We've always said Audi AG, more than any other auto maker of the last 20 years, has been the avatar of advanced engine technologies later adopted for mainstream application.

No better case makes the point than the FSI 2.0L DOHC I-4, winning a 10 Best Engines award for the third consecutive year. The power-dense, fuel-sipping FSI 2.0L is the engine many auto makers only now say they're gearing up to emulate.

Audi says it was the first to combine gasoline direct-injection technology (Fuel Straight Injection, or FSI, to Audi and parent Volkswagen AG) with turbocharging for a volume-production engine.

In almost any driving situation, the FSI 2.0 acts more like a midsize V-6, and the 200 hp output is 10 hp better, for example, than the first-generation Nissan VQ 3.0L V-6 that was a slayer motor if ever there was one.

“One hundred horsepower per liter, GDI and good fuel economy — no brainer,” sums up Best Engines judge Byron Pope.

ENGINE SPECS

Engine type: 2.0L Turbocharged DOHC I-4

Displacement (cc): 1,984

Block/head material: iron/aluminum

Bore × stroke (mm): 82.5 × 92.8

Horsepower (SAE net): 200 @ 5,100-6,000 rpm

Torque: 207 lb.-ft. (281 Nm) @ 1,800-5,000 rpm

Specific output: 100 hp/L

Compression ratio: 10.3:1

Assembly site: Gyor, Hungary

Application tested: Audi A3

EPA fuel economy, city/highway (mpg): 22/28