Ford 3-cylinder wins engine of the year award for third time
These are some of the best engines on sale today -- and while we weren't asked to vote, we have to agree with most of the choices.
The 1.0-liter EcoBoost inline-3 is turbocharged and puts out 123 horsepower and up to an Environmental Protection Agency-estimated 43 mpg in the U.S.-spec Fiesta with the manual transmission. The awards, now in their 16th year, rank the best 12 engines by size as chosen by dozens of international journalists.
Earlier this month, Ford downgraded this engine's fuel economy ratings after lawsuits and pressure from the EPA forced the company to admit errors on its testing procedures that overstated ratings on nine models. While the Fiesta with this engine is no longer the most fuel-efficient gasoline nonhybrid model on sale, it's still one of the best on sale (that's Ford CEO Alan Mulally above, kissing the engine during its debut in 2012).
Check out the rest of the category winners:
- Sub 1-liter: Ford 3-cylinder EcoBoost (technically it's 999cc).
- 1-liter to 1.4-liter: Volkswagen 1.4-liter TSI Twincharger (wins for eighth time; seen on the Polo GTI, a three-quarter size Golf GTI, which pushes 182 horsepower).
- 1.4-liter to 1.8-liter: BMW-PSA 1.6-liter turbo 4-cylinder (wins for eighth time; co-developed with Peugeot, this is a great engine used on the MINI Cooper).
- 1.8-liter to 2.0-liter: Mercedes AMG 2.0-liter turbo 4-cylinder. This 355-horsepower engine in the CLA45 AMG has the highest power-to-size ratio in the industry -- and at 26 pounds per square inch, the highest turbo boosts. The only problem is its Honda Civic exhaust note.
- 2.0-liter to 2.5-liter: Audi 2.5-liter turbo 5-cylinder (winner since 2010; this engine literally howls and pulls hard; the only U.S.-spec Audi that has it was the TT RS, and it was available on the limited RS 3 sold overseas).
- 2.5-liter to 3.0-liter: BMW 3.0-liter twin-turbo inline-6. Now that BMW has given up all naturally aspirated inline-6 engines, this twin-turbo unit is the last six standing. It's everything that makes a BMW -- tons of torque, smooth and great on the ears. It's versatile, too, from 300 horsepower in the X1 to 335 hp in the Z4 sDrive35is).
- 3.0-liter to 4.0-liter: McLaren 3.8-liter twin-turbo V8 (second year running; brilliant at low-end torque, if not exhaust note, this V8 does the job of a supercar in a smaller package; it's been upgraded in the 650S to 641 horsepower from the MP4's 616 horsepower).
- More than 4.0-liter: Ferrari 4.5-liter V8. This is, quite simply, the best engine on the planet in the very best car, the 458. It combines race-car sound, high-rpm speed and the most enjoyable vibrations of any sports car. Horsepower ranges from 571 in the Italia and Spider to 597 horsepower in the new Speciale. No turbos or hybrids here, just plain Formula One expertise.
- Green engine: Tesla three-phase AC induction electric motor, 60-kWh and 85-kWh battery. The motor and battery pack in the Tesla Model S is both so fast and efficient that it's changed how we perceive electric cars. The range is very comparable to a Ferrari 458, and the acceleration in the P85+ model really isn't too far off.
- New engine: Mercedes AMG 2.0-liter turbo 4-cylinder (see above).
- Performance engine: Ferrari 4.5-liter V8 (see above).
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