Audi AG 1.8L turbocharged I-4 150 hp, 155 lb.-ft. (A4)
* Always entertaining, particularly with a manual.
* Power's too meager for entry luxury.
= Should perk up the Golf/Jetta, though.
Audi AG 2.7L twin-turbo DOHC V-6 250 hp, 258 lb.-ft. (A62.7T)
* Eye-opening torque, heroic acceleration.
* Thrummy in the upper speed ranges.
= Better than the 300-hp V-8. Storming.
Acura 3.2L VTEC SOHC V-6 225 hp, 216 lb.-ft. (TL)
* More gumption than you expect.
* Sounds disinterested.
= Faultless, but a little cold.
2.5L DOHC I-6 170 hp, 181 lb.-ft. (323 Ci)
* Any inline six is a plus, particularly a Bimmer.
* Porkier new 3-Series blunts the shove.
= All "base" engines should be so fine.
2.8L DOHC I-6 193 hp. 206 lb.-ft. (328i)
* Butter smooth, feels unbreakable.
* Never thought we'd say it, but 190 hp ain't enough anymore - even from BMW.
= A classic cries out for a power boost.
BMW 3.2L DOHC I-6 240 hp, 236 lb.-ft. (M Coupe)
* Textbook throttle response, terrific intake, exhaust tones.
* We're not thrilled about an iron block for $40,000.
= We want this engine. Bad.
DaimlerChrysler 3.5L SOHC V-6 253 hp, 255 lb.-ft. (300M)
* Can't argue with the numbers.
* Numbers aren't everything.
= Powerful enough, but thrashy.
DaimlerChrysler Jeep 4.7L SOHC V-8 235 hp, 295 lb.-ft. (Grand Cherokee)
* Outstanding engine for the markets it's in.
* Brazen thirst.
= Will have lasting impact.
DaimerChrysler Mercedes 3.2L SOHC V-6 215 hp, 229 lb.-ft. (E320)
* Never feels strained.
* Mercedes has got to work on the throttle action.
= Solid design solidly engineered.
DaimlerChrysler Mercedes 4.3L SOHC V-8 268 hp, 288 lb.-ft. (ML430)
* Clever architecture, interesting noises.
* Power's on the low side of "competitive;" pricey.
= Like many Benz mills, performance is better than numbers indicate.
2L DOHC I-4 130 hp, 127 lb.-ft. (Focus)
* Really quite zingy.
* Useful power is only adequate.
= A lot better than it has to be, considering what some competitors get away with.
High Output 2.5L DOHC V-6 200 hp, 169 lb.-ft. (Contour SVT)
* "Purpose-built" demeanor; genuinely special exhaust note.
* Basic design feels pushed to the limit.
= Too bad Ford can't spread this engine around ...
Ford/Lincoln 3L DOHC V-6 210 hp, 205 lb.-ft. (Lincoln LS)
* Rewarding to rev; give FoMoCo credit for hooking up a manual.
* Languid low-range betrays Achilles heel of all Duratecs.
= Competitive - for the most part.
Ford/Lincoln 3.9L DOHC V-8 252 hp, 267 lb.-ft. (Lincoln LS)
* Fit for a Jaguar, priced like a Ford.
* Stutters at tip-in.
= Show us a better V-8 for the money.
Ford 4.6L High Output DOHC V-8 320 hp, 317 lb.-ft. (Mustang Cobra)
* Revs like no muscle-car motor you've ever known.
* Apparently a lot of, ah - variability in the true output.
= Has never felt as strong as Ford claims, and now we know why.
Ford 5.4L SOHC V-8/5.4L SOHC supercharged V-8 260 hp, 335 lb.-ft./360 hp, 440 lb.-ft. (F-150/Lightning)
* Great guts, excellent driveability, supercharged is a hoot.
* Not exactly a fuel sipper.
= Superb meld of pass-car refinement and truck grunt.
Ford 6.8L SOHC V-10 300 hp, 430 lb.-ft. (Excursion)
* Pretty darn refined for a houseboat motor.
* Caterpillar really ought to be handling this one.
= Ford'll be ashamed - all the way to the bank.
3.5L Twin Cam DOHC V-6 215 hp, 230 lb.-ft. (Aurora)
* Broad-shouldered power; awesome gene pool.
