V6 vs. Inline 4?

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CromGuy
V6 vs. Inline 4?

The other day me and a friend of mine (he is a somewhat of a car guy, me: not so much), and in discussing our different engines he seemed to give the impression that an inline-4 engine was always and absolutely superior to V6's. The argument/discussion focused more on power/acceleration, and while I'm sure his focus SVT is faster than my mercury milan, he argued that an I4 would always beat a V6, in the majority of scenarios. Since this I've done some research myself and have of course discovered for myself things like V6 engines having higher torque and horsepower at lower RPMs, and also the obvious fact that a wide range of variables (make, model, engine size, etc) come into play in terms of overall performance. My friend is a bit strong-headed, so I wanted to ask actual car people about his claim that I4s are unilaterally superior to V6s. Thank you.

Also: I tried searching for a thread similar to this and didn't find one, so I apologize if this is a common topic here.

   

   

Vash the Stampede
Re: V6 vs. I4?

hmm i know that a lot of japanese cars race w/ 4 bangers, but a v6 will crush it.

hubby
Re: V6 vs. I4?

[quote=Vash the Stampede]

hmm i know that a lot of japanese cars race w/ 4 bangers, but a v6 will crush it.

[/quote]

Those rice-burners are all V4's arent they? Not inline-4's ?

Vash the Stampede
Re: V6 vs. I4?

ive never seen a v4, i think all 4 bangers are inline, often the engine sits sideways or on its side too.

now a 6 cylinder has options.  v6, straight 6, or slant 6. 

CJ jeeps made a killer slant 6 engine thats very strong/torquey.  my cousin had off road tires and could pop wheelies with his jeep.  the engine eventually twisted the drive shaft causing it to look like a red vine candy.   from too much power.

cubic inches = more power.

if a 4 cylinder is tricked with cam shaft, new rockers, bored pistons, re timed, performance headers and suped up tranny, the works and stomps.  well all that can be done to the 6 cylinder engine with more high performance results.

markus248
Re: V6 vs. I4?
Lancia used narrow angle V4 engines back like the sixties and before in some its small fwd cars(like the Fulvia) with reasonable success.
Anonymous Visitor
Re: V6 vs. I4?
V4's are mostly used in motorcycles...
Anonymous Visitor
Re: V6 vs. I4?
14's; V4's are rare..
hubby
Re: V6 vs. I4?

i recall reading somewhere (that i cant find now) that, all else being equal, an inline engine will deliver more torque/power than a V engine.  However does NOT mean that "any I4 will beat any V6"..  

Hopefully someone that knows more about engines can explain the physics and power-curve thing better.

Pembo210
Re: V6 vs. Inline 4?

The V6 vs. I4 has been around for a while. While the V6 does have more power, it also has more weight. It depends on so many things, its hard to say for sure. Its all about the weight to torque ratios and how far away is the finish line. Its different depending on where each engine has its powerband (strongest rpms) and how each has its transmission geared. He may be able to drive that four banger 0-50 like a rocket but once you get into that higher speed the V6 will most likely fly right by and continue all the way past 100 (governor willing.)

Having the engine facing forward on sideways depends on the transmission and drive train hookup. Front wheel drives have there engine side to side while rear wheal drives have them going towards the back. The FWD has a lot going on on those front wheels. It has to support the drive system, steering, and braking. All that also changes how the weight is distributed. Once again the I4 may pull ahead but if you have to make a few turns while going fast, give me the rear wheel drive v6 any day.

If you have the Milan with the Intelligent All Wheel Drive system, then you have all four wheels moving giving you superior grip and road handling capabilities.

His SVT focus may have the upgraded intake, exhaust, and some tweeked cams, but your Milan will ride way better for the %99 of the time that you're not racing below 50mph in a straight line on a dry day.

Anonymous Visitor
Re: V6 vs. Inline 4?

Hmm I wouldnt say a I4 is better than a I6, H6 or V6.
Each has its pros and cons.

I4
Pro:
-Smaller (less weight)
-cheaper (inline = 1 intake manifold and 1 exhaust manifold)
-typicaly better fuel economy (less displacement)
-good power to weight ratio (not always true but some engines such as the K20Z3 in the Civic Si, have impressive volumetric efficiency)

Con:
-Displacemnt is limited to about 2.4L.(I4 becomes unbalanced above 2L and requires a balance shaft)
-Total engine displacemnt is only divided across 4 cylinders (more mass per cylinder = more stress on connecting rod)
-Not as smooth as a V6 (more steps per cylce = smoother output)

Forced induction will artificialy increase the displacement of the engine increasing its power to weight ratio. This is true for all engine configurations, not just I4.

Something to note is for equivalent power 4 & 6 cylnders the peak torque on a 4 cylnder will be lower and much higher than the 6. This gives the illusion that the 4 cylinder is much slower, but really since the 4 cylinder has a higher redline most likely the transmision will have a higher final drive to compensate. So really at the wheels the torque will be fairly close as equivalent speeds.

It all depends on how the engine was designed. I believe overall a 6 cylinder has more potential for power due to its higher displacemnt capacity. But for equivalent power engines it just comes down to personal preference, some people prefer a screaming 4 cylinder to a V6.

Hope this information helps.

Donna
Re: V6 vs. Inline 4?
My question: I now own a 05 Hyundai Santa Fe GLS V6 AWD and I noticed that the new 2010 models of the GLS are I4 engines. Can an I4 really pull and accelerate adequately given the weight of this vehicle? My V6 can sometimes be a little slow. If I wanted to get a V6 I would have to go up to a more expensive model with a bunch of stuff I don't want on the vehicle. To me this just seems like a way to get you to purchase a more expensive vehicle. I don't want to invest this kind of money and then be sorry in the end that I settled for the I4 model. I also noticed that all of the new SUVs have the I4 engines in the lower models

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