Ford’s second award is for the redesigned 5.0L V-8 in the Mustang GT. This engine shares some of its voodoo with the Shelby GT350’s 5.2L V-8 that made our list two years ago, such as lightweight spray-in cylinder liners.

The 5.0L now adds direct fuel injection to existing port delivery and has a higher (7,500-rpm) redline, reinforced crankshaft and bumped-up compression ratio (12.0:1), enabling 460 hp and 420 lb.-ft. (569 Nm) of torque.

Paired to an all-new 10-speed automatic transmission, this muscle car is shockingly efficient as some of our editors routinely topped 24 mpg (9.8 L/100 km) despite our heavy-pedal testing. If saving the planet isn’t your thing, then feel free to launch the Mustang GT from a standstill at wide-open throttle. It’ll reach 60 mph (97 km/h) in less than 4 seconds.

The next award alphabetically comes from a different space, without internal combustion but equally deserving for its advanced technology: the 174-hp Honda Clarity fuel-cell vehicle.

Running on hydrogen, this comfortable five-seat all-electric car can drive 366 miles (589 km) without stopping, the longest range of any zero-emissions vehicle, while reaching a top speed of 103 mph (166 km/h).

Coupled with Acura-level driving dynamics and delightfully silent operation, this car is ready for prime time despite all the insanely complex things going on under the hood and floor. We even chirped the tires in sport mode.

The fueling infrastructure is limited to the coasts, but it’s growing. And Honda has a great lease deal: $369 a month, a $15,000 fuel allowance, $5,000 California rebate and 21 days a year to swap for a luxury car. The Space Age is here.

Honda’s second Wards 10 Best Engines trophy is something altogether different, and yet familiar for an automaker with a long legacy of high-output 4-cyl. engines.

Its new 2.0L VTEC turbocharged 4-cyl. makes 306 hp in the riotous and lightweight Civic Type R – the most powerful Honda ever to reach the U.S. It represents Honda’s 18th trophy for 10 Best Engines but the first with forced induction.

This twin-cam engine’s sweet spot is around 4,000 rpm, but it’s always happy to slam up against the 7,000-rpm redline. It’s efficient, too. We beat on the Type R and still saw 26 mpg (9 L/100 km) during our evaluations.

A close derivative of this same engine appears in the all-new mass-market Honda Accord, with 252 hp. It damn near made the list this year as well.

With the growth of turbocharged 4-cyl. engines, the future of high-feature V-6s had come into question. But the 3.0L twin-turbo VR V-6 in the Infiniti Q50 sedan and Q60 coupe confirms these silky smooth powerplants will be around for years to come.

At 400 hp and 350 lb.-ft. (475 Nm) of torque, this returning winner is a delight for driving enthusiasts, sprinting to 60 mph in less than five seconds. It never seems at a loss for extra punch at highway speeds, and its responsive throttle brings out the mischievous child in WardsAuto judges.

But it’s a sophisticated brute, too, with electrically variable-valve timing and a weight-saving exhaust manifold design within the cylinder heads. Turbo lag is a veritable no-show.

Meanwhile, fuel economy surpasses 23 mpg (10.2 L/100 km) during testing, which is quite a feat for an engine that begs to run freely. The VR 3.0L is only getting better with age.