- Photo by Lucas van Oort on Unsplash

      Conversation Thread: What is the best engine?

      There's really only one right answer here...or is there?

      2w ago


      Straight, V, W, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 12, 16, air-cooled, water-cooled, supercharged, turbocharged, twin-charged, hybrids, full EVs, diesels, hydrogen fuel cells, the list of things that can power a car are seemingly endless. I thought about this on my way to work one day, and while I will be the first defend the 3800 Series V6, it is far from the best engine. It's a pushrod engine with overhead valves, that's far from extraordinary, but what makes an engine "the best"?

      So I started to unpack this topic. My mind immediately went to Mazda, who has seemingly perfected the gasoline engine, achieving the ability to burn gasoline without using spark plugs with their SkyActiv-X series of engines. That is no small feat by any means, and surely would mean that Mazda should be crowned "Maker of The Best Engines", but the SkyActiv-X engine only makes 177 horsepower and 165 lb-ft, which is a far cry from "the best", and its not the most efficient engine either.

      Photo by Garett Mizunaka on Unsplash

      Photo by Garett Mizunaka on Unsplash

      Now, a Prius engine can be really good at achieving a high MPG, but a Porsche 918 is also a hybrid, can run in EV mode, and goes really fast thanks to its engine. Then there's the Acura MDX Sport Hybrid which is a hybrid that isn't fast, and isn't efficient, so can a hybrid be the best engine?

      What about strictly internal combustion engines? The Dodge Demon's 6.2-liter supercharged V8 made 840 horsepower, and it has 8 cylinders, but Bugatti's Chiron engine makes 1500 horsepower and has 16 cylinders, and four turbos, so naturally that should be the best engine, right? Then there's the matter of camshafts, but the Koenigsegg Freevalve engines don't have camshafts, and they still make a ridiculous amount of power, so do camshafts matter? How many should an engine have, and how many does the best engine have?

      Photo by Frank Albrecht on Unsplash

      Photo by Frank Albrecht on Unsplash

      Does the best engine even have cylinders? Mazda's rotary engine comes to mind, but then there's also the electric motor, or motors, which can produce incredible amounts of power and torque from a standstill, and make all sorts of cool futuristic noises as they shuttle you along. Then there's fuel cells, which don't take long to fill up, and produce water vapor, so that's good, but is that an engine?

      So which engine is the best engine? Comment Below!

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      Comments (90)

      • Ford Shelby Voodoo V8 is up there. Flat-plane crank and a 8250 RPM redline

          16 days ago
        • This is a genuine contender.

            16 days ago
        • Oh, for 10,000 miles or so... Reliability has been a real issue on Voodoo-- even as cool as it is.

            15 days ago
      • Small block chevy

          16 days ago
      • The best answer is LS. It’s just the most versatile engine in history.

          16 days ago
        • But it only has one cam, some engines have two, some even have four! The LS is a brilliant engine, but is it the best engine?

            16 days ago
        • If we are being academic about it, you have to define your terms and premises prior to reaching an intelligent argument. For example, you seem to be implying that number of cams is a factor in defining “best”. My calculus is a bit different....

          Read more
            16 days ago
      • Inline 6. Simple, reliable , durable and everything anyone ever buys has been moved by at least one.

          16 days ago
      • From 2030 this will be the best engine in the UK

          16 days ago


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