Chrysler had, depending on how you look at it, one or two engines on this year’s Ward’s Top Ten Engines list, a prestigious win from a magazine that looks at engines across the world.
Dropping off the list this year was the Pentastar V6, a multi-year winner unusual on the list for its combination of natural aspiration and conventional fuel injection.
This year’s winners from Chrysler were the Auburn Hills-developed electric motor for the Fiat 500e electric car, and the VM Motori 3-liter diesel for the Ram 1500 truck (selling under the name EcoDiesel).
Ironically, one of the engines was created by a Fiat company and used in a “real Chrysler,” while the other was developed by Chrysler and used in a Fiat.
The magazine wrote,
The 83-kW electric motor… delivers 147 lb.-ft. (200 Nm) of torque at step-off, sending the 3,000-lb. (1,361-kg) 500e from the chute like a pinball. The car repeatedly charged to 85 miles (137 km) of range, as advertised, but it consistently outperformed its indicated range.
Several EVs have been evaluated in recent years, but the 500e feels lighter, keeps up with highway traffic more capably, is loads of fun to drive and is reasonably affordable ($33,095 sticker).
Only two engines from last year’s list won this time, the Honda 3.5 V6 and Audi 3.0 supercharged V6. Chevrolet won with its 6.2 liter Corvette V8 and Cruze diesel. Only GM, Chrysler, and VW/Audi managed to gather more than one award.
Eight engines used direct injection, six used forced induction, and three were diesels. These came from 44 powertrains evaluated by the WardsAuto editors in October and November. The smallest engine was the Ford Fiesta 1.0 liter, the biggest was the Corvette V8.
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