Six cylinder engine

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Water-cooled six-cylinder in- line engine ( BMW M20 )
In-line six-cylinder engine with firing order 1-5-3-6-2-4
Air-cooled six-cylinder boxer engine of a Porsche 993 ( Porsche 911 ), view from below
Air-cooled six-cylinder in-line engine ( Honda CBX )

The six-cylinder engine is a type of reciprocating - engines , especially combustion engines .



A six-cylinder can work according to the Otto or diesel process and be designed as an in- line , boxer , VR or V engine . Since they are shorter than in-line engines and not as wide as boxer engines, the V-engine version is preferred.


Six-cylinder engines are most commonly used in cars, tractors and trucks , and in rare cases also in motorcycles . In car construction they usually have a displacement of 2.0 to 3.5 liters and are used in vehicle models in the upper price ranges. They are also used to drive rail vehicles , light aircraft (boxer engines from American manufacturers such as Lycoming and Continental ), ships (as in-line engines), generators for power generation and other applications.


Six-cylinder in-line and boxer engines run particularly smoothly, as the inertial forces and moments of first and second order are balanced in them.

Six-cylinder V-engines are partly calmed with balance shafts, or they have six instead of three crankpins, i.e. the two connecting rods of a pair of pistons opposite one another in the “V” do not act on a common offset of the crankshaft, but on two offset ones, usually via one Crank pin connected between the cheek. However, this can impair the rigidity of the crankshaft and means additional manufacturing costs. Occasionally there are also engines called "Flat Six", which can be more precisely described as 180 ° V engines. Because the pistons move in the same direction in every 180 ° pairing, they hardly differ from three-cylinder engines in terms of smoothness .

Other uses

Aside from combustion engines, there are also six cylinders, for example as piston pumps or compressors .


  • Jan Drummans: The car and its technology . 1st edition, Motorbuch-Verlag, Stuttgart 1992, ISBN 3-613-01288-X
  • Richard van Basshuysen, Fred Schäfer: Handbook Internal Combustion Engine Basics, Components, Systems, Perspectives . 3rd edition, Friedrich Vieweg & Sohn Verlag / GWV Fachverlage GmbH, Wiesbaden 2005, ISBN 3-528-23933-6
  • Gert Hack: make cars faster . 11th edition, Motorbuch-Verlag, Stuttgart 1980, ISBN 3-87943-374-7

Web links

Wiktionary: six-cylinder  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations