Penton's WardsAuto has named three diesels, a tiny 3-cyl. turbo and a battery-electric vehicle to its annual 2014 Ward's 10 Best Engines, illustrating the importance of fuel economy as automakers develop and market advanced new powertrains.
This is the 20th year for Ward's 10 Best Engines, a competition created to recognize outstanding powertrain achievement, world-class technologies and those rare engines or electric propulsion systems that are so compelling they help sell the vehicle.
The winners, which include eight engines using direct fuel injection and six with forced induction, emerged from a field of 44 powertrains evaluated by WardsAuto editors in October and November. To be eligible, a new or significantly improved engine or propulsion system must be on sale in a production vehicle during the first quarter of 2014. Base price is capped at $60,000, up from $55,000 last year.
The Ward's 10 Best Engines competition pits the latest engines available in the U.S. market against the returning winners from the previous year. Usually, at least four engines that won the prior year return to the winner's circle. This year, only two are returning winners: Honda's 3.5L V-6 and Audi's 3.0L supercharged V-6.
"We weren't looking to throw the bums out, as they might say about an election. We were just really impressed with a flood of new powertrains," said WardsAuto World Editor-in-Chief Drew Winter. "What was great yesterday might be less impressive tomorrow because engine technology is changing so rapidly."
The 20th annual Ward's 10 Best Engines (and the vehicles tested) are:
3.0L Supercharged DOHC V-6 - Audi AG (Audi S5) 3.0L Turbodiesel DOHC I-6 - BMW AG (BMW 535d) 6.2L OHV V-8 - General Motors Co. (Chevrolet Corvette Stingray) 2.0L Turbodiesel DOHC I-4 - General Motors Co. (Chevrolet Cruze Diesel) 83-kW Electric Motor – Chrysler Group LLC (Fiat 500e EV) 1.0L EcoBoost DOHC I-3 - Ford Motor Co. (Ford Fiesta) 3.5L SOHC V-6 - Honda Motor Co. Ltd. (Honda Accord) 2.7L DOHC H-6 - Porsche AG (Porsche Cayman) 3.0L Turbodiesel DOHC V-6 - Chrysler Group LLC (Ram 1500) 1.8L Turbocharged DOHC I-4 - Volkswagen AG (Volkswagen Jetta)
Since 1995, WardsAuto editors have chosen their Ward's 10 Best Engines winners after spending the fall testing all eligible engines in their routine daily commutes around metro Detroit. Engines are scored based on power, technology, observed fuel economy and noise, vibration and harshness characteristics. There is no instrumented testing.
A story about the 10 winning engines posted recently on WardsAuto.com. In early January, WardsAuto.com and WardsAuto World digital magazine will include additional commentary and full profiles of the winning engines. Awards will be presented to winning auto makers in a ceremony on Jan. 15, 2014, during the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
Gasoline engines win all top 10 spots for first time in seven years.
Award given for delivering an exotic performance, for far less than an exotic price.
Tesla and Subaru move up in the rankings.
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