The 179kW/366Nm tune of the 2.0-litre direct-injection turbocharged petrol engine was awarded for its application in the North American Ford Edge SUV. The Falcon EcoBoost is expected to get a slightly different tune of the engine – potentially matching the European Mondeo's 177kW/340Nm output – although the basic construction is shared with the award-winning powerplant in the Edge.
The judges said the engine earned a prize for its “uncanny ability to motivate the Edge”; a mid-size SUV “that normally would require six-cylinder power but does quite fine without it”.
Ford was awarded a second gong for the 331kW/515Nm naturally aspirated V8 in the Ford Mustang Boss 302.
Seven of the 10 Best Engines feature direct fuel injection, and half are either turbocharged or supercharged.
2012 Ward’s 10 Best Engines:
- 3.0-litre TFSI supercharged V6 (Audi A6)
- 2.0-litre N20 turbocharged inline four (BMW Z4/BMW 528i)
- 3.0-litre N55 turbocharged inline six (BMW 335i coupe)
- 3.6-litre Pentastar V6 (Chrysler 300S/Jeep Wrangler)
- 2.0-litre EcoBoost inline four (Ford Edge)
- 5.0-litre V8 (Ford Mustang Boss 302)
- 2.0-litre turbocharged inline four (Buick Regal GS)
- 1.6-litre inline four (Hyundai Accent/Kia Soul)
- 2.0-litre SkyActiv inline four (Mazda3)
- 3.5-litre V6 HEV (Infiniti M35h)
Five four-cylinder engines were awarded, up from three in last year’s 10 Best list.
The 3.0-litre TFSI V6 was awarded for the third consecutive year, this year for its “ability to quicken any pulse with a blip of the throttle” in the 231kW/441Nm Audi A6. Ward’s also praised the engine’s versatility, noting that it is also put to work in the A7, Q7 and Porsche and Volkswagen vehicles.
Awarded for its 5.0-litre Tau V8 engine in the past three years, Hyundai-Kia’s 1.6-litre Gamma four-cylinder was the smallest-capacity winner on the 2012 list. Ward’s praised the engine for its versatility, efficiency and excellent value proposition in the Accent and Soul.
The judges tested 34 new or significantly upgraded engines in the 18th
year of the 10 Best Engines awards. Each powerplant was scored according to its power, technology, fuel economy, and NVH (noise, vibration, harshness) characteristics. To be eligible, the engines need to go on sale in the US no later than the first quarter of 2012, and the vehicles must have a base price of no more than US$55,000.