As much as everyone respects Honda Motor Co. Ltd.'s engine-development abilities, the company hasn't won that many 10 Best Engines awards.

We figure it's due to Honda's overwhelmingly conservative philosophy. While it's always stretching the boundaries of engineering, its production engines tend to be comparatively unassuming in specification.

It is the only one of Japan's three major auto makers that has refused to develop a V-8 for production. Thus, where a competitor uses a V-8, Honda has a V-6; often, it pits a 4-cyl. against a sea of competitors running V-6s, even in highly competitive segments.

So the latest 3.5L SOHC V-6, winning a 10 Best Engines award for the first time, goes somewhat against Honda's grain. The jump for the all-new '08 Accord is from the longstanding 3.0L V-6 to an extra half-liter of displacement. It is the largest engine ever fitted in a Honda passenger car..

ENGINE SPECS

Engine type: 3.5L SOHC 60° V-6

Displacement (cc): 3,471

Block/head material: aluminum/aluminum

Bore × stroke (mm): 89.0 × 93.0

Horsepower (SAE net): 268 @ 6,200 rpm

Torque: 248 lb.-ft. (336 Nm) @ 5,000 rpm

Specific output: 77 hp/L

Compression ratio: 10.0:1

Assembly site: Anna, Ohio

Application tested: Honda Accord EX-L Coupe (6-speed manual)

EPA Fuel economy, city/highway (mpg): 17/25