Tom Murphy

Senior Editor,

Tom writes about suppliers, automotive technology and other wide-ranging topics.

2017 Winner: BMW M240i 3.0L DOHC Turbo-6
Other automakers would give up corporate secrets in exchange for just one of BMW’s excellent inline-6 turbos. With two of them, BMW guards the I-6 legacy, as well as its brand heritage.
Fuel Economy Has Become Great Equalizer 3
New propulsion systems have improved so dramatically in the areas of power delivery, response and refinement that we find ourselves looking increasingly at observed fuel economy to break ties and seal our picks.
WardsAuto Editors in 10 Best Engines Testing Mode
WardsAuto editors spent October and November driving and evaluating 40 vehicles in selecting the 2017 Wards 10 Best Engines.
Judges’ Decision Knocks Out Porsche’s Boxer 3
Yes, I bonded with Porsche’s 2.0L welterweight fighter, and my emotional attachment became stronger as I realized my coaching from the corner was falling on deaf ears.
Seven Turbos, Three Hybrids Share Wards 10 Best Engines Honors 2
For the first time in 23 years of testing, a V-8 fails to earn a spot on the Wards 10 Best Engines list, but many high-output turbocharged 6-cyl. engines are generating enough horsepower and torque to fill the void.
2017 Wards 10 Best Engines Winners 3
WardsAuto editors evaluated the 40 vehicles in October and November, driving to and from home, work, school, the hardware store and on weekend roadtrips. There is no instrumented testing. Vehicles must have a base price no higher than $62,000 to be eligible.
2017 Wards 10 Best Engines: Falling in Love With 6-Cyl. Turbos 2
BMW and Ford each have two stout turbo-6s in the hunt this year, while Infiniti has one. All five are smooth, extremely refined, reasonably fuel-efficient and dishing up loads of horsepower and torque.
Turbos, HEVs Vie for Wards 10 Best Engines Honors
Divergent powertrain strategies are evident as high-output turbocharged engines and fuel-sipping hybrids and plug-ins dominate the field of 40 powertrains under review for the 2017 competition.
2017 Wards 10 Best Engines Nominees
The 2017 Wards 10 Best Engines competition features 40 powertrains, including 25 4-cyl. engines, 12 6-cyl. engines, 23 turbos, three diesels and 11 hybrids or plug-ins. Winners will be announced Dec. 12.
BorgWarner Boosts Turbo Activity
Soon in Europe, BorgWarner will launch its eBooster electrically driven compressor, designed to augment a traditional turbocharger and eliminate the pause that has hindered turbochargers as they spool up with exhaust gas.
Auto Industry Leans Toward Clinton for President
“If we have to start worrying about whether we are producing in Mexico, or trade agreements, that will add a whole other level of risk and uncertainty into this industry that frankly, as you’ve seen, we really don’t need,” analyst Michael Robinet says.
A3, S3 Keep Audi Out in Front
In the rolling hills near Durham, NC, the S3 is perfectly at home carving up the open back roads, staying well planted along the way and exhibiting a reasonably sporty exhaust note. Audi is determined to protect its sizable lead among compact luxury cars.
’17 Audi S3 2.0T Quattro
The first-generation A3/S3 sedans have been available in the U.S. since 2014 – alongside the A3 convertible – and now they’re being refreshed to keep the momentum going.
Nissan Wants to Leave Dysfunction Junction
A top engineer within Nissan North America wants to help mend a rift with suppliers from the product-development side of the relationship. He suggests a 2-phase solution that includes “pre-sourcing” to start the collaboration further upstream.
Chevy Makes Trax More Upscale
Previously, the midgrade LT trim level was the most popular with Trax buyers, but GM executives expect the mix to richen due to the addition of a number of active safety features on the new Premier trim. Overall, the interior is much improved.


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