The 16 Best-Sounding Straight-Six Engines Ever

Music to our ears.

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BMW

Straight-sixes are popular for their inherent balance and smooth power delivery, but they also sound amazing. Here are some of the best, according to you.

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Ford Falcon

The Australian-market Ford Falcon could be had with a Barra straight-six, and it sounds wonderful, especially when there are turbos attached. This burnout compilation demonstrates its capabilities nicely.

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Austin-Healey 3000

People love the Austin-Healey 3000 for its looks, but it should be equally praised for the noise it makes. That big straight-six has a wonderful growl that's hard to stop listening to.

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Volvo V60 Polestar

It might be mounted transversely, but the V60 Polestar's straight six still sounds great. It has exhaust valves that can be opened and closed so you can still get the most out of the engine without waking your neighbors in the morning.

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BMW M3 (E46)

There are more than a few legendary BMW M3s, and there are also more than a few legendary BMW straight sixes. But perhaps the best combination was the E46 M3 with its naturally aspirated S54. It's just so good.

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Aston Martin DB5

The Aston Martin DB5 is famous for its incredible looks and role as a James Bond car, but its engine is also a gem. This four-liter straight six isn't quite as loud as modern cars, but it still sounds incredible.

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BMW M1

The BMW M1 is notable for quite a few reasons, including the fact that it was the first mass-produced mid-engine BMW. But don't forget that the M88 straight six powering the M1 is also legendary. A modified version even went into the first M5.

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Datsun 260Z

The Nissan S30 had a lot going for it. It looked incredible, handled well, and was priced competitively. But it was also powered by Nissan's excellent L-series straight sixes. Plenty of nice things can be said about the L24 and the L28, but we happen to be partial to the L26.

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Jaguar E-Type

Arguably the best-looking car ever produced, it's easy to focus on the E-Type's incredible looks and gloss over the rest. But while you could eventually buy one with a V12, the E-Type was originally powered by one of the greatest straight sixes ever built. And it sounded wonderful.

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Jaguar Mk. 2

Of course, it wasn't the only Jaguar to have a great-sounding inline-six. The Mk. 2 also made a fantastic noise. It's best heard at full tilt racing somewhere

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Maserati 3500 GTi

Maserati's first successful grand tourer was the 3500 GT and the later 3500 GTi. The car looked incredible, and the engine certainly didn't disappoint, either. Its mechanically fuel-injected straight six still sounds outstanding.

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Mercedes-Benz C36 AMG

BMW might be the automaker most commonly associated with straight-sixes, but Mercedes used them for years too. The rare C36 AMG's six sounds especially good.

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Mercedes-Benz 300 SL

There's an almost-endless list of nice things you can say about the 300 SL. But if you get past the gorgeous design, iconic gullwing doors, and arguable status as the first supercar, you still have to talk about the engine. The M198 offered a huge bump in power over the M186 it was based on, and it also made a wonderful noise.

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Nissan Skyline GT-R (R32)

Enthusiast in the U.S. still have to wait a little while to get their hands on the R34, but the let's not forget you can already import an R32. They definitely make more than the advertised 276 horsepower, and they also sounds wonderful if you can find one that's been left relatively stock.

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Toyota Supra (MKIV)

Speaking of cars that are a nightmare to find in almost-stock condition, the MKIV Supra is also on this list. Thanks to the 2JZ's ability to handle boost, they all (seemingly) make at least 1000 horsepower now. Come to think of it, the 2JZ might actually be the best straight-six ever built.

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Honda CBX

Ok, so, this isn't a car, but we couldn't not include it. Honda's late 1970s superbike used a 1000cc twin-cam straight-six with four-valve heads, and it sounded glorious. With an aftermarket six-into-one exhaust, it .

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TVR Sagaris

The TVR Sagaris looks absolutely absurd, is notoriously difficult to drive, and was built by a company that no longer exists. There's no logical reason to own one, but listen to that Speed Six engine wail, and you can't help but want it.

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