We often speak volumes about how great the classic engines were and talk about the cars that carried them with reverence. And yes, the greats of the past do deserve our respect considering what they managed to achieve at the time, with limited resources and technology that we can only call archaic today.
But what about the greatest engines of today? The leaps and bounds that the mills of today have made are astounding, so much so that many of these engines and cars might just turn into the classics of the future. Especially if there comes a time when the automobile industry turns almost exclusively EV and gasoline/diesel engines turn into relics. We never know what the future may hold, but we do know the value of a good thing when we see it today.
So here are 10 of today’s greatest engines, which may turn into tomorrow’s cult classics. EVs, please step aside.
Ford Supercharged 5.2-Liter V8: A Predator
Why did we call the engine that goes into the most expensive Mustang’s bay a predator? Because that’s what its name is. This is Ford’s supercharged 5.2-liter V8 that makes a massive 760 horsepower for the Ford Mustang Shelby GT500, making it the most powerful Mustang to date.
While it shares its block and displacement from the engine from the last GT350, the Voodoo V8, everything else is just bigger, better, and way brasher. Think of this as a road-hugging rocketship, sure to go down as a future classic.
Ram High Output Turbocharged 6.7-Liter Inline-Six
Surprised to see an inline-six in an article about great engines? Well, the Cummins 6.7-liter inline-six diesel engine in Ram trucks is a big surprise in a smaller package. But even smaller displacements can jet out plenty of power. In its High Output version, this engine Ram can make 1,000 lb-ft torque and 400 horsepower.
Plus, it’s quiet, smooth, and very fuel-efficient with a new valve train, stronger pistons, and dampened vibrations. Clearly, a classic in the making with a turbo boost pressure of 33.0 psi.
Mazda SKYACTIV-G 2.0-Liter Inline-Four
This is the secret to the Mazda MX-5’s unmitigated success. An inline-four engine, that has been its mill from the start, only now comes in a 2.0-liter displacement and with more changes. The weight of its pistons has been reduced by 27 grams.
This sounds like a minuscule difference but each little change adds spunk to the engine, which is why now it makes 181 horsepower and 151 lb-ft of torque. For a small roadster, its plenty of difference.
Ford High Output 3.5-Liter Twin-Turbo V6
The Ford High Output 3.5-liter V6 has a lot of power with 510 lb-ft of torque and comes twin-turbocharged for maximum effect. This marks a move away from the traditional V8s that Ford trucks have carried, and with 450 horsepower, you will not miss the two cylinders.
The crankshaft and the bearings are all beefed-up, while the valvetrain has been lightened for more power with less engine weight. Despite the beefy size of the F-150, this engine lets it fly from 0-60 mph in 5 seconds.
Volkswagen Auto Group Twin-Turbo 4.0-Liter V8
This one engine is the heart of many a car from the VW Group, including Audis, Porsches, and Bentleys. In the Lamborghini Urus, for example, this engine makes a whopping 640 horsepower and 627 lb-ft of torque, enough to take the 5,300-pound SUV 0-60 mph in 3.1 seconds.
With an aluminum build and twin-turbos mounted in between cylinder banks, this 4.0-liter V8 growls like something much bigger under the Urus’ hood. Despite the smaller displacement, this engine is thumpy and quite the future classic.
Chevrolet 6.2-Liter V8
This is the engine from the coolest Corvette to date, a mid-engined wonder that’s going to go places when its better-powered avatars arrive. A 6.2-liter V8 in this beautiful C8 makes 490 horsepower. Add in the Z51 package and this ‘Vette can go 0-60 mph in a flat 2.8 seconds.
Frankly, the more expensive C7 Z06 ‘Vette that makes 650 horsepower cannot beat this time, so this engine has to go down in the annals of history as one of the greats of the 2020s. That said, the C8 Z06, with a 5.5-liter flat-plane-crank V8, is likely to be near astronomical.
Dodge Supercharged 6.2-Liter V8
Now technically speaking, the Dodge 6.2-liter V8, supercharged and all, is as old school as you can get. The engine has a big displacement. It’s all iron. It has pushrods and an old-school supercharger. It makes 707 horses in the Hellcat and 797 in the Hellcat Red Eye Challengers.
It has 650 lb-ft of torque and an engine howl that could wake up the dead, figuratively. And yet it totally works, with that 2.7-liter supercharger and an additional fuel pump, and a very beefy rotating assembly.
Ferrari Twin-Turbocharged 3.9-Liter V8
What do the Ferrari 488 Pista, Ferrari GTC Lusso T, Ferrari F8 Tributo, Ferrari Portofino, and the Ferrari SF90 Stradale have in common? The 3.9-liter V8, that has upped to a 4.0-liter V8 in the Stradale because of a 1.5 mm bore increase.
In 2019, this engine was making 710 horses and 568 lb-ft of torque. Things like flywheels, crankshafts, and titanium connecting rods kept changing, and so did the power. Clearly, this is one evolving power mill worth a spot in the hall of fame of engines.
BMW Twin-Turbo 4.4-Liter V8
This is the engine that made the M5 what it is: a near-supercar that does 0-60 mph in just 2.6 seconds. This engine has powered a long, long list of Bimmers, including the M cars, since 2009. When it’s a good thing that works, why replace it?
It has been coaxed to make 617 horsepower and 553 lb-ft of torque in the M Competition models, making it a powerful machine with decent 4.4-liter displacement, and it may just grow to do more.
Audi Turbocharged 2.5-Liter Inline-Five
A slightly strange beast, being an inline-five, this Audi engine first shot into prominence when it was put in the TT RS in 2012. It made 400 horses and 354 lb-ft of torque plus the 1-2-4-5-3 cylinder firing order gave it a characteristic note. More like a yowl than a roar or a whine.
It uses a compacted graphite iron cylinder block and has a 10.0:1 compression ratio. Plus the turbocharger is quick to deliver. That one extra cylinder also gives it an extra set of lungs and plenty of gumption.
Sources: MediaStellantis AudiMediaCenter
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