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      05-21-2012, 11:09 PM   #134
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Originally Posted by tuna_hp View Post
I6 = Inline 6 cylinder engine. 6 cylinders in a single column aligned along the car lengthwise.

A V6 can be understood as two Inline 3 cylinder blocks, side by side, also both aligned with the car lengthwise, connected to each other at a "V" angle.

In practical terms, the V6 is a much shorter engine (almost half the length) that is much easier to fit into cars that might also be available with I4 or V8 engines. Since it is shorter you can also make the argument that it can contribute to a more rearward (favorable) weight distribution because its not so long like the I6 where much of the engine is in front of the front axle.

However, the I6 is a naturally balanced engine which means that without adding any additional mechanical complexity it has the potential to run smoother, has the potential to be built so that it can be tuned to create higher power because there is less stress on the components, and has the potential to be built to sound better.

The V6 is a particularly unbalanced engine where typical designs add a lot of mechanical complexity and weight in order to cancel out some of the vibrations and roughness, and even after that some of the vibrations are just tolerated as there is no easy way to cancel them out.

As a reference, the V8 isn't naturally balanced either but it isn't as bad as the V6 and all the imbalances can be relatively easily canceled out with modifications to the basic mechanical design, so a typical V8 is very smooth like an I6.