Exploring the Hellcat’s expansive powerband is nothing short of transformative. Getting out of the car afterward, one might resemble Moses coming down from Mount Sinai with a glowing aura after conversing with God.
Whereas the Hellcat Hemi V-8 is a Braveheart mallet to the face, the 460-hp ’Vette powerplant is a black-ops sniper with a clear shot in daylight. Other naturally aspirated small-blocks will outsell the LT1, but they will never outperform it.
The BMW i3’s 170-hp electric motor propels the spacious 4-seater with a free-wheeling simplicity that is uncommon among EVs. Aggressive regenerative braking lets you drive while rarely touching the brake pedal. This is the future.
The three smallest engines we tested among 36 nominees for 2015 Ward’s 10 Best Engines earned spots on our tough-to-crack list. The nominees included 18 4-cyl. engines, and 15 of those were turbocharged.
WardsAuto editors evaluated 36 all-new or improved powertrains before settling on the winners: two V-8s, a diesel V-6, three 4-cyl. turbos, two 3-cyl. turbos, a battery-electric vehicle and a hydrogen-powered fuel cell.
The 2015 Ward's 10 Best Engines were chosen from a field of 36 nominees, including the 10 returning winners and 27 all-new or re-engineered powertrains and propulsion systems available in the U.S. for under $60,000. The winners consist of two V-8s, a diesel V-6, three 4-cyl. turbos, two 2-cyl. turbos, an electric vehicle and a hydrogen-powered fuel cell.
Even though Lincoln is just getting started there, the brand has something many premium makers lack: a rich history of celebrities and American presidents as customers. Still, the brand president says sales in China will not rival Audi anytime soon.
WardsAuto editors met recently with four automakers to discuss their entries in the 2015 Ward's 10 Best Engines competition. The meetings with Chrysler, Ford, General Motors and Hyundai are helpful as the editors gather information about new technologies and discuss driving impressions with automaker engineers.
Seven electrified powertrains are in the running for the 2015 Ward’s 10 Best Engines competition. In this Under the Hood installment, we look at the Fiat 500e, Kia Soul, VW e-Golf and BMW i3 EVs, as well as the extended-range i3.
VW has three 4-cyl. gas turbos in this year’s Ward’s 10 Best Engines competition, powering the VW Golf and GTI and Audi S3. To stand out in this crowd, an engine will need great fuel economy, lively step-off and a smooth demeanor in casual driving.
The ’14 Jetta we tested last year stickered for $23,985, compared with $21,815 for the fun and functional ’15 Golf TSI hatchback we are evaluating this fall. Stepping up the displacement ladder in the EA888 engine family brings us to the 2.0L turbo, which makes 220 hp in the new VW GTI and 292 hp in the ’15 Audi S3.
So why isn’t the industry giving us fantastic new naturally aspirated 6-cyl. engines? Blame CAFE. Engineering budgets can stretch only so far, and automakers have discovered a turbocharged 4-cyl. can deliver the same, if not better, performance.