* Should make more power.
= Size really does matter.
Corp. supercharged 3.8L OHV V-6 240 hp, 280 lb.-ft. (Buick Park Ave. Ultra)
* Gets up and goes - hard - when you ask.
* Iron heads? C'mon GM.
= Ancient but startlingly effective.
General Motors 4.6L DOHC V-8 275 hp, 300 lb.-ft. (Seville SLS)
* Fastidious, convincing redesign for '00.
* Let's do away with the two different hp ratings.
= GM Powertrain's crown jewel.
General Motors 5.3L OHV V-8 285 hp, 325 lb.-ft. (GMC Sierra)
* Just the sort of grunt real truck buyers appreciate.
* Runs outta breath pretty quickly.
= With engines in Tundra, F-150, Dakota, OHVs are looking real tired.
General Motors 5.7L OHV V-8 345 hp, 350 lb.-ft. (Chevrolet Corvette)
* Still takes crap from no engine.
* We're drifting from our penchant for that "muscle" feel.
= You've got your money's worth, GM. Time to move on.
1L IMA I-3 73 hp w/max IMA, 91 lb.-ft. w/max IMA (Insight)
* Hybrid stuff all works gorgeously.
* Tough to truly "enjoy."
= The beginning of the end for IC only?
1.6L VTEC DOHC I-4 160 hp, 111 lb.-ft. (Civic Si)
* Hi-tech little engine for 17 grand.
* Not easy on the ears.
= Only dedicated rat-racers need apply. Pure nonetheless.
Honda 2L VTEC DOHC I-4 240 hp, 158 lb.-ft. (S2000)
* Stunning specific output, lovingly constructed.
* Too raw for volume-car application.
= How'd they do that?
Honda 2.2L VTEC DOHC I-4 200 hp, 156 lb.-ft. (Prelude)
* Unholy smoothness, still one of the best high-rpm sounds in the biz.
* Does "torque" not translate in Japanese?
= Wasted in the U.S., where working your engine now elicits road rage.
2.5L DOHC V-6 170 hp, 165 lb.-ft. (MPV)
* Will spin its heart out for you.
* Sized for Japan at the expense of the U.S.
= This kind of compromise shouldn't have to happen anymore.
3L SOHC V-6 205 hp, 205 lb.-ft. (Eclipse GT)
* Superb driveability, surprising high-rpm torque, rorty but pleasant exhaust.
* Not as convincing in larger vehicles
= Impressive SOHC development.
3L DOHC V-6 222 hp, 217 lb.-ft. (Maxima)
* Astonishing refinement; revs like the wind.
* We're not sure we feel this year's 32 extra horses.
= The benchmark V-6 of the decade, and probably a couple of decades to come.
Porsche 3.2L DOHC H-6 250 hp, 225 lb-ft. (Boxster S)
* Rewarding power, beautiful throttle response.
* Cost is an issue.
= Convincing, near-perfect execution of the boxer layout.
Saab 2.3L turbocharged I-4 230 hp, 258 lb.-ft. (9-3 Viggen)
* Thundering mid-range torque, great top end power.
* Extracting the juice without torque steer is hard work.
= Fantastic sporty engine; would win with all-wheel drive.
1.8L DOHC I-4 180 hp, 133 lb.-ft. (Celica GTS)
* Another exhilirating example of high-redline fever.
* Same old story: no torque, constant eardrum siege.
= Honking good fun in limited doses, tantalizing technology.
/Lexus 4L DOHC V-8 300 hp, 310 lb.-ft. (GS400)
* NVH doesn't get any better; variable-valve stuff a worthy upgrade.
* A little sluggish just off the line.
= Perhaps the epitome of refined power.
Toyota 4.7L DOHC V-8 245 hp, 315 lb.-ft. (Tundra)
* Donor engine is the Lexus 4L V-8.
* Nothing another 40 hp and 40 lb.-ft. couldn't fix.
= Absolutely car-like - maybe to a fault?
Volvo 1.8L turbocharged DOHC I-4 160 hp, 170 lb.-ft. (V40)
* Decent low-rev punch, responsive throttle.
* Just not enough displacement.
= We all know Volvo buyers think power is irresponsible anyway.