Home News WardsAuto names 10 Best Engines for 2018 list -the first power cell?

WardsAuto names 10 Best Engines for 2018 list -the first power cell?


WardsAuto named their Wards 10 Best Engine awards for 2018 this past week. A review of the list showed it was probably the most the ‘eclectic’ mix of power plants receiving honors in this 24th year of the competition.

In contrast to years past, the 10 Best for 2018 included a representative of nearly every power plant technology available in the marketplace. The winners this year consist of a full range of gasoline power plants (direct injection and turbocharged) in 4, 6 and 8-cylinder models, traditional gasoline/electric hybrids, an all-electric and – for the first time – a fuel-cell/electric power plant.

Let me be the first to say ‘who would have thought?’ as we raise a point – is the WardsAuto competition for best engine (internal combustion driven in some form as we knew them) or really now a ‘power plant’ evaluation and recognition program?  We think power plant as the latest technology advances – one of the scoring criterion – now offer a variety of alternative fuel-source power plants for vehicles that materially add to the sales appeal of the vehicle, also part of the WardsAuto evaluation criterion.

The power plant entries for 2018 totaled 32 with the required all-new or significantly improved power plants available with a base MSRP under $63,000. The 10 competitors from the prior year were also included.  Scoring, in addition to the sales appeal point already mentioned, included application of technology, horsepower, torque, comparative specifications, noise attenuation (reduction) and observed fuel economy.

The winning Wards 10 Best Engines (power plants) for 2018 included two hybrids, one each fuel cell and all-electric plus five gasoline turbocharged with one direct injection.

The winning power plant may be available in several vehicles, but was tested and scored in the specific vehicle indicated.

HYBRID Gasoline/Electric:

  • 5L Atkinson DOHC 4-Cylinder/HEV – Toyota Camry Hybrid
  • 6L Pentastar DOHC V-6/PHEV – Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid
FUEL CELL Electric:
  • 130-kW Fuel Cell (Hydrogen)/Electric – Honda Clarity
  • 150-kW Electric Propulsion System – Chevrolet Bolt EV
  • 2.0L VTEC Turbocharged DOHC 4-cyl. – Honda Civic Type R
  • 2.0L Turbocharged DOHC 4-cyl. – Jaguar XF
  • 2.7L Twin Turbo EcoBoost DOHC V-6 –  Ford F-150
  • 3.0L Turbocharged DOHC V-6 –  Infiniti Q50
  • 3.3L Turbocharged DOHC V-6 –  Kia Stinger
  • 5.0L DOHC Direct Injection V-8 –  Ford Mustang GT

Not only did the winners list include an eclectic assortment of power plants, but the winning vehicles and power plants were notable in other ways as well says WardsAuto.

  • The appearance of the Ford F-150 powered by the 2.7L Twin Turbo EcoBoost DOHC V6 marked the first time a truck power plant has made the list in five years.
  • Second year-in-a-row wins went to the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid 3.6L Pentastar DOHC V-6/PHEV and the Infiniti Q50 with its 3.0L Turbocharged DOHC V6.
  • A V8 engine returned to the list this year (last year was the first time a V8 had not made the list in 23 years) with the Mustang GT and its redesigned 5.0L V8 with Direct Injection.
  • The Honda Clarity with its new 130-kW Fuel Cell (Hydrogen)/Electric propulsion system took honors as the first really ‘new fuel source’ power plant making the list in years.

For the record, we have test driven most of these winning power plants including the Ford F-150, Honda Civic Type R, Toyota Camry Hybrid, Infiniti Q50, Jaguar XF and Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid with my partner having driven the Ford Mustang GT.  We would agree solidly with the WardsAuto choices.

I would add that my choice – if we were buying – would be the Pacifica Hybrid and Camry Hybrid rather that their all-gasoline alternatives – which reflects  a wholly new appreciation for the latest in hybrid technology on our part.

Still to be evaluated are the Kia Stinger – on the way to us –  and we are reaching out to schedule the Chevrolet Bolt and Honda Clarity for test drives here at inwheeltime.com.

You can read more about the WardsAuto analysis of the winning power plants here:  http://wardsauto.com/10-best-engines/2018-wards-10-best-engines-mainstream-brands-triumph


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