Judges impressed by innovative new gasoline engines over plug-in hybrids or all-electrics
Ward's 10 Best Engines announces the winners for the year 2013. For the first time in seven years, the list is comprised entirely of gasoline-powered engines, with no hybrid, all-electric, or diesel powertrains to be found.
While this result might seem to go against the grain of the industry's push into alternative fuels and propulsion systems, WardsAuto editors who judged the awards see the list as proof there is significant innovation still happening in the development of traditional gasoline engines, making them more fuel-efficient and refined than ever.
"We're always excited to see the advancements being made in hybrids and all-electric vehicles," says Drew Winter, editor-in-chief of WardsAuto World magazine. "But there are still significant barriers for the average consumer to look past when considering these vehicles. The cost for most of them remains high, and the driving ranges of the battery electric vehicles will have to be extended to meet the needs of most people."
Now in its 19th year, the Ward's 10 Best Engines competition recognizes the latest powertrain technologies that are affordable to most consumers, boost horsepower and torque, are highly efficient, sound appealing and pair up well with their respective vehicles. This year's winners (and the vehicles tested) are:
- 3.0L TFSI Supercharged DOHC V-6 (Audi S5)
- 2.0L N20 Turbocharged DOHC I-4 (BMW 328i)
- 3.0L N55 Turbocharged DOHC I-6 (BMW 135is coupe)
- 3.6L Pentastar DOHC V-6 (Ram 1500)
- 2.0L EcoBoost DOHC I-4 (Ford Focus ST/Taurus)
- 5.8L Supercharged DOHC V-8 (Ford Shelby GT500)
- 2.0L Turbocharged DOHC I-4 (Cadillac ATS)
- 2.4L DOHC I-4 (Honda Accord Sport)
- 3.5L SOHC V-6 (Honda Accord)
- 2.0L FA DOHC H-4 Boxer (Subaru BRZ)
"The world's automakers are showing no signs in slowing down when it comes to making gasoline engines the best choice for today's and tomorrow's drivers," Winter says. With new technologies such as "stop-start" – which shuts down the engine when a vehicle comes to a stop or idles -- automotive engineers are proving they have no shortage of tricks up their sleeves for reducing fuel consumption and cost of ownership."
WardsAuto editors chose the winners after spending October through early December driving 40 vehicles in their routine daily commutes around metro Detroit. Editors scored each engine based on power, technology, observed fuel economy and noise, vibration and harshness characteristics.