What's the Best Sounding Straight-Six Engine?

Our pick is the M88 3.5-liter six used in the BMW M1. What's yours?

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BMW

The straight-six is one of the world's great engine configurations. Yes, it's generally more difficult to package than a V6, but its smoothness and sound makes it worth it. Today, we're focusing on inline-six noises. Which is your favorite?

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BMW

To kick things off, I'm gonna throw one of my favorites in for consideration: BMW's legendary M88. This inline-six was derived from the unit used in the 3.0 and 3.5 CSL race cars that dominated Group 5 racing in the 1970s, and was first used in the M1 supercar. Designed by Paul Rosche, this engine displaces 3.5-liters, equipped with four-valve heads, twin overhead camshafts, and individual throttle bodies.

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In the M1 street car, the M88 produced around 270 hp. In the M1 Procar race car, it made closer to 500 hp, revved to 9000 rpm, and oh my god just listen to it.

Over time, this engine was modified for use in BMW M's first mainstream road-cars, the E24 M635csi and the E28 M5. Its last road car application was the E34 M5, where it was eventually stroked to 3.8 liters and given a new name, S38.

The M88 and its derivatives are masterpieces. But, they're not the only great-sounding straight-sixes out there. Hop in the comments below and show us your favorite.

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