- Wards Auto has released its 24th annual 10 best engines list.
- The top 10 includes traditional internal combustion as well as fuel cell, electric, and hybrid drive technology.
- Mass-market brands and electric mobility dominate the list.
Wards Auto has released the latest edition of its annual list of best engines in the world. For 2018, the 10 winners are an eclectic bunch. There are 4-, 6-, and 8-cylinder engines, along with fuel cell, electric and hybrid drive units. This the 24th time Wards has conducted the competition to find the best engine in the world.
This year, mass-market automakers and electric mobility dominate the list. The only luxury brands to make the top 10 are Jaguar and Infiniti. Also, no German brands made the list.
“We’re happy to recognise great engines in luxury cars, but we’re thrilled to see so many high-volume automakers whose vehicles are more affordable for average Americans delivering truly outstanding powertrains,” WardsAuto senior content director Drew Winter said in a story announcing the winners.
According to Wards, which published its list in December, only new or significantly re-engineered engines or propulsion systems that are available for sale in the US and are installed in cars having a base price of less than $US63,000 are eligible for the top 10. In addition,the winners from the previous year are also eligible to defend their crowns.
A total of 32 candidates were evaluated by the publication’s editors in real-life, on-road driving conditions in October and November. Wards scored each engine based on horsepower, torque, comparative specs, noise attenuation, fuel economy, and application of new technology.
Here are the 10 winners for 2018 in alphabetical order:
1. Chevrolet Bolt: 150-kW electric propulsion system.
WardsAuto editors praised the Bolt’s drive unit for its 238-mile range, torquey power delivery, and thrilling acceleration.
Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid: 3.6-litre, Pentastar V6 with a plug-in hybrid drive system.
“With most owners using their minivans to run errands and occasionally take a long-distance drive, we find the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid to be a stroke of genius,” Wards wrote.
3. Ford F-150: 2.7-litre, Twin-Turbo EcoBoost V6.
“Our staff was blown away by its vibration-free idle, its nearly imperceptible stop/start system and especially its tomb-like silence,” Wards said of the EcoBoost powered F-150. “We’ve been in luxury cars that aren’t this quiet.”
4. Ford Mustang GT: 5.0 litre, DOHC V8.
Ford new’s redesigned 5.0 litre V8 won praise for its surprisingly frugal fuel efficiency and its stunning performance.
5. Honda Clarity Fuel Cell: 130-kW fuel cell with electric propulsion system.
“Coupled with Acura-level driving dynamics and delightfully silent operation, this car is ready for prime time despite all the insanely complex things going on under the hood and floor,” the publication wrote. “We even chirped the tires in sport mode.”
6. Honda Civic Type R: 2.0-litre, turbocharged, VTEC inline four cylinder.
With 306 horsepower on tap, this is the most powerful Honda-branded engine to reach the US. It’s the also the 18th time a Honda engine has made it into the top 10. (Note: The NSX is sold as an Acura in the US.)
7. Infiniti Q50: 3.0-litre, twin-turbo VR V6.
“This returning winner is a delight for driving enthusiasts, sprinting to 60 mph in less than five seconds,” Wards editors wrote. “It never seems at a loss for extra punch at highway speeds, and its responsive throttle brings out the mischievous child in WardsAuto judges.”
8. Jaguar XF: 2.0 litre, Ingenium turbocharged inline four cylinder.
The editors at Wards Auto was highly impressed by the new Ingenium engine developed in-house at Jaguar Land Rover. The publication’s staff was particularly taken by the engine’s trick electrohydraulic valve train and confident road manners.
9. Kia Stinger: 3.3 litre, twin-turbo V6.
“In the rear-wheel-drive Stinger, the 3.3L V-6 is quiet and smooth at idle but willing to bellow like a big V-8 under hard throttle,” Wards wrote. According to the publication, it bumped the BMW B58 turbocharged inline six-cylinder engine from the list.
10. Toyota Camry Hybrid: 2.5 litre, Atkinson Cycle four-cylinder with a hybrid drive system.
“Toyota has choreographed the interaction between the Camry’s all-new new 2.5L gasoline 4-cyl. and electric motor into an elegant, seamless, high-tech ballet,” the publication wrote. “And thanks to the turbo-like boost from the electrics, the car never seems to run short of passing power.”
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