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V6 vs. V8 Engine Comparison

by David Harris

The abbreviations V-6 and V-8 do not refer to a model or make when you're talking about a vehicle. Instead, V-6 means the car has a six-cylinder engine, while a V-8 has an eight-cylinder engine.


A V-6 engine has three cylinders on each side. Each side is angled away from the center of the engine in a "V" shape. V-8 engines are arranged in the same way, but these engines have four cylinders on each side.


An engine will have more horsepower if it has more cylinders. For example, a six-cylinder engine is more powerful than a four-cylinder engine, but an eight-cylinder engine is even stronger than the six-cylinder.


V-6 and V-8 engines are installed differently under the hood. V-6s are installed so the cylinders are perpendicular to your fenders -- if you are looking at the engine with the hood up, the cylinders are on the right and left of the engine. V-8s are much larger and are put in sideways -- the cylinders are parallel to the fenders at the top and bottom of the engine.

About the Author

David Harris is a writer living in Portland, Ore. He currently is the editor-in-chief of the online magazine Spectrum Culture. He holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from Sarah Lawrence College.

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