Ward?s Picks Top Powerplants

Ford 2.0L EcoBoost DOHC I-4

The recent grouping was dominated by small gasoline engines fitted with direct injection systems. Direct injection gained popularity about10 years ago when clean turbodiesel engines started showing up under vehicle hoods, especially in Europe. Now high-pressure gasoline direct injection is quickly becoming the optimal fuel system for everything from entry-level compacts to luxury cars and full-size pickups.

Direct injection has been proven to reduce fuel consumption and improve low-end torque, which makes for quicker acceleration.

This year?s winners and the applications tested:

  • Chrysler 3.6L Pentastar DOHC V-6

    3.0L TFSI Supercharged DOHC V-6 (Audi A6)

  • 2.0L N20 Turbocharged DOHC I-4 (BMW Z4/528i)
  • 3.0L N55 Turbocharged DOHC I-6 (BMW 335i coupe)
  • 3.6L Pentastar DOHC V-6 (Chrysler 300S/Jeep Wrangler)
  • 2.0L EcoBoost DOHC I-4 (Ford Edge)
  • 5.0L DOHC V-8 (Ford Mustang Boss 302)
  • 2.0L Turbocharged DOHC I-4 (Buick Regal GS)
  • 1.6L DOHC I-4 (Hyundai Accent/Kia Soul)
  • 2.0L Skyactiv DOHC I-4 (Mazda3)
  • 3.5L DOHC V-6 HEV (Infiniti M35h)

Of those engines, only the Infiniti hybrid, Chrysler Pentastar and Ford V-8 use conventional multi-port injection.

Half the 2012 list are 4-cyl. engines, compared with three last year and six in 2010.

Four of the top engines have turbochargers and one has a supercharger. In each case, forced induction enables a smaller, more fuel-efficient engine to deliver outstanding performance.

?With so many engines featuring gasoline direct-injection and forced induction, we?re pleased to have a list that is rich in technology,? says Drew Winter, editor-in-chief ofWardsAuto World?magazine. ?Plus, every engine reinforces the idea that even fuel-efficient vehicles must be fun to drive.?

Kia/Hyundai 1.6L DOHC I-4

This is the 18th annual Ward?s 10 Best Engines competition recognizing the latest powertrain technologies that are affordable to most consumers, boost horsepower and torque, sound appealing and integrate well with their respective vehicles.

For more details on the engines go to http://wardsauto.com/ar/names_best_engines_111208/index.html