Ward's Auto has released its annual 10 Best Engines award winners. The 2013 list covers the full width and breadth of the internal combustion spectrum, from a spate of efficient four-cylinders to the most powerful production V8 on the planet. As always, the entries must be available in a production vehicle in the first quarter of 2013 with an MSRP of less than $55,000. The supercharged 3.0-liter V6 from the Audi S5 held on for the fourth consecutive year, and BMW earned two spots on the list with its turbo 2.0-liter four-cylinder and turbo 3.0-liter inline-six.

Ford pulled in two awards for its 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder and and the supercharged 5.8-liter V8 from the Shelby GT500. Honda matched BMW and Ford with two wins of its own. Wards awarded the 2.4-liter four-cylinder from the Honda Accord Sport as well as the 3.5-liter V6 from the Honda Accord. Chrysler, General Motors and Subaru each garnered a spot on the list as well for the 3.6-liter V6 in the Ram 1500, the turbo 2.0-liter four-cylinder in the Cadillac ATS and the 2.0-liter four-cylinder the Subaru BRZ, respectively. You can read the full press release below for more information.
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Ward's 10 Best Engines of 2013 Announced

Judges impressed by innovative new gasoline engines over plug-in hybrids or all-electrics

SOUTHFIELD, Mich., Dec. 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Ward's 10 Best Engines, the premiere industry honors for car and light truck engines, have been announced for 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."

Instead, the WardsAuto judges found significant innovations in fuel efficiency and overall refinement in the traditional gasoline engines that power the majority of vehicles that will be on the road for the foreseeable future.

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)

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. There is no instrumented testing. To be eligible, each engine must be available in a regular-production U.S.-specification model on sale no later than first-quarter 2013, in a vehicle with a base price below $55,000. Winners from the 2012 competition were automatically eligible and evaluated against the new engines for 2013.

"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."

