ever made (7)

    With bagfuls of character and personality mixed with a soft but reassuring hum, the RB26-powered Nissan Skyline GT-R R34 has gone down as one of the analogue Japanese greats. The engine itself is a 24-valve unit with a pair of T25 turbochargers attached, the result of which is 276bhp and enough induction flutters to make you inadvertently yell out 'pockets ain't empty cuz'.

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  • Jaguar XJ220

    Here are 12 of the best six-cylinder cars ever made (8)

    Jaguar promised the world a no-compromise V12 with the XJ220… until it ended up compromising with a V6. But the sneers were quickly batted away as the reimagined Metro Group B rally car engine - now with an increased 3.5-litre displacement and a pair of turbos - set a then-production car speed record of 212mph. The driver? None other than Cara Delevingne's grid walk bestie: Martin Brundle.

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  • BMW E46 M3 CSL

    Here are 12 of the best six-cylinder cars ever made (13)

    We’ll forgive the divisive SMG transmission here because of the obsessively lightweight construction, but mostly thatgloriousS54 straight-six. By tinkering with the camshafts and valves, BMW managed to bring the M3 CSL’s output up to 355bhp and enable a sub-five-second sprint to 62. This might just be the finest M car of them all… and that speaks volumes. Lovely, metallic-tinged, 3.2-litre volumes.

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  • Toyota Supra A80

    Here are 12 of the best six-cylinder cars ever made (14)

    Despite being three decades old, the fourth-generation Toyota Supra continues to dominate the world’s drag strips. Thanks to a thick steel gasket, forged crank and dual overhead cams, the 3.0-litre 2JZ is capable of dealing with immense amounts of boost pressure in short bursts. That’s why owners can so easily coax as much as 2,000bhp out of them with minimal fuss. Don’t you just love an overengineered maniac?

  • Jeep Cherokee (XJ)

    It may not be sexy, but there’s a lot to be said for an engine with bulletproof reliability. The late 1990s were perhaps the peak years for AMC’s 4.0-litre straight-six. At that point it was making around 190bhp in the Cherokee, but it was torquey and hugely dependable.

  • Lancia Stratos

    Here are 12 of the best six-cylinder cars ever made (16)

    ‘The Lancia Stratos’ - it just sounds special, doesn’t it? Beneath the gorgeous half-a-century-old body sits a naturally aspirated V6 gem pinched from Ferrari. It was then dialled up to around 280bhp and tasked with conquering the world of motorsport. It did, winning three World Rally Constructors’ titles on the bounce, and making mincemeat of road races like the Targa Florio. Oh Lancia, where did it all go wrong?

  • Honda NSX NA1

    Here are 12 of the best six-cylinder cars ever made (17)

    The first-generation Honda NSX has various engine displacements and transmission options, but ultimately, a high-revving six-cylinder is what you’ll end up with. It was the first production car to feature forged pistons and titanium rods, things which were typically associated solely with racing cars back then, and combined with its daily usability and incredible reliability, the NSX has a strong argument for being the supercar which saved its class from extinction.

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  • Ford Falcon XR6 Sprint

    Here are 12 of the best six-cylinder cars ever made (18)

    Our friends from Down Under would have had something to say if we left Ford’s Barra engine off this list. The straight-six was launched in 2002 in the BA-series Falcon. It was developed by Ford Australia and Tickford and actually used the same bottom end as the previous Falcon’s 4.0-litre sixer – an engine that had first appeared in 1988. And yet the Barra became a darling of the tuning world thanks to its remarkable strength and simplicity. In factory form, it culminated with the turbocharged 2016 Falcon XR6 Sprint and its 496bhp on overboost.

  • Mercedes-AMG One

    Here are 12 of the best six-cylinder cars ever made (19)

    Mercedes's decision to relocate a Formula One World Championship-winning engine into a road car with windscreen wipers was... ambitious, to say the least. And the resulting delays and complexities compounded the journey. But complete it they did, and - despite its flaws - it was brutally quick. TheAMG Onewent on to smash the Nürburgring production car lap record with a time of 6m 35s. With a full chamber of washer fluid too, we’d imagine.

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  • Alfa Romeo 147 GTA

    Here are 12 of the best six-cylinder cars ever made (20)

    The 3.2-litre ‘Busso’ V6 in the Alfa Romeo 147 GTA may only deliver a modest 247bhp to the front wheels, but the soundtrack en route to a 6,200rpm redline is enough to warrant a page in the Book of Genesis. That’s paired with a six-speed manual and forms part of a package that tips the scales at just 1,250kg. In short, this has a very real claim for being the greatest hot hatch… ever.

