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My first car was a Dodge. And it had a straight-six. Classic Mopar fans can probably guess that I was given a 1960s Dart with the legendary slant-six engine. With about 145 horsepower from the factory, it was no muscle car. But it was fun and reliable and I drove it through high school and college.

Dodge never turbocharged the slant six. But enthusiasts certainly have. And you can find YouTube videos of these classics doing 10-second quarter miles. Nope, that’s not a typo.

Henry Cesari and his 1964 Dodge Dart
1964 Dodge Dart | Henry Cesari via MotorBiscuit

Fans of old enough classics from all of the Detroit Three have a soft spot in their hearts for straight-six engines. They were often the entry-level choice for front-engine RWD chassis such as muscle cars and trucks. With lots of room in the engine bay they were easy to work on. And with only one head and valve train, they were often reliable and cheap to run.

Straight sixes usually have long piston travel, so they make more torque than horsepower. That slant six was rated at 215 lb-ft. They also often have extra room and durability for tuning with turbos and such. It’s not shocking that many I6s have a certain cult following.

Dodge/Chrysler Corporation made several straight-six engines. The slant-six was the final one, and by far the most famous. Dodge cut the engine out after 1987. I’ve even seen slant-six second-generation Dodge Chargers at car shows. With an overdrive manual, and/or an aftermarket turbocharger they are one of the most unique muscle car powertrains you’ll ever drive.

Dodge engine
Dodge Sixpack engine | Stellantis

Today, Dodge revealed the all-new 2024 Charger. You can get this car with either an electric powertrain, or a new I6. These “sixpack” engines are 3.0-liter turbos designed with the help of Alfa Romeo. In the sedans they will make 420 horsepower. In the coupes, they will be tuned for 550 horsepower. That’s a lot of ponies!

You probably know a fan of recent Dodges who is screaming that it isn’t Mopar without a V8. And I’l admit, the outgoing V8 Chargers and Challengers were among the most iconic cars in recent Detroit history. But Mopar has a long history of building fantastic I6 cars. And many of us classic Mopar fans are intrigued by a return to the I6.

Next, find out how the new I6 stacks up to the old V8s, or see the 2025 Dodge Charger for yourself in the video below: