What Are The Legendary Motors With Fewer Than Eight Cylinders?

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When we talk about celebrated motors on here, they’re usually V8s or bigger. Small blocks, big blocks, Lamborghini V12s, the Viper V10. That’s all well and good, but most cars don’t pack that kind of heat. Even so, there are plenty of smaller engines that deserve attention.

One of those is the famed Alfa Romeo Busso V6. Our friend Matteo has put together an impressive video that shows just what went into making this motor so special and how Alfa managed to squeeze every last drop out of it

First built to fit in the Alfa 6, Giuseppe Busso designed the motor with a unique valve design that placed them much closer together than on previous Alfa motors. Though it was already designed by the beginning of the ‘70s, the oil crisis pushed the engine’s launch back until 1979.


When it finally launched in 2.5-liter guise, it was lauded but couldn’t really sell well in the Italian market where motors over two liters were heavily taxed. Eventually, two-liter models joined the lager motor, giving more Italians a chance to drive (and hear) what Mr. Busso had designed.

The Busso would find its way into, among other things, the Alfetta GTV, the 75, SZ, and the 164, which is the car that first got those chromed intake headers we all love so much. The motor, in various configurations but usually topped with those pretty chrome headers, would survive until 2006 when its last application, the 156 sedan, finally was replaced.

But while the Busso is a legend, it’s hardly alone. There are plenty of other sub-eight-cylinder motors that deserve distinction and honor. Share your favorites in the comments below!