Notably, both the Nissan Leaf electric vehicle and Chevrolet Volt extended-range EV made their way into the 2011 list, as selected by Ward's editors after evaluating 38 vehicles with new or significantly improved engines for the '11 model year. However, fuel efficiency and environmental friendliness are not the most important criteria for eligibility this year, as seen by recognition of the new 5.0L V-8 in the Ford Mustang GT, 5.0L V-8 in the Hyundai Genesis and the 3.0L supercharged V-6 in the Audi S4.
"We have something for everybody on this year's Ward's 10 Best Engines list," says Drew Winter, editor-in-chief of Ward's AutoWorld magazine. "It's the most diverse mix we've ever had, as well as the most technologically advanced."
Here are the winners and the applications tested:
1.) 3.0L TFSI Supercharged DOHC V-6 (Audi S4)
2.) 3.0L N55 Turbocharged DOHC I-6 (BMW 335i)
3.) 1.6L Turbocharged DOHC I-4 (Mini Cooper S)
4.) 3.6L Pentastar DOHC V-6 (Dodge Avenger)
5.) 5.0L DOHC V-8 (Ford Mustang GT)
6.) 1.4L DOHC I-4/111kW Drive Motor (Chevrolet Volt)
7.) 5.0L Tau DOHC V-8 (Hyundai Genesis)
8.) 80kW AC Synchronous Electric Motor (Nissan Leaf)
9.) 2.0L DOHC I-4 Turbodiesel (Volkswagen Jetta TDI)
10.) 3.0L Turbocharged DOHC I-6 (Volvo S60)
To be eligible for the competition, each engine must be available in a regular-production U.S.-specification model on sale no later than first-quarter 2011.
Ward's editors spent October and November driving the vehicles in their routine daily commutes around metropolitan Detroit and scored each engine based on power, technology, observed fuel economy and noise, vibration and harshness. There was no instrumented testing. The awards will be presented at a Jan. 12 ceremony in Detroit during the North American International Auto Show.