Each year, Ward’s Auto World designates the 10 best engines in a competition that was created to recognize outstanding powertrain achievement, world-class technologies, and those propulsion systems that are so compelling that they help to sell the vehicle in which they are installed.
To be eligible for the competition, a new or significantly improved engine or propulsion system must be on sale in a production vehicle during the first quarter of 2014, and base price of the vehicle is capped at $60,000.
- 3.0L TFSI Supercharged DOHC V-6 (Audi S5)
- 3.0L Turbodiesel DOHC I-6 (BMW 535d)
- 3.0L Turbodiesel DOHC V-6 (Ram 1500 EcoDiesel)
- 83-kW Electric Motor (Fiat 500e)
- 1.0L EcoBoost DOHC I-3 (Ford Fiesta)
- 2.0L Turbodiesel DOHC I-4 (Chevrolet Cruze Diesel)
- 6.2L OHV V-8 (Chevrolet Corvette Stingray)
- 3.5L SOHC V-6 (Honda Accord)
- 2.7L DOHC H-6 boxer (Porsche Cayman)
- 1.8L Turbocharged DOHC I-4 (Volkswagen Jetta)
The 5th-Gen small block earned its position thanks to a number of new technologies, among them direct injection and cylinder deactivation (Active Fuel Management).
The 460-horse powerplant is efficient, too – Chevrolet says that the AFM, direct injection, and variable valve timing help to cut emissions by 25 percent.
Of these engines, five are turbocharged, one is supercharged, three are diesel, and one (the Fiat 500e) is even an electric motor. This highlights the need for manufacturers to produce vehicles with high torque values and high mile-per-gallon ratings in order to satisfy government regulations, at least here in the United States.
Audi’s 3.0L TFSI Supercharged DOHC V-6 engine appears on the list for the fifth consecutive year, thanks to the 333 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque available from the Roots-supercharged powerplant.
The engine is found in a number of Audi’s models, including the A6, A7, S4, S5, Q5, Q7, and A8, along with two Porsche machines and one VW model.
That’s one way to take advantage of an engine that’s putting out 111 horsepower per liter.
The Dodge Ram 1500 EcoDiesel 3.0L DOHC inline six-cylinder engine propelled the vehicle to not only inclusion on Ward’s list, but also a spot as the Motor Trend 2014 Truck of the Year. It offers highway fuel economy in the upper 20’s, which is outstanding for a full-size pickup truck.
420 pound-feet of torque are available from 2000RPM on up, making this hauler a serious machine in all respects. It uses a variable-vane turbocharger to achieve the performance, and is even capable of towing 9.200 pounds – a healthy number for such a small powerplant.