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.

BMW 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.

BMW 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.

Ford 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.

Ford 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.

General Motors 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.

General Motors 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.

Honda 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?

Honda 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.

Mazda 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.

Mitsubishi 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.

Nissan 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.

Toyota 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.

Toyota/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.