The benefits of a LT2 with the V6 option could be the personal preference to monotone interiors as the LTZ only offers Ebony/Brick or the Cocoa/Cashmere. Both of these are fairly contrasting colors which highlight the "dual cockpit" Corvette type dashboard and not everyone seems to like it.
Monetarily, you are saving about $2,250 with the LT2 V6 instead of the LTZ. You lose out on the fog lights, LED taillights, actual leather instead of "ultralux", chrome door handles, heated rear view mirrors, automatic climate control, a little fancier instrument panel, nicer floor mats, 8 way power driver seat (instead of 6 way), power passenger seat (unavailable in LT), and the 6 disc 8 speaker stereo with sub woofers.
Two-piece question- If the inline format seems to be popular in North America while the V4 is probably nonexistent, why is it that the V-format is the dominating engine format for 6 and 8 cylinder engines?
By the way, I too very much like the new Malibu. Chevrolet is very intent on advertising and promoting this beautiful car, and from the look of things they're betting their money on the right car.
To answer question 14:25, the V-6 and V-8 configurations were originally designed to shorten the engine for use in cars with shorter front ends. In the 30's and 40's some U.S. cars had in line 8 cylinder engines and they had the long hoods to accommodate them. With shorter, more evenly proportioned vehicle design, the "V" configuration made the engines fit into shorter engine bays. This was especially handy in subcompact cars such as the Pinto and Chevy Monza of the 80's.
As far as I know the only non-in line 4 in common use is Subaru's flat 4, which has 2 cylinders directly across from each other rather than in a "V". The most common in line 6 is the really awesome 275 horsepower GM engine used in the Trailblazer, Envoy, Rainier, Bravada and SAAB SUV's, which have ample room to accommodate it. It is based on the original design dating back to the 30's, but it is an incredible engine. I have one of these (in a 2003 Envoy) and it will blow the doors of most V-8 SUV's and gets 24 mpg on the highway.
Nice job, 22:29!
BMW uses Inline 6 engines as well. They slant them to make the fit under a low hood.
Audi was not able to put an I6 into the engine bay of the 5000. Therefore they made it an Inline 5.
VW had another solution: they designed a V6 with an angle so acute that they could put the cylinder rows into one casting and put one head on top like in an I6. They named it VR 6. "R" stands for "Reihe" = "rowe" or "line"
I am sure there are some more I6's out there. Mercedes Benz?
Mercedes ditched the gasoline I6 design midway through the life of the 1st generation C-class. They started making V6s from that time onwards. They continued, however, to offer an I6 diesel in the E-class until recently. Volvo uses an I6 in the S80 sedans and in the X90 SUVs. Suzuki sold a version of Daewoo's Magnus in the US as the Verona that had an I6 (rumoured to be co-developed with Porsche). Both volvo and Suzuki/Daewoo designs are mounted transversely which is unique for I6 applications. Ford still markets an I6 in Australia in that country's home market Falcon. The current Dodge Ram Cummins turbo diesel is an I6 design. It is uncommon in that it is the only pushrod 6 cylinder of any configuration with 4 valves per cylinder.