This year’s engine of the year award winners are full of repeat winners and a few surprises.
The first big surprise is the Nissan LEAF winning this award. Mostly because it doesn’t even have an engine, it’s has an electric motor only. What was Ward’s reasoning? Apparently since the LEAF feels like a regular car (i.e four doors, five seats, an accelerator and brake) it deserves this award. That’s like saying since Stephen Harper has arms, legs and a face he should win a beauty contest.
Another big surprise is the engine/electric motor set up in the Chevy Volt. With the electric motor primarily propelling the car, it’s a wonder why it’s on the list. Ward’s sites reasons similar to the LEAF for its choice.
But despite those odd choices, the one that shocked me the most was Chrysler’s 3.6 litre Pentastar V6 making the list. This has been a traditionally awful engine. Just terrible. However since Fiat has taken the reigns, it appears they have put some work into this engine making it much better. It can be found in the 2011 Dodge Avenger and Chrysler 200.
Volvo also picked up an award for the 3.0 litre inline six that it uses in the redesigned S60. Ward’s says this engine almost rivals BMW’s 3.0 I-6 as it is buttery smooth, has great mid-range pick up and has virtually no turbo lag. Quite the statement, I’ll have to try it out to see if it stacks up.
Speaking of BMW, they unsurpsingly won once again for their N55 3.0 litre twin scrolled turbo engine for the 5th year in a row. I can wholeheartedly agree with this decision after experiencing the 135i (read my test drive in the post below).
BMW also won a second award for the 1.6 litre turbocharged inline 4 that it uses in the Mini Cooper S. With more power, more efficiency and little turbo lag, it helps make the Cooper S quite the little performance machine.
Volkswagen picked up two awards as well. One for the supercharged V6 found in the Audi S4 and one for new Clean Diesel 2.0 litre TDI found in the Golf, Jetta and Audi A3. The former delivers all encompassing performance while the latter does exceptionally well at combining efficiency with performance.
Rounding up the list is the Ford and Hyundai. After reintroducing the 5.0 litre V8 found in the Mustang they were actually able to make a car that could keep up with the BMW M3. Enough said.
Hyundai on the other hand won for its 5.0 V8 as well found in the base Genesis sedan and the upcoming Equus flagship sedan. It won for keeping power plentiful while being even more efficient than the previous engine.
Congrats to all the winners![Ward’s]