The V6 engine may finally be coming into its own.
Enthusiasts love a big V8 engine, but it's time for the V6 to shine. We recently compiled a list of our favorite V8 engines, but V6 engines have become just as important, if not more so than the big V8. For one, fewer cars are built with a V8 engine. Many models (especially affordable ones) have been ditching it in favor of smaller powerplants. V6 engines have had a rep for being a bit dull and lacking personality, but they are now enjoying something of a renaissance with some amazing new offerings on the market.
The second generation Porsche Panamera is an incredibly impressive car, even with the most basic engine. The base 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 produces 330 hp, which is a healthy amount. The more powerful V6 is actually smaller at 2.9-liters, still with two turbochargers. This engine produces a whopping 434 hp in the Panamera 4S and 456 hp in the Panamera 4 hybrid. The most powerful Panamera models still use turbocharged V8 engines, but Porsche has shown that a V6 can offer incredible performance and impressive hybrid fuel economy.
When Mercedes first announced its 43 AMG Sport line, we were among the skeptics. These weren't true AMG cars, so we took issue with the AMG badging being used on them. We have since come to appreciate models like the C43 AMG, GLC 43 AMG and others. These models use a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 with 362 that sounds fantastic.
V6 muscle cars have always been a bit of a disappointment compared to their V8 counterparts. However, the new Chevy Camaro finally has a great sounding V6 engine with amazing performance. A V6 Camaro 1LE actually beat a much more powerful Dodge Charger Hellcat around a track. This 3.6-liter V6 produces 335 hp and is detuned to produce 310 hp in the new Buick Regal GS. The supercharged V8 ZL1 may still be the ultimate Camaro, but the V6 model finally has performance that doesn't make you embarrassed that you "only" bought the V6.
Most of the performance luxury sedans have dropped cylinders in the last few years. The BMW M5 went from a V10 to a V8 and the M3 went from a V8 to an inline-six. The M3's inline-six is very powerful, but lacks the amazing sound of our fourth choice, the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio. This 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6 is based on the 3.9-liter V8 in the Ferrari California T. The Giulia's V6 sounds very different than other engines and produces a very healthy 505 hp. The Giulia is the most powerful car in its segment and has one of our favorite V6 engines on the market today.