More Inline-6 Engines Coming: Every Straight 6 for 2023
The inline-6 engine is experiencing a resurgence after being shoved in a corner by V8 engines beginning in 1949. Sixes continued to be available for decades after, but always in the shadow of V8s. More is always better, or so thought many automakers. But a funny thing is happening. Sixes are making a comeback as turbocharging, hybrid systems, and new manufacturing techniques improve its advantages like better fuel economy, less weight, and more packaging upsides.
So let’s look at the surprising number of straight-six engines available now, and even more past 2023.
With its introduction of the CX-90, Mazda is the most recent to join the straight six-party. Besides the CX-90, more Mazdas will be available with the 3.3-liter six in the coming years. The most powerful version puts out 340 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. And the gas mileage is enhanced with its plug-in hybrid system, too. And Mazda says a unique feature of Mazda’s six is its longitudinal platform, which delivers power to all four wheels, biased to the rear.
Dodge flew with straight-six engines for decades, starting with its flatheads and then highlighted with its “slant six” variant starting in the 1960s. But those 340s, 440s, and 426 Hemi V8s dumped grease on the entry-level slant-six engine. But today, a new straight-six called Hurricane is being touted as a better replacement for its stalwart 5.7-liter Hemi. And, of course, this applies to numerous Jeep, Ram, and Alfa Romeo models, too.
The Hurricane is a 3.0-liter inline-six available (for now) in two flavors. A 420 hp version, and an optional 510 hp version with twin-turbocharging. What we know so far is that the Hurricane is already found in the Wagoneer and Wagoneer L, while soon to appear in the Ram 1500. And not long after that, it will show up in other Stellantis products like the Jeep Grand Cherokee and several Alfa Romeos. Those wanting to stick with gas-powered propulsion for the next few years can count on the Hurricane.
Yes, Mercedes has been all-in on the straight-six engine platform for eons. While dabbling with V6 iterations, by 2017 it was back with a new inline-six engine. With EQ Boost, the 3.0-liter six is currently found in various sedans and SUVs, even powering the AMG GT 53 4Matic. Now, Mercedes is sweetening the package with a plug-in hybrid expected to be in the next AMG E63. And, of course, it will transmit that silky-smooth performance we expect from Mercedes-Benz.
Jaguar Land Rover
For now, you can still find the modular Ingenium straight-six available in both gas and diesel variants. It has seen a plethora of induction systems including electric supercharging, turbocharging, and sometimes combined with hybrid alternatives. When the next Range Rover Velar appears in 2024, it will also have a version of the Ingenium six. Now, it is found in the Range Rover, Range Rover Sport, and Jaguar F-Pace. In Europe, it also powers the Jaguar E-Type.
The straight-six is synonymous with BMW, since landing in its M30 back in 1968. And the smaller six started with the M20 in 1977. Since 2006, all of BMW’s sixes come with turbocharging, starting with the N54. Today, the 3.0-liter is used in a large swath of BMW products including the 553 hp M4 CSL coupes.