More details on the ten winning engines have been posted today to WardsAuto.com. Complete stories and a video package about the Ward's 10 Best Engines will be featured Jan. 7 on WardsAuto.com and in upcoming issues of WardsAuto World digital magazine and the WardsAuto Engine and Technology Update e-newsletter.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 83 Comments
      atvman
      • 2 Years Ago
      I find it refreshing that they looked at their price limit and picked the most powerful engine that falls under it. The GT500's 5.8L S/C is by far the most powerful engine that fits under the price cap, the only one within 100hp of it is the ZL1 spec LSA.
        k_m94
        • 2 Years Ago
        @atvman
        It's not only the most powerful engine under $55k, but at 662 hp only a select few supercars ever made costing anywhere from $300k to over $1million have engines more powerful. In fact, I could probably name them all right here: Lamborghini Aventador Ferrari F12 Pagani Zonda (Cinque and select limited editions) Pagani Huayra Koenigsegg CCR, CCX, CCXR, Agera, Agera R Bugatti Veyron, SuperSport SSC Ultimate Aero (and soon to be Tuatara) Zenovo ST1 9ff GT9, GT9R Hennessey Venom GT Saleen S7 TT TVR Speed 12 RUF CTR3 And, with an unlimited pricetag and including some tuner supercars, that is it. Ever made. None of those cost under $300k. Sure, cars with much less power than the GT500 could destroy it on the strip and track due to more grip, better chassis, lighter weight, electronics, etc, but in terms of engine alone, it is uncontested within 500% of its price.
      Mr. Sled
      • 2 Years Ago
      This Wards engine list is crap. What good is an engine if it doesn't last? Remember all the awards for direct injected engines that turned out to be carbon clogged pieces of junk? Yeah don't care about this anymore.
      Rich
      • 2 Years Ago
      What a load of crap... the N55 (which is the same as a N54, don't be foolish) has seen more recalls and "technical improvements" since it "won" its previous award... what a load of complete and utter hogwash!
        Sc2233
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Rich
        The N55 is not the same as the N54, the fuel injection and crankcase ventilation system were completely overhauled.
      carboy55
      • 2 Years Ago
      The EcoBoost is great when it's not catching fire.
        kp
        • 2 Years Ago
        @carboy55
        Except that was the 1.6L version that was recalled. Not the one on this list.
      carboy55
      • 2 Years Ago
      The 2013 Ford Escape with EcoBoost engine is recalled for the fourth time, so owners might start wondering whether they've made the correct purchase. Amazingly, the recall on Escape models is not only the fourth overall, but the third aimed at reducing a fire risk.
        Brodz
        • 2 Years Ago
        @carboy55
        I just knew someone had to come in and dig at Ford.
        Avinash Machado
        • 2 Years Ago
        @carboy55
        Only the 1.6 is a fire risk.
          Brodz
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Avinash Machado
          nobody23753. You have to be the dumbest person I have ever had the displeasure to encounter on these blogs.
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Avinash Machado
          [blocked]
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      Andre Neves
      • 2 Years Ago
      2.0L FA DOHC H-4 Boxer (Subaru BRZ) ? LoL, ok. Not once, from any pubication or review video have I seen any sort of praise for that engine.
        Dvanos
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Andre Neves
        Let's be real the Boxer engine from the BRZ has nothing on that list of great engines. It's just out engineered by all of them.
          m_2012
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Dvanos
          DI, 12:5 compression, boxer design, 100hp/l, low emissions... While I agree the other engines are great also, there is nothing wrong with the boxer engine.
        JayP
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Andre Neves
        This list lost credibility when it kept choosing the VWAG turbo 4 as one of it's 10 best- even after those engines lost tensioners and ruined heads.
          Andre Neves
          • 2 Years Ago
          @JayP
          And what about the older BMW 335 motors that had issues too. Didn't it win an award with these guys one year?
          Dvanos
          • 2 Years Ago
          @JayP
          Andre the older BMW turbo (N54) is no longer in production, therefore its not on the list.
          Dvanos
          • 2 Years Ago
          @JayP
          Oh my bad the N54 is still in production in the "is" models.
        samagon0
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Andre Neves
        Why not? It's a good engine. 100hp/L and it gets 35mpg, and it has port injection teamed with direct injection so it can get those good gas mileage numbers without ruining the intake valves. Play a different game and name what engine needs to be on there more than the BRZ engine?
      Frisky_Dingo
      • 2 Years Ago
      This list is a major letdown. The ATS's 2.0T and Toyobaru's boxer don't belong on this list. At all. Not really seeing what's so special about the 2.0 EcoBoost ,either. Also, why is the Pentastar and J35 on here when neither really do anything Toyota's 3.5 doesn't itself?? Why no LSx?? It's a more impressive piece all-around than the GT500's mill, I'd argue.
        mapoftazifosho
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Frisky_Dingo
        By LSx I assume you meant the new LT1...it's not on the list because it's not yet in production...moving on.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Frisky_Dingo
        [blocked]
        atvman
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Frisky_Dingo
        It's hard to argue against the GT500, especially compared to the LSA. The GT500's engine makes substantially more power and torque while achieving higher FE. The only LSX with a legit argument is the LS7, and it exceeds the price cap.
        icemilkcoffee
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Frisky_Dingo
        Agreed. The Subaru engine is not anything special. If anything it should be penalized for having such a lousy rod ratio. The 2.0 turbo engine in the Cadillac is clearly overrated. Insideline dynoed both the ATS engine and the 3 series 2.0 turbo engine. They both make the same hp (despite Cadillac claiming 30+ extra horsepower), and the BMW engine holds its boost better to the redline.
          Bernard
          • 2 Years Ago
          @icemilkcoffee
          @icemilkcoffee That's because BMW underrates their turbo engines. Do you really think the 335i only makes 300HP given it's 4.7 second 0-60? Come on now, 3 liters of BMW I-6 with a turbo charger and you think it only makes 300HP? They're doing the same with their I-4. Regardless, I'd never spend $45k on a 4 cylinder. That's nuts. I'll get a non-luxury car with a V6 first. Fortunately I don't have to worry about that, I love my G37S Coupe :-)
      mistabuck
      • 2 Years Ago
      2013 GT500 sells for $54,200. Makes 662 HP and gets 25 MPG. WHY NO ON LIST?!?!
        mistabuck
        • 2 Years Ago
        @mistabuck
        OH nvm it is. phew
        Michael Sexton
        • 2 Years Ago
        @mistabuck
        The only reason the 662 hp Ford engine gets, 25mpg is because of the gearing. The engine itself isn't efficient. It gets like 7-10 mpg if you step on it.
          Michael Sexton
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Michael Sexton
          Looks like someone doesn't understand what Ford did to get the fuel numbers.
          montegod7ss
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Michael Sexton
          Stop up voting yourself, it makes you look desperate.
          m_2012
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Michael Sexton
          As with any car - 662 is always 662 hp worth the fuel.
      mapoftazifosho
      • 2 Years Ago
      Half of these engines are 2.0L...the way of the future...
      jessesrq
      • 2 Years Ago
      The 2.7L flat 6 in the base Boxter needs to be on this list. Classic Porsche sound, 32 MPG on the highway in a sports car, and under $55k (if one could ever be found without options).
        m_2012
        • 2 Years Ago
        @jessesrq
        Which they cant! Any one that I look at has $15-20K in options!
        Cayman
        • 2 Years Ago
        @jessesrq
        You can always order one without any options, although the 4 month wait (or however long it takes) would be excruciating.
      protovici
      • 2 Years Ago
      GT500 Juuuust made the cut with that price line. Nice engine and sounds amazing. No gas guzzler tax. Take note Chevy and Fiat.
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