  • Ferrari 296 GTB

    Here are 12 of the best six-cylinder cars ever made (21)

    A technical masterpiece, and quite possibly the best supercar on sale today. The Ferrari 296 and its hybridised 3.0-litre, twin-turbo V6 may not be the ‘purest’ piece of engineering here, but a ludicrous output of 820bhp and 546lb ft of torque simply cannot be ignored. The fact its engine is named ‘Piccolo’ (or small) V12 should tell you everything you need to know.

  • Porsche 911 GT3 RS 4.0

    Here are 12 of the best six-cylinder cars ever made (22)

    It’s not a question of if a Mezger-engined Porsche 911 should be here, but which one. The 997 GT3 RS 4.0 was the final iteration of the 997 and the final time a true Mezger engine was used in a road-going 911. The high-revving flat-six was naturally aspirated and enlarged to 4.0-litres with an output of 500bhp. A masterpiece.

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Here are 12 of the best six-cylinder cars ever made (2024)

FAQs

Here are 12 of the best six-cylinder cars ever made? ›

The concept of a 16-cylinder engine is more commonly associated with high-end luxury brands like Bugatti, which has produced cars with W16 engines (comprising four banks of four cylinders arranged in a W shape). The E32 7 Series boasts a design that effortlessly marries classic luxury with modern sensibilities.

Who makes the best 6 cylinder engine? ›

The 12 best V6 engines ever fitted to road cars
  • 2GR-FE – Lotus Emira. One of the greatest V6 engines of the modern era is a long-serving one from Toyota. ...
  • Dino V6 – Lancia Stratos. ...
  • Busso – Alfa Romeo 147 GTA. ...
  • Ecoboost V6 – Ford GT. ...
  • 690T – Alfa Romeo Giulia QV. ...
  • Ford-Cosworth Duratec – Ford Mondeo ST200. ...
  • JRV-6 – Jaguar XJ220.
Apr 26, 2023

Which car has 16 cylinders? ›

The concept of a 16-cylinder engine is more commonly associated with high-end luxury brands like Bugatti, which has produced cars with W16 engines (comprising four banks of four cylinders arranged in a W shape). The E32 7 Series boasts a design that effortlessly marries classic luxury with modern sensibilities.

Are 6 cylinder cars fast? ›

A V6 engine will be able to produce a greater amount of power at a quicker pace and will be much more responsive to each tap of the gas pedal, able to quickly accelerate to high speeds.

Who builds the most reliable engine? ›

1. Toyota. You don't become the world's best-selling and most reliable brand without making great engines that perform consistently well. Over the years, Toyota has introduced resilient engines that have regularly given owners hundreds of thousands of miles of driving enjoyment.

Are there any 12 cylinder cars? ›

The Aston Martin DBS is one of the survivors. While the DB12 and Vantage (for now) have ditched their V-12s, the DBS still packs a twin-turbocharged 5.2-liter 12-cylinder engine making 715 horsepower out of the box.

What was the first 12 cylinder car? ›

Amongst the first production cars to use a V12 engine were the 1915 Packard Twin Six, the 1915 National V12 engine and the 1917 Weidely Pathfinder; all of which were built in the United States.

Has there ever been a V-14 engine? ›

MAN V14 engines have been installed on cruise ships such as the Explorer Dream and Norwegian Spirit, both of which have 14V48/60 engines producing 14,700 kW (19,700 hp) each, and on some cargo vessels. However, other major manufacturers do not normally offer medium-speed engines in the V14 configuration.

Should I buy a 6-cylinder car? ›

In general, you will get more fuel economy from a 4-cylinder engine. You will typically get more power and performance from a 6-cylinder engine. If you are in the market for a smaller car, you will likely have a 4-cylinder engine. For towing, 6-cylinders would be the way to go.

Do 6-cylinder cars waste a lot of gas? ›

In most cases, you're going to get better fuel efficiency with a four-cylinder vs. six-cylinder engine. This is because they're smaller engines with less horsepower. The lower horsepower figures might be a negative for some, but if your focus is fuel economy, then it's a trade-off that's easy to make.

Who makes the most reliable V8 engine? ›

What Is the Most Reliable v8?
  • Toyota 2UZ-FE. A 4.7-liter V8 engine known for its durability and reliability, used in various Toyota and Lexus vehicles. ...
  • Lexus 1UR-FE. ...
  • Audi 4.2 FSI. ...
  • Chevrolet Small Block. ...
  • Ford Windsor. ...
  • Chrysler HEMI. ...
  • Mercedes-Benz M113. ...
  • Jaguar AJ-V8.
Jun 23, 2024

How many miles will a 6 cylinder engine last? ›

It's not only common for the engine to make it to 250,000 miles, but it's almost expected to do so in most circ*mstances, if the engine is maintained well enough